Tag Archive for: cannabis research

In the ever-evolving landscape of cannabis research, a remarkable discovery has recently emerged: a spotlight shines upon a lesser-known cannabinoid known as Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV. Unlike its more renowned counterpart, delta-9 THC, THCV appears to offer stimulating effects without the notorious “munchies” or fatigue often associated with marijuana consumption. This revelation stems from a groundbreaking double-blind clinical study conducted jointly by Phylos, a leading cannabis genetics company, and People Science, a prominent marijuana research firm.

On a momentous Tuesday, Phylos, a pioneering cannabis genetics company, joined forces with the esteemed marijuana research firm People Science to unveil the findings of their groundbreaking study. This research endeavor heralded a significant breakthrough, showcasing the remarkable effects of a THCV product on enhancing energy, activity levels, motivation, and overall well-being, distinctly surpassing those of a placebo.

Often dubbed as “diet weed” due to its intriguing lack of appetite-inducing properties, THCV stands out amidst the plethora of cannabis constituents saturating the market. Its emergence has sparked a wave of curiosity and excitement within the scientific community and beyond.

Under the auspices of an Institutional Review Board, researchers meticulously orchestrated a study involving 78 participants. These individuals were administered various formulations, including unmedicated placebo gummies, delta-9 THC-only gummies, and gummies infused with Phylos’s innovative THCV-dominant plant extract, aptly named “Get Sh!t Done.”

The outcomes were nothing short of remarkable. Analysis revealed that a notable 20 percent of participants who received THCV-infused gummies reported heightened feelings of vigor and vitality compared to their counterparts who received placebos. Furthermore, a staggering 40 percent expressed increased enjoyment in their daily activities following consumption of this novel cannabinoid.

In stark contrast, half of the participants who consumed the standard THC-only gummies reported experiencing heightened hunger—a phenomenon conspicuously absent in the THCV group. Moreover, those in the THC-only cohort were three times more likely to report feelings of fatigue compared to their THCV-consuming counterparts.

Both THC-only and THCV-infused gummies demonstrated significant enhancements in activity levels, exercise performance, motivation, and overall well-being compared to the placebo, as attested by Phylos.

Although the study employed a rigorous double-blind methodology, it awaits publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, underscoring the need for further scrutiny and validation within the scientific community.

Alisha Holloway, Chief Scientific Officer at Phylos, lauded the study as a pivotal moment for the cannabis industry, emphasizing its profound implications for understanding the synergistic effects of THCV in conjunction with THC. She hailed the “Natural Natural THCV study” as a cornerstone in advancing targeted cannabis products, poised to redefine the landscape of natural cannabinoid therapeutics.

Indeed, this research endeavor marks a transformative juncture, propelling the cannabis industry into uncharted territories of innovation and discovery, poised to revolutionize the understanding and application of natural cannabinoids.

Whitney Conroy, the Chief Commercial Officer at Phylos, underscored the burgeoning demand among consumers for access to natural, science-backed wellness products. “Consumers are seeking and deserve access to natural, plant-based wellness products that are backed by science,” Conroy emphasized, articulating a sentiment that resonates deeply within the industry.

She elaborated on the commitment of “Natural Natural” to forging partnerships with the crème de la crème of growers, extractors, and brands. This collaboration aims to ensure that consumers are not only aware of the products they purchase but also assured of their impeccable quality and proven efficacy. By prioritizing transparency and integrity, “Natural Natural” endeavors to set a gold standard in the realm of natural cannabinoid-based therapeutics.

Meanwhile, within the scientific community, researchers are diligently exploring the untapped potential of minor cannabinoids such as THCV. As awareness surrounding the therapeutic benefits of individual components of marijuana continues to expand, there is a growing impetus to unravel the multifaceted properties of these compounds.

For instance, a recent peer-reviewed study delved into the therapeutic potential of lesser-known cannabinoids derived from both hemp and marijuana. The study, published last year, shed light on the possibility of compounds like THCV offering promising avenues for the treatment of dermatological ailments such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne, signaling a paradigm shift in medical cannabis research.

Despite the growing body of research, the exact mechanisms underlying THCV’s unique effects compared to delta-9 THC remain a subject of intrigue. While the latest study did not delve into these mechanisms, prior research suggests that THCV, particularly in lower concentrations, may act as an antagonist rather than an agonist of the CB1 endocannabinoid system receptor. This distinction potentially enables consumers to circumvent certain common effects associated with delta-9 THC, such as increased appetite.

