Research Limitations Due to Scheduling

Direct impact on the quality and scope of cannabis research

The Schedule I classification of cannabis imposes significant limitations on research. Researchers face bureaucratic and regulatory hurdles that complicate access to cannabis for study purposes. This classification means that scientists must navigate a complex approval process to obtain cannabis, often leading to delays and additional costs for research projects.

These limitations have a direct impact on the quality and scope of cannabis research. The cannabis available for research purposes is often not representative of the products used by consumers, limiting the applicability of study results. Moreover, the lack of access to a variety of cannabis strains and preparations hinders the ability to conduct comprehensive research on its diverse effects.

The restrictive research environment has led to a situation where many of the claims about cannabis's therapeutic benefits and risks are not fully supported by robust scientific evidence. This situation perpetuates a cycle where the lack of evidence is cited as a reason for maintaining the current scheduling, which in turn limits the capacity to gather the needed evidence. For a detailed overview of the challenges faced by researchers, the American Medical Association offers resources and position statements, available at

Research Limitations Due to Scheduling
S3 Collective December 13, 2023
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Cannabis' Current Schedule I Status
This classification is designated for drugs that are considered to have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use