Cannabis Constituents to Address the Opioid Epidemic

March 2, 2020

Dr. Ziva Cooper of the University of California, Los Angeles, will present the plenary lecture this afternoon at 5:00 pm in the Skyline Ballroom at McCormick Place.

Dr. Ziva Cooper of the University of California, Los Angeles, will present the plenary lecture this afternoon at 5:00 pm in the Skyline Ballroom at McCormick Place. Cooper is the research director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Her talk is titled “Cannabis Constituents as Novel Strategies to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic.”

Opioids are a primary contributing factor in substance-related overdose deaths. Therefore, novel pharmacotherapeutic strategies are urgently needed to curb reliance on opioids for pain relief. This presentation will explore several lines of evidence from preclinical investigations to population-based studies suggesting that cannabinoids, like delta-9- delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabis constituents may have a role in decreasing or eliminating opioid use for pain management.

Cooper received her PhD from the University of Michigan in Biopsychology in 2007 in the field of preclinical psychopharmacology. Later, at Columbia University, she focused on translating preclinical studies of psychoactive substances to the clinic using controlled human drug-administration studies. Currently, her research involves understanding the neurobiological, pharmacological, and behavioral variables that influence the therapeutic potential and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.

In addition to having served on the National Academies of Sciences Committee on the Health Effects of Cannabis, she is also president of the International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers, a board director for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, an associate editor of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and is on several editorial boards of journals.