University of Michigan to take a deep dive into CBD as a form of therapy

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The school has $7.4 million available to conduct cannabis research

Cannabis and its star compound, cannabidiol (CBD), remain a highly regarded treatment for chronic pain in veterans. Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) have now received $7.4 million from the state so they can further study these effects on this population.

It is no secret that, unlike the general population, veterans tend to suffer a higher incidence of chronic pain. Finding effective and safe medications to treat this condition remains an extremely complicated task. With that in mind and an increase in the opioid epidemic, researchers have wanted to shed more light on CBD as an effective alternative.

Great Lakes State has now provided a grant that will open the door for UM researchers to evaluate CBD and medical cannabis-derived products as effective in managing chronic pain among US veterans. The funding comes from the Veteran Marijuana Research (VMR) grant program.

Amy Bohnert, Ph.D., MHS, professor of anesthesiology, psychiatry, and epidemiology, will be part of the process. She acknowledged how helpful it has been to work hand-in-hand with experts to develop this study and how the study will enrich her work with Precision Health.

The research will be based on two consecutive interventions. First, the research team will be tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of commercially available CBD products on chronic pain symptoms. In the second, participants will receive personalized guidance on how to properly use products from licensed dispensaries.

One goal of the study is to “develop practical advice based on the scientific literature that could help people with chronic pain carefully approach cannabis products for pain management,” said co-principal investigator Kevin Boehnke. “We are developing an intervention to help empower veterans with chronic pain to maximize benefit and minimize harm from products available in legal dispensaries.”