HomeNewsUCLA Scores Cannabis Research Grants

UCLA Scores Cannabis Research Grants

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been awarded a fistful of research grants relating to cannabis.

The six grants totaling $9.5 million were awarded by the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). The DCC licenses and regulates cannabis businesses in the state, including the growing, manufacture, transportation and tracking of plants and products, the sale of cannabis goods, events where these are sold or used and labeling of retail goods.

The UCLA studies funded by the six grants include:

  • An evaluation of “synthetic” cannabinoids to gauge potency, potential psychoactive and therapeutic effects of known and novel cannabinoids. Among the novel cannabinoids to emerge in the last few years is the very controversial delta-8 THC, which can be created by manipulating cannabidiol (CBD). There is some debate as to whether novel cannabinoids such as delta-8 should be classified as synthetic.
  • A controlled human drug-administration study that will compare the adverse effects of smoked cannabis and inhaled concentrates (“dabs”), which contain high amounts of the main intoxicating compound –  tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
  • Assessment of the health of California’s cannabis market.
  • A controlled human drug-administration study delving into the potential of the non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) for reducing the adverse effects of THC and enhancing its therapeutic attributes.

Just on the latter, we mentioned research last year suggesting there’s no evidence CBD reduces the negative effects of THC; so UCLA’s findings on this front will be particularly interesting.

UCLA notes the two-year grants awarded represent nearly half of the $20 million the DCC recently provided to 16 academic institutions.

“This achievement represents the high level and diverse range of expertise at UCLA, as well as the faculty’s dedication to multidisciplinary and collaborative research,” said Ziva Cooper, director of the UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Dr. Cooper is also an associate professor at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.

The Center aims to bring together experts from diverse fields to advance the understanding the impact of cannabis on the body, brain, and society.

Commenting on the grants round generally, DCC Chief Deputy Director Rasha Salama said:

“These studies will provide valuable insights on topics of interest to California’s consumers, businesses, and policy makers and the Department looks forward to sharing them once they are completed.”

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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