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US government criticized for supplying sub-standard weed for research purposes

With the legalization of marijuana in various American states, patients and doctors are now able to obtain the drug legally to alleviate symptoms of chronic pain or nausea. This has created the need for regulatory efforts to cultivate the crop hygienically to ensure its quality for medicinal use. However, according to a recent report by the Washington Post and Publication Broadcasting Service (PBS), the U.S. government is providing inferior-quality marijuana to the researchers, which has invited major criticism.

Whether procured legally or illegally, cannabis is available at different rates across the U.S. Factors like pest infestation, lightning, air, humidity can greatly affect the end product, therefore, producing a high-quality weed might be a challenge. Meanwhile, questions have been raised about the reliability of the center accountable for cultivating marijuana and distributing it across the country for research purposes.

Deteriorated weed supplied for research

Admittedly, the weed supplied for research purposes should be free of contaminants, but the recent revelation has put a “question mark” on the federal testing standards. Pure weed is available in different shapes, sizes, colors and densities, however, the one supplied by the government was pale and full of stem particles, as well as heavily infested with molds, said Sue Sisley, a researcher from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), studying the effect of marijuana on the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of the US veterans.

Apparently, the entire cultivation of research-oriented cannabis is carried out at a 12-acre farm at the Mississipi University. Since marijuana remains a schedule 1 drug as per the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the site, run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is the only one to have received DEA license for growing weed.

An overview of conflicts between NIDA and MAPS

In response to the allegations of supplying substandard weed, the University of Mississipi and NIDA admitted that neither of the organizations tests the samples for molds before shipping them. The sample received by the MAPS researcher was tested in a Colorado lab which confirmed that it had a high concentration of molds and yeasts and that its potency was also very different from what was ordered by the scientist.

Ironically, one of the samples was supposed to have 13 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but it had only 8 percent of the active ingredient. Alarmingly, the NIDA offers weed containing just 13 percent THC, but, in Colorado, one can get hold of the weed containing THC as high as 20-30 percent. While the NIDA accused the lab of poor handling of the drug, stating that the sample should have been frozen and not left in the refrigerator, MAPS retaliated by saying that the samples were found to be contaminated with molds and yeasts while they were still in the freezer.

Way forward

It is high time that the U.S. authorities focused on cultivating high-grade marijuana, especially for research purposes. Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that bulk manufacturers would be licensed to cultivate cannabis in the forthcoming days.

Marijuana is addictive and highly prone to abuse and has both short- and long-term side effects. While short-term effects include mood fluctuations, altered memory, and impaired body movements, its long-term effects lead to impaired brain functions and potential risk of developing opiate abuse. However, one can get over this addiction if timely treatment is sought.

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to marijuana or any other drug, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for Drug and Alcohol Addiction to learn about the best drug rehab centers in the U.S. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 to speak to one of our certified representatives or chat online to know about various addiction treatment centers across different locations in the country.

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