Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research

NIH and Federal Government Sponsor Medical Cannabis research is called “Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research”.

In the pages under here you will find many of the studies we have found that are the most interesting and/or have the greatest potential of providing relief to patients.

You can find these and other Studies via the RePORTS system run by NIH you can search and see where each of the various studies are.

A new treatment for NSAID-associated gastrointestinal damage - 1R41DK104489-01A1

Chronic Stress and Abdominal Pain: Novel Mechanisms - 4R01DK098205-04

Cannabinoids in stress and inflammation-induced tissue injury - 1ZIAAA000375-10

Cannabinoids in Cardiovascular Function - 1ZIAAA000351-15

Role of Endocannabinoid System in Depressive Behavior - 5R21MH106935-02

Cannabinoid Specific Analgesic and Autonomic Functions - 5I01BX001863-03

A Novel Pharmacotherapy for Glaucoma - 5R01EY024717-02

Restoring Normal Output after Traumatic Brain Injury - 1R21NS096618-01

Cannabinoids in Colo-rectal Cancer 5P01CA077839-14

Cannabis for Lower Back Pain Study - 1R01DA038634-01A1

Cannabis for Glaucoma Study - 5R01EY024625-02

Cannabis in Pain Management Study - 5R01DA035949-02

Cannabis for Opiate Addiction Study - 5U54DA037842-02

Cannabis as a Treatment for Heart Disease - Project Number 5R01HL118440-02

Cannabis for Stress Induced Anxiety - Project number 1F31MH106192-01A1

Cannabis for Sickle Cell Anemia - Project Number 5U01HL117664-03

Cannabis For PTSD Study - Project Number 5K01MH101123-03

Cannabis for Anxiety Study - Project Number 5F31DA037752-02

Cannabinoid Research for Alzheimer’s - Project Number 5R01NS076815-04

CBD as treatment for Alcoholism Project Number 5R01AA022082-02

Cannabis as Treatment for Methamphetamine and Nicotine Addiction Project Number 5R37DA023142-09

Cannabis as Treatment for Arthritic Pain Project Number 1R15AR066806-01A1

Cannabis for Pain Management Study Project Number 5R01DA030404-05

Cannabis as a Pain Treatment Project Number 5R01NS038261-17

Medications Development for Cannabis Use Disorders: Clinical Studies Project Number 5K02DA031766-05

Brain Pain

The complex nature of pain with its emotional and cognitive aspects necessitates a comprehensive analysis of higher brain functions, which is thus an important but understudied area of pain research. The proposed studies will identify a novel pain mechanism that involves failure of cognitive brain systems to control an emotional brain center, resulting in the persistence of pain and its emotional-affective component. This project will not only advance our knowledge of brain pain mechanisms but also provide novel targets to rescue impaired cognitive pain control, thus improving strategies for pain management.

Project information - LINK -

Project info as of June 2016 - PAIN, NOCICEPTION AND THE AMYGDALA

Cannabinoids in Colo-rectal Cancer

Research at MAYO CLINIC ARIZONA is looking at cannabis and cannabinoid receptors in Colo-rectal Cancer.

RELEVANCE (See instructions): The most important aspect of both PGE2 and endocannabinoid signaling is that they have opposing effects on inflammation and carcinogenesis. PGE2 promotes inflammation and cancer progression, whereas the endocannabinoids inhibit inflammation and tumor growth. Understanding how two pathways orchestrate tumor progression will provide a significant advance in the cancer field.

Here is a link to NIH RePORTS system for current information – LINK

PDF File of current information as of July 2016 – 5P01CA077839-14

Cannabis for Anxiety, Depression Study

Under Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research studies they are studying the use of Cannabis in Anxiety, Depression and Drug Addition. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-IRVINE is conducting the study.

“Psychological trauma increases the risk of developing anxiety, depression and drug addiction. The endocannabinoid system, which comprises endogenous lipid-derived cannabinoid agonists and their G protein-coupled cannabinoid (CB) receptors, has been implicated in the modulation of stress responses, but its role in the response to traumatic events is unclear.”

