New Medical Cannabis Research Chair
Studying cannabis plants to find new therapeutic avenues
Sherbrooke, le 23 mai 2018 – If cannabis is a known and recognizable plant, the fact remains that all of its secrets are not yet revealed. While North American society is facing an opioid crisis use, researches into the possibilities of using different cannabis compounds as an alternative have so far been few. However, several therapeutic avenues seem promising: analgesic properties, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidepressant and anxiolytics effects.
To explore the full potential of cannabis plants and to identify the most promising molecules, CannaSher Inc. and the Université de Sherbrooke today announced the creation of the CannaSher Chair on Medical Cannabis.
An investment of more than one million
This research chair is made possible by the investment of $900 000 from CannaSher. It also benefits from a contribution of $703 700 from the Université de Sherbrooke. The Chair will have a budget totalling $1 603 700 to carry out its research. The creation of the Chair will be used as leverage to obtain additional research funding in this area.
Led by Pr. Kamal Bouarab of the Department of Biology, the CannaSher Chair will generate and improve cannabis shoots capable of producing various cannabinoids (molecules of therapeutic interest). In addition, Pr. Bouarab will test and optimise a new culture system developed by CannaSher to grow cannabis plants. The work of the Chair will also make it possible to train students in undergraduate and graduate studies as part of the research program.
“Today’s announcement of the Chair is an important milestone for CannaSher and is in line with our commitment to innovation and research in the field of medical cannabis,” said Steven Blanchard, President of CannaSher. “We are very proud to work in partnership with the Université de Sherbrooke and with Pr. Bouarab. We are convinced that Pr. Bouarab’s research will contribute to increase our scientific understanding of cannabis and its medical use and will ultimately improve the health of Canadians and patients around the world.”
Professor Jean-Pierre Perreault, Université de Sherbrooke’s Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies, welcomes this investment in research: “It is in the DNA of Université de Sherbrooke to develop innovative approaches both in partnerships and financing. CannaSher is a young company for whom research quality is fundamentally important. The business alliance we are beginning with these entrepreneurs is part of our vision for the university’s research.”
Why study cannabis?
“Cannabinoids are substances produced by animals and humans as potent remedies against various symptoms including pain, depression, loss of appetite, anxiety, or inflammation, commented Professor Kamal Bouarab, holder of the CannaSher Chair on Medical Cannabis. Cannabis plants produce a hundred cannabinoids, some of which have effects similar to the ones we produce ourselves. In collaboration with CannaSher, our research will help to promote certain molecules in plants, so that their effects can be studied in a therapeutic context.”
Indeed, the legalization of the therapeutic use of cannabinoids in Canada is still recent. Although THC, used in particular for recreational use and CBD, a molecule which has been the subject of some research, the various components of cannabis have largely been unexplored to date. A situation that the CannaSher Chair wishes to change.
CannaSher Inc. is a privately-owned Quebec corporation headquartered in Sherbrooke. The corporation is in the process of obtaining its licences as a medical marijuana producer and distributor under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). CannaSher will manufacture cannabis-based products and cannabis oils for medical applications. CannaSher’s production of cannabis for medical purposes is expected to commence by the end of 2018.
Research at the Université de Sherbrooke
The Université de Sherbrooke is at the heart of one of Quebec's three major research centres. Recognized for its sense of innovation, the UdeS is a leading partner of superior and regional governments to promote social, cultural and economic development. It also stands out for the strong growth of its research activities over the past few years, its success in technology transfer as well as its entrepreneurship and open innovation initiatives in collaboration with industrial and social partners.
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