Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research
The purpose of the Center is to coordinate rigorous scientific studies to assess the safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabis compounds for treating medical conditions. The funding of the CMCR is the result of SB 847 (Vasconcellos), passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gray Davis. The legislation calls for a three year program overseeing objective, high quality medical research that will "enhance understanding of the efficacy and adverse effects of marijuana as a pharmacological agent" (SB 847).
The Center coordinates and supports cannabis research throughout the State of California. Research to date has focused on the potential medicinal benefits of cannabis for diseases and conditions identified by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine Report (1999) and by the Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana, National Institutes of Health (1997).
CMCR studies have examined the analgesic efficacy of cannabis on experimental models of neuropathic pain, neuropathic pain from HIV and diabetes, and neuropathic pain of diverse etiology. Additionally, CMCR studies have evaluated the efficacy of cannabis for the treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis.
Current research includes a NIDA funded study comparing oral delta-9-THC (dronabinol) to vaporized cannabis for alleviation of chronic neuropathic low back pain. Additionally, CMCR will be assisting the state of California in evaluating the effects of cannabis on driving pursuant to Assembly Bill 266 (Bonta, 2015) and consulting with the California Medical board on prescribing practices pursuant to Senate Bill 643 (McGuire, 2015).