Priority Considerations for Medicinal Cannabis-Related Research, Marcel O. Bonn-Miller et al., 2019

Priority Considerations for Medicinal Cannabis-Related Research

Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, Charles V. Pollack, Jr., David Casarett, Richard Dart, Mahmoud ElSohly, Larry Good, Manuel Guzman, Lumır Hanus, Kevin P. Hill, Marilyn A. Huestis, Eric Marsh, Susan Sisley, Nancy Skinner, Judith Spahr, Ryan Vandrey, Eugene Viscusi, Mark A. Ware, and Donald Abrams

Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2019, Volume 4, Number 3, 1-19.

DOI: 10.1089/can.2019.0045


Keywords : medicinal cannabis; medical marijuana


Introduction and Rationale

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s 2017 publication The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research provided a significant contribution by synthesizing the existing evidence base for the therapeutic use of cannabinoids. With the tremendous interest and early data surrounding cannabinoid therapeutics, what remains is a strong need for systematic guidance regarding research priorities and future directions within this space.

This document focuses on priority areas for medicinal cannabis-related research. The authors, an international group of cannabis experts, have compiled this list, based on their extensive cannabinoid research experience. For clinicians to have confidence in recommending medicinal cannabis, anecdotal reports, however extensive and/or remarkable, are not sufficient.

Evidence-based research is required. This white paper provides an overview of current research gaps, while offering recommendations for studies that may serve to advance existing science within
each area. In compiling this list of research recommendations, extensive reviews of the existing evidence (both basic and clinical) were conducted for the following conditions: Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism spectrum disorder, cancer, depression/anxiet /posttraumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, glaucoma, hepatitis and other liver disorders, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, nausea, pain, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and other psychoses, and sickle cell disease.

This list was compiled based on the legislative actions of various U.S. jurisdictions in enacting medicinal cannabis laws. In the review of the above-noted conditions, a number of common themes emerged that both highlighted existing gaps in the literature and pointed to important future directions. Rather than focus on each disease/ disorder, we chose to focus this review on the overarching themes that were observed across the literature. Each section that follows was authored primarily by one or two of the authors who have particular expertise in the pertinent space.