Project Updates via RePORTS – LINK

Project Report as of June 2016 – 5F31DA037752-02

Cannabis for Opiate Addiction Study

Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research into the use of Cannabis for the treatment of Opiate addiction being done at NEW YORK STATE PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE

“Project Summary Currently, the abuse of heroin and prescription opioid medications is a pervasive social problem in the U.S. This Project will use a novel drug discovery algorithm to rapidly and systematically screen medications that show promise for treating opioid use disorder. The guiding principle is that a medication’s effect on drug self- administration is the best laboratory procedure to date in predicting its clinical efficacy. We will test several different medication(s) in Project 3 for their ability to alter opioid-mediated responses including lorcaserin, doxazosin, nabilone in combination with cannabidiol, and zonisamide.”


Project info as of June 2016 – 5U54DA037842-02

Cannabis For PTSD Study

In the Theraputic Cannabinoid Reserach studies there is one for PTSD

“Given that extinction retention deficits and vmPFC-HPC dysfunction have been observed in patients with PTSD, and that enhancing cannabinoid transmission helps extinction recall, the cannabinoid system is a promising target for improving the learning that goes on in therapy and perhaps increasing efficacy and durability of PE in treating PTSD (e.g., shortening treatment while strengthening and prolonging gains). However, direct tests of cannabinoid effects on extinction recall and associated neural circuits have not yet been conducted in PTSD patients.”

Research updates can be found here – LINK

Project information as of June 2016 – 5K01MH101123-03

Cannabinoid Specific Analgesic and Autonomic Functions

More Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research is being done by CLEMENT J. ZABLOCKI VA MEDICAL CENTER into Chronic Pain for Vets.

Chronic neuropathic pain is a critical treatment and rehabilitation challenge for Veterans. Many Veterans suffer from neuropathic pain associated with peripheral nerve injury after extensive limb trauma and in disease states in which peripheral nerves are damaged, including diabetes, herniated disc, and infections, as well as surgeries such as thoracotomy and amputation. Neuropathic pain is particularly distressing due to its intensity and stabbing sensation and its ability to enhance pain that is normally inocuous. Current treatments for neuropathic pain are inadequate, inconsistent and largely ineffective and therefore there is an urgent need for more effective treatment. New therapies will have to take advantage of anatomic and/or molecular specificity of analgesic pathways. This proposal explores a novel role for neurochemicals in the brain called Endocannabinoids in the suppression of neuropathic pain, with potential therapeutic implications.

Description: Neuropathic pain is common among Veterans, substantially impeding their attempts to rehabilitate function. Numerous contributing mechanisms have been identified, but have not led to any new therapies. Initial observations show that Cannabinoids may hold promise for new therapeutic approaches. There is growing recognition of the participation of Endocannabinoids (ECs), which are endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors (CB1R), in the central regulation of pain by descending inhibition of sensory pathways (antinociception), although their site of action has not been determined.

Current Information from NIH RePORTS system – LINK

Information as of July 2016 – 5I01BX001863-03

CBD as treatment for Alcoholism

According to a study by the Scrips Institute they are investigating the use of Trans-dermal Patches with CBD

“An agent with an emerging profile of actions relevant for multiple relapse vulnerability states is cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychoactive and non-addictive component of the cannabis sativa plant. A factor limiting CBD’s therapeutic potential in man has been the drug’s low oral bioavailability paired with lack of a readily available and suitable drug delivery method. However, evidence has become available that the transdermal route of administration provides an effective delivery method for CBD. ”

Study Document from RePORTS – LINK

Project Info as of June 2016 –5R01AA022082-02

Restoring Normal Output after Traumatic Brain Injury

Under the Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research program, a study on Restoring Normal Output after Traumatic Brain Injury is being conducted at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the primary cause of death and disability in children and young adults. TBI afflicts approximately two million people annually in the United States and no effective therapy exists.

CENTRAL HYPOTHESIS: Traumatic brain injury causes augmented inhibition from CCK interneurons in hippocampal area CA1. This increased inhibition diminishes hippocampal output and contributes to cognitive impairment. Selectively suppressing CCK interneurons in CA1 will restore normal hippocampal output and mitigate injury- induced cognitive impairment. We will test this hypothesis by measuring hippocampal output both in vitro and in vivo before and after activating the chemogenetic “neuronal silencer” hM4Di in CCK interneurons.. The development of effective therapeutic strategies for TBI will require a clear understanding of which cell types are affected, and a way to correct their underlying dysfunction. The current proposal is designed to meet these objectives, and will lay the groundwork for translational methods to target and repair TBI damaged neurons.

Link to Current information via NIH  RePORTS system – LINK

Current information as of July 2016 – 1R21NS096618-01

Cannabinoids Help Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia among older people.

A study underway at LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER is investigating the Therapeutic Cannabinoid research to find out.

“The proposed project will not only provide molecular mechanisms of strengthening 2-AG signaling in preventing or decreasing pathogenesis and neuropathology of AD, but also will open a new area for the development and discovery of novel drugs aimed at preventing and treating AD, or slowing AD progression. ”

Research updates can be found here – NIH RePORTS

Project information as of June 2016 – 5R01NS076815-04

Cannabis In Pain Management Study

More Pain Management studies this one being done by State University of NY at Stony Brook

“Chronic pain accounts for billions of dollars of lost productivity and medical expenses annually. Current treatment strategies suffer from partial efficacy across the population, resulting in inadequate pain relief. Furthermore, many chronically administered analgesics (e.g., morphine or oxycontin), while actually effective, lead to tolerance and addiction. Consequently, it is imperative to identify novel drug targets for the development of non-addictive analgesics. Bioactive lipids such as endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) regulate nociception throughout the nervous system. Preclinical studies suggest that modulation of endocannabinoid and NAE catabolism represents an attractive strategy for the treatment of pain that is also devoid of psychotropic effects.”

Current status of the study can be found here – LINK

Current project information as of June 2016 – 5R01DA035949-02

Cannabis as Treatment for Meth addiction

According to a study being conducted at Northeastern University they are studying the possibility that Cannabis might be a therapy for Meth and Nicotine addiction.

“In the search for “druggable” CB1 partial agonists we also have expanded our scope to include two novel classes of cannabinergic ligands that provided us with promising initial results. During the next five year period we intend to advance our current work so as to move our advanced candidate medications for stimulant addiction into the preclinical pre-IND stage. It is important to note that our successful pre-IND candidate and backup compounds also will be eligible for testing as potentially useful medications for nicotine, as well as methamphetamine, addiction. To accomplish our goals, we will design, synthesize, and characterize later generation neutral CB1 antagonists with improved overall pharmacological profiles as potential back-ups for our current class of CB1 neutral antagonists.”

Project information can be found here on NIH RePORTS system

Here is a status of the research as of June 2016 5R37DA023142-09

Cannabis for Lower Back Pain Study

Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research studies Lower back pain study at the University of CA San Diego


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The major objective of the present study is to demonstrate an analgesic response to oral and/or inhaled cannabis in patients with neuropathic low back pain. We will use oral Δ 9-THC (dronabinol) and vaporized 3.5% Δ 9-THC as active study medications. The primary outcome will be a pain intensity numerical rating scale bordered by 0=no pain and 10=worst possible pain. As a major goal in the development of cannabinoid-based medications is the separation of pain relief from side-effects, numerous other assessments will also be performed.

Project Updates via RePORTS – LINK

Project report as of July 2016 – 1R01DA038634-01A1

Cannabis Treatment of Arthritic Pain

According to a study underway at West Virginia University they are under the impression that Cannabis will be an effective treatment for Pain associated with Arthritis.

“Extant drug treatments for pain, which is the most salient symptom of inflammatory arthritis, are limited by insufficient efficacy and negative side effects that range from gastrointestinal irritation to addiction. Cannabis has been used for millennia for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Although, the psychoactive effects and abuse potential have limited the broad use of cannabis, recent research has uncovered an endogenous cannabinoid (i.e., “endocannabinoid”) receptor system that affects a broad range of health outcomes, including liver function, hunger, pain, anxiety, depression, and inflammation.”

