Take a look at the photo above. That’s what most marijuana consumers picture when they think “marijuana” — chunks of pungent green plant material coated in sticky, crystallized THC-rich resin.
But if you’re a researcher looking to work with marijuana — to say, investigate how it impairs people, or how it could help people suffering from certain ailments — you don’t have access to the weed that everyone else is using. Since the late 1960s the federal government has mandated that all marijuana used in research has to come through the federal government.
To investigate the real-world effects of marijuana, however, researchers need a product that looks and feels like the real thing. And they’re increasingly frustrated with government weed that is something else entirely.
Don’t take their word for it. The photo below shows a sample of federal marijuana distributed to Sue Sisley, a researcher who just embarked on a first-of-its-kind clinical trial to test the efficacy of medical marijuana for military veterans suffering from PTSD.
Here they are side by side: