Along with making it possible for people to access and consume cannabis, one of the other benefits of legalization is that it opens the door to more cannabis-related research. Yet even in this climate, funding remains a big challenge for researchers.
Now, a private donor has given $9 million to Harvard and MIT to fund cannabis research. The money will reportedly be used to fund a number of research projects that could have implications for medical marijuana. It will also be used to help promote marijuana research in general and to encourage new researchers to enter the field.
$9 Million Donation for Cannabis Research
The donation was made by Charles R. “Bob” Broderick. As reported by the Boston Globe, Broderick is an alumnus of both Harvard and MIT. And he’s also a big player on the cannabis scene.
Specifically, Broderick is a long time investor in cannabis. Initially, he began investing in the industry back in 2015.
At the time, he reportedly focused most of his investment activity on the cannabis industry in Canada. But in more recent years, he has also been getting more and more involved with the cannabis industry in the U.S.
Now, Broderick hopes his donation to MIT and Harvard will help improve cannabis research.
Specifically, he hopes the money will help researchers better understand the potential medical uses of cannabis.
“The lack of basic science research enables people to make claims in a vacuum that are either anecdotal or based on old science,” Broderick told the Boston Globe.
“For generations, we haven’t been able to study this thing for various sorts of societal reasons. That should end now, as well as the prohibitions that are falling around the world.”
The $9 million donation will be split up between Harvard and MIT. Each school reportedly already has general plans for how they want to allocate the new funding.
But ultimately, the funds will be used to execute research that is focused on the interaction between cannabis and the human body.
And ultimately, the research will aim to better understand how marijuana might be used for therapeutic purposes.
New Medical Marijuana Research
At least initially, researchers at MIT are reportedly planning to study cannabis and schizophrenia.
Specifically, they want to look at the ways that THC impacts cognitive function in people with schizophrenia.
Similarly, some MIT researchers want to explore how cannabis impacts the cell types involved in the onset of schizophrenia.
And many of the planned research projects will investigate how each chemical works on their own and when consumed in tandem.
As for Harvard, the university is reportedly launching the Charles R. Broderick Phytocannabinoid Research Initiative.
This program will include roughly 30 scientists. And they will investigate how different cannabinoids affect brain cell functions.
More specifically, researchers at Harvard have already been studying the human body’s and how it regulates things like memory, appetite, stress, and more.
Now, they will reportedly extend that research to include the cannabinoids produced by marijuana.