A newly launched center dedicated to cannabis research at the University of Kentucky announce Inaugural scholarship recipients on Wednesday.
University of Kentucky Cannabis Center He said that the “first set of pilot faculty grants to support innovative and collaborative cannabis research” has been awarded to four researchers in the university’s School of Nursing, School of Public Health, School of Pharmacy, and Martin School of Public Policy and Management.
Grants range in value from $75,000 to $100,000 and will support research for a period of 14 months.
“We are excited about this opportunity to expand and accelerate the science of cannabis in the UK and to carry out studies focused on the effects of cannabis on public health that can directly impact the lives of Kentuckians,” said Shanna Papalonis, Director of the UK Cannabis Centre. “We have talented and dedicated researchers across a range of disciplines here on campus who can contribute useful science to the center from multiple perspectives.”
It was the center of cannabis Launched in September Thanks to a bill passed by Kentucky lawmakers and signed into law last year by Democratic Governor Andy Beshear. In the announcement at the time, Pablonis said that “the legislature is interested in having us explore the circumstances in which medical cannabis may be beneficial, as well as the most effective doses and mode of administration for each situation.”
According to a press release from the university, the legislation granted $2 million to the center through June 2024.
“The primary aim of the research conducted at the UK Cannabis Center is to provide valuable insights to medical professionals, lawmakers and the general public regarding the risks and benefits associated with cannabis and cannabis. This knowledge will be especially critical as Kentucky continues to implement new medical marijuana legislation. The Center’s research focuses on Various aspects, including the health effects of cannabis and the potential for treating certain medical conditions.
The four grant recipients announced by the university on Wednesday are Christine Ashford, associate dean for undergraduate program and policy, Good Samaritan Endowed Chair in Community Nursing, and director of the Center for Perinatal Research and Wellness, who will “examine cannabis use during pregnancy”; Jay Christian, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, who will “explore cannabis use among cancer patients and survivors of Kentucky cancer”; Jayani Jayawardhana, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy, who will study the impact of “cannabis laws on opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions and associated health outcomes in the elderly”; and Caroline Weber, Ph. D., an associate professor at the Martin School, who “will study changes in cannabis use by examining records of traffic deaths.”
The Ashford study on cannabis use during pregnancy will “examine perceptions of the safety and acceptability of cannabis use among women who are currently pregnant as well as current usage patterns and trends over the past five years in central Kentucky among pregnant women,” according to Wednesday’s press release.
“We want to know what pregnant women think, feel, and do when it comes to cannabis use, in order to give lawmakers, health care providers, and expectant mothers a better understanding of how to improve the health of women and children in Kentucky,” Ashford said.
Christian’s study of cannabis use among cancer patients will be conducted through a survey that will help him “better understand the prevalence of cannabis use, the ways patients use it (smoking, vaping, eating), and how to obtain it.”
“Cannabis laws across the country, including in Kentucky, are changing rapidly. To determine the impact of legal medical cannabis, it is important to know how people were using it before and after the law changed,” Christian said. “This study is the first step in helping us evaluate the effects of Kentucky’s new medical cannabis law on cancer patients and survivors.”