The Ottumwa Courier

Community News Network

November 8, 2012

Slate's Explainer: How do you get into a marijuana study?

(Continued)

If you don't want to take a chance on landing in the placebo group — or if you don't happen to live in Iowa — there are other options. Researchers in Baltimore are studying how traces of cannabis appear in saliva. They're looking for people who smoke marijuana at least twice a month to come in, smoke a joint, then provide blood, urine and saliva samples. There is no control group, so all participants will score weed. You would have to stay at the testing center for six hours after smoking and pass a coordination and balance test before leaving.

If you like a little pain with your pleasure, the "Cannabinoid Modulation of Pain" study at Yale might interest you. (Most cannabis studies are conducted at colleges and universities, which happen to have plenty of qualified and willing participants.) Participants will have capsaicin — the chemical responsible for chili pepper heat — applied topically, then receive a dose of cannabis to determine if it dulls the burn.

The majority of cannabis studies involve therapeutic use. Over the past 11 years, the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, has investigated the drug's potential to help people suffering from multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and AIDS. A significant portion of the center's funding went toward navigating the approval process. Before a marijuana study can get going, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Drug Enforcement Administration have to give their approval. It usually takes at least a year before the government will agree to release some of its marijuana supply — all of which is grown at the University of Mississippi. The drug arrives in the form of cigarettes, which contain varying amounts of cannabis. (The placebo cigarettes are marijuana-free.) Although the California state-funded center was able to win approval for all of its studies, investigators with fewer resources and institutional backing have complained that getting approval is extremely difficult.

---

Got a question about today's news? ask-the-explainer@yahoo.com.

Explainer thanks Igor Grant of the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National