Opioids are a primary contributing factor in substance related overdose deaths. As such, novel pharmacotherapeutic strategies are urgently needed to curb reliance on opioids for pain relief. This presentation will explore several lines of evidence from preclinical investigations to population-based studies suggesting that cannabinoids, like delta-9- delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabis constituents may have a role in decreasing or eliminating opioid use for pain management. For instance, self-report data and some US state-level findings have pointed to the possibility that cannabis may decrease opioid use in pain patients. However, data from controlled investigations probing the potential of cannabis and cannabinoids to decrease the amount of opioids needed to control pain are limited. Findings from our placebo-controlled investigations exploring the potential for THC and other cannabis constituents to reduce or eliminate reliance on opioids for pain relief will be discussed.
This research was supported by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant DA009236, and DA027755, DA046614
Who is Dr. Ziva Cooper?
Dr. Ziva Cooper is the Research Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative in the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Cooper received her PhD from the University of Michigan in Biopsychology in 2007 in the field of preclinical psychopharmacology. She then moved to Columbia University to focus on translating preclinical studies of psychoactive substances to the clinic using controlled human drug-administration studies. Her current research involves understanding the neurobiological, pharmacological, and behavioral variables that influence both the therapeutic potential and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. Dr. Cooper served on the National Academies of Sciences Committee on the Health Effects of Cannabis that recently published a comprehensive consensus report of the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. She is President of the International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers, a Board Director for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, an Associate Editor of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and is on several Editorial Boards of journals including Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research and Journal of Cannabis Research.