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Research & Development Addiction, Medical research, Pain

Overcoming the Opioid Overdose Crisis

Tell us about your role as the University of British Columbia’s inaugural Canopy Growth Professor of Cannabis Science.

It’s a privileged position: a professorship that supports research examining the potential of cannabis to address the opioid overdose crisis and other substance use disorders. The funding comes from arm’s length gifts to the university from Canopy Growth – a licensed producer of cannabis – and the Government of BC’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. For a number of years, we’ve been focused on trying to better understand the opioid–cannabis relationship. In particular, we hope to characterize the relationship between chronic pain, opioid use, and cannabis consumption. A large proportion of individuals in our society are living with chronic pain, and many are now dependent on high-risk opioid analgesics. This is a crucial factor behind the ongoing opioid overdose crisis.

The aim is to provide the evidence doctors and patients need to determine whether cannabis could play a part in tackling the dominant public health crisis of our era.

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