Cannabis Research Question Paper

Cannabis Research Question Paper

Cannabis Research Question Paper

Currently, most researchers are focusing on developing adequate evidence supporting the medicinal use of cannabidiol (CBD) and its positive benefits as a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. Significant pharmacological research on the medical use of CBD took place in the 1970s and has intensified ever since with discoveries in the management of different psychiatric disorders (Pennypacker & Romero‐Sandoval, 2020). For instance, several preclinical and clinical research led to the approval of Epidio-lex®, by the FDA as purified CBD medicine for the management of infantile refractory epileptic. The continuous use of medicinal CBD in addition to legalized recreational cannabis has led to increased incidences of THC intoxication in emergency rooms across the United States. Limited studies have however focused on the development of evidence on the use of the management of THC intoxication, which has led to the development of my research question: “Can CBD be used to treat patients suffering from THC intoxication, which has become more prevalent in emergency rooms across the United States?” The purpose of this paper is to analyze my research question in terms of its relevance and impact on clinical practice.

Relevance of The Research Topic

            According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 147 million people, which accounts for 2.5% of the global population use cannabis and its products. Increased use of cannabis-based products results in increased use of its components which comprise delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is psychoactive and CBD which is not psychoactive (Arkell et al., 2019). The psychoactive THC is associated with adverse effects resulting from intoxication including coma, sedation, breathing difficulties, low blood pressure, increased heart rate, slurred speech, uncoordinated movements, and lethargy (Pennypacker & Romero‐Sandoval, 2020). The Syndromic surveillance data from emergency departments across the United States which participate in the CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) shows an increase in THC intoxication. On the other hand, the available treatment options for THC intoxication are quite ineffective, with associated adverse effects and an increased rate of dependency. CBD has been used in the past few years with great effectiveness in the management of THC intoxication. As such, it was necessary to focus on building more evidence to promote the incorporation of CBD therapy in the management of THC intoxication, to promote the safety and quality of life of the patient.

Feasibility of the Research Question

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            With this research question, a comprehensive literature review can be conducted to collect adequate data required in developing a relevant answer. Several scientific and medical databases such as PubMed, EMBASE, PubMed Central (PMC), and Cochrane among others. Search terms that will be used include “CBD” “THC intoxication” “psychiatric side effects” and “psychoactive chemicals in cannabis” (Solowij et al., 2019). Current literature sources with evidence on the impact of CBD therapy on the management of THC intoxication will be selected and utilized for the study. Conducting this study is cheap in terms of personnel used and lack of transportation costs as the study can be conducted in a single place. Additionally, no special skills apart from adequate knowledge regarding the research topic are required in carrying out this study. Generally, this research question can be said to be feasible.


Identified Literature Sources

            With the use of the above-mentioned search terms in the databases listed, several studies were able to be arrived at talking about the effectiveness of the use of CBD in the management of THC intoxication in the emergency department. Most of these studies reported great effectiveness of CBD associated withminimal side effects. For instance, the study conducted by Solowij et al. (2019) revealed the impact of high-dose CBD in reducing the impact of THC intoxication. However, the researcher reported that limited evidence is available supporting the incorporation of this treatment approach in clinical practice, hence should be the focus of current and future researchers. Another study carried out by Arkell et al. (2019) also revealed that cannabis products containing an equal concentration of CBD and THC are less impairing as compared to that with higher THC concentrations. They associated this outcome with the possibility of CBD exacerbating the THC-induced impairments.


With the recent legalization of recreational and medicinal cannabis in most states in America, most researchers have been able to acquire funding to expand the medicinal use of CBD products given their increased cultivation and availability of marijuana in the market (Arkell et al., 2019). However, most studies have failed to focus on the side effects associated with the use of cannabis products and how to manage them. As such, it has interested most researchers to focus on the same topic of determining the effectiveness of CBD therapies in the management of THC intoxication (Pennypacker & Romero‐Sandoval, 2020).


Currently, there are limited treatment options to reduce the impact associated with THC intoxication. Some evidence has displayed some signs of CBD in reducing the side effects associated with THC. However, this knowledge is still limited, with only recent discoveries on the mechanism that CBD uses to reduce the side effects caused by THC by blocking the ERK pathway in the hippocampus (Solowij et al., 2019). With this information, determining the effectiveness of CBD therapy will help in the development and approval of new drugs for managing THC intoxication.


The research question promotes the use of a simple research design such as a literature review that does not involve human participants hence no need for institutional review board approval. However, the study is aimed at promoting the safety and quality of care among patients using cannabis products in reducing the side effects caused by THC (Pennypacker & Romero‐Sandoval, 2020). As such, this study promotes several ethical principles such as beneficence and convalescence among others.


The research question selected for this study is appropriate as per the specifications outlined in the FINER criteria. It is feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, and relevant in promoting the current clinical practice. The study will help build more evidence to promote the incorporation of CBD therapies in the management of THC intoxication.


Arkell, T. R., Lintzeris, N., Kevin, R. C., Ramaekers, J. G., Vandrey, R., Irwin, C., … & McGregor, I. S. (2019). Cannabidiol (CBD) content in vaporized cannabis does not prevent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced impairment of driving and cognition. Psychopharmacology236(9), 2713-2724.

Pennypacker, S. D., & Romero‐Sandoval, E. A. (2020). CBD and THC: Do They Complement Each Other Like Yin and Yang?. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy40(11), 1152-1165.

Solowij, N., Broyd, S., Greenwood, L. M., van Hell, H., Martelozzo, D., Rueb, K., … & Croft, R. (2019). A randomized controlled trial of vaporized Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone and in combination in frequent and infrequent cannabis users: acute intoxication effects. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience269(1), 17-35.


Submit your medical cannabis research question with a detailed discussion of why this research topic is relevant and needed.
Use the FINER criteria in your response to outline, explain and support your research idea.
Include the search terms you used for your literature review, and a brief description of the number and scope of similar studies, or supporting studies that you find.
At least two examples of supporting studies and citations of evidence to support the need for your study are required in your discussion. (750-1000 words)

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