Pubdate: Tue, 25 Nov 2014
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2014 The Denver Post Corp
Author: John Ingold


State Health Officials Propose Broad Research into Effect of Cannabis 
on Illness

Colorado health officials have recommended funding two studies on 
childhood epilepsy, two studies on post-traumatic stress disorder and 
four other studies as part of the largest-ever state research program 
on medical marijuana.

The studies-totaling about $7.5million in cost-would be paid for by a 
surplus of registration fees paid by medical marijuana patients. The 
grants need final approval by the state Board of Health in December. 
Research could begin early next year.

"We hope the studies will contribute to the scientific research 
available about the use of marijuana in effectively treating various 
medical conditions," Larry Wolk, the executive director of the state 
health department, said in a statement.

Half of the proposed studies focus on the effects of medical 
marijuana use by young patients. Two of those studies would examine 
whether a non-psychoactive component of marijuana called CBD can 
control seizures in children. Hundreds of families have moved to 
Colorado seeking CBD for their kids.

Another study would look at using marijuana for inflammatory bowel 
disease among young patients, and another would look at marijuana for 
pediatric brain tumors.

Six of the proposed studies would be conducted by researchers at the 
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, but the largest 
recommended grant would go to doctors at the University of 
Pennsylvania. That study would cost $2 million and would look at 
using marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, in veterans.

Another University of Pennsylvania study on PTSD would cost $1.1 million.

While several of the proposed studies would be placebo-controlled, 
university researchers who hope to handle marijuana as part of their 
studies would have to get complicated approval from the Drug 
Enforcement Administration before beginning work. They may also be 
limited to using only marijuana supplied by the federal government.
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