Moreover, recent revelations from researchers at Washington State University (WSU) have illuminated the intricate neural pathways through which cannabis stimulates appetite. Specifically, they unveiled how cannabis activates a specific cluster of neurons in the hypothalamus region of the brain, providing invaluable insights into its appetite-stimulating properties.

In essence, the convergence of scientific inquiry, industry innovation, and consumer demand underscores a transformative era in the realm of cannabis research and therapeutics, poised to redefine wellness paradigms and pave the way for enhanced health and well-being.

In a paradigm-shifting study, the potential positive aspects of regular cannabis use are brought to the forefront, challenging the conventional narrative surrounding its impact on mental health. This research delves into the realm of enhanced empathy and increased brain connectivity observed in regular cannabis users, providing a nuanced perspective on the substance’s effects.

Key Insights:

  • Individuals who regularly use cannabis showcased an elevated level of emotional comprehension, specifically in grasping the emotions of others, in contrast to non-users.
  • Cannabis users exhibited enhanced functional connectivity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), particularly with the left somatomotor cortex (SMC). This points towards a more profound empathic processing within the brain.
  • The study’s outcomes defy conventional perspectives on the effects of cannabis, hinting at the possibility of positive influences on empathy and social interactions.

Source: Neuroscience News

In a captivating twist of events, a recent study has unveiled a potentially favorable aspect of regular cannabis use – an augmented grasp of others’ emotions and increased neural connectivity in empathy-related regions.

This research, comparing a sample of regular cannabis users to non-users, has the potential to reshape the discourse surrounding the impact of cannabis consumption on mental health and interpersonal dynamics.

Cannabis, often linked to negative mental health outcomes, might possess an unforeseen silver lining. Researchers discovered that regular users exhibit an enhanced ability for emotional comprehension, a pivotal aspect of cognitive empathy crucial for navigating human social interactions.

Conducted with 85 regular cannabis users and 51 non-users, the study utilized psychometric scoring of empathy subscales and resting-state functional MRI to delve into the underlying neural mechanisms, yielding striking results.

Regular cannabis users demonstrated significantly elevated scores in Emotional Comprehension compared to the control group, indicating a heightened proficiency in recognizing and understanding others’ emotions – a skill fundamental in forging and sustaining social bonds.

A closer examination of brain function via fMRI unveiled that this heightened emotional comprehension in cannabis users is correlated with increased functional connectivity (FC) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).

The ACC, renowned for mediating empathic responses, showcased enhanced activity in cannabis users, with noteworthy heightened connectivity between the ACC and the left somatomotor cortex (SMC), critical areas for processing and understanding emotions.

These revelations challenge the conventional perception of cannabis as detrimental to mental health, suggesting that regular use might positively impact the brain’s empathic processing.

This holds profound implications for comprehending the social and psychological effects of cannabis.

The study’s outcomes also extend to broader implications for mental health and social interaction. Empathy, a pivotal element in social relationships, appears heightened in regular cannabis users, potentially explaining observed positive social behaviors, including increased prosocial behavior and reduced hostility.

Moreover, these findings could pave the way for innovative approaches to treating conditions marked by empathy deficits, such as specific personality disorders.

However, the study acknowledges its limitations. Researchers caution that the observed enhanced empathy and brain connectivity in cannabis users may be a pre-existing condition rather than a direct consequence of cannabis use.

Additionally, relying on self-reported data for cannabis consumption introduces potential biases. Future research, incorporating more objective measures of cannabis use and a balanced gender distribution, is imperative to further build on these findings.

Despite these constraints, the study represents a significant stride in comprehending the intricate effects of cannabis on the brain and behavior. By challenging prevailing negative perceptions, it suggests that under specific conditions, regular cannabis use may yield positive effects on mental health and social functioning.

In conclusion, this groundbreaking exploration opens avenues for further research into the therapeutic applications of cannabis. It disrupts conventional beliefs, proposing that regular cannabis use might enhance empathy and elevate social interactions. As the scientific community continues to unravel the multifaceted impacts of cannabis, this study lays the foundation for a more nuanced understanding of this widely used substance.

