The Research Initiative on Cannabis Consumption, a German research team, is applying for an approval to study cannabis from the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in Bonn, which oversees drug research in Germany. The team hopes to understand the effects of cannabis after several years of recreational consumption.
Earlier this year, on January 19, Germany legalized medical cannabis and began issuing licenses in April. At least 2,000 men and women have signed up to participate in the study so far. Researchers will study cannabis sequences in “mentally healthy adult consumers” according to the Tages Spiegel. The study will not include minors under 18, first-time cannabis consumers, individuals who suffer from psychiatric problems or those who have history of addiction. If the study is approved, participants would be allowed to pick up 30 grams of cannabis, which is normally set aside for medical patients, from a pharmacy each month.
“In Germany several million people regularly get high on cannabis,” lawyer and chief executive of the project Marko Dörre said in a statement. “It is time that science becomes more engaged with recreational use.” Dörre is a clinical psychology professor at the Hamburg Medical School. According to a recent report, 7.3 percent of teens and 6.1 percent of adults said they had consumed cannabis at least once during 2015.
Currently only about 1,000 men and women have been granted special permission from the government to have access to medical cannabis. Under the medical cannabis law, patients can be prescribed cannabis from a doctor, however only pharmacies that are licensed through the BfArM can cultivate cannabis. The new law would allow the government to collect data and conduct research on the therapeutic applications of cannabis.
The study would help benefit the advancement of science in Germany, according to Dörre. The Federal Office supports cannabis research because of the need for more evidence that supports the efficacy of medical cannabis.