UCI News

UCI awarded $9 million federal grant to gauge long-term effects of cannabis on adolescents

July 30, 2018
UCI awarded $9 million federal grant to gauge long-term effects of cannabis on adolescents
“This grant will allow us to take great strides toward gaining a solid understanding of the true benefits and dangers of cannabis and may lead to better ways of preventing cannabis dependence,” says UCI’s Daniele Piomelli. Michael Der

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded the UCI School of Medicine a four-year, $9 million grant aimed at determining the long-term impact of cannabis exposure on the adolescent brain. Led by Daniele Piomelli, professor of anatomy & neurobiology and director of the newly created UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis, a systematic series of preclinical studies will determine whether cannabis’s active ingredient can cause persistent changes in neural activity and behavior during adolescence. UCI’s Marcelo Wood, Christine Gall, Gary Lynch and Stephen Mahler will participate in the studies. The funding also establishes UCI’s only NIDA Center of Excellence, referred to as ICAL (Impact of Cannabinoids Across the Lifespan). “This grant will allow us to take great strides toward gaining a solid understanding of the true benefits and dangers of cannabis and may lead to better ways of preventing cannabis dependence,” Piomelli said. “It may also guide solid evidence-based public policy decisions concerning medicinal and recreational uses of cannabis, as well as inform the development of medications aimed at treating harmful diseases.”