The Cannabis Race

Mitch Earleywine says the US is falling behind:

The U.S. has been at the forefront of scientific research in many areas, but not always with cannabis. In fact, federal obstruction of research has made the U.S. lag far behind many countries in the field of cannabinoid medicine. The THC molecule and the cannabinoid receptor were first identified in Israel. Links between cannabinoids and Alzheimer’s were established in Spain. Work on THC’s inhibition of atherosclerosis appeared in Switzerland. We certainly do interesting work on this topic in the U.S., too, but I think we’ve fallen down dreadfully in the study of medical marijuana in real live people. What’s the best strain for headache? Nausea? Insomnia? We don’t know. 

Despite American ingenuity and a huge underground market with thousands of strains, anyone who wants to give cannabis to people in a U.S. laboratory is essentially stuck with the one type available through the National Institute of Drug Abuse. We’re only now learning the import of cannabidiol and the host of cannabinoids other than THC, in part because of the quick jump to the study of a synthetic version that developed out of fear of stems and leaves.