People on the Move Spotlight:
Daniele Piomelli, PhD, PharmD, professor at the University of California, Irvine, and Editor-in-Chief of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, supports rigorous research to uncover more about the medical and legal questions that still exist in the field.
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Alexandros Makriyannis, PhD, the George Behrakis chair of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and the founder and director of the Center for Drug Discovery at Northeastern University in Boston, has helped to identify the molecular basis of cannabinoid activity… Susan Weiss, PhD, director of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health and a senior science advisor to the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will give a plenary presentation at the 29th Annual ICRS Symposium on Cannabinoids… Samuel Bannister, PhD, a team leader in Medicinal Chemistry with The Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the Brain and Mind Centre at The University of Sydney, Australia, received a grant from the Australian government to study the preclinical development of cannabis-derived medicines for drug-resistant epilepsy… Mallory Loflin, PhD, a research health scientist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, is leading a study to learn whether cannabidiol or CBD can help ease symptoms of PTSD… Ian Miller, MD, of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Florida, and colleagues, found that a pharmaceutical formulation of cannabidiol, a cannabis-based medicine, reduced seizures nearly in half for children with Dravet syndrome. He presented the findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s 71st Annual Meeting.
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Harvard, MIT gifted $9M for cannabinoid research
An alumnus of both Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology donated $4.5 million to each school to establish the Broderick Fund for Phytocannabinoid Research. Charles R. Broderick, an early investor in Canada’s medical marijuana market, donated a total of $9 million over three years to fund research into the effects of cannabis on the brain and behavior. The schools indicate it is the largest gift to date to support independent cannabinoid research. Read More>>
ICRS names Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research its Official Journal
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research (CCR) announced that the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) has named CCR its Official Journal. The ICRS is a foremost international society spearheading scientific research in cannabinoids—including the integral biochemical, chemical, and physiological studies of the endogenous cannabinoid system shaping the field. The society is holding its 29th Annual ICRS Symposium on Cannabinoids from June 29–July 4, 2019, in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Bryan Roth, director of the National Institute of Mental Health Psychoactive Drug Screening Program and distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will be the King Tsou Memorial Speaker. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research will have a strong presence at the symposium. Read More>>
Call to improve access to cannabis in leading medical journal
Dr. David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacy at Imperial College London, discusses how cannabis has been used for years yet it is still difficult to obtain in the United Kingdom, in an essay in The BMJ. He presents the history of cannabis and how pressure from the United States led other countries to restrict its use. Dr. Nutt explains how a case of a child with Dravet syndrome helped soften the UK government’s stance on cannabis. Even so, he says, access to cannabis has been slower than anticipated. Read More>>
Cannabis-based Alzheimer’s study funded
The Spier Family Foundation is funding a study at Harvard’s McLean Psychiatric Hospital focused on using cannabis to treat Alzheimer’s disease—after Spier family members witnessed how cannabis helped their father who suffered from the disease. Currently, an open-label pilot study is planned to assess the efficacy and safety of cannabis to treat common symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, depression, and anxiety. The university will attempt to secure Institutional Review Board approval and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval once the study design is complete. Read More>>
What palliative care clinicians should know about cannabis
With medical cannabis becoming more popular, palliative care providers are often asked about it by their patients. Joshua Briscoe, MD, Duke University School of Medicine, is the lead author on a paper in Journal of Palliative Medicine, which outlines 10 items physicians should know about medical cannabis—including legalities, regulations, and various conditions it has been found helpful in treating, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and neuropathic pain. The authors suggest asking about cannabis use when developing a comprehensive pain assessment and warning patients about increased risk of motor vehicle collision after using cannabis. Read More>>
Hebrew University hosts cannabis conference
Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, held a cannabis conference to encourage cooperation between academia and industry for cannabis-related research. The conference brought people together to discuss moving the cannabis market forward and forging collaborations. The university has global experience with cannabis research and has entered into 25 licensing agreements pertaining to cannabis. Read More>>
Texas House aims to make medical cannabis more available
If members of the Texas House achieve their goal, more people will be eligible for medical cannabis, with tetrahydrocannabinol limited to 0.5%. HB1365, which has initially passed the chamber, would increase the number of Texans with autism, cancer, and 10 other conditions who could use medical cannabis. Currently, Texas has a restrictive law that limits medical cannabis use to people with intractable epilepsy. Another bill (HB 3703) is pending, which would add three more conditions. Read More>>
Thomas Jefferson University to explore medical uses for hemp with $2M gift
The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia received a $2 million donation from Barry and Joy Lambert, who had given $3 million three years ago to establish the center. The gift aims to help the center develop medical uses for hemp and will create the Lambert Innovation Fund. Barry Lambert owns Ecofibre, which grows hemp in Kentucky. Read More>>