Paige Copeland PhD Fellowship

Ph.D. in Kinesiology

Supervisor: Dr. Brian Dalton & Dr. Chris McNeil

The effects of cannabis use on sensorimotor function

My proposed research studies are centred around exploring and understanding the effects of acute cannabis use on the healthy, human neuromuscular system. Specifically, I will focus on how cannabis affects human standing balance, an important aspect of activities of daily living. I aim to concentrate on using cannabis as a model to see how the healthy neuromuscular system responds to an altered state. More specifically, I will focus on establishing the effects of acute cannabis use on basic standing balance parameters. Based off these results, I will then further probe the sensorimotor control of balance and investigate the possible mechanisms responsible for changes we see in the initial study. The results of my proposed research will provide novel insight into how cannabis, a substance used by over 5 million Canadians for both recreational and medicinal purposes, affects various physiological and performance domains related to standing balance.

The cannabis research field is an area with an abundance of opportunities to progress our knowledge related to human performance and overall function. To this extent, I believe there is great potential for cannabis to be incorporated as a beneficial aspect of our health care system, but first, we must have a more holistic understanding of the effects it can have on human function. I am also a great proponent of collaboration between individuals, organizations and communities; my PhD studies will help foster collaborative relationships with local innovators and industry partners and allow us to further our understanding of human neurophysiology as well as develop and improve the efficacy of cannabis-related products.

To the Stober Foundation

I would like to extend my appreciation to the Stober Foundation for providing me with the opportunity to not only further my own knowledge but to be involved in important research taking place in the Okanagan. As a first-generation university student, I never imagined being able to pursue academia to this degree. The support from the Stober Foundation is allowing me to continue following my passion for learning, and for that, I am extremely grateful.