PI: Dr. Kent Hutchison

"Marijuana Harm Reduction: Innovative Strategies for Developing New Knowledge"


Cannabis research can be dated back to the 1970’s where standardized smoking of low potency cannabis in a laboratory setting has been the primary method used to understand the effects of the drug. The objective of this program is to use a naturalistic design to advance a more nuanced understanding of the potential outcomes associated with using different strains of marijuana. Researchers need to understand the effects of commonly used cannabis strains, as they are used in every day life. Commonly available strains of cannabis sold in dispensaries in Colorado have 3-5x greater potency of cannabinoids, such as the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), than what has been used in laboratory settings. It is possible that laboratory based studies underestimate the effects of more potent strains that are widely available. Also, scientists have focused on the effects of THC while mostly ignoring other major cannabinoids (e.g. cannabidiol or CBD) and their synergistic relationship.

In order to understand the effects of cannabis in a naturalistic setting, we have designed a mobile laboratory that simulates a natural smoking environment (e.g. at-home). The objective of this study is to observe how different strains of marijuana, based off their unique cannabinoid content, can influence your mental and physical state in real time. This program will allow researchers to observe these effects immediately before and after cannabis use. A participant will use cannabis in the comfort of their home, and will walk out their front door and into our mobile lab that will be parked outside of their house. In this study, there is no need to smoke and drive.

Participation is this study involves one appointment at our facility in Boulder and one appointment in our mobile laboratory. Participation is approximately 1 week long with the opportunity to earn up to $150.


COSMIC Team Photo

Want to get involved? Research is ongoing. Contact us:



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