California Awards Nearly $20 Million in Cannabis Research Grants to State Universities

California regulators have awarded $20 million to 16 state universities for cannabis research, covering topics such as mental health, delta-8, and delta-10, and genetics. UCLA received the most funding, followed by Cal Poly Humboldt, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego.

The cannabis industry is growing at an astonishing rate, and there is a pressing need for scientific research to help us better understand this complex plant and its potential benefits and risks. Fortunately, California regulators are taking the lead in supporting cannabis research, awarding nearly $20 million to 16 state universities to conduct scientific research on a range of cannabis-related issues and compounds.

The recipients of these grants were chosen from a pool of 98 proposals based on a variety of factors, including the quality of their methodology, potential policy influence, public knowledge advancement, and their ability to develop foundational research. The grant recipients are some of the most respected universities in the state, including UCLA, the University of California San Diego, Cal Poly Humboldt, and UC Irvine.

One of the most exciting aspects of these grants is the focus on a wide range of cannabis-related issues, from the effects of different consumption methods to the impact of THC on mood and cognition. For example, UCLA has been awarded $9.5 million to study intoxication levels of synthetic and semi-synthetic cannabinoids, the effects of smoking concentrates and flower, interactions between cannabis and CBD, as well as medical marijuana use. This research will be crucial in helping policymakers create evidence-based regulations around cannabis use.

The University of California San Diego has received $917,000 to conduct a four-year project examining cannabinoid effects on cognitive, psychiatric, and neural outcomes in young adults, as well as a separate study on cannabis use and mental health among adolescents. This research will be invaluable in helping to understand the potential risks of cannabis use in vulnerable populations, such as adolescents.

Cal Poly Humboldt has been awarded $2.7 million to identify, document, and preserve the history, value, and diversity of California’s rural legacy cannabis genetics and their communities. This research will be critical in helping to preserve the unique cultural heritage of California’s cannabis industry, which has been shaped by decades of underground cultivation.

UC Irvine has been granted $2 million to study the acute effects of high THC levels on mood, cognition, and abuse potential. This research will be essential in helping to better understand the risks associated with high-THC cannabis products, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Overall, these grants represent a significant investment in the future of cannabis research in California, and have the potential to yield important insights into the potential benefits and risks of this fascinating plant. As Rasha Salama, chief deputy director at the state’s Department of Cannabis Control, noted, “These studies will provide valuable insights on topics of interest to California’s consumers, businesses, and policy makers.”