Published: April 20, 2021 By

On Thursday, April 22, Professor Kent Hutchison will deliver the 116th Distinguished Research LectureUnderstanding the Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Across the Lifespan.

Hutchison was one of two faculty members selected to receive the 2020 Distinguished Research Lectureship, which is among the most esteemed honors bestowed by the faculty upon a faculty member at the University of Colorado Boulder. Victor M. Bright of the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering also received the distinction.

About Professor Hutchison  

Kent Hutchison, PhD, an adjunct professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder, was recently appointed to a faculty position at the Anschutz Medical Campus where he is a professor of psychiatry in the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Dr. Hutchison has been an NIH funded scientist for the past 20 years and has published numerous papers in the area of substance use. He recently served on the National Academy of Sciences committee that published a comprehensive report on the health effects of cannabis in late 2016. Dr. Hutchison has also recently given two congressional briefings on this subject matter. He is also the principal investigator (or co-investigator) on three new NIH funded studies that examine the effects of cannabis products (e.g. flower, edibles, concentrates) purchased in the state of Colorado. 

About the talk: Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Across the Lifespan

116th Distinguished Research Lecture: Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Across the Lifespan

This event took place on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

Watch the Recording

In the last six years, the U.S. has witnessed enormous changes concerning the public acceptance and availability of cannabis. Only two states have not legalized access to products with THC or CBD. This trend extends beyond the U.S.; Canada legalized cannabis nationwide in 2019, and Mexico did so in 2021. In short, cannabis products are now widely available across North America and the cannabis industry is expected to exceed $60 billion per year in a few years. The demographics of cannabis use is also changing, with aging adults showing the most rapid increase in use, especially since 2007. Considering these trends, it is imperative to understand the effects of cannabis products that are widely available in state-regulated markets. 

Professor Hutchison’s presentation will focus on two areas of research, driven by the following questions:

  1. How does the presence or absence of the primary constituent cannabinoids–THC and CBD–influence the health effects of cannabis products? 
  2. How do the health effects of cannabis products differ across the lifespan? 

The overarching objective of this research is to provide patients, their family members and public health officials with data that can be used to reduce the potential for harm and maximize the potential benefits of cannabis and hemp products.

About the Distinguished Research Lectureship

Each year, the Research & Innovation Office (RIO) requests nominations from faculty for the Distinguished Research Lectureship, and a faculty review panel recommends one or more faculty members as recipients.  

The lectureship honors a tenured faculty member, Research Professor (Associate or full) or Adjoint Professor who has been with CU Boulder for at least five years and is widely recognized for a distinguished body of academic or creative achievement and prominence, as well as contributions to the educational and service missions of CU Boulder. Each recipient typically presents a lecture in the fall or spring following selection and receives a $2,000 honorarium.