The Canadian University of New Brunswick has declared the appointment of its first research chair to focus on the wellness benefits of marijuana exclusively. According to media reports, Yang Qu will function as the university’s cannabis health research chair and assistant professor. The pharmaceutical company in Toronto currently sponsors the new role called Tetra BioPharma and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation.
Qu went to school at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario conducting research on the Madagascar periwinkle, creating synthesized models of chemicals located within the plant for chemotherapy use. Qu said that he would use his knowledge to research the possible health benefits of cannabis.
Qu also said that they have knowledge about the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids, and about THC and CBD which are the primary two cannabinoids. The data about different cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant are very rare. Therefore, this area needs to be accessed.
According to Qu that specific genes in cannabis play a role in the production of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.
He also said that these genes could be transferred from the cannabis plant to different kind of microorganisms. You could potentially produce very organic compounds.
Qu said that continuous cannabis research could eventually lessen the stigma surrounding the plant.
He added that previously, cannabis was highly prohibited, but nations have changed their view of the plant. The use of marijuana to treat various conditions has created a very positive image of the plant.
Qu plans on focusing on the medicinal uses of the plant and enhancing cannabis agriculture. Particularly in the start of his five-year mission, he aims at meeting with cannabis producers and government agencies to discover the angles of cannabis that need research.
Qu said that marijuana research would have direct implication with the industry. He plans on talking with the domestic sector, the private sector and government agencies of food and agriculture to establish objectives for the research project.
Qu beat 40 candidates before gaining this position. The UNB vice president of research, David MaGee, stated that all university departments were consulted during the drafting process.
MaGee said that a decision is made based on all the review and the person suited for the university, the best fit in the position, and the person who has a very novel and creative research program.
St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick also plans on appointing a cannabis research chair for the department of criminology or sociology. Associate vice-president of research at the university, Michael Dawson, said that position would be centered on distributing useful policy analysis that can focus on the social implications of cannabis or the health effects of marijuana.
According to Dawson, the cannabis research chairs at the two universities will function together. He added that STU plans on hiring the new cannabis research chair. And they hope to have a rundown of candidates who can be interviewed by 2019.