Research updates can be found here – NIH RePORTS

Project information as of June 2016 – 1R15AR066806-01A1

Treatment for NSAID-associated gastrointestinal damage

A Study being done by ANTEANA THERAPEUTICS, INC. is looking at a novel Therapeutic Cannabinoid approach to damage caused by NSAID medications.

“PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and naproxen are among the most widely consumed pharmaceuticals, but their prolonged use can produce serious injuries to the stomach and the small intestine. Our previous work has shown that anandamide, a naturally occurring substance also produced in the gastrointestinal tract, may protect these organs from the damage caused by NSAIDs. Here, we propose to determine whether a highly innovative molecule developed by our lab, which blocks anandamide degradation and boosts the actions of this messenger, may prevent and/or treat the gastrointestinal damage associated with NSAID use in animal models. ”

“Previous work has shown that anandamide, an endogenous endocannabinoid substance produced in the gastrointestinal (GI) mucosa, plays an important role in epithelial homeostasis and repair. The biological actions of anandamide are terminated by the intracellular enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). To explore the role of anandamide in peripheral tissues, we have recently developed a novel class of small-molecule FAAH inhibitors that suppress anandamide deactivation only in the periphery of the body. Previous selectivity, safety and pharmacokinetic studies have identified the prototype member of this class, a compound called URB937, as a potential lead candidate for preclinical development. We recently discovered that URB937 suppresses NSAID-induced gastric damage in animal models by amplifying a protective feedback mechanism mediated by endogenously produced anandamide. These results suggest that URB937 might offer a transformative approach to prevent and/or treat gastric and intestinal damage associated with prolonged NSAID use.”

Link to NIH RePORTS system information – LINK

Information as of July 2016 – 1R41DK104489-01A1

Cannabis as Treatment for Heart Disease

Research into Anti-inflammatory properties of Cannabis as an assistant therapy in Heart Disease.  Being done at the ICAHN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

“Atherosclerosis and its major clinical manifestation, coronary artery disease (CAD), is the leading cause of death in the western world. Preventive strategies currently focus on controlling risk factors and lipid levels. Substantial residual risk remains high, even when treatment goals are fully met. In humans, monocytes that infiltrate the plaque differentiate into inflammatory macrophages produce proteolytic enzymes that digest extracellular matrix causing plaque rupture. Plaque inflammation is therefore pursued as a therapeutic target to lower the recurrent rates of atherothrombotic events. Statins have known pleiotropic anti-inflammatory effects, but to exploit and amplify these effects, novel formulations that effectively target plaques and accumulate the drug at high concentration in target tissue need to be developed. Similarly to statins, cannabinoids, a class of hydrophobic compounds that can activate either the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) or CB2 receptor, have shown potent anti-inflammatory properties as well. To better exploit both drug classes in the context of atherosclerotic disease, nanoparticle formulations offer significant advantages, including the reduction of systemic or psychotropic effects, while simultaneously increasing the efficacy and bioavailability through local atherosclerotic plaque drug delivery.”

Current Project Info via RePORT – LINK

Project info as of June 2016 – 5R01HL118440-02

Cannabis for Chronic Stress and Abdominal Pain Research

At the University of MI they are doing Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research into Chronic Stress and Abdominal Pain.  As described below the research is following an interesting direction with the use of Therapeutic Cannabinoids.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The observation that there is an association between abnormal levels of stress and increased perception of abdominal pain is a well described and common complaint in clinical medicine. The pathways and mechanisms that underlie this process are poorly understood. The proposed studies will explore the highly novel hypothesis that changes in epigenetic regulation of peripheral pain pathways play a significant role in the enhanced perception of abdominal pain reported in the setting of chronic stress. The proposed studies will have a significant impact on our understanding of how pain pathways are regulated and the management of functional pain disorders affecting the GI tract.

“DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Chronic Stress and Abdominal Pain: Novel Mechanisms Chronic stress activates the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and is a known inducer of abdominal pain. Recent reports indicate that chronic psychological stress causes changes in epigenetic regulation of gene function in CNS regions associated with memory and mood. Epigenetics refers to stable and/or heritable changes in gene function without changes in the DNA sequence via DNA methylation, histone modification and chromatin remodeling. The field of epigenetics has emerged rapidly in the past decade based on seminal studies demonstrating genome-wide distribution of methylation and acetylation sites in primary cells and human cell lines. It is unknown whether chronic stress regulates peripheral pain pathways via epigenetic mechanisms. The endovanilloid transient receptor potential (TRP) pathway plays a pivotal role in pain transmission and the TRPV1 receptor is known to be regulated by Endocannabinoids (CB) acting on CB1 receptors which inhibit TRPV1 function. Chronic stress down-regulates the function of the CB pathway resulting in up-regulation of TRPV1 receptor function and abdominal pain. We will examine the hypothesis that chronic stress induces visceral pain via epigenetic regulation of CB1 and TRPV1 receptors in a region- and cel- specific manner in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons innervating pelvic organs but not the somatosensory distribution to the lower extremities. ”

“Specifically, our preliminary data support two highly novel hypotheses:

1. Chronic intermittent stress promotes DNMT1-mediated methylation of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) promoter sites resulting in decreased GR expression that is linked to reduced levels and function of the anti-nociceptive endocannabinoid CB1 receptor, and enhances histone acetylation linked to increased expression and function of the pro-nociceptive endovanilloid TRPV1 receptor in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons; and

2. Chronic stress-induced, corticosterone (CORT)-mediated epigenetic changes are region- and cell-specific, and “hardwired” to nociceptive DRGs innervating the GI tract (colon) vs. somatosensory (sciatic nerve) distribution. The hardwired expression pattern predisposes nociceptive neurons innervating the GI tract to hyperalgesia in response to colorectal distension in the setting of chronic intermittent stress.

These studies will include the application of cuttin-edge methods to identify putative regulatory CpG methylation sites at the promoters of stress response genes and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis of relevant histone modification targets. ”

Link to NIH RePORTS system with current study info – LINK

Current report as of July 2016 – 4R01DK098205-04

Cannabis, stress and inflammation-induced tissue injury

Under the label of Theraputic Cannabinoid Research through NIH the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is studying the relationship of Cannabinoids in stress and inflammation.

Overwhelming evidence suggests that oxidative-nitrosative/nitrative stress and inflammation are involved in essentially all major pathological processes affecting humans, including those induced by excessive alcohol consumption. The research focus of SOSTI is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying oxidative/nitrosative/nitrative stress, inflammation, and their downstream effector pathways using clinically relevant animal models of disease (e.g. ischemia reperfusion injury, cardiomyopathy/heart failure, nephropathy, liver injury), and to identify novel therapeutic targets against these pathologies.

Our ongoing collaborative studies with Dr. Gao are aimed to explore the mechanisms of these protective effects. Our results suggest that liver inflammation and liver fibrosis may be additional clinical indications where PARP inhibition may be of translational potential (they have recently been approved by FDA for various oncological indications). Chronic excessive drinking may promote development of cardiomyopathy and inflammation. Alcohol-mediated apoptosis of cardiomyocytes has been documented in experimental animals, and there is also evidence of skeletal muscle cell apoptosis in chronic heavy drinkers. The extent of apoptotic damage in the heart is similar in heavy drinkers and in patients with long-standing hypertension and is related to structural damage. Our recent ongoing studies are also focused on the understanding of the mechanisms of ethanol-induced oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation and cell death in the cardiovascular system and also in the liver during pathological processes (e.g. associated with aging).

Link to NIH RePORTS system information – LINK

Current information as of July 2016 – 1ZIAAA000375-10

Cannabinoids in Cardiovascular Function

Under the Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research title at NIH we have National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism studying the relationship of Cannabinoids and Cardio Vascular function.

We have earlier demonstrated for the first time that endocannabinoids acting via CB1 receptors promote voluntary alcohol drinking in an age-dependent manner, using a mouse model of two bottle/free choice paradigm(PNAS 100:1393, 2003).

