Penn State Opens door for Medical Research on Cannabis

Female scientist and her coworker examining chemical substances in test tubes while working on medical research in the laboratory.

Published August 9, 2019

By Britney Watson

The Health Ministry has permitted the association of research universities with legal medical marijuana producers for joint medical research on cannabis. They have been authorized to undertake research activities and experiments to unveil the true potential of cannabis – its advantages and disadvantages for prevention or treatment for physical and mental health diseases.

Penn State College of Medicine and their associated marijuana producers Pennsylvania Options for Wellness are one of these coupled institutes.

Researchers from these institutes hope to bring forth new discoveries about the plant. This would enable them to become the first to fully discover and explain the interaction of cannabis with anxiety disorders, PTSD but most importantly explain its role in the treatment of chronic pain.

PA Options for Wellness CEO Tom Trite says that this research plan will help the medical industry dig deeper into cannabis to fully uncover the healing properties of this useful drug. He also said that they will be honest and transparent about their findings and explain both good and bad aspects of the drug.

Clinical research on marijuana remained neglected due to strong objections and strict policies about its procurement and growing. The cannabis plant is still in the federal list of prohibited drugs because of its cultivation for recreational purposes.

Cannabis farmed for getting high have a high concentration of THC. Under the research program, the further testing of the drug with a low concentration of THC will take place to develop it as a medicine.

Research director at Penn State Dr. Kent Vrana says that research into medical marijuana paves the way for researchers and scientists to study the medical aspect of the drug. The purpose is to develop a medical form of cannabis for relieving symptoms like pain and other mental health-related problems.

She explained that their research was not to study the effects of drugs on people who get high but use in the medical field to treat certain diseases.

Tom Trite said that this research plan gives physicians a solid foundation for their decision of treatment instead of depending on the previous success stories of treatment. Quality control policies ensure the concentration of the drug and make sure that they are not injurious to health.