The arrival of legalization has been welcome news for Canadian marijuana researchers. Before legalization, marijuana was just as hard for researchers to obtain as any other illegal drug. However, open access to a variety of cannabis products is giving researchers the opportunity to answer questions, and reach conclusions that have eluded them for decades. Here are just 3 of the questions that Canadian researchers are seeking to answer after legalization.


Why do Different Strains Have Different Effects?

It may surprise some to find out that researchers are still working on such basic things as the differences between strains. However, researchers are still trying to figure out why certain strains produce certain effects, while others produce the opposite. Researchers are now advancing their work into the sensory effects of marijuana, how they are linked to the cannabinoids and terpenes inside the plant, and how the genetic makeup of the plant affects them. Up until now, studies in this area have been limited to anecdotal evidence. With open access to cannabis products, researchers hope to move past this, towards a more scientific, evidence-based approach.


Is Marijuana Safe Enough for Doctors to Prescribe?

Canadian marijuana researchers are eager to study the health implications of consuming cannabis. Over the next few years, much more information is expected to emerge about the possible health benefits and consequences of various marijuana products such as buds, concentrates, and oils. Researchers hope that their work will make it easier for doctors to make decisions about whether or not they should treat their patients with cannabis. Researchers are primarily focused on the possible consequences of smoking marijuana and its effects on the lungs. Research is also being conducted into alternative dosing methods like vaporization, so as to determine the safest methods of consumption for Canadians.

The spotlight being shined on the opioid crisis in North America is leading many doctors to shy away from prescribing the addictive, yet effective, painkillers. This has allowed more patients to experience the benefits of medical marijuana, as more doctors have become more open to prescribing it. The desire to minimize opiate use in North America is expected to significantly contribute to a rising number of medical marijuana prescriptions in the future.


How Will Canadians use Marijuana After Legalization?

In preparation for legalization, federal and provincial governments have commissioned numerous studies on the social effects of marijuana, and of legalization. In January 2018, the federal government announced a $1.4 million investment in social marijuana research projects. This includes research into things like cannabis use in the workplace, on university campuses, and among minors and youth. Moreover, research projects are currently being undertaken in order to better understand the ways in which Canadians use cannabis. This includes studies into impaired driving and the continuation of the medical marijuana system.

Additionally, individual organizations such as colleges and private companies have commissioned studies into the ways in which marijuana is expected to affect them. These studies are expected to lead to the implementation of new policies governing the use of marijuana within the context of these organizations.

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