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University of Utah awarded $740,000 grant for medical cannabis research

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – University of Utah Health announced that it has recently received a $740,000 grant to study personalized effects of cannabinoids through the use of advanced brain imaging.

The medical use of cannabinoids across an increasing number of conditions is now permitted in 29 states and counting, yet critical questions remain unanswered.

Experts say we still don’t know the affect THC and CBD (cannabidiol) have on the brain.

U of U Health researcher now have the opportunity to forge ahead in this area of study, thanks to a new grant from the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation (RTNF), given in partnership with the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation.

The $740K grant will enable the researchers to examine how cannabinoids influence brain networks and why cannabinoids affect individuals differently by using cutting-edge advanced brain-imaging technology.

 The two-year study, which will involve 40 healthy young adults, will be led by a team of investigators with expertise in neuroimaging, neuropsychology, biostatistics, imaging physics, and psychiatry. 

“This is the kind of detailed, meticulous research that is needed to safely inform the public and physicians on the medical effects of marijuana,” said Utah Medical Association President-elect Howard Weeks. “As explained by the principal investigators of the study, we still do not understand many fundamental cannabinoid mechanisms, the understanding of which is necessary for the development of safe and effective medical treatments based on cannabis.”

The Utah Medical Association has publicly stated its opposition to the current Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative as an “unwise expansion of access to a drug that is still federally illegal and particularly dangerous to children and adolescents.”

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