The iCannToolkit – connecting the dots in cannabis research

The iCannToolkit – connecting the dots in cannabis research
Cannabis Health News

While the increasing liberalisation of cannabis policy is making scientific research more accessible than ever, a lack of standardisation of data is limiting the potential of international collaboration. A group of global experts have come together to create a solution.  Cannabis research is booming right now. As cannabis laws continue to be eased in countries across the globe, the floodgates have opened for scientists to study cannabis after years of battling regulation and red tape. Now, in countries like the UK, Germany, Australia, US and Canada, it’s no longer the legal status of cannabis that is holding the science back, but data. Specifically, how data is gathered and recorded.  Currently, there are no standardised ways of gathering evidence in cannabis research. The result is a huge amount of siloed data that can be difficult to bring together. Without standardised units and methods of delivery, the evidence cannot be integrated. Now, a worldwide collaboration of scientists is coming together to standardise cannabis research and enable better international collaboration.  Leading the group of researchers is Associate Professor Valentina Lorenzetti, who runs the Neuroscience of Addiction and Mental Health Program at the Healthy Brain and Research Mind Centre, at the Australian Catholic University.  Dr Lorenzetti, who has been working in neuroscience and addiction for the past 15 years, co-led the project with Dr Tom Freeman, who leads the Addiction and Mental Health group at the University of Bath. As part of her work, Dr Lorenzetti has sought to understand the neurobiology of cannabis use for both non-medicinal and medicinal purposes but she soon noticed a flaw in the existing data.  “I’ve been working alongside a number of different consortia where there is brain imaging data, cognitive data and mental health from thousands of people collected across different countries,” Dr Lorenzetti told Cannabis Health.  …

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