$3 Million in funding for cannabis research is now available through CMCR

Published Oct 26, 2019 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / UrosPoteko

The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research is located at the University of California’s San Diego School of Medicine, and this research center is the nation’s oldest. Scientific inquiry to the efficiency and the safety of cannabis is conducted at this educational facility. The institution has announced a 3-million-dollar investment in research grants will be used to help explore new applications directed towards medical use of cannabis.

There will be five California -based research teams that will study the safety of medical cannabis as an alternative or supplementary treatment for:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Alcohol dependency
  • Anxiety as it applies to anorexia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Insomnia

One of the most widely known cannabinoids in the marijuana plant is called THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive agent that can help by helping reduce pain, anxiety, and inflammation. However, the five new studies that are being conducted with the 3 million-dollar grants will focus on one of the other popular cannabinoids, CBD.

California Proposition 64 is funding the grants.  November 2016 saw the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state, and the allocated tax revenue was to be for research on potential treatment, health, and safety programs that are related to recreational and medicinal cannabis. Each of the individual studies are expected to be the basis for any further research that might be conducted in the future.

Here are the five areas of study that the grants will cover

1. Therapeutic Response of CBD in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Grant awarded: $825,000
Medical doctor Veena Ranganath’s research focuses on the use of CBD as an anti-inflammatory agent. This chronic autoimmune condition is estimated to affect 1.5 million Americans.


2. CBD as a strategy to aid in the treatment of alcohol dependency
Grant awarded $300,000
Dr Giordano de Guglielmo Ph.D. of the Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical sciences. This study is the only one of the five which will use animals as part of the study. Alcohol-addicted rats will be provided CBD to help reduce the alcohol cravings accompanied by the negative withdrawal concerns. The study hopes the information secured at a later date can be used for future research in humans.

3. The role of CBD in the regulating of mealtime anxiety in Anorexia Nervosa
Grant awarded $300,000
Emily Gray MD will study the role CBD plays in the reduction of the core issues surrounding anorexia Nervosa: anxiety around food and if CBD will help patients reduce the negative aversions they have to food in general.

4. The effects of CBD versus a placebo as an adjunct to the treatment of early psychosis
Grant awarded $825,000
Dr. Kristin Cadenhead, MD, will look at the effects and whether CBD can be used as an alternative to traditional treatment of today. The traditional medication comes with numerous side-effects.

5. CBD for sedative sparing management of insomnia
Grant awarded. $825,000
Mariana Cherner, Ph.D. is studying if CBD is a viable alternative to sleeping aid prescribed currently for chronic sleep disorders. Sleeping pills can be habit-forming while delivering side-effects especially with the elderly. The study is to see if CBD can fit the profile of assisting insomnia without producing a side effect profile. There are also plans for a second such study to be conducted in 2020, and the continuing of grants from CMCR are anticipated to facilitate the research.

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