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February Pub Talk

Science Pub: “Clearing The Smoke: Novel Approaches to Studying the Effects of Cannabis in the Wild”
February 8th, 2022 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Sip your favorite brew, while you learn a thing or two! Science Pub is an opportunity to enjoy learning about science in an informal atmosphere; no scientific background necessary! Just bring your curiosity and a thirst to learn.

There are 2 ways to be at this event:

  1. In Person – Paradise Creek Brewery will be seating indoors at 100% capacity under the Washington State COVID-19 Mask Mandate and the pub talk will be broadcast/projected on a the large projection screen in the pub/restaurant area.
  2. On Zoom – Register for the Zoom Talk HERE. Place a food/drink order for pick up at Paradise Creek Brewery’s Downtown Restaurant – 245 SE Paradise St, Pullman. Local delivery is also available. Mention Science Pub and you’ll be sent a link by text or email to join the event. Tip: Place your order early so it’s ready by Science Pub time.

Please also visit the Facebook event for this talk.

This month’s speakers:

Join Carrie Cuttler and Ryan McLaughlin on February 8th for their pub talk, “Clearing The Smoke: Novel Approaches to Studying the Effects of Cannabis in the Wild”.

Since the first recreational cannabis dispensaries opened their doors in 2014, a staggering $9.4 billion has been spent on cannabis in Washington State alone. The growing ubiquity and destigmatization of cannabis use has many concerned since the effects of acute and chronic cannabis use remain surprisingly understudied. This lack of knowledge is largely due to federal restrictions regarding the use of cannabis for research purposes, in addition to several other practical and experimental limitations that have stalled progress in cannabis research across research disciplines. With trends in cannabis use continuing to rise across the country, the urgent need to study its effects has inspired researchers to consider novel methodological approaches that bypass federal restrictions or mitigate experimental limitations.

Studying human cannabis users, The Health and Cognition (THC) Laboratory led by Dr. Carrie Cuttler has pioneered an innovative approach that uses a virtual testing environment that affords observation of participants use of high potency cannabis products in their homes followed by administration of cognitive tests that assess unique facets of everyday life memory. Additionally, Dr. Cuttler has partnered with Strainprint® to gain access to a large community of medical cannabis users that regularly use the Strainprint app to log their symptoms of various health conditions before and after using different types of cannabis in their natural environment. Dr. Cuttler will discuss these innovative approaches and reveal what the data from her recent studies indicate regarding the acute effects of various high potency cannabis products on memory and mental health.

Using rodent models that afford in depth examinations of the effects of cannabis on the brain, Dr. Ryan McLaughlin’s Cannabis Brain Development (CBD) Laboratory has developed and validated a novel model of cannabis use that permits response-contingent delivery of vaporized cannabis extracts in rodents. This innovative approach mirrors the human experience by using the drug and route of administration that is most common in human cannabis users, thereby providing unprecedented insight into the acute and long-term effects of cannabis use on the brain. Dr. McLaughlin will discuss strengths and limitations of using rodents to study cannabis use and the advantages of adopting more translationally relevant animal models and conclude by describing recent data from his laboratory regarding potential long-term effects of maternal cannabis use on the brain and behavior of exposed offspring. By establishing these novel approaches, Dr. McLaughlin and Dr. Cuttler have purposefully positioned themselves to employ both forward and reverse translational approaches to interrogate the effects of acute and chronic cannabis use using ecologically valid approaches.

Dr. Carrie Cuttler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Washington State University. She received her PhD in Psychology from the University of British Columbia (UBC) where she studied memory and mental health. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC and a position as an Assistant Professor at Concordia University in Montreal, she was hired at WSU in 2014. The year she was hired at WSU marked the first year of recreational cannabis sales in Washington State which inspired her to focus her research program on the acute and chronic effects of cannabis on mental health and cognition. Specifically, her THC lab examines the potentially beneficial and detrimental effects of chronic cannabis use and acute cannabis intoxication on cognition (e.g., memory, executive functioning, decision making), mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD ADHD) and stress.

Dr. Ryan McLaughlin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at Washington State University. Dr. McLaughlin received his PhD in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 2012, where he studied the role of the endocannabinoid system in the prefrontal cortex under conditions of stress. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, Dr. McLaughlin was hired at WSU in 2014 where he has since expanded his research program to study effects of cannabis on the brain and behavior using a novel, translationally relevant model of cannabis use in rodents. His laboratory currently uses this model to better understand the long-term effects of cannabis use during sensitive developmental stages, such as during pregnancy or adolescence.

Topics and presenters are arranged by the Palouse Discovery Science Center (PDSC) and WSU’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassador (EFA) Program. All Donations support PDSC. Click here for more information.