#420: Cannabis – Kevin Boehnke, PhD & Carrie Cuttler, PhD

In Podcasts by Danny Lennon2 Comments

Guest Information


Kevin Boehnke, PhD

Kevin Boehnke is a Research Investigator in the Department of Anesthesiology and the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center. Kevin completed his BS in Biology at the University of Michigan, and received his doctorate from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences in 2017.

His current research focuses on therapeutic applications of illicit or semi-licit substances (cannabis, psychedelics). His goal is to rigorously assess appropriate use of these substances and to help address the public health harms caused by their criminalization.


Carrie Cuttler, PhD

Dr. Carrie Cuttler is an Assistant Professor at Washington State University. Her research at the Health and Cognition Laboratory there focuses on elucidating the potentially beneficial and detrimental effects of chronic cannabis use and acute cannabis intoxication.

Her recent work has focused on examining links between cannabis use and mental health (e.g., ADHD, PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety),  as well as physical health, stress, and cognition. She is also interested in examining effects of cannabis with different concentrations of THC and CBD, as well as effects of cannabis concentrates.

In this episode we discuss:

  1. Definitions: cannabis, cannabinoids, marijuana, hemp
  2. The endocannabinoid system in humans - CB1 & CB2 receptors
  3. Cannabinoid risks and potential benefits
  4. Current state of the evidence on cannabis and chronic pain
  5. Mechanisms of action
  6. Potential societal impact if they can be used in place of opiods
  7. Translation to practice: Dosage, type of administration, frequency
  8. Pharmacokinetics based on delivery method: smoking vs. edibles
  9. Cannabis and depression: acute vs. chronic use
  10. The story of Rimonabant, originally developed as a potential anti-obesity drug, and how it fits in
  11. Cannabis and axiety
  12. How to screen for who responds well vs. not: Do we know how?
  13. Unanswered questions – what do we really need to work out from upcoming research?

Links & Resources

  • Click here to join the email list to receive our weekly Sigma Synopsis emails
  • Boehnke et al., 2020 - High-Frequency Medical Cannabis Use Is Associated With Worse Pain Among Individuals With Chronic Pain
  • Boehnke et al., 2019 - Pills to Pot: Observational Analyses of Cannabis Substitution Among Medical Cannabis Users With Chronic Pain
  • Boehnke et al., 2016 - Medical Cannabis Use Is Associated With Decreased Opiate Medication Use in a Retrospective Cross-Sectional Survey of Patients With Chronic Pain
  • Dr. Ziva Cooper - Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative
  • Horwood et al., 2012 - Cannabis and depression: an integrative data analysis of four Australasian cohorts
  • Bahorik et al., 2018 - Medical and non-medical marijuana use in depression: Longitudinal associations with suicidal ideation, everyday functioning, and psychiatry service utilization
  • LaFrance et al., 2020 - Short and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis on Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Dr. Cuttler's Website
  • Twitter: @CarrieCuttler

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