A team of researchers from the University of Mississippi has been awarded a $1.37 million grant to study the pain relief potential of cannabis for HIV-positive patients, Ole Miss News reports. Awarded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), researchers are concerned with the non-addictive compounds in cannabis that help with inflammation and pain relief.
“Cannabis has hundreds of compounds in it other than THC and CBD, and we don’t know much about how these compounds might affect the human body. By exploring the effects of these compounds against HIV pain, we can gain insight into their potential benefits or risks in numerous other inflammatory disease states.” — Researcher Nicole Ashpole, assistant professor of pharmacology
Researchers say they are focusing on HIV patients because they “use cannabis more frequently than the uninfected population” and according to some patients, “cannabis manages their chronic pain.”
“Our preliminary data suggest that some of the nonpsychoactive compounds in cannabis can reduce inflammation in the central nervous system and HIV-related pain using in vivo models,” noted Jason Paris of the Department of BioMolecular Sciences.
The study will be conducted at the university’s National Center for Natural Products — the now-famous institution that had the only permit to grow cannabis for research in the U.S. for the past 50 years, the report says.
“Our research capability, our expertise, our knowledge in the areas of cannabis chemistry and production, our personnel and facilities — everything reflects our deep commitment to excellence in cannabis research,” said Mahmoud ElSohly, head of the university’s Marijuana Project and professor of pharmaceutics and drug delivery. “We are proud of the work we have done and continue to do as this field of research continues to grow.”
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