Regarding this news on cannabis, empathy, and brain connectivity research:

Original Research:

Empathy-related differences in the anterior cingulate functional connectivity of regular cannabis users when compared to controls by Víctor E. Olalde-Mathieu et al. in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.


Exploring how cannabis impacts the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a key player in empathic responses, this study delves into psychometric scores of empathy subscales. A comparison is drawn between a group of regular cannabis users (85 individuals) and non-consumers (51 individuals).

The findings reveal that users exhibit heightened Emotional Comprehension, a cognitive empathy trait centered on understanding the emotional states of others. Utilizing resting-state functional MRI in a smaller sample (users = 46, controls = 34), the study identifies increased functional connectivity (FC) of the ACC with the left somatomotor cortex (SMC) in users compared to controls.

These distinctions extend to the empathy core network, where users display greater within-network FC. The heightened FC observed in users aligns with emotional representational areas and empathy-related regions. Moreover, differences in psychometric scores suggest that users possess a more comprehensive empathic understanding.

These findings propose a potential link between cannabis use, enhanced comprehension of others’ affective states, and the altered functional brain organization of users. However, the study emphasizes the need for further research to explore this association, considering the potential influence of various other factors.

In the realm of cannabis effects, the infamous “munchies” phenomenon has long been observed, but a recent breakthrough in research at Washington State University sheds light on the intricate mechanisms at play. Delving into the brains of mice exposed to vaporized cannabis sativa, scientists discovered a specific neural activity in the hypothalamus, a crucial region governing appetite. Published in Scientific Reports, this study not only deepens our understanding of how cannabis affects the brain but also holds promise for future therapeutic interventions targeting appetite disorders in cancer patients, individuals with anorexia, and potentially those struggling with obesity.

Employing advanced calcium imaging technology akin to a brain MRI, the researchers scrutinized the response of brain cells in mice exposed to cannabis vapor. Remarkably, the study uncovered the activation of neurons in the hypothalamus, specifically the Agouti Related Protein neurons, associated with the anticipation and consumption of palatable food. This activation was absent in the control group of unexposed mice.

Jon Davis, an assistant professor of neuroscience at WSU and the corresponding author, emphasized the significance of these findings, stating, “When the mice are given cannabis, neurons come on that typically are not active. There is something important happening in the hypothalamus after vapor cannabis.” The study marks a pioneering use of calcium imaging to explore brain reactions to food following cannabis exposure, setting it apart in the field of neuroscience research.

Crucially, the research identified the pivotal role of the cannabinoid-1 receptor, a well-known target of cannabis, in regulating the activity of Agouti Related Protein neurons. Employing a cutting-edge “chemogenetic” technique, acting as a molecular switch, researchers could manipulate these neurons. When deactivated, cannabis no longer induced an increase in appetite, providing a potential avenue for targeted therapeutic interventions.

This groundbreaking work builds upon earlier research from Davis’ lab, distinguishing itself by utilizing whole vaporized cannabis plant matter instead of isolated THC. This approach mirrors human cannabis consumption more closely. The study not only contributes to our understanding of the intricate dance between cannabis and appetite but also holds promise for developing more refined and targeted treatments for various appetite disorders.

Funding for this research was provided by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and through financial support from the state of Washington Initiative Measure No. 171.

In conclusion, the groundbreaking research on cannabis’s influence on specific hunger neurons in the brain opens new avenues for understanding appetite regulation. By identifying the activation of distinct brain cells and the role of the cannabinoid-1 receptor, researchers have unveiled a potential pathway for developing targeted therapeutics. This discovery not only sheds light on the intricate relationship between cannabis and appetite but also holds promise for addressing appetite disorders in various medical contexts, ranging from supporting cancer patients to managing conditions like anorexia. As science delves deeper into the complexities of cannabis’s effects, this study contributes valuable insights that could pave the way for refined treatments and enhance our understanding of the brain’s response to recreational cannabis use.

In a groundbreaking move, the U.S. government has unveiled a trove of documents shedding light on the ongoing evaluation of marijuana’s federal classification. For the first time, it officially confirms that health officials are urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to designate cannabis as a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The released 252 pages from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assert that cannabis possesses a “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and exhibits a “potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in Schedules I and II.”

