Michigan supplied $40M for marijuana research. Here’s what it is funding featuring Dr. Leslie Lundahl
August 9, 2022
Two Michigan universities and a California-based marijuana research group are using about $40 million in Michigan marijuana tax revenue to research the therapeutic effects of cannabis on veterans suffering from suicidality and post-traumatic stress disorder. Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and a marijuana research organization called MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) will spend the next three to five years studying hundreds of veterans using cannabis. They will examine variances in the effectiveness of pot use based on factors such as CBD and THC ratios, use prolonged exposure therapy and the inhalation of cannabis flower.
The research, a requirement of the 2018 ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana in Michigan is rare nationally because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level and is considered a schedule 1 drug on par with heroin, ecstasy and peyote. The same federal laws that make such funding a rarity also make the research funded by state money all the more challenging as the groups struggle to comply with federal research standards involving a controlled substance. “I could go to a dispensary tomorrow two blocks from my office to buy whatever I need, but I’m prohibited by the FDA to give that to anyone in my laboratory,” said Leslie Lundahl, the lead principal investigator for Wayne State University’s research project. “We’ve identified a supplier who can give us exactly what we need and they’ve begun the process of getting approval,” she said. “But it could take a while.”
Wayne State University received the most funding of any one group, raking in nearly $19.6 million between the two grant funding periods in 2021 and 2022. WSU researchers are working on a series of three areas to study marijuana’s effect on combatting veteran suicidality and PTSD. The study will work to determine the lowest dose of THC that still retains effectiveness in order to find ways for veterans to maintain concentration, memory or function while using cannabis. A second trial will examine whether cannabis use improves outcomes of prolonged exposure therapy, a common treatment for PTSD that includes discussions of trauma, triggers and reminders to decrease its debilitating effect.
Read, “Michigan supplied $40M for marijuana research. Here’s what it is funding,” featuring Dr. Leslie Lundahl from the Detroit News.