Our Research

CannabisThere is growing evidence that cannabis and cannabinoids (the active chemicals in the cannabis plant) are effective at treating chronic pain in adults. However, the majority of clinical trials have been conducted in patients with cancer pain, neuropathic pain (nerve pain), and mixed heterogeneous pain conditions. Despite the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain conditions, there have been no high-quality clinical trials of cannabis for these chronic pain conditions. Our lab is filling this critical gap in knowledge by conducting clinical trials of cannabis and cannabinoids for chronic orthopedic pain conditions. 

 

CannabisClinical Trial of Cannabis versus Oxycodone for Chronic Spine Pain

We are currently conducting a randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy of vaporized whole plant cannabis to that of oxycodone in patients with chronic back and neck pain. We are also investigating the efficacy of these study drugs in reducing sensitivity to an experimental pressure pain stimulus in healthy controls. We are still recruiting for this study, if you are interested in participating please email: MJPainStudy@ucdenver.edu


OpioidsClinical Trials of Cannabis to Reduce and Replace Opioids for Chronic Spine Pain

We were recently awarded funding from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to conduct two randomized clinical trials of cannabinoids (THC and CBD) for chronic back and neck pain. The goal of this research program is to investigate the efficacy of extended daily cannabinoid treatmentto reduce patient exposure to prescription opioids through its use 1) as a non-opioid analgesic treatment( Analgesia study), and 2) as a therapy for reducing high-dose opioid use in patients with chronic spine pain (Reduction study). These studies build upon our currently ongoing investigation of the acute effects of whole plant cannabis to relieve chronic spine pain. These clinical trials will begin in early 2020.