Supporters of medical marijuana have long argued pot can help alleviate many medical and health problems. However, pinpointing the exact benefits of marijuana has been elusive. A new UB study looks to answer those questions.
The research is being managed by SUNY Distinguished Professor Gene Morse in the Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences.
"It's one thing to take the plant, extract it and see what's in there," Morse explained.
"It's another thing to take that extract, make it into a medicine that someone is going to take orally and know that those same things are actually absorbed and get into your body. That part hasn't really been well-studied."
In some cases, marijuana's benefits have been anecdotal.
"For certain indications like a lot of the pediatric situations where the kids have continual seizures, the parents can tell when something has changed," said Morse, who hopes his study can bring clarity to the issue.
"That might be a reason to do more types of studies to figure out which of those ingredients are actually being absorbed. Are they measurable in the blood? Do they change over time? And, are they associated with these good effects?"
Morse has a long history of research work with H-I-V and hepatitis C around the world, especially in collaboration with researchers in Zimbabwe.
Syracuse marijuana firm Terradiol has already given UB a $100,000 research grant for research into patient safety and therapeutic effects of cannabinoids.