2019 CMCR Symposium

On Friday, October 18, 2019 the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) held a one-day symposium celebrating the pioneers and exploring the progress, promise, and challenges of medicinal cannabis research. Click here to view an archive of the event broadcast.

Current CMCR studies

Current studies examine the effects of cannabis on pain and the potential benefits of CBD tinctures in the treatment of autistic children as well as public safety issues surrounding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids. The CMCR has recently funded 5 new research studies and as recruitment begins, the details of those studies can be found here.

CMCR announces $3M in new research grants to California investigators

The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) at UC San Diego has been a leader in medical marijuana research since 2000. In the past CMCR has allocated funds to investigators in California to conduct some of the first proof of principle clinical trials of cannabis in neuropathic pain and multiple sclerosis. Learn more about the studies to be funded.

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Short-Term Effects of Cannabis Therapy on Spasticity in MS

INVESTIGATOR: Jody Corey-Bloom, M.D., Ph.D.

STUDY LOCATION: University of California, San Diego

PROJECT TITLE: Short-Term Effects of Cannabis Therapy on Spasticity in MS

PROJECT TYPE: Clinical Study

STATUS: COMPLETED

RESULTS:

Thirty-seven participants were randomized at the start of the study, 30 of whom completed the trial. Treatment with smoked cannabis resulted in a significant reduction in spasticity using an objective clinician-rated measure. The placebo-controlled trial also resulted in reduced perception of pain, although participants also reported short-term, adverse cognitive effects and increased fatigue. No serious adverse events occurred during the trial.

The full results of this study have been published in CMAJ.

ABSTRACT:

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common debilitating neurologic disease of young people, affecting at least 250,000 persons in the US, often between the ages of 20 and 40. Symptom manifestation varies considerably from person to person; however, one frequently noted concomitant is spasticity, which causes pain, spasms, loss of function and difficulties in nursing care. The present application is designed to explore the short-term effectiveness and safety of medicinal cannabis on spasticity in patients with MS. There has been significant public discussion on the potential therapeutic uses of cannabis for various neurologic conditions, including MS; however, evidence that cannabis relieves spasticity produced by MS is largely anecdotal. Large-scale trials or controlled studies to compare cannabis or THC with currently available therapies for spasticity have not been performed. There is no published evidence that cannabinoids are superior or equivalent to available anti-spasticity therapies and potential side effects of cannabis need to be clarified. This proposed two-year project aims to examine spasticity and global functioning in 30 MS patients before and after treatment with smoked cannabis in a placebo-controlled, randomized, cross-over design. It is expected that MS subjects will demonstrate improvement in spasticity but impairment on cognitive measures of attention, concentration, and memory assessed before and after medicinal cannabis treatment. Patients will be measured at baseline and for three days after each treatment initiation using sensitive measures of spasticity, cognition, neuropsychiatric features, treatment-emergent effects, and global measures of functioning. Thus, the application's primary goal is to obtain objective assays of short-term efficacy and safety in MS patients treated for spasticity with medicinal cannabis.

PUBLICATIONS:

Type:

Title:

Journal Article Corey-Bloom J, Wolfson T, Gamst A, Jin S, Marcotte T, Bentley H, Gouaux B. (2012). Smoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. CMAJ. 2012 Jul 10;184(10):1143-50. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.110837. Epub 2012 May 14.
Meeting Abstract Corey-Bloom J, Wolfson T, Gamst A, Jin S, Marcotte T, Bentley H, Gouaux B. Short-Term Effects of Medicinal Cannabis on Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis. Poster presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (Chicago, IL). 2008.