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Current Research Studies

State and Pueblo County Funded Research

Effects of medicinal cannabinoids on seizures in adults with medically refractory epilepsy.
This observational study will evaluate the effects of medicinal cannabis in an adult epilepsy group who incorporate medicinal cannabis as an adjunctive treatment for their medically refractory epilepsy (epileptic seizures that do not respond to traditional medical treatments). Participants will wear a special data-gathering wristband that will document the individual’s physiological changes when experiencing a seizure. Researchers will analyze how the use of medicinal cannabis impacts adults with epilepsy, including reported side effects, and one’s overall quality of life.
Principal investigator, Dr. Barbara Brett, Psychology.

Industrial hemp fibers as reinforcing agents in 3D-printing filament composites.
Investigation of the impact of industrial hemp fibers as viable replacements to wood when introduced into 3-D printing filament composites. Hemp is less expensive than wood and more environmentally friendly. The results of this research will generate further knowledge of new polymers and reinforcing agents for industrial use.
Principal investigator Dr. Neb Jaksic, Engineering. Co-principal investigator Dr. Melvin Druelinger, Chemistry.

Infrastructure development for cannabis growth and research at CSU-Pueblo.
This project involves: 1) greenhouse expansion, 2) genome sequencing of 14 varieties of cannabis to create tools for future breeding, 3) the extraction and quantification of cannabinoids from the hemp, and 4) the assessment of biological activity of known and novel compounds from cannabis as modulators of brain cell function in the limbic system receptors in mice.
Principal investigator Dr. Brian Vanden Heuvel, Biology. Co-principal investigators Dr. Jeff Smith, Biology, and Dr. Chad Kinney, Chemistry.

As part of a research project conducted by the ICR, a 99%-100% CBD isolate material was provided by Lilu’s Garden, LTD., of Denver, Colorado for "Developing Infrastructure for Cannabis Growth and Research at CSU-Pueblo”. The specific usage of the CBD Isolate was by Dr. Sang-Hyuck Park, a research scientist exploring the defensive roles of cannabidiol (CBD) against natural Cannabis sativa predators, as well as the use of CBD as dietary supplement.  The Institute of Cannabis Research wishes to acknowledge Lilu's Garden for its assistance in providing the 99%-100% CBD isolate at a substantially reduced cost, which enabled the ICR to further research efforts into cannabis and its derivatives. This collaboration was made possible by connections made through the Industrial Hemp Research Foundation, and Executive Director Tom Dermody.

It is through such partnerships and collaborations that the Institute of Cannabis Research works towards accomplishing its mission of exploring “All Things Cannabis.”  

State Funded Research

Hemp seed and stalk extract supplementation effects on growth rate and metabolism of probiotics.
The objective of this research is to determine whether introducing hemp seed and stalk extracts as nutritional supplements will promote growth and metabolism of commercially available products that enhance digestive track health.
Principal investigator Dr. Annette Gabaldon, Biology.

Development of an enhanced extraction method for cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids from cannabis leaves and flowers using pressurized liquid extraction.
There are numerous methods for extracting CBD from hemp leaves for multiple uses including medicinal applications. This research will seek to optimize a novel and semi-selective extraction method for CBD and other cannabinoids, and compare results against existing methods to assess the potential utility of this new method for use with industrial applications.
Principal investigator Dr. Chad Kinney, Chemistry.

Creation of a K-12 cannabis research pilot study.
An analysis of existing data on marijuana use among minors, vicinity of dispensaries, and other community demographic data; a survey of Colorado schools to determine the type of marijuana and drug education curricula used; and a study of the effectiveness of specific marijuana and drug education curricula.
Principal investigator Dr. Tim Peters, Teacher Education; Co-principal investigators Dr. Jenny Piazza, Dr. Sue Pettit, Dr. Margie Massey, Jeremiah Blaha, Teacher Education and Dr. Bethany Kies, Exercise Science and Health Promotion; and Evaluator/statistical specialist, Dr. Jeff Piquette, Teacher Education.

Investigating the role of endocannabinoid-induced metabolic changes on viral infection.
Viruses negatively impact cells during infection, and viruses and endocannabinoids both alter cellular metabolism. This research will investigate how two specific viruses are either inhibited or enhanced by the activation of a specific cannabinoid.
Principal investigator Dr. Jordan Steel, Biology.

Phytoremediation of municipal sewage sludge using industrial hemp to divert organic carbon-rich bio solids from landfills.
This project is designed to determine the utility of using industrial hemp as a remediation tool for municipal sewage sludge so that it will meet regulatory requirements for land application.
Principal investigator Dr. Brian Vanden Heuvel, Biology.

Analysis of the types of jobs being created in Pueblo County’s cannabis industry.
The goal of this research is to gain an understanding of the types of jobs being created by the cannabis industry, to include pay, hours of work, job security, prospects for promotion and other indicators of job quality.
Principal investigator Dr. Brad Gilbreath, Business.

Pueblo County Impact Study

Principal investigators
Social Impact: Dr. Tim McGettigan, Sociology, Dr. Joe Franta, Nursing
Economic Impact: Dr. Michael Wakefield, Dr. Aun Hassan, Hasan School of Business
Water and Power Usage: Dr. Jane Fraser, Dr. Leonardo Bedoya Valencia, Engineering
Optimal Buffer Zones related to Grow Sites: Dr. Brian Vanden Heuvel, Biology

State and National Research

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research

National Institute on Drug Abuse
Illicit cannabis use and use disorders increase in states with medical marijuana laws

Institute of Cannabis Research

Faculty and Staff

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