Medicinal Cannabis | Research Focus Areas at PCOM
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Marijuana as Medicine

Research at PCOM

Medicinal Cannabis 
Research at PCOM

Expanding the Use of Medical Cannabis

The rapid expansion of cannabis use for serious medical conditions across 37 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam reflects the mounting recognition of the drug’s therapeutic potential for a number of disorders and diseases. Although some of cannabis’ medicinal properties are well documented, rigorous research is needed to identify which patients will benefit from the drug, the most effective method of treatment, benefits versus risks and barriers to use.

Medical Marijuana Research in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is first in the nation to require that research accompany legalization of cannabis for serious medical conditions, thereby positioning the Commonwealth as the leader in generating new knowledge that further defines the drug’s therapeutic applications.

PCOM's Medicinal Cannabis Research Programs

PCOM, in collaboration with its Clinical Registrant partner Organic Remedies, has developed a multi-study research program that will gather and share data and insights into the use and processing of medicinal cannabis and its impact on behavior, quality of life, cognition, chronic pain and opioid management.

Clinical characteristics and quality of life in adults initiating medical marijuana treatment

Principal Investigator: Michelle Lent, PhD, PCOM

The goal of this observational study is to measure changes in the health, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life of adults initiating medical marijuana for the first time for any of the qualifying medical conditions in Pennsylvania. Individuals are followed for the first year of medical marijuana use and participate in quarterly anthropometric measurements, semi-structured clinical interviews, and cognitive screens.

Buonomano, L. S., Mitnick, M. M., McCalmont, T. R., Syracuse, P., Dugosh, K. L., Festinger, D. S., & Lent, M. R. (2022). Clinical Characteristics and Quality of Life in Adults Initiating Medical Marijuana Treatment. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 5(1), 95-101.

View the abstract.

The incremental effect of medical marijuana on pain management, psychosocial functioning and treatment outcomes in patients with opioid use disorder

Principal Investigator: Michelle Lent, PhD, PCOM

Co-Principal Investigator: Karen Dugosh, PhD, Public Health Management Corporation

The goal of this observational study is to evaluate the incremental effect of medical marijuana on pain functioning and illicit opioid use in individuals with chronic pain and opioid use disorder (OUD) taking buprenorphine. This study assesses pain functioning, sleep quality and duration, mood, substance use, and treatment engagement in individuals with OUD for one year.

Cognition and behavior in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders using medical marijuana

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Gosch, PhD, PCOM

Co-Principal Investigator: Michelle Lent, PhD, PCOM

This observational study is designed to evaluate changes in cognition, functioning, sleep, and behavior over the first three months of medical marijuana treatment in pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as reported by their adult caregivers.

Impact of medical marijuana laws on usage of marijuana in the State of Pennsylvania

Principal Investigator: Kumar Mukherjee, PhD, PCOM

Co-Investigator: Jane Dumsha, PhD, PCOM

The goal of this retrospective study is to compare marijuana use before and after the passage of the medical marijuana law in Pennsylvania. This study explores whether legalization for a limited number of disorders and diseases increases or decreases overall use of recreational and medicinal marijuana among various socio-demographic groups.

Use of medical cannabis in skilled nursing facilities in Pennsylvania

Principal Investigator: Katherine E. Galluzzi, DO, PCOM

Co-Investigator: Mindy Weinstein, PhD, PCOM

This study is designed to evaluate the current state of usage of medical marijuana in Skilled Nursing Facilities in Pennsylvania. The goal of the study is to determine the extent of use of medical marijuana in different geographic areas across Pennsylvania and identify barriers to use for residents with qualifying conditions.

Relationship between an oral medical marijuana product and analgesia in patients having neuropathic pain for two or more months

Principal Investigator: Frederick Goldstein, PhD, PCOM

Co-Investigators: Michelle Lent, PhD, PCOM, and Kumar Mukherjee, PhD, PCOM

This observational study will determine whether patients receiving a combined medical marijuana product, THC:CBD, experience reduction of pain and improvements in quality of life during 28 days of daily use.

Determination of blood levels of delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) following oral administration

Principal Investigator: Frederick Goldstein, PhD, PCOM

Co-Investigator: Katherine Galluzzi, DO, PCOM

This study will measure blood levels of THC for 24 hours following oral administration of medication containing an absorption enhancer.

An analysis of the efficacy of Organic Remedies Inc. manufacturing infrastructure for the production of sterile extracts derived from contaminated marijuana plant material

Principal Investigator: Mark June-Wells, PhD, Organic Remedies

Co-Investigators: Brian Balin, PhD, PCOM; Fred Fochtman, PhD, Duquesne University; Weston; Petroski, PhD, Organic Remedies; Daniel Niesen PhD, Steep Hill Laboratory; Eric Hauser, BS, Organic Remedies

The goal of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of solvent based extraction methods for eliminating or substantially diminishing microbial contamination from marijuana plant material during the manufacturing process.

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