Researchers at UBCO, TRU playing catch-up on cannabis' health and commercial potential - InfoNews.ca

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Researchers at UBCO, TRU playing catch-up on cannabis' health and commercial potential

FILE PHOTO - Marijuana plants grow in this stock photo from a medical marijuana facility in Richmond, B.C., on Friday March 21, 2014.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
October 03, 2017 - 9:00 PM

KELOWNA - With legalization looming, it’s high time to figure out what else cannabis is good for.

And with at least 90 other cannabinoids on top of the one that produces the sought-after high, there’s lots of potential, according to researchers at UBC Okanagan and Thompson Rivers University.

Neither school can legally grow or store marijuana, so they are combining their research efforts with Valens GroWorks Corp. and Supra THC Services.

“Cannabis is a source of many potentially valuable products," UBCO biology professor Michael Deyholos says in a media release.

However prohibition of the drug across North America means its potential products — Deyholos points to pharmaceuticals, food products and industrial fibre — have never been extensively researched, even though there is also potential for the compounds to be used in the treatment of cancer and Parkinson’s Disease.

Through a locally-owned subsidiary, Valens will supply cannabis to the researchers through its Health Canada-licensed growing facility in Kelowna.

“Our team has experience in the characterization of a range of relevant biosynthetic pathways in cannabis stems, flax seeds and terpenoid-producing tissues of lavender,” Deyholos says.

Supra THC Services is a commercial testing laboratory for the cannabis industry with an active research component, according to the release, and is based in Kelowna.


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