University of California, San Diego Awards Grants for Cannabis Research

The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine has awarded five new research grants for cannabis studies. In total, $3 million has been awarded to these new projects.

The funding is to be divided between five Colorado-based research teams who will study how medical cannabis works as a supplementary and primary treatment for schizophrenia, rheumatoid, arthritis, insomnia, alcohol dependence and anorexia associated with anxiety. The new studies will all mostly focus on CBD. “Within the medical community, there is a lot of interest in the role of medical cannabis and CBD,” said Igor Grant, MD, who is a distinguished professor in the Department of Psychiatry and CMCR director. “There is a hope that it could be yet another useful agent in some of these conditions, which are difficult to treat or disabling.”

These grants are all funded by Proposition 64, the famous ballot measure that legalized recreational cannabis in California. The measure also set aside tax money for research on new treatment options that come from cannabis, as well as health and safety programs related to cannabis. This is the first time the CMCR has given out such funding, but the hope is that these five grants will establish a future for more research.

“Sleeping pills are moderately safe, but they can also be habit-forming, and they do have side effects, particularly in older people,” said Grant regarding the insomnia study. “So, many people are prescribed sleeping pills, so there’s good reason to look for something that might be safer and not have that side effect profile.”

Since public perception started to change regarding cannabis, there have been many more studies looking at how cannabis helps things from chronic pain and anxiety to hospice treatment and serious mental illness. As the stigmas continue to disappear and barriers to research fall away, even more will be learned about cannabis and the way it can heal.

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