Psychology Colloquium: Prof Iain McGregor (School of Psychology & Lambert Initiative – University of Sydney)
The Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
School of Psychology and Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Title: Cannabis-based medicines: current use and future promise
Abstract: This talk will highlight recent research from the Lambert Initiative around the current legal use of medicinal cannabis (MC) products in Australia for the treatment of conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and autism, as well as the widespread use of illicit cannabis for self-medication of chronic pain and various psychiatric conditions. Current collaborative clinical trials will also be described showing beneficial effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in intractable youth anxiety (ORYGEN, Melbourne), preliminary positive signs for THC/CBD in Tourette syndrome (Wesley Hospital, Brisbane) and investigation of CBD effects in alcohol withdrawal, methamphetamine dependence and early psychosis. Our recent experimental work investigating the effects of vaporised cannabis on driving and cognitive function will be described. Current preclinical drug discovery programs will also be discussed outlining multiple bioactive molecules from the cannabis plant and various synthetic derivatives with strong therapeutic potential. This is an exciting and pivotal time for cannabis-based medicines in Australia with scope for cannabis-derivatives to become mainstream pharmacotherapies for a number of difficult-to-treat conditions.