University of New Brunswick researcher becomes first in Canada to focus solely on cannabis

Yang Qu hopes to lead the way in unlocking the full potential of cannabis – both commercially and medicinally – just as he did as one of Canada’s foremost anti-cancer drug researchers.

Starting in January at the University of New Brunswick, Qu will be the country’s first academic researcher focused solely on the cannabis plant, building on years of experience researching and developing anti-cancer drugs.

READ: N.B. medical society president concerned legal cannabis could lead to influx of hospital patients

Qu says his major goals are to look into the medical capacity of cannabinoids and devise new ways of manufacturing them, and to improve the genetics of cannabis plants to reduce the cost of production and make them easier to grow in colder climates.

There are more than 90 different types of cannabinoids – chemical compounds in cannabis – and Qu says his knowledge in the production of chemical compounds will help him research ways to synthetically manufacture them.

He says synthetically producing cannabinoids instead of extracting them from a plant can result in higher quantities and purer compounds.

Qu completed a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Calgary before leading a research team at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., where he studied the biosynthesis of anti-cancer drugs.

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