It is commonly known that the US is not a part of the most advanced countries for marijuana research. Due to its legal status, receiving funding for cannabis research has proven quite difficult in the US. The government still holds restrictive policies and regulations on research that will look into the benefits and risks of cannabis, which is available to consumers in numerous states.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration still views marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic, making cannabis more tightly controlled than cocaine and methamphetamines. Because of this, research must obtain approval from the DEA, Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Research has been very limited, leaving patients, healthcare professionals and policymakers without the solid evidence needed to make decisions regarding the plant. Thankfully, there are more advanced countries that allow research that we can look to for answers. Here are six of the most advanced countries for marijuana research in the world.
Although Spain currently prohibits medical cannabis containing THC, multiple marijuana research initiatives have come out of the country.
In 1998, researchers at Madrid’s Complutense University discovered that THC can influence programmed cell death in brain tumor cells without negatively impacting surrounding cells. Then in 2000, the same team tested on rats, injecting them with synthetic THC to eradicate brain tumors. This worked for one-third of the rats, prolonging their lives by six weeks.
In 2002, the Spanish team, led by Dr. Manuel Guzman, announced that they had destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC.
More recently, pharmacologist José-Carlos Bouso, along with other top scientists and researchers, created the Spanish Observatory on Medical Cannabis (OECM). The organization is made up of some of the top cannabis scientists. Among this talented team is world-renowned marijuana scientist, Raphael Mechoulam, who first discovered THC and CBD, as well as Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, Germany’s leading medical marijuana authority.
The observatory is said to promote the works of its members and also highlights the ongoing research done by other Spanish health professionals who are looking into marijuana research.