CBD research is about to ramp up in the United States. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is granting nine research awards totaling approximately $3 million for work on CBD and other cannabinoids.
The studies will focus on whether cannabinoids like CBD have pain-relieving properties. There is currently little federal research on CBD to better understand its effects and underlying mechanisms.
"The science is lagging behind the public use and interest. We're doing our best to catch up here," said Dr. David Shurtleff, deputy director of the NCIHH, to NBC News.
Only one of the studies will involve human subjects. However, the NCCIH confirms a second round of grant awards may involve two more studies with humans.
The lone human study to receive grant funding comes from University of Utah researcher Deborah Yurgelun-Todd. She will analyze the brains of people with lower back pain to see how CBD affects pain signaling pathways. Half the participants will get CBD extract mixed with chocolate pudding, but the other half will get plain chocolate pudding as a control group.
Boston Children’s Hospital will lead a study titled “Mechanism and Optimization of CBD-Mediated Analgesic Effects.” New York University leads a CBD study titled “Identifying the Mechanisms of Action for CBD on Chronic Arthritis Pain.” Click here to read more on the nine research projects receiving grant funding from the NCIHH.
CBD Research And The 2018 Farm Bill
CBD research is more accessible than ever with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances list and includes two important sections for hemp researchers. Firstly, Section 7605 provides greater protections for hemp research and researchers. In addition, Section 7501 also introduces hemp into the Critical Agricultural Materials Act for its potential diversity in applications.