The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently announced that the organization has awarded a $9 Million grant to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine. This fund will be used for a 4-Year project focused to understand the long-term effects of cannabis exposure on the juvenile brain.
Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, UCI School of Medicine, Director of the recently formed UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis, has led the recent research. Piomelli stated that the latest fund will be utilized for the organized series of the preclinical studies. He further added that these studies will be focused to find out if delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active component of cannabis, creates constant changes in synaptic plasticity, endocannabinoid (ECB) signaling, and behavior during adolescence.
This study will be carried out by a set of key investigators from UCI. Marcelo Wood, Ph.D., Gary Lynch, Ph.D., Christine Gall, Ph.D., and Stephen Mahler, Ph.D. are some of the principal investigators involved in the study.
Piomelli proclaimed that the ECB system is the most important point of entrance of THC into the brain. As cannabis is officially permitted in a number of states now, the need for understanding the results of the extreme activation of this signaling system during adolescence arises. He further stated that this extreme activation can create changes in cognition and forced behavior that lasts up to adulthood.
On a similar note, earlier on June 25, 2018, the U.S. FDA announced that the organization has offered an approval for an Epidiolex oral solution. This oral solution is said to be basically cannabidiol or the active element of marijuana or cannabis. The FDA had cleared that the recent drug is permitted for use in two infrequent epilepsy forms, namely, Dravet syndrome and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome.