More than 22.2 million Americans engage in past month cannabis use. Over the last several decades, although cannabis users in the US have historically sought out cannabis for recreational purposes, a growing number are exploring cannabis for medicinal reasons. In fact, there are over 1 million registered medical cannabis (MC) consumers in the US, and this number continues to grow as the public becomes increasingly aware of and open to the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis. Legal cannabis is considered the fastest growing market in the United States. As of 2019, 33 states and the District of Columbia have voted to legalize MC, with an additional 15 states providing limited MC access. Further, 11 states and the District of Columbia have also approved adult/recreational cannabis use. Despite these rapid changes in the law, many policy makers, consumers, physicians, and the general public remain misinformed about cannabis.
While there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating alterations in brain structure and function secondary to recreational cannabis use, particularly during vulnerable developmental periods such as adolescence, critical questions regarding the effects of MC remain unanswered. For example, how do recreational and MC use differ? Recreational cannabis and MC, although derived from the same plant species, are often not entirely the same; strains tend to vary in constituent composition, including THC, the main psychoactive component in cannabis, and cannabidiol (CBD), a primary non-intoxicating component. What is the impact of MC on adults with regard to both short and longer term use? MIND is designed to begin to address some of these questions as thus far, little data is available regarding the impact of MC on measures of cognition, clinical state, sleep, quality of life, conventional medication use, and brain-related measures.
WHAT IS MIND?
Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND)
MIND is the first program of its kind!
The MIND program is designed to:
- Examine the unique and synergistic effects of cannabis and its constituents to determine the efficacy of cannabinoids for specific conditions and diseases
- Clarify the overall impact of cannabinoid treatment on physical and mental health
- Improve patients’ overall wellbeing
- Harness the therapeutic potential while minimizing harms of cannabinoid-based treatment
- Support a wide range of studies that will generate ecologically valid, empirically sound data in order to close the gap between policy and science
MIND supports a number of projects which examine cannabinoid-based therapies for a range of indications and conditions using longitudinal, observation, cross-sectional, survey, and clinical trial models. For more information about current research projects, click here
For publications from the MIND program, click here
MIND is currently funded and supported by:
NIDA (1R01 DA048821 01)