Scientists from the Netherlands recently published the protocol for an upcoming study examining how CBD might be helpful in treating specific phobias. The endocannabinoid system is required for eliminating fearful memories, or at least making them palatable. But why have they only published their methods? It’s part of an ongoing movement to make science more accurate. Many statistical methods assume that the researchers plan all of their data analysis before looking at any of the data. Otherwise they might try to explain trends in the data, even spurious ones, based on their own biases. (This is called HARK-ing, or hypothesizing after results are known.) The researchers make their study more reliable by publishing their methods in advance.
Adrian Devitt-Lee, a Project CBD contributing writer, is a graduate from Tufts University with a degree in mathematics and chemistry.