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

CMCR featured in Voice of San Diego Podcast

Voice of San Diego, June 15, 2018

In the second half of the show, UC San Diego professor Thomas Marcotte talks with Marx about his cannabis research, including a study looking at the effects of marijuana on driving.

Listen to the podcast (Interview with Dr. Marcotte begins at 30:22)

Grant awarded to UC San Diego for cannabis/autism research

Pamela Jayne, San Diego CityBeat, June 12, 2018

A $4.7 million grant provided by The Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation, in partnership with the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, will allow researchers at the UC San Diego (UCSD) Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to conduct a multidisciplinary study of the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on autism.

Researchers believe that CBD may affect the central nervous system in a way that could be relevant to autism, including correcting imbalances in certain neurotransmitters, enhancing activity of endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters that modulate mood, memory and a variety of cognitive processes), modifying neural network signaling and protecting against neuro-inflammation. The three goals of the study are to determine if CBD is safe and tolerable and whether it helps with the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), whether and how CBD alters neurotransmitters and/or improves brain connectivity, and whether biomarkers of neuro-inflammation, also associated with ASD, are altered by CBD.

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Where Most Donors Fear to Tread: A Gift for the Nascent Field of Cannabis Research

Mike Scutari, Inside Philanthropy, June 6, 2018

The North American cannabis industry took in approximately $9 billion in sales in 2017, according to Tom Adams, managing director of BDS Analytics.

This figure—calculated before California opened its huge retail market—is equivalent to the entire snack bar industry. Looking ahead, analysts predict the North American market to grow to $47.3 billion within a decade.

The takeaway here is pretty clear. Private investors, businesses and select state legislatures are all-in on legal cannabis. But where does philanthropy fit in?

It's an important question to ask after UC San Diego received $4.7 million for medical cannabis research from the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation. The funding will support the "first-of-its-kind, multi-disciplinary research on autism spectrum disorders" at the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at UC San Diego School of Medicine (UCSD).

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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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