CHANGE Lab puts cannabis under the microscope – CU Boulder Today

In recent years, Colorado and many other states across the country have legalized marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational use. However, more research is still needed on the health effects of cannabis in its various forms.

Assistant Professor Cinnamon Bidwell

Now, two ongoing research studies conducted by CU Boulder’s CHANGE Lab are looking into how cannabis and its active ingredients, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), impact a person’s mental and physical state as well as the health impacts of high potency cannabis concentrates like oils and resins. The lab was created as a collaborative interdisciplinary way to research the drug using biological, clinical and neuroscientific methodologies.

Cannabis products remain illegal at a federal level, so studying it brings limitations. CU Boulder is a federally funded institution and adheres to all U.S. government regulations regarding the drug’s handling and use. Accordingly, the university’s researchers do not handle, store, consume or provide cannabis in the course of any research experiments.

The CHANGE Lab, which is administered by Assistant Professor Cinnamon Bidwell from CU Boulder’s Institute of Cognitive Science and professors Angela Bryan and Kent Hutchison from CU Boulder’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, is particularly interested in the health effects of edibles and high-potency product strains or oils, which are available commercially in Colorado but have not, to date, been provided to researchers for study in a federally sanctioned manner.

“We’re studying the products that are legally available here in Colorado that may be different from the products that you can typically access for research,” said Cinnamon Bidwell. “So, we have studies looking at high potency marijuana in terms of risk for abuse and potential for harm related to these higher potency products.”

Bidwell will present her research and discuss the current state of human cannabis studies in a free

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