Cannabis strains used in research in the US are more similar to hemp

Can we generalize the result of clinical studies to patients’ experience?

The genetics of cannabis strains used in research in the US is different from commercially available products. Therefore, the clinical effect of the studied strains may be different from the patient-reported outcomes.

According to a recent study analyzed the genetics of 49 cannabis strains from different sources including NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and dispensaries in Colorado, California, and Washington. The researchers found that strains can be grouped into two major categories: drug-type strains and hemp-like strains and the genome of both strains sourced from NIDA looks like hemp. Dr. Anna Schwabe, one of the authors of the study says that “I personally don’t think they’re providing something that’s similar to what any patient could get their hands on,”.

It worth noting that all scientists in the US have to get their cannabis strains for research purposes from DEA & NIDA approved sources. The only licensed source is currently the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi.

You can find the excerpt of the study in Nature and the original study here.

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