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NIDA Sponsoring Anti-Cannabis Drugs

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The government may be dragging its heels on medical marijuana
research, but NIDA is happy to throw money at developing medications
to treat "Cannabis-Related Disorders" (CRD). Unfortunately, none of
these seem to include Reefer Madness.
- DG

>National Institute on Drug Abuse

Here is the laundry list of projects NIDA is willing to fund:

o Development and testing of human laboratory models to evaluate the
effects of medications on cannabinoid drug discrimination, conditioned
place preference or aversion, self-administration, reward, tolerance,
sensitization, craving, withdrawal, and physiological dependence.

o Human laboratory evaluation of medications that may affect the
pathophysiological correlates of cannabis-use disorders such as self-
administration, reward, tolerance, withdrawal, craving, and
physiological dependence.

o Design and implementation of FDA defined Phase I clinical trials to
assess the medical safety and tolerability of medications when
treating patients with CRDs.

o Interaction studies focused on the effects of medications to treat
CRDs and the concurrent use of cannabis derivatives, including
pharmacokinetic and/or pharmacodynamic studies.

o Testing medications that may affect the interaction between
cannabinoid, opioid and dopamine systems, and which may have
therapeutic effect not only for CRDs but also for other medical
conditions such as pain and other drug dependencies.

o Exploratory/developmental pilot studies to evaluate the preliminary
efficacy of medications to treat single or multiple clinical
manifestations of CRDs.

o Randomized clinical trials, defined by FDA as Phase II, to evaluate
the efficacy of new or already marketed medication for the treatment
of single or multiple CRDs, or any of their clinical manifestations.
For example, studies may focus on the treatment of marijuana
dependence or marijuana withdrawal.

o Development of medications to block withdrawal symptoms.

o Studies focusing on the treatment of comorbid psychiatric conditions
that may negatively affect the outcome of the disorders or their
treatment. For example, studies may focus on treating the clinical
depression associated with the use of cannabis.

o Studies focusing on interactions of medications developed for CRDs
with those treating comorbid mental disorders.

o Brain imaging studies to determine the effects of treatments on brain
processes and to determine surrogate markers of treatment efficacy.

o Clinical studies aimed at preventing or reducing the medical
consequences of cannabis use, including HIV and other infections.

o Pharmacological testing of potential medications which would act as
full agonists, partial agonists, or antagonists (or prodrugs whose
metabolism would result in such desired activity).

o Identification and testing of potential medications which would
produce one or more of the following effects in pharmacological
studies: a relatively long duration of action; mild reinforcement when
compared to cannabinoids; and/or blockade of cannabinoid's effects in
behavioral assays and on cognitive, spatial/motor and/or
learning/memory functions.

o Design and synthesis of novel radioligands targeting the cannabinoid
receptors for use as tools to study both the neurobiology of ligand-
receptor interaction as well as targets for treatments.
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Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml@igc.org
2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114