Cannabinoid Research Institute

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GW has established the Cannabinoid Research Institute as a distinct division within the company in order to consolidate GW’s position as a world leader in cannabinoid science.


The Institute’s activities are directed by Dr Philip Robson, Director of the Cannabinoid Research Institute. Dr Ethan Russo, formerly of the University of Washington and Montana, acts as the Senior Medical Adviser to the Institute.


The Cannabinoid Research Institute has been formed to build a bridge between commercial enterprise and academia. We believe that this is the best way for GW to undertake fundamental science, and to investigate the future commercial opportunities which may arise with phytocannabinoids, which occur in plants, as well as synthetic cannabinoids and also endocannabinoids, which occur naturally within the human body.


In addition to enhancing GW's pipeline of cannabis-based medicines by conducting early stage clinical trials, the Institute's programme of primary research on the cannabinoid system will allow GW to further explore cannabinoid mechanism(s) of action. New product opportunities will arise from more precise targeting of cannabinoids to specific illnesses and from the discovery and application of new cannabinoid products.


Key activities being undertaken by the Institute include:

  • Collaborating with independent clinical investigators to explore novel uses of cannabinoids and cannabis extracts.
  • In-house and collaborative pharmacological research into mechanism of action, exploring actions of cannabinoid extracts and cannabinoids, both alone and in combination
  • Conducting research into new therapeutic candidates derived from synthetic cannabinoids and endocannabinoids
  • Producing manuscripts for scientific publications
  • Presentations at scientific conferences


The Institute is keen to collaborate with independent clinical researchers and scientists on projects intended to further the knowledge and understanding of cannabinoids, their mechanism of action and possible future uses. Potential collaborators should contact Dr Philip Robson, Director of the Institute, care of GW Pharmaceuticals. Please click here to contact us.