The purpose of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research is to coordinate rigorous scientific studies to assess the safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabis compounds for treating medical conditions.



CMCR recipient of Major Philanthropic Award

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 68 children in the United States, yet treatment options are limited. Could cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, hold clues for developing effective therapies? Thanks to a major gift from the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation, researchers at the University of California San Diego will embark on a multidisciplinary study to investigate the potential of cannabidiol as a treatment for severe autism. The award was given in partnership with and based on recommendations the Noorda Foundation received from the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation.

The $4.7 million gift to the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) at UC San Diego School of Medicine is the largest private gift to date for medicinal cannabis research in the United States. The funding will support translational research to investigate whether medicinal cannabinoid therapies can alleviate symptoms in children with severe autism—and if so, how. The groundbreaking study spans clinical, basic science, advanced mathematics and genetic techniques across the same cohort of patients, offering a comprehensive and systematic exploration of CBD efficacy on autism.

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Click here for more information about the study

Marijuana compound to be used to treat severe autism

Tribune News Service, Newsday, May 14, 2018

UC San Diego will try to alleviate severe autism in children by giving them a non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, a project funded by the biggest private donation ever made in the United States for such research.

The $4.7 million study involves the controversial compound cannabidiol, or CBD, which is widely marketed nationwide as something of a miracle drug, capable of treating everything from cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Regulators believe CBD does show therapeutic promise. But they also say the miracle drug claims are wrong or based on anecdotes rather than scientific evidence. Last fall, the FDA warned four companies to stop saying things like, “CBD makes cancer cells commit ’suicide’.”

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Could Cannabis Be the New Post-workout Recovery Tool?

Elizabeth Yun, Men's Journal, May 2018

The stigma around weed is slowly shifting. Once considered a potentially life-ruining “gateway drug,” cannabis has a new reputation: miracle drug. Marijuana’s supporters laud it as the answer to everything that ails you, from pain to mental issues, all without the dangerous side effects of many pharmaceutical drugs.

But is it?

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Is CBD a Remedy for Autism? TBD

Gabrielle Johnston and Scott LaFee, UCSD, April 26, 2018

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of dozens of compounds found in the cannabis plant. But unlike its more notorious chemical cousin tetrahydrocannabinol or THC—the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—CBD produces no euphoric “high.”

Still, there is emerging evidence and abundant anecdotal reports that suggest CBD can induce profound effects on the brain, spurring a growing market for largely unproven products that tout CBD as a remedy for numerous neurological disorders, from simple stress to epilepsy to post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addictions.

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine will step into the fray, investigating whether CBD safely and effectively provides therapeutic benefit for one of the most common yet complex disorders of the brain: autism spectrum disorder or ASD.

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More News

Click here to access the CMCR news archives.

Igor Grant, MD

Presentation before the Medical Board of California
(April 2018)

Thomas Marcotte, PhD

Presentation before the Canadian House of Commons
(September 2017)

Igor Grant, MD

UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds: Medicinal Cannabis
(July 2017)

Barth Wilsey, MD

Marijuana and Cannabinoids: A Neuroscience Research Summit;
Bethesda, MD (March 2016)


Igor Grant, MD, FRCP(C) American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting

McGill University Health Centre - Research Institute
(February 2015)

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