Cannabis and Medicine: A New Frontier in Therapeutics

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL20D (San Jose Convention Center)
The medical use of cannabis has become a global social, economic, political, and medical phenomenon. This movement has been driven predominantly by patient demand, fueled by discoveries in the science of endocannabinoids -- natural messengers in our body that help regulate many biological functions. Increasing numbers of jurisdictions worldwide are allowing access to herbal cannabis, and a range of policy initiatives are emerging to regulate cannabis production, distribution, and authorization. It is widely believed that there is little evidence to support the consideration of cannabis as a therapeutic agent. However, several medicines based on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, have been approved as pharmaceutical drugs. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest the potential use of cannabis as antinauseants, antispasmodics, and analgesics. New insights into the role of cannabinoids in inflammation, epilepsy, neurodegeneration, and anxiety disorders are emerging, and the evaluation of novel cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and other nonpsychoactive components of cannabis continue to expand the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. Clinical research into the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids is gradually informing the debate, hampered in part by limited access to clinical trial grade materials, suitable placebos, and study design concerns. This session explores the emerging fundamental and clinical science behind medical cannabis.
Mark Ware, McGill University Health Center
Julie Robert, McGill University Health Center
Mark Ware, McGill University Health Center
Igor Grant, University of California, San Diego
The Psychiatric and Neurocognitive Effects of Cannabis
Roger Pertwee, University of Aberdeen
The Pharmacology and Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids