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.



F.D.A. Panel Recommends Approval of Cannabis-Based Drug for Epilepsy

Sheila Kaplan, New York Times, April 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday unanimously recommended approval of an epilepsy medication made with an ingredient found in marijuana. If the agency follows the recommendation, as is expected, the drug would be the first cannabis-derived prescription medicine available in the United States.

The drug, called Epidiolex, is made by GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company. Its active ingredient, cannabidiol, also called CBD, is one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, but it does not contain the properties that make people high.

That makes it different from the “medical marijuana” allowed by a growing number of states. In those cases, certain patients are legally authorized to smoke or ingest marijuana to treat severe pain, nausea and other ailments.

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UC San Diego Doctor Uses Cannabis To Treat Pain

Jade Hindmon, KPBS, April 10, 2018

In recent research from UC San Diego’s Center for Medical Cannabis Research, doctors say they are finding cannabis useful in treating chronic pain and weaning people off of opioids. But they are running into barriers when it comes to advancing that research.

Meanwhile, some patients say the research is saving their lives. Rudy Reyes is one of those patients. He was severely burned during the 2003 Cedar Fire.

“My house was now on fire so I couldn't stay there so I came out and basically made the decision to run through the fire line. I covered my face with my hands and lost that finger and that ear because the flames were coming from that direction,” said Reyes.

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Runners Are Using Weed to Make Long Runs Less Miserable

Mike Darling, Vice, March 8, 2018

In 2013, Carolyn Ford* began to use marijuana to complement her distance running regimen. Ford, a 28-year-old public relations professional who lives in New York City, had just begun training for her first 100-mile ultramarathon, and found that the time spent on her feet was monotonous and uncomfortable. A typical training session could last as long as four or five hours, two days in a row. Weed, she thought, just might make the sessions more bearable.

“I would put on all of my running clothes,” she says, “and at the door I would take 3 or 4 gravity bong hits and then immediately start the run.” A self-described “anxious competitor,” Ford also says she had trouble processing food while running—a necessity when burning thousands of calories over the course of a single workout. In addition to calming her nerves, she says, cannabis gave her the appetite she needed to adequately fuel.

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Why It's So Hard to Dose Weed

Matt Simon, Wired, February 26, 2018

Cannabis is a notoriously finicky drug. Take the right amount and you get relaxation or euphoria, but take too much and it’s a long ride of paranoia. Which makes marijuana tricky for casual users, and potentially problematic for new users who want to use cannabis to treat ailments like pain.

It's difficult to quantify just how much of the drug you’re inhaling through a bong or vaporizer—especially because marijuana contains some 500 chemicals that interact in ways scientists are just beginning to understand. And really, how you end up feeling depends as much on your physiology and state of mind as it does on the plant.

But, some good news. For one, science only has more to learn about how marijuana works on the human body. And two, companies making cannabis devices are figuring out ways to tackle the dosing problem.

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More News

Click here to access the CMCR news archives.

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)

Igor Grant, MD

American Psychological Association Plenary Address: Marijuana as Medicine: Can we see past the smoke?
Denver, CO (August 2016)

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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