A new study on the effects of cannabis on motor skills is using the latest in weed technology and the earliest in mp3 technology. With dabs and iPods, a joint study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the Colorado State University Department of Health and Exercise Science is measuring the post-high driving abilities of your average dabber, as reported by Westword.
To control the study, only those experienced in the ways of dabbing can participate as subjects. Those subjects have to administer the dabs themselves, as the federal grant money involved in the project precludes researchers from actively helping anyone get high.
“The team is not providing or administering the cannabis,” CSU researcher Brian Tracy said in a statement. “The subjects are doing what they would normally do, to themselves. It’s an observational study.”
Before researchers get to the nitty gritty of driving on dabs, subjects have to be studied in their own homes, before and after getting dabbed out. The study is set to last three years, partially with the help of a $839,500 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Once the meat of the study gets underway, dabbed out participants will be tested for their balance, reaction time, and movement ability. They’ll see how fast they can move their legs, and how well they keep balanced while rapidly moving their leg, tapping their finger, and moving their arm.
Because (again) federal grant money restricts them from letting people vape their hash within university laboratories, researchers were forced to get creative in terms of what equipment they’d use to test the subjects’ movements.
“The accelerometer can’t leave the lab, because it is connected to very expensive equipment and amplifiers that are not easily portable,” Tracy said. “The iPod is both inexpensive and portable, so it opens up access to researchers in many different settings.”
Photo via Flickr user Toshiyuki IMAI