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05 September 2022

King's College London spearheads the largest ever independent study into cannabis use

The Medical Research Council has allocated over £2.5 million of funding to Cannabis & Me, a scientific study into the effects of cannabis on the human brain.


The largest independent study of its kind, Cannabis & Me will explore the environmental and biological factors that explain the different effects people experience when using cannabis.

Headed up by Dr Marta Di Forti, the study will use a combination of DNA genetic and epigenetics testing, psychological and cognitive analysis, and virtual reality to understand the link between a user’s biological makeup and the effect cannabis has on them. In particular, the study will aim to identify the environmental (e.g. history of trauma), genetic and epigenetic markers that are most likely to cause mental health and social problems in users.

It’s estimated that over 200 million people worldwide use cannabis daily, yet we know very little about how it interacts with the human brain. With usage on the rise and legalisation potentially on the horizon, it’s more important than ever to understand the science behind the substance.

“Cannabis is consumed daily by many recreationally but also for medicinal reasons. But in the UK, the prescription of medicinal cannabis remains rare. Our study aims to provide data and tools that can make physicians in the UK and across the world more confident, where appropriate, in prescribing cannabis safely"

Dr Marta Di Forti, Senior Clinical Fellow at King's IoPPN

As part of the study, Dr Di Forti is looking for 6,000 participants between the ages of 18-45 living in the London area that are either currently using cannabis or have used it less than 3 times or never before. The first step for participants is filling out a 40-minute survey online. More information can be found here

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Marta Di Forti

Clinical Reader in Psychosis Research