The Lack of Clinical Trials in the Medical Marijuana Industry

The Lack of Clinical Trials in the Medical Marijuana Industry

As time goes on, medical marijuana is starting to break barriers in various states across the country. Out of the 50 states, 33 have approved a comprehensive medical marijuana program (NCSL). Currently, marijuana, medical or recreational, is illegal at the federal level, despite legalization in various states. Many medical professionals are interested in prescribing medical marijuana to patients with a qualifying condition, but most feel they don’t have sufficient knowledge or feel comfortable to do so. This lack of knowledge is a direct result of the lack of clinical trials in the medical marijuana industry, but why is that the case?

The Problem

The biggest problem surrounding why it’s so difficult for scientists to get clinical trials up and running is the continuation of roadblocks that federal laws create. Even though medical marijuana may be legalized in some states, scientists are still having a significantly harder time conducting research on the medicinal benefits of this “illicit drug”. Without sufficient research, we can expect the legalization of marijuana at the federal level, even for medicinal uses, to be a steep uphill battle.

Under federal law, cannabis is on the same level as controlled substances, like cocaine and heroin. Every controlled substance is classified by schedule based on relative potential for abuse and medicinal value. Under the CSA, cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning the federal government views cannabis as highly addictive and having no medical value. (SafeAccessNow.org)

These strict federal laws can make it more difficult for researchers to legally obtain the necessary supply of marijuana for their trials. The difficulty of obtaining a legal supply puts any planned research at a hard stop with no chance of moving forward. Essentially, we’re currently experiencing a catch-22, with the federal government refusing to legalize marijuana based on its Schedule 1 standing and the need to obtain marijuana legally for clinical trials to prove this view unsound.

In fact, if one were to conduct a clinical trial, they would have an easier time conducting research on drugs such as ecstasy or magic mushrooms. Clinical researchers can request the ability to grow or create restricted compounds, including LSD, MDMA or psilocybin, in their lab from the DEA. Unfortunately, this is not the case with cannabis.

As expected, these classifications and restrictions on marijuana are causing a variety of frustrations across the medical community. Many researchers have noted that research is “hindered by a complicated federal approval process, limited availability of research grad marijuana and the debate over legalization.” (SafeAccessNow.org) Although we have these restrictions by the federal government, scientists are still working towards the ability to conduct sufficient research on marijuana and will continue their efforts as much as possible while following the law.

What’s an Alternative?

Since it can be difficult to locate information about the safety and effect of cannabis on the human body, how are physicians supposed to know if prescribing medical marijuana is right for their patients? Enter: Arfinn Med. Many physicians who believe in the therapeutic power of medical marijuana are beginning to try alternative treatment plans with their patients. Arfinn Med provides a portal for these physicians to track and store data to be analyzed. Additionally, physicians have the ability to consult and connect with a nationwide network of medical professionals to discuss actual experiences regarding patient outcomes.

If you are a licensed medical professional and interested in gaining more data on medical marijuana or and what it can do for your patients, join Arfinn Med for FREE today! Let us help you start treating your patients with the power of data on your side.  

Sources: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx

https://www.safeaccessnow.org/federal_marijuana_law

https://www.safeaccessnow.org/medical_cannabis_research_what_does_the_evidence_say

https://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/

Stories you may be interested in

Survey of oncologists finds knowledge gap on medical marijuana

As more states legalize medical marijuana, two key groups — researchers whose job is it to understand its benefits and drawbacks, and physicians charged with advising potential users — are struggling to catch up with policymakers. Ilana Braun, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and chief of the division of adult psychosocial…
Read More

Medical marijuana users tell their stories to Medical Cannabis Study Commission

Thursday, the Medical Cannabis Study Commission held its third meeting. The Commission has been tasked with presenting a policy recommendation to the legislature on exactly what the best medical marijuana bill should look like. The Commission held a public hearing in which a number of medical marijuana users claimed that the drug has benefitted them.…
Read More

Texas House Bill 3703: What You Need to Know

The state of Texas has been in the news in recent months as the legislature review House Bill 3703. This bill relates to “the prescription of low-THC cannabis for medical use by certain qualified physicians to patients with [specific] qualifying conditions”. Originally filed in March of 2019, this bill made its way through the house…
Read More

Unstructured EHR data more useful for predictive analytics, study shows

A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association has shown that real-world data contained in unstructured narratives has big predictive value when it comes to clinical research. WHY IT MATTERSWhile structured clinical notes in the electronic health record have obvious value, the research in JAMIA suggests that real-world data captured in unstructured notes…
Read More

New Feature: Calendar Integration

At Arfinn Med, we’re excited to announce the third feature update to join automated text messaging and note templating: calendar integration. With this addition, physicians can now integrate their Google Calendar or Calendy account. The implementation of calendar integration rounds out the Arfinn Med portal, making it a physician’s one-stop-shop EMR tool. How It Works…
Read More

Florida medical marijuana dispensary now sells the state’s first cannabis tablet

Even though Florida residents can finally smoke medical marijuana, one of the state’s largest cannabis companies is now offering it in tablet form. The company Curaleaf released the state’s first cannabis tablet on Sunday. The company’s two Orlando locations, at 775 N Semoran Blvd. and 12402 S Orange Blossom Trail, sell the mint-flavored tablets for $35 for a 30-quantity, child-resistant package. Read…
Read More