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FGCU is looking for 1,000 certified medical marijuana users to study anxiety

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Researchers at Florida Gulf Coast University It launched a statewide study to assess how anxiety levels can rise and fall among medical marijuana users.

The goal is to enroll 1,000 certified medical marijuana users, according to Nathan Pipitone, a principal investigator at the FGCU who works in the university’s department of psychology.

He said patients will report daily for 45 days about their level of anxiety before using cannabis products and how it changes after use.

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“We’re not asking them to change how much they use,” he said.

He said there are many peer-reviewed studies that prove medical marijuana use can treat anxiety but what’s not known is how much cannabis is needed to reduce anxiety.

The goal, he said, is to begin working toward that understanding through this study.

Related:Guest review: The fight to save Florida’s medical marijuana program

“This is the initial basis,” he said, adding that he is aware of the study’s shortcomings because it does not include a controlled group of study participants who do not use medical marijuana.

“I hope it opens the door to more rigorous research,” he said.

The goal, he said, is to see if there is any typical amount that patients use to relieve anxiety. Study preference is smokeable marijuana.

About one-third of Americans will experience a major anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, FGCU biologist Martha Rosenthal said in a news release.

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