King’s College London Launches Largest-Ever Independent Study on the Impact of Cannabis Use

The Cannabis & Me research study will reportedly study the effects of cannabis on the human brain, particularly in terms of a user’s prior psychological conditions.

Recently King’s College London announced the start of the world’s largest independent cannabis use research study called Cannabis & Me (1). King’s College, located in London, England, is a research college with “£273m annual research income and ranked 6th in the world for research ‘power’ (2021 Research Excellence Framework)” (2). The Cannabis & Me study was allocated more than £2.5 million of funding by the Medical Research Council (1).

The Cannabis & Me study reportedly aims to understand the wider impact of cannabis use on the physical and mental health of cannabis users (3). “It also aims to identify environmental and biological factors, which can explain the different effects people experience when using cannabis, and in particular, identify those users more likely to experience mental health and social issues,” as was stated in the survey provided to potential participants (3). The study will use a combination of DNA genetic and epigenetic testing, psychological and cognitive analysis, and virtual reality to understand how a user’s biological makeup is affected by cannabis use. It also intends to identify the environmental and biological factors that are most likely to cause mental health and social problems in cannabis users (3).

The study will be headed by Medical Research Council Senior Clinical Fellow Dr. Marta Di Forti. “Cannabis is consumed daily by many recreationally but also for medicinal reasons,” said Dr. Di Forti (1). “But in the UK, the prescription of medicinal cannabis remains rare. Our study aims to provide data and tools that can make physicians in the UK [United Kingdom] and across the world more confident, where appropriate, in prescribing cannabis safely.”

The study is looking for 6000 participants between the ages of 18-45 who are living in the London area and who currently use cannabis, have used it less than three times, or have never used it before. The 40-minute survey will be conducted in two parts: a survey and face-to-face interviews (3).

The full details of the survey can be found here: https://kings.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/cannabisme

References

  1. https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/kings-college-london-spearheads-the-largest-ever-independent-study-into-cannabis-use
  2. https://www.kcl.ac.uk/about
  3. https://kings.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/cannabisme