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Colorado grants $2.35 million for funding marijuana health and safety research

Colorado grants $2.35 million for funding marijuana health and safety research

01-25 | CDAH Team

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced a total grant of $2.35 million for funding marijuana health and safety research in December 2016. The department awarded seven grants after scientific review of 16 full grant applications out of the initial 58 preliminary applications. All the studies aim at addressing questions about public health and safety revolving around cannabis legalization in the state. The grants awarded are of two types:

  • Pilot grants that will fund up to $100,000 per year for up to two years and
  • Full research grants that will fund up to $300,000 per year for up to three years.

According to Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer for the CDPHE, the research is going to be invaluable for Colorado and for other parts of the country. Dr. Wolk also said that the research findings will help the public education efforts and give people the information they need to make decisions pertaining to marijuana usage. Over the past few years, the state had already approved $9 million for research to understand medical marijuana better.

In fact, post legalization of marijuana in Colorado, the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee was created in 2012 to monitor public health impact of marijuana usage and monitor changes in drug usage patterns.

Approved grants

Following are the approved grants pertaining to marijuana health and safety research by the CDPHE.

  • Comparative Assessment of Driving Impairment in Occasional Versus Heavy Marijuana Users: It will be a three-year study involving researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health and the School of Medicine, University of Colorado. The project has been granted $843,500.
  • Acute Effects of Dabbing on Marijuana Intoxication, Driving Impairment, and Cognitive Functioning: It will be a three-year study project to be undertaken by the University of Colorado at Boulder and the sanctioned amount for the project is $839,500.
  • Duration of Marijuana Concentration in Breast Milk: This will be a two-year study undertaken by the School of Medicine, University of Colorado with a grant of $186,500.
  • Older Coloradans and Marijuana: A Public Health Problem or Policy Alternative: It will be a one-year study undertaken by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The project has been granted $97,500.
  • The Adverse Effects of Edible Cannabis Products: It will be a one-year study by the School of Medicine, University of Colorado and the amount sanctioned for the project is $97,500.
  • Analysis of Data from Before and After Implementation of Recreational Marijuana in Colorado: It will be a two-year study by the Colorado State University with a sanctioned grant of $186,500.
  • The Cardiovascular Effects of Marijuana in At-Risk Patients: It will be a one-year study by the School of Medicine, University of Colorado. The project has been granted $99,000.

Chronic marijuana use may have severe side effects

With the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana in Colorado, it is imperative to conduct studies that can determine the effects of marijuana use among people. Chronic marijuana use can develop into an addiction and also have physical and mental effects on a person’s health.

In fact, cases of a mysterious illness called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is flooding the emergency rooms (ER) of Colorado. Since 2009, CHS cases nearly doubled in two Colorado hospitals. According to doctors, heavy and long-term use of marijuana might be linked to CHS.

Dr. Kennon Heard, a physician at the University of Colorado Hospital, and his team found that since medical marijuana became prevalent in the state, the number of hospital visits caused due to CHS have significantly increased. He and his team analyzed more than 2,500 hospital visits and found that from 2008 to 2009 (pre-legalization phase), there were 41 visits to the ER and from 2010 to 2011 (post-legalization phase), the number increased to 87.

According to Dr. Heard, while the illness was documented in 2004, its symptoms have not always been recognized. It is difficult to cite the exact reason that triggers such symptoms and therefore, this area requires more study.

CHS is generally characterized by nausea, recurrent vomiting and severe abdominal cramps. When left unchecked, CHS can even lead to dehydration and kidney problems. Doctors suggest that the symptoms get temporarily relieved by taking hot showers but the condition can be controlled only by reducing and gradually stopping drug intake altogether.

Road to recovery

If you know someone who is struggling with addiction to marijuana or any other substance, it is time to seek professional help. Contact the Colorado Drug Addiction Helpline to know some of the finest drug addiction treatment centers in Colorado. Call us at our 24/7 helpline 866-218-7546 or chat online with our experts to find the best drug rehabilitation centers in Colorado.


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