The documentation highlights that over 30,000 healthcare professionals in 43 U.S. jurisdictions are authorized to recommend medical marijuana to more than six million registered patients for at least 15 medical conditions.

Attorney Matt Zorn, who obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, published the confirmation of the Schedule III recommendation on his On Drugs blog. The materials include a letter to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram stating that “marijuana meets the findings for control in Schedule III.”

via Matt Zorn, On Drugs blog

The documents delve into the government’s eight-factor analysis for drug scheduling, emphasizing marijuana’s abuse potential, its accepted medical use, and its safety and risk of physical dependence compared to other substances.

On the subject of medical use, the review acknowledges the widespread legalization of medical marijuana across U.S. states, with some programs having been in place for several years. The memo discusses mixed findings on the effectiveness of marijuana for various medical

indications, highlighting a substantial evidence base for its use in treating pain conditions, particularly neuropathic pain.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) review, however, did not find support for marijuana in treating epilepsy or anxiety. The agency also expressed reservations about the potential risks associated with using marijuana to treat PTSD, stating that adverse events might outweigh limited benefits.

While some evidence supports marijuana’s benefits for Crohn’s disease, the overall assessment suggests a credible scientific foundation for its therapeutic use in pain management, anorexia related to certain medical conditions, and nausea and vomiting (e.g., chemotherapy-induced).

“Taken together, the data support that a substantial number of [health care practitioners] have gained clinical experience with at least one specific medical use of marijuana under state-authorized programs.”

Despite not being an unequivocal endorsement of marijuana’s medical benefits, federal health officials asserted that none of the evidence identified safety concerns precluding its therapeutic use. The evaluation also concluded that the public health risks of marijuana are low compared to other drugs of abuse, including heroin, cocaine, and benzodiazepines.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) aligns with this analysis, as stated in the documents.

In response to the release, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, sees this development as progress toward ending prohibition. The information disclosed provides a level of public transparency not seen before in the government’s rescheduling review.

In August, initial reports surfaced regarding the health agency’s recommendations for rescheduling marijuana. The prevailing belief centered on the likelihood of the HHS proposing a Schedule III classification, aligning it with substances such as ketamine and Tylenol with codeine. The recently released documents to Matt Zorn confirm this detail officially.

Should the DEA choose to adopt the HHS recommendation and move marijuana to Schedule III, it wouldn’t equate to broad legalization under federal law. However, it could wield significant influence by dismantling research barriers that have faced widespread criticism. Moreover, it might permit state-licensed cannabis businesses to access federal tax deductions currently restricted by IRS Code 280E.

It’s crucial to note that the ultimate decision on rescheduling lies with the DEA, a point reiterated in a recent letter to Congress. The DEA holds the authority to schedule, reschedule, or deschedule a drug under the Controlled Substances Act, considering statutory, regulatory, and HHS’s scientific evaluations. The agency is currently in the process of conducting its review.

Responding to a letter from 31 bipartisan lawmakers led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, the DEA emphasized its commitment to evaluating the “merits” of legalization during the review. The lawmakers had raised concerns about the limitations of merely placing cannabis in Schedule III, rather than completely removing it from CSA control.

The timing of any rescheduling announcement remains uncertain, sparking speculation within the cannabis community. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) suggested in September that the DEA is likely to follow the HHS recommendation based on historical patterns.

Last year, the governors of six U.S. states—Colorado, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Louisiana—urged President Joe Biden to reschedule marijuana by year-end, emphasizing its alignment with a safe, regulated product. While opinions on recreational cannabis legalization may differ among governors, the consensus is that the cannabis industry is a permanent fixture, with states implementing robust regulations.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis expressed anticipation of the DEA expeditiously completing the review and moving marijuana to Schedule III. However, he emphasized the need for additional administrative and congressional actions to promote health, safety, and economic growth.

In contrast, six former DEA heads and five former White House drug czars voiced opposition to the HHS’s recommendation, presenting concerns about the potential impact on drug schedules and criminal penalties. However, attorneys general from a dozen states took a different stance on Friday, urging the DEA to proceed with rescheduling as a “public safety imperative.”

While some anticipate that a Schedule III classification would benefit state-legal marijuana markets, cautionary voices warn of potential risks to broader state-level legalization. The ongoing developments highlight the complex interplay between federal decisions and their ramifications on cannabis regulation.