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May 15, 2018

Centre for Brain Health, Rudy North Lecture Theatre (LL 101)
2215 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z3

BC Pain Research Network and the UBC Department Of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics are delighted to co-host Prof. Jason McDougall from Dalhousie University to give a colloquium titled Cannabis and Joints: The Promise of Cannabinoids to Treat Arthritis. A reception will follow at 2:30 pm in the University Centre VIP room, 6331 Crescent Rd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2. To allow us to provide adequate food and beverage at the afternoon reception, or to participate remotely, please RSVP to Stacey Herzer;

Cannabis and Joints: The Promise of Cannabinoids to Treat Arthritis

The majority of patients who are prescribed medical cannabis use the drug for the treatment of a musculoskeletal condition such as arthritis or low back pain. Despite a significant body of anecdotal evidence purporting the benefits of medical cannabis in the treatment of these chronic diseases, the scientific evidence is relatively limited. We have recently identified an endocannabinoid system in joints including the articular expression of cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoid biosynthesis. This observation opens up an opportunity for us to modulate arthritis pain locally in the joint and avoid centrally-mediated side-effects. The main non-euphoric chemical found in cannabis is cannabidiol. By administering cannabidiol locally into the joint, we have found that this agent can reduce joint pain and attenuate inflammation in a preclinical model of osteoarthritis. Prophylactic treatment of these arthritic animals with cannabidiol reduced the later development of pain as well as protected the joint from neuronal damage. Thus, cannabidiol shows great promise in the management of joint pain and inflammation as well as preventing the development of peripheral neuropathy and neuropathic pain in osteoarthritic patients.

Biography: Prof. McDougall was born in South Shields and educated in Scotland. He received his PhD in Joint Physiology from the University of Glasgow and subsequently undertook postdoctoral training in Canada, Germany and Spain. Prof. McDougall was awarded postdoctoral fellowships from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), the Medical Research Council of Canada and was the recipient of the Ernst & Young Joint Injury & Arthritis Research Fellowship. In 2001, he joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary where he held an AHFMR Senior Scholarship as well as an Arthritis Society Investigator award. He transferred to Dalhousie University in 2011 where he is currently a Professor of Pharmacology and Anaesthesia.

Prof. McDougall’s research focuses on the neurobiology of pain and inflammation in the development of arthritis. His research is currently examining the role of cannabinoids and proteinases in the control of arthritis pain and inflammation. His research goal is to identify novel drug targets and develop new treatments which will help alleviate chronic pain and resolve joint inflammation. He currently receives project funding from CIHR and The Arthritis Society of Canada. He has been a consultant for AstraZeneca (UK), Eli Lilly & Company (USA), Pfizer (UK), Pharmin (USA) and Antibe Pharmaceuticals (Canada). Prof. McDougall is an editor for Inflammation Research, Journal of Inflammation, and BMC Anaesthesiology as well as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee at the Arthritis Society. He has also won numerous awards for his homebrewed beers which have been commercially produced.

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