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2024 NCCIH Cannabinoid Research Principal Investigators Meeting: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Analgesic Properties of Minor Cannabinoids and Terpenes

Date: June 4, 2024 - 09:00 a.m. ET to 5:00 p.m. ET


Event Description

The overall goals of this National Institutes of Health (NIH) meeting were twofold:

  • To convene principal investigators funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and other NIH Institutes and Centers on the topic of the analgesic properties of minor cannabinoids and terpenes from natural products and their underlying mechanisms
  • To discuss current research barriers and opportunities in cannabinoid research considering recent regulation and legislation changes

This meeting was aligned with NCCIH’s mission to support research on the fundamental science, safety, and usefulness of complementary and integrative health approaches. Specifically, minor cannabinoids and terpenes from natural products are part of complementary interventions supported by NCCIH. The meeting was also aligned with NCCIH’s strategic goals of advancing understanding of natural product’s basic biological mechanisms of action and improving care for hard-to-manage symptoms, such as pain.

If you are an individual with a disability who needs reasonable accommodations to participate in this event, please contact the NCCIH Clearinghouse at by May 20. 

Watch the event:


All times are Eastern Time

9:00–9:15 a.m. | Welcome From the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

  • David Shurtleff, Ph.D. (NCCIH)

9:15–9:20 a.m. | Meeting Overview and Goals

  • Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D. (NCCIH)

9:20–10:00 a.m. | Advances in Nonclinical Studies on Cannabinoids and Pain

Data Blitz Presentations (Session One)
Moderator: Inna Belfer, M.D., Ph.D. (NCCIH)

  • 5-Minute Presentations:
    • Sara Jane Ward, Ph.D. (Temple University)Andrew Ellington, Ph.D. (University of Texas)
    • Yu-Shin Ding, Ph.D. (New York University School of Medicine)
    • Isaac Chiu, Ph.D. (Harvard Medical School)
    • Aditi Das, Ph.D. (Georgia Institute of Technology)
    • Thomas Gamage, Ph.D. (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
    • Zhigang He, Ph.D. (Boston Children’s Hospital)
    • Myra Rice, Ph.D. candidate (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Q & A Session 

10:00–10:40 a.m. | Advances in Nonclinical Studies on Cannabinoids and Pain 

Data Blitz Presentations (Session Two)
Moderator: Inna Belfer, M.D., Ph.D. (NCCIH)

  • 5-Minute Presentations:
    • Scott Rawls, Ph.D. (Temple University)John Streicher, Ph.D. (University of Arizona)
    • Kenneth Mackie, M.D. (Indiana University)
    • Benjamin Land, Ph.D. (University of Washington)
    • Kent Vrana, Ph.D. (Penn State)
    • Jan Frederik Stevens, Ph.D. (Oregon State University)
    • Anna Love, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego) 
  • Q & A Session 

10:40–11:00 a.m. | BREAK

11:00–11:35 a.m. | Advances in Clinical Studies on Cannabinoids and Pain

Data Blitz Presentations (Session Three) 
Moderator: Sekai Chideya-Chihota, M.D., M.P.H. (NCCIH)

  • 5-Minute Presentations:
    • Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Ph.D. (University of Utah)
    • Judith Hellman, M.D. (University of California, San Francisco)
    • Ziva Cooper, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles)
    • Steven Harte, Ph.D. (University of Michigan)
    • Cinnamon Bidwell, Ph.D. (University of Colorado)
    • Rajiv Radhakrishnan, M.D. (Yale University)
  • Q & A Session 

11:35 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Nonclinical and Clinical Research: Synthesis and Discussion of Discoveries, Practical Considerations, and Future Directions
Panel Discussion

Moderators: Inna Belfer, M.D., Ph.D., and Sekai Chideya-Chihota, M.D., M.P.H. (NCCIH)

12:30–1:30 p.m. | LUNCH BREAK 

1:30–2:15 p.m. | Keynote Presentation: Overview of Safety and Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Products in Animal Models and in Clinical Studies

  • Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D. (University of California, Irvine)
    Introduction: David Shurtleff, Ph.D. (NCCIH) 
  • Q & A Session
    Moderator: Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D. (NCCIH)

2:15–3:15 p.m. | New Initiatives and Resources for Cannabis Research 

Moderator: Craig Hopp, Ph.D. (NCCIH)

  • Patrick Still, Ph.D. (NCCIH): NCCIH-Led Resource Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research (RFA-AT-24-006)
  • Angela Arensdorf, Ph.D. (NCCIH): Update on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) t-CREW activities 
  • Mary Macdonald, Ph.D. (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA] Drug Supply Program): Update on availability of the resources for cannabinoid research (supply, new formulations, technologies)
  • Hunter Land, Ph.D. (Biopharmaceutical Research): Supplier update on cannabis products for research 

Q & A Session 

3:15–3:30 p.m. | BREAK 

3:30–4:15 p.m. | New and Existing Legislation, Policies, and Regulatory Oversight for Cannabinoid Research

Panel Discussion
Moderator: Wendy Weber, N.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. (NCCIH)

  • Jennifer Hobin, Ph.D. (NIDA): Current cannabis policy implications for research
  • Chad J. Reissig, Ph.D. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]): Current practices in reviewing investigational new drug applications (INDs) involving cannabis and hemp products
  • William J. Heuett, Ph.D., (Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA]): DEA review and approval processes

Q & A Session 

4:15–4:45 p.m. | Overview of NIH Support of Cannabis Research and Institute-Specific Priorities

Panel Discussion
Moderator: Inna Belfer, M.D., Ph.D. (NCCIH)

  • 2-Minute Presentations:
    • Inna Belfer, M.D., Ph.D. (NCCIH)
    • Houmam Araj, Ph.D. (National Eye Institute)
    • Steven Zalcman, M.D., Ph.D. (National Institute of Mental Health)
    • Yu (Woody) Lin, M.D., Ph.D. (NIDA)
    • Michael Oshinsky, Ph.D. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
    • Qi-Ying Liu, Ph.D. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
    • Andrew Freedman, Ph.D. (National Cancer Institute)
    • Alexis Bakos, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N. (National Institute on Aging)
    • Lorena Baccaglini, Ph.D., D.D.S. (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)
  • Q & A Session

4:45–5:00 p.m. | Closing Remarks: Key Lessons, Next Steps 

  • David Shurtleff, Ph.D. (NCCIH) 

5:00 p.m. | Adjournment