Rather than struggling to source their own government-approved medical cannabis and administer it in a hospital setting, the team will travel to subjects’ residences, ask them to buy their own cannabis, and have them use it in the comfort of their own homes while conducting research.
The CannaVan is being used to conduct a three-year study on the impact of high-potency weed on individuals’ motor control and cognitive functions. To complete this research, Bidwell and her will team drive to meet each test subject at his or her home. While sober, the subjects will undergo a series of cognitive tests and have their blood drawn. The subjects are asked to go back into their home and use a cannabis product of their choice. Once blazed, the subjects must submit to two more rounds of testing in the van. “We are looking at particularly high potency products in terms of motor control and cognitive functions that underlie driving ability,” she explained. “How impaired do people get and does potency matter?”
Cannabis-impaired driving is a major concern for canna-legal states, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has given CU-Boulder a $839,500 grant to research the issue.