About Associate Professor Jonathon Arnold

Cannabis has been used for millennia to treat various medical conditions. In recent times opinion has shifted towards acceptance of the plant’s therapeutic potential, and there is an increasing list of countries, including Australia, that have legalised medicinal cannabis. More than ever there is a strong need to advance our scientific understanding of medicinal cannabis and the naturally occurring cannabinoid system. Please join me and my colleagues at the Lambert Initiative in helping revolutionize the innovative development of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoid therapeutics.

For 20 years Jonathon Arnold’s research has focused on the pharmacology and therapeutic application of the cannabinoids. His first major discovery was that plant cannabinoids reverse resistance to anticancer drugs. He has also isolated several genes that modulate the effects of cannabinoids on the brain and contributed to Australia’s first cannabis potency study, showing that Australian street cannabis is amongst the most potent in the world. More recently he has published research on interplay between CBD and THC which may contribute to 'the entourage effect'. Another major contribution of A/Prof Arnold's research is the discovery that dieting and exercise elevated blood concentrations of THC by dislodging fat-soluble THC from adipose tissue. This phenomenon has far-reaching practical implications providing a means for false positive drug tests in the absence of recent cannabis use. This research attracted national and international media attention including coverage in the New Scientist and Time Magazine.

Jonathon Arnold is an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Pharmacology. Jonathon has been Head of the Cannabinoid Research Group since 2002 and has published over 60 research papers that have received more than 2000 citations. His research has attracted national and international funding. In 2005 he conducted research at the Cajal Institute in Madrid, one of the world's premier neuroscience institutes. In 2009 he established a laboratory at the Brain and Mind Centre (BMC).

In 2015 Jonathon was appointed Associate Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics which was established as a result of the largest philanthropic donation in the University's history ($33,783,000), see http://sydney.edu.au/science/lambert/. At the Lambert Initiative Jonathon's primary focus is on strategic direction and execution of the preclinical research program. He also works closely with the clinical research team to assist in the development and translation of research findings. Jonathon leads various Lambert Initiative projects which examine the efficacy of cannabinoids and full-spectrum cannabis extracts in preclinical models of disease including childhood epilepsy, cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is also exploring the role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in various diseases. Jonathon has supervised eight PhD students to completion whose research examined cannabis, the cannabinoids and the endogenous cannabinoid system.

Selected publications

For a comprehensive list of Dr Arnold's publicatons, please visit his Sydney Medical School profile page.