Identification of medical marijuana cultivars with novel therapeutic potential
Neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety, represent prevalent and disabling medical conditions affecting society. Despite the urgent need for novel pharmacotherapeutics to treat these conditions, there are few new drugs in development by the pharmaceutical industry. Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years to self-medicate a range of different neuropsychiatric symptoms, although few studies have addressed this issue in a scientific manner. With the dramatic rise of the medical marijuana industry in Canada, there is an urgent need to identify which cultivars may be of clinical benefit. We will therefore evaluate the potential therapeutic efficacy of different cannabis cultivars using sophisticated animal models. Cultivars which vary in their constituent cannabinoids will be tested using a panel of neuropsychological assays that assess both clinical properties as well as potential side-effects. Our industry partner will combine their expertise in neurochemistry with our results to help us identify key cultivars for clinical testing in humans.