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  • Christopher Smith, Editor-in-Chief

FDA Greenlights CBD Trial Against Opioid Addiction at UCLA

My story today offers a few comments on a frustratingly straightforward piece from the Canadian publication, The Growth Op:


"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a clinical trial for a CBD-based drug to treat opioid use disorder. Ananda Scientific, which operates out of California and Colorado, announced that Nantheia ATL5 will be studied at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)"

The importance of the US Food & Drug Administration allowing breakthrough research on cannabinoids CANNOT BE OVERSTATED.

Ananda Scientific is interesting. A Pharma-like hemp-focused company that’s conducted more than 10 studies in the last 5 years, has 7 patents, and has trials ongoing or planned for neuropathic pain, Opioids, Diabetes, schizophrenia, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, PTSD, and cardiovascular disease. They show 7 Key Personnel and 8 Advisory Board members, and all but 1 of the those 15 men and women have up to 4 advanced degrees..


As for the Semel Institute, Terry Semel is a former entertainment executive, was head of Warner Bros. for 5 years before taking the lead role at Yahoo for 6; he made so much money he now has his own institute at UCLA. The Semel Institute is highly integrated with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital – he’s a billionaire and was the wealthiest farmer in America before starting POM Wonderful and Fiji Water.

[Want to follow the money in Los Angeles? Look on the buildings at UCLA.]

Opioids are a villainous scourge in my book. Not only did 100,000 Americans die from opioid overdoses last year, but addiction is reported to begin in as little as 5 days. Anything that can be done to get people off opioid medications will save lives.

Among many studies that indicate the efficacy of using cannabis as a replacement:

  • A 2021 study set to publish in the journal Applied Health Economics and Health Policy has found that legalizing cannabis has led to a “marked decline” in the volume of opioids prescribed across Canada. Opioids studied included: morphine, codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, oxycodone, tramadol

  • The study found that, following legalization, total monthly opioid spending by public payers fell from $267,000 per month to $95,000 [almost 2/3rds), and that the average dose also declined from 22.3 milligrams per claim to 4.1 mg (4/5ths reduction).

  • All this is nice, but does anyone know whether the Canadian Health Care System pays for cannabis as medicine?


  • A 2020 study published in the Journal of Health Economics found that increasing access to low-THC, high-CBD products in Italy led to significant decreases in the number of dispensed anxiolytics, sedatives and anti-psychotics.

  • A 2019 study published in the Journal of Pain which was the name of my diary in middle school showed that for patients with chronic pain, medicinal cannabis use was associated with:

    • a 64% drop in opioid use,

    • decreased number and side effects of medications, and

    • an improved quality of life in 45% of the cases.

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