Two Cannabis Researchers Discuss their Studies on Pain and the Realm of Cannabinoid Investigation

February 19, 2021
Grace Halsey

Cannabis researchers Drs Carrie Cuttler and Rebecca Craft discuss their findings, their labs at WSU, their new research, and what makes this kind of research a challenge.

Among medical cannabis users relief of pain from a variety of conditions is one of the most common reasons given for its use. Studying the efficacy of cannabis on pain is an area of research that is still very much in infancy and without the support of sizable public or private grants. And even though legalization has been steady for both medical and recreational use of cannabis, it is still a US DEA schedule 1 substance, hard to procure for research, and for many, still carries an aura of illegitimacy.

For researchers looking at the potential for cannabis to play an increasing role in medicine and health and wellness, the foregoing is their reality but certainly not a deterrent.

Drs Carrie Cuttler and Rebecca Craft both run laboratories in the Department of Psychology at Washington State University that are looking at the effects of cannabinoids on the preclinical level (Dr Craft) and on a wide range of physical and psychological domains (Dr Cuttler). They are coauthors, most recently, on 2 studies on the acute and long-term effects of inhaled cannabis on headache and migraine and on the acute effects on muscle, joint and nerve pain.

Using data from many thousands of cannabis use sessions recorded in a medical cannabis app, Cuttler, Craft, and colleagues analyzed whether cannabis use decreased pain and whether factors such as gender, type of cannabis, THC, CBD or dose contribute to changes in pain ratings.

In this video, Patient Care Online talks with Drs Cuttler and Craft about their laboratories, their research, the study results, and about the challenges and the rewards of studying cannabinoids.