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NCCIH Research Blog

One-Day Workshop To Focus on Cannabinoid Research

November 30, 2018

David Shurtleff, Ph.D.

David Shurtleff, Ph.D.

Deputy Director

Acting Scientific Director

Division of Intramural Research

Acting Chief

Clinical Investigations Branch

Acting Chief

Pain and Integrative Neuroscience Branch

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View biographical sketch

I want to share some details with you about an upcoming workshop on cannabinoid research. Sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), “Evaluating the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids: How To Conduct Research Within the Current Regulatory Framework” will take place on Saturday, December 8 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET.

Over the course of the day’s events, researchers, government officials, and industry representatives will gather to discuss processes and issues related to conducting cannabinoid research. Beyond NCCIH, representatives from other agencies at the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as well as the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency, will provide perspectives from the Federal level. In addition, representatives from a variety of companies and universities will give insight from industry and academia. By bringing these groups together, NCCIH looks forward to facilitating conversations about navigating this regulatory space, taking advantage of new research opportunities, and building possible collaborations. By the end, the workshop will have provided an up-to-date assessment of the state of the science and the most effective ways to work within the current regulatory environment.

To begin, the workshop will kick off with a session titled “Evaluating the Risks and Potential Benefits of Cannabinoids: The State of the Science,” which I have the pleasure of moderating. Two additional sessions will discuss how to work within the current Federal regulatory environment and provide information on how scientists are working to advance research alongside the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Wendy Weber, chief of the NCCIH Clinical Research Branch, will end the day with a moderated group discussion on how to move cannabis-related research forward.

The idea for this workshop was born from a desire to further research on cannabinoids, specifically to evaluate their therapeutic properties for the treatment of pain and other conditions. Going forward, NCCIH plans to support basic, mechanistic, translational, and clinical research necessary to determine therapeutic benefits. In fact, NCCIH just issued notices of intent to publish funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to explore the mechanisms underlying the analgesic properties of minor cannabinoids and terpenes using both the R01 and the R21 funding mechanisms. We expect these FOAs to be released in early January.

Overall, we hope this workshop will help attendees think more clearly about the best way to do cannabinoid research.

You do not need to register to view this workshop online. Please join us via the livestream link [no longer available] for interesting presentations and dialogue as we consider opportunities and challenges related to this research.

For additional information, contact Dr. Angela Arensdorf of the NCCIH Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation at angela.arensdorf@nih.gov.

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