Subscribe to Newsletter
Research & Development Medical research

Top Cannabis Science Headlines: March Roundup

Every month, we carefully curate the top stories from across the fields of medical research, testing, processing, and plant science. We also bring you the latest in the world of cannabis business and legislation. Want it all in your inbox? Sign up here.

Subscribed already? Good. Not quite sold? Keep reading.

The genetics of addiction

A new National Institute of Health study may have identified genetic markers underlying substance use disorders. Until now, there has been very limited knowledge of the molecular genetic underpinnings of addiction. Now, in a sample of over one million participants, multivariate genome-wide association meta-analysis pinpointed areas in the genome associated with general addiction risk – as well as the risk of specific substance use disorders like alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and opioid use disorders. Across ancestries, PDE4B was significant (among other genes), suggesting dopamine regulation as a cross-substance vulnerability. These findings could lead to more effective prevention and treatment targets for multiple substance use disorders. 

Cannabis circRNAs

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) play essential roles in growth and development, stress resistance, and the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. Now, what does this have to do with cannabis? Well, in a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have examined circRNAs in cannabis plants using high-performance liquid chromatography-ESI-triple quadrupole-linear ion trap mass spectrometry. Their analysis revealed that nine circRNAs may be involved in the biosynthesis of six cannabinoids. In the future, circRNAs could be manipulated to yield plants with higher cannabinoid content.

What else is going on?

Research + Medicine

Scientists recommend term “derived psychoactive cannabis products” (DPCPs) for Delta-8, Delta-10, HHC, THC-O, THCP, and THCV – in effort to reduce confusion and help establish cohesive scientific literature base. Link 

Growing number of Canadian cannabis consumers are sourcing their cannabis legally – demonstrating progress in the transition to legal market in Canada. Link

With majority of US states now permitting medical cannabis treatment, study reveals sharp increase in usage over last decade. Link

Chronic exposure to inhaled vaporized cannabis high in THC alters brain structure – particularly the prefrontal cortex, accumbens, ventral pallidum, and limbic cortex – in adult female mice. Link 

Plant Science + Genetics 

Researchers suggest a way to profitably use disused phosphate quarries, with rock phosphate dust providing source of phosphorus to industrial hemp plants – increasing shoot biomass significantly. Link 

Business + Regulation 

Senate-passed cannabis legalization bill stalls in Hawaii House for this year – but advocates are shifting their focus to 2024. Link

Cannabis legalization bill will be introduced in Germany in coming weeks. Link

Psychedelics activists form political action committee to lobby US Congress to support research into therapeutic use of psychedelic compounds – including psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine. Link 

UN’s International Narcotics Board criticizes global cannabis legalization efforts as they cause “higher consumption, negative health effects, and psychotic disorders.” Link 

Outcome of appeals court in Brazil – where it will be decided whether companies and farmers can plant cannabis – could lead to significant change in Brazilian cannabis laws. Link 

Bipartisan senators file bill to ease restrictions on industrial hemp farmers – who would no longer be subject to background checks and wouldn’t have to fulfill rigorous sampling and testing requirements. Link

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Cannabis Scientist and its sponsors.

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

About the Author
Margot Lespade

Margot Lespade, Associate Editor, The Cannabis Scientist

Register to The Cannabis Scientist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Cannabis Scientist magazine