November 22, 2018, Canada
Canada embraced the blanket legalization of cannabis just a month ago. The measure has enabled universities and other research facilities to freely study the effects of the strain on the human body and against different medical ailments.
In this latest development, the University of New Brunswick has announced to establish the first research chair that will solely focus on investigating the health benefits of the strain. The chair is jointly funded by the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and a local pharmaceutical company.
The head of the Chair, Yang Qu, was previously working as a research fellow with Brock University. In the last five years, Qu has worked on the development of a synthetic version of a botanical chemical used in chemotherapy treatments. The university administration believes that his vast expertise of studying botanical elements will be crucial for dissecting the health benefits of the cannabis plant.
In an interview to CBC, Qu talked about the medicinal value of THC and CBD, two of the major cannabinoids present in cannabis. He emphasized that further studies were needed to determine the therapeutic value or the lack of it of other cannabinoids too. It is true that the existing research work on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis is exclusively centered on THC and CBD.
Qu also talked about the artificial synthesis of THC and CBD molecules. Both these cannabinoids are produced by particular genes of the plant. So, it is possible to produce pure THC or CBD if the relevant genes are extracted from the plant and introduced in other microorganisms. The synthetic production of cannabinoid might also be possible through artificial culturing techniques.
Research and Development (R&D) is now an integral arm of any commercial domain that is thriving and moving forward. Therefore, successful research work on cannabis will most definitely benefit the industry. Businesses will be able to take their decisions in the light of the latest scientific developments to streamline their products. Moreover, the research can also help dispel the myths and misinformation about the strain, thereby removing the stigma attached to its use.
Another University Hires Cannabis Research Chair
St. Thomas University in Fredericton is also in the midst of devising cannabis research chair for its sociology department. As per the associate vice-president of the research center at the university, Michael Dawson, the chair will mainly focus on devising useful policy work that will be centered on the social and health impact of marijuana.
Dawson also suggests that the two universities can work together to help the research efforts of each other. The cannabis chair at St. Thomas University will be established by the end of this year or somewhere in January 2019.
It is safe to say that the legalization of cannabis has ushered a new wave of research work in the country. In the coming years, more Canadian universities and research institutes will foray into this relatively new and untapped subject of scientific study.