King’s College London launches the largest independent study on the effects of cannabis on the brain. The study Cannabis & Me will focus on the environmental and biological factors responsible for the different effects experienced by cannabis users.
The university has released £2.5 million and wants 6,000 people to take part in the survey. The researchers said funding for the Medical Research Council contribute to a better understanding of the use of this substance, consumed by 200 million people in the world.
More research is needed on how cannabis interacts with the brain so doctors can be more confident when considering prescribing medical cannabis, said lead researcher Dr Di Forti.
“Cannabis is used daily by many people for recreational purposes but also for medical reasons,” she said. “But in the UK, the prescription of medical cannabis remains rare. »
“Our study aims to provide data and tools that can make doctors in the UK and around the world more confident, where appropriate, in prescribing cannabis safely. »
The overall goal of the study is to understand the link between a user’s biological makeup and the effect of cannabis on them. Researchers will use a combination of virtual reality, psychological and cognitive analysis, and DNA testing.
They will also study epigenetics in participants, that is, how behavior and environment can affect how genes work.
Dr. Di Forti said she was particularly interested in finding any markers linked to potential problems in consumers, such as mental health problems or social problems.
The team is currently looking for participants aged 18-45, living in the London area, who currently use cannabis or have used it less than three times or never before.
The first step for participants is to complete a 40-minute online survey.