The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has released a request for information, inviting comments from “the scientific community and other interested parties,” to help establish a standard dose for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent in cannabis, to improve cannabis research, according to a report from Cannabis News Wire.
In the notice published March 23, NIDA acknowledges the complexity of the plant and how effects vary between individuals, methods of consumption and phytochemical ratios, but emphasizes the critical necessity of establishing and implementing a “standard unit dose” for “rigorous cannabis research.” The notice cites published commentary by NIDA director Dr. Nora Valkow on the subject:
“These complexities hardly negate the value of having a standardized measure of THC, irrespective of product type. In fact, having and using such a standard is a prerequisite for comparing the effects of various cannabis products on THC bioavailability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacological effects, which is knowledge fundamental to studies pertaining to medical use of cannabis.”
NIDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), its parent organization, seek comments on any of the following topics:
- 5 milligrams as a standard THC dose irrespective of route of consumption
- Challenges and benefits to conducting research using a standard unit dose of THC including:
- Comparability across studies, including accurate data collection and publication of methods and results
- Comparability with legacy datasets and surveillance measures (e.g., MTF, NSDUH, YRBS)
- Benefits and limitations of a standard unit dose that does not depend on route of administration and/or other cannabinoid constituents
- Implementation in human laboratory and/or clinical studies
- Implementation in observational and/or epidemiological studies
- Labeling requirements for cannabis products
- Education of users to acquire accurate data
- Any other topic the respondent feels is relevant for NIDA to consider in establishing a standard unit dose of THC.
Submit a response:
Responses to this request for information must be submitted electronically via: THCdoseRFI@nih.gov and received by May 1, 2020.
Direct inquiries to:
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)