The UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative is a research program that was launched in 2017 to study the potential medical uses of cannabis and its derivatives. The initiative is led by Dr. Jeffrey Chen is the founder and former director of the Cannabis Research Initiative. Ziva Cooper is the current director of the Cannabis Research Initiative at UCLA.
The goal of the initiative is to conduct rigorous scientific research to better understand the effects of cannabis on the body and mind, and to explore its potential as a treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. The researchers involved in the initiative are looking at a variety of topics, including:
Pain management: Cannabis has been shown to have pain-relieving properties, and researchers at UCLA are studying how it can be used to manage chronic pain.
Anxiety and depression: Some studies have suggested that cannabis may be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the researchers at UCLA are exploring this potential.
Sleep disorders: Cannabis has also been shown to have sedative effects, and the researchers at UCLA are studying how it can be used to help people with sleep disorders.
Addiction: While some people use cannabis recreationally, others may become addicted to it. The researchers at UCLA are studying the potential of cannabis to treat addiction to other substances, such as opioids.
Cancer: There is some evidence to suggest that cannabis may have anti-cancer properties, and the researchers at UCLA are studying this potential.
One of the main compounds in cannabis that has been studied for its potential anti-cancer effects is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties in preclinical studies. It may also help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs and reduce their side effects.
One study conducted by researchers at UCLA in 2018 found that CBD enhanced the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug called temozolomide in treating glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. The researchers found that CBD increased the sensitivity of the cancer cells to the drug and helped prevent the cancer from spreading.
Another study conducted by researchers at UCLA in 2019 found that CBD and another compound found in cannabis called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be effective in treating a type of cancer called neuroblastoma. The researchers found that the compounds were able to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
While these studies are promising, it’s important to note that they were conducted in preclinical models and more research is needed to determine the potential of cannabis as a cancer treatment in humans. Additionally, the use of cannabis as a cancer treatment is still controversial and not yet widely accepted in the medical community.
The UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative is part of a growing trend of academic institutions studying cannabis and its potential medical uses. By conducting rigorous research, these institutions are helping to advance our understanding of this complex plant and how it can be used to improve health and wellbeing.