The UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative (CRI) is a strategic initiative out of the UCLA Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and we are proud to be one of the first university programs in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis. California is now the largest population in the world with legal adult use of cannabis and Los Angeles is predicted to become the “capital” of the American cannabis industry. While our priority is to study the therapeutic potential and health risks of cannabis on the body, brain, and mind, our mission is the interdisciplinary study of the wide-ranging health, legal, economic, and social impacts of cannabis.
At a time when our healthcare system is in crisis, we need to accelerate research into cannabis and its compounds as potentially cost-effective, safe, effective treatments for certain conditions. At the same time, we need to better understand the potential health risks and addictive potential of cannabis. What kind & dosage of cannabis or cannabinoids could provide benefit for certain people with certain diseases? On the other hand, what kind & dosage of cannabis or cannabinoids could cause harm in certain vulnerable populations? There is hard work to come in order to answer these questions, but I am excited that with rigorous scientific study we will, for the first time ever, arrive at the truth regarding cannabis.
Jeff Chen, M.D./M.B.A.
Director, UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative
UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior