Although the country is still officially in the throes of a federal marijuana prohibition, the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis consumption in a growing number of US states has propelled legitimate research efforts to study marijuana outside narrow federal limits.
Making Better Medicinal Cannabis in Nevada
One cannabis business based in Reno and Las Vegas is at the forefront of these efforts. GB Sciences, a vertically integrated medical marijuana research facility and grow operation, currently holds licenses to grow, process, and sell medical cannabis products in the Silver State. They, along with other local Las Vegas operations, like DigiPath Labs, have been growing and processing medical cannabis in tandem with standardized clinical trials being conducted on patients coping with debilitating illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
In January, GB Sciences opened a 30,000 square-foot grow space and processing lab in Las Vegas. There, they are working to implement a “cultivation labs concept.” This concept involves building a facility and developing methods to meet production and quality assurance standards of both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and International Organization for Standardization.
Las Vegas ‘cannabusiness’ spearheading scientific efforts in the industry
The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published one of the most comprehensive reports on cannabis consumption in the US in January. The report noted that a complicated and prohibitive legal environment had impeded the efforts of scientists who want to study cannabis.
The Commission further noted that the lack of knowledge about cannabis and its effects was primarily the result of the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Contrary to the official federal, “drug war” stance on marijuana, the study’s authors found “substantial evidence” that marijuana is an effective medicine for pain management and is wrongly listed as a Schedule I substance.
Until recently, scientists and advocates have seen federal prohibition as ‘hobbling’ legitimate efforts to make a clinical assessment of marijuana and its therapeutic uses. With its new trials, GB Sciences can control the doses of THC and other cannabinoids that trial participants receive to guarantee the same dose and delivery mechanism each time.
According to Dr. Small-Howard of GB Sciences, this kind of standardization will allow researchers to collect more meaningful data while also enabling them to explore the vast unknown therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids other than THC, like CBD.
According to Small-Howard, “we’re looking at the variations in not just the cannabinoids but also terpenes and other phytochemicals that have active ingredients…Some people have described that there are over 480, they’re called secondary metabolites…so I think of this as a whole treasure trove full of nature’s medicine.”
Be a Part of Cannabis’s Bright Future in Nevada
Although the cannabis market in Nevada is currently being driven by THC, as researchers and entrepreneurs explore the therapeutic components of the cannabis plant in its entirety, the future is bright for medical marijuana patients, especially in the Silver State.
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