Friday, August 18

Cannabis research symposium to discuss recent field developments


Jeff Chen, co-director of the UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group, organized the inaugural UCLA Cannabis Research Symposium and will speak about accelerating cannabis research at the event Thursday. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Jeff Chen, co-director of the UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group, organized the inaugural UCLA Cannabis Research Symposium and will speak about accelerating cannabis research at the event Thursday. (Daily Bruin file photo)


UCLA will host a symposium on cannabis research as part of an attempt to establish a top cannabis research program on campus.

The inaugural UCLA Cannabis Research Symposium, which will be held Thursday, will feature visiting speakers and UCLA faculty, who will discuss the most recent developments in cannabis research. The event will be hosted by the Brain Research Institute, the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group within the BRI.

Experts will deliver talks, including one titled “The Abuse and Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis,” delivered by an associate professor at Columbia University, and another titled “Cannabis and Pain Management,” delivered by the medical director of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA.

Organizers said the event is designed to advance cannabis research, since there has been historically limited access to studies of the federally outlawed drug.

The UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group cited the institution of Proposition 64, which rendered California the largest population worldwide with legal access to cannabis, as one of the motivations behind the symposium.

“Despite this unprecedented access, the science behind cannabis is sorely lacking – we simply do not know enough about the risks and therapeutic potential due to half a century of research restrictions,” the group said on the symposium’s event page.

Jeff Chen, co-director of the UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group and a medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said the symposium is specifically being held on April 20 because of the date’s link to marijuana.

The symposium will take place in the UCLA Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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