Columbia University Receives National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Grant to Study Impact of Medical Cannabis on Opioid Use in Collaboration With Columbia Care

The grant research will build upon Columbia Care's pilot data demonstrating that 62 percent of neuropathy patients decreased or stopped opioid use while taking Columbia Care's dose-metered cannabinoid medicines.

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October 31, 2018

NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and Columbia Care LLC, a medical cannabis company, have announced that researchers from Columbia University have been awarded an R21 research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study, in collaboration with Columbia Care, the potential mechanisms of how using Columbia Care’s formulated dose-metered cannabinoid medicines influences opioid use and overdose risk among patients with non-cancer pain conditions.

The research will be led by Dr. Arthur Robin Williams, MD, MBE, assistant professor in the Division on Substance Use Disorders in the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. The study will expand upon pilot data collected by Columbia Care, an entity independent from Columbia University, which examined opioid use in 76 neuropathy patients across a wide range of indications, but without an additional cancer diagnosis, between the ages of 18 and 80 years old in New York State who were administered Columbia Care’s dose-metered cannabinoid medicines. The pilot study showed that 62 percent of the neuropathy patients decreased or stopped their opioid use while taking Columbia Care’s medical cannabis consistently over a nine-month period. 

Dr. Williams commented, “There is an urgent need to investigate the potential impact of cannabinoid use on limiting opioid overdose risk and to determine whether specific products are more beneficial for certain populations of patients with pain and opioid use.”

Rosemary Mazanet, MD, PhD, chief science officer and chair of the scientific advisory board at Columbia Care added, “We are honored to have garnered the trust of both Columbia University and NIDA through our powerful pilot research using Columbia Care’s dose-metered, precision-manufactured medical cannabis products and are looking forward to expanding upon these results with Dr. Williams and his team in this first-of-its-kind collaboration. As the leading medical cannabis provider in both New York State and the nation, and the only medical cannabis company with the capabilities and high-quality products to allow for such a rigorous analysis, we have seen through this pilot study the power of our proprietary formulations to reduce our patients’ dependence on opioids in a defensible, scientific manner. With these pilot data, we are cautiously optimistic, hopeful and proud to bring the medical community one step closer to addressing one of the worst epidemics in our country’s history. Our hope is that this work can guide the design of treatment programs using our proprietary medicines and inform the development of future products to ultimately help the millions of American families currently suffering due to the opioid crisis.”