The brain-penetrant CB1 inverse agonist rimonabant used in this study was subsequently introduced as a treatment of obesity, but had to be wihdrawn from the pharmaceutical market in 2008, due to neuropsychiatric side effects, including anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. An alternative approach, championed by my laboratory, was the introduction of peripherally restricted CB1 inverse agonists that retained the metabolic efficacy of rimonabant but were devoid of its neurobehavioral effects in rodent models of the metabolic syndrome.

Current information on NIH  RePORTS system – Link

Current information as of July 2016 – 1ZIAAA000351-15

Cannabis for Depression Study

Under Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research funded by NIH the Nathan S Kline Institute is conducting research into Cannabinoids and depression treatment.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Depressive disorder has become a major public health concern. Given the significance of acute and chronic burden associated with depressive disorder, understanding its neuronal basis and development of an effective drug treatment is of one of the foremost challenges for today’s society. The goal of this study is to explore the status of endocannabinoid (eCB) system in the postmortem brain of patients with major depression, to examine the potential gender-specific differences in eCB system and to evaluate utility of the eCB-based drugs as potential therapeutic target for the effective and personalized treatment of depressive behavior.

Stress and depression related behaviors incur enormous social and economic costs, and are major leading causes of suicide worldwide. Currently available pharmacotherapies for depression are moderately effective, and that emphasizes the need to further our understanding of the neurobiology of depression and to develop effective pharmacotherapy. Depressive disorder is a complex and multifactorial trait with genetic and environmental contributing factors. Intriguingly, prevalence of depression is greater in women than men. However, the biological basis for this sexual dimorphism is not clearly understood. Recent studies have suggested a potential role for the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in mediating mood and emotional behaviors. However, the role of eCB system in depressive behavior is yet to be clearly understood.

Link to NIH RePORTS system for current information – LINK

Report as of July 2016 – 5R21MH106935-02

Cannabis For Pain Management Study



“Pain is a multi-faceted, complex disease that affects all humans. Unfortunately, progress in pain management has been met with limited success. However, considerations of the multiple components of pain have suggested that targeting non-conventional sites could strongly impact the pain management field. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is one of several lipid signaling systems in the brain and in the body. Verified components of this system include two G-protein coupled receptors, their signaling pathways, two predominant endogenous ligands [anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG)], and their synthetic and metabolic pathways. The system plays an important modulatory role in many crucial CNS processes (e.g., brain reward, appetite regulation, cognition). Consequently, it is not surprising that this system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of a variety of health problems related to these processes, including pain management.”

Link to Current Project Report – LINK

Project Information as of June 2016 5R01DA030404-05

Cannabis for Stress Induced Anxiety

Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research study underway at Vanderbilt University to study Stress Induced Anxiety

“While stress is a major risk factor for mood and anxiety disorders, the neurobiological mechanisms by which stress is translated into psychopathology are poorly understood. Current therapeutics that augment monoaminergic transmission ease symptoms but likely do not correct underlying dysfunction as they exhibit long-term success rates of only 40-60%. Novel therapeutic approaches to reduce pathological effects of stress could have broad clinical applications.”

Current Project info via RePORTS – LINK

Project Info as of June 2016 – 1F31MH106192-01A1

Cannabis for Glaucoma

Ever since Bob Randall got the Fed’s to start what would become the IND program.  Everyone has known about medical Cannabis for Glaucoma.  It’s good to see that Northeastern University is continuing to study this remarkable medication.  It would be even more awesome if they got a hold of the Company in Jamaica that makes an eye drop from the plant itself.

“PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Glaucoma is a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in the US and worldwide with increased intraocular pressure (IOP) as a prominent risk factor and lowering IOP is the only intervention documented to date to delay its onset and reduce its rate of progression. The current proposal seeks to develop a novel class of compounds termed as CB1 positive allosteric modulators that will not only lower the IOP but also provide neuroprotection to retinal ganglion cells. Successful completion of this project will lead to development of an innovative pharmacotherapeutic approach for effectively treating glaucoma. ”

“The broad and long-term objective of this project is to develop novel CB1 cannabinoid receptor positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) and validate their utility as a safe and effective pharmacotherapy for the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a multifactorial optic neuropathy with increased intraocular pressure (IOP) as a prominent risk factor and represents an unmet medical need. It is a leading cause of vision impairment and blindness, afflicting more than 60 million people worldwide and increasing in prevalence as population age. Though diverse therapeutic interventions are available, newer and better tolerated treatments for glaucoma are desirable. Orthosteric agonists of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor significantly reduce IOP clinically and experimentally and also impart neuroprotection. However, their development has been complicated by the need to avoid psychotropic side effects and abuse liability. ”

Link to NIH RePORTS system for current information – LINK

Information available as of July 2016 – 5R01EY024717-02

Cannabis for Glaucoma Study

University of IN is studying the use of Cannabis for the treatment of Glaucoma. Harnessing endogenous cannabinoids for ocular health

“Glaucoma is one of the two most common forms of blindness, causing millions of cases worldwide. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the main risk factor and most glaucoma drugs are directed at lowering ocular pressure. While multiple classes of these drugs are available each has limitations and not all patients respond to them. Moreover because glaucoma treatments are required for years or even decades many patients develop tolerance and are left without treatment options. In this context it is important to note that cannabinoids have been found to be effective in patients resistant to standard therapies. 1971 marked the publication of the first work by Hepler & Frank demonstrating that the chief psychoactive ingredient of marijuana – THC – has a salutary effect on intraocular pressure (IOP).”

Current Project info can be found on RePORTS run by NIH – LINK  –

Current Project info as of June 2016 – 5R01EY024625-02

Cannabis Sickle Cell Anemia Studies

Two studies on the use of Cannabis in the treatment of pain associated with Sickle Cell Anemia are under way.  both at the University of Minnesota

Our general hypothesis is that neurogenic inflammation contributes to pain in SCD and that cannabinoids offer the unique advantage of providing analgesia by disrupting neurogenic inflammation and nociceptor sensitization, thereby preventing central sensitization. We also hypothesize that objective, non-invasive measures of pain – EEC and functional MRI – can be used to optimize analgesic treatments in SCD.

Current Project information can be found on RePORTS – Link

Project Information as of June 2016 5U01HL117664-03

Our general hypothesis is that neurogenic inflammation contributes to pain in SCD and that cannabinoids offer the unique advantage of providing analgesia by disrupting neurogenic inflammation and nociceptor sensitization, thereby preventing central sensitization. We also hypothesize that objective, non-invasive measures of pain – EEC and functional MRI – can be used to optimize analgesic treatments in SCD. These hypotheses will be tested in the following aims. SA#1. A multicellular repertoire involving mast-, endothelial-, glial and neuronal cells orchestrates neurogenic inflammation and hyperalgesia via distinct cellular receptors and signaling pathways, which will be intercepted by cannabinoids utilizing specific cannabinoid receptors (CBR). SA#2. Cannabinoids will attenuate central sensitization in sickle mice and pain in human subjects. SA#3. Simultaneous non-invasive fMRI/EEG multimodal neuroimaging will provide an effective means to quantify pain.

Current Project Information can be found on RePORTS – LINK

Project Information as of June 2016 3U01HL117664-02S1

Cannabis Use Disorders Study


“Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, and its use is associated with rates of development of abuse and dependence, treatment admission and relapse that are comparable to other illicit drugs. Currently there is no effective pharmacological treatment for cannabis-use disorders. The overarching goal of my career is to develop a clinical research program in which I am able to screen potential medications for cannabis-use disorders using an efficient, evidence-based progression of laboratory procedures followed by an evaluation of the efficacy of promising leads in dependent, treatment-seeking individuals. My graduate and post-doctoral training and K01 and R01 support have enabled me to build an independent research program in which rational targets for medications development are identified based on the neuropharmacology of 9-THC. My research has identified compounds that could represent major breakthroughs in cannabis-use treatment.”

Current Project Information via RePORTS – LINK

Project Information as of June 2016 – 5K02DA031766-05