A dearth of strong cannabis research has allowed misinformation and propaganda to thrive.
Thankfully, legalization has paved the way for credible studies to be conducted in ways that were next to impossible under prohibition. A private lab, inventive startup, and two trailblazing universities were among Leafly readers’ most respected research hubs.
Canada’s favourite cannabis research institution
1. Anandia Labs
The largest cannabis analytical testing laboratory in Canada was acquired by Aurora in 2018. It currently performs 20 different tests, including compliance testing and analysis for 14 cannabinoids. In 2020, it’s only expected to grow.
After opening a new 26,000-square-foot testing facility in Vancouver last October, Anandia Toronto is targeting a Summer 2020 opening with a mission to serve Eastern Canada. In November, Anandia was announced as the only Canadian founding member of the Leafly Certified Labs Program, which independently verifies cannabis lab results.
More of Canada’s favourite cannabis research institutions
The second-largest cannabis company in the world (after Canopy Growth) made aggressive strides into cannabis testing in 2019, acquiring Mississauga, Ontario’s Chemi Pharmaceutical to fold into its Anandia Labs, rebranding it as Anandia Toronto.
In 2019, the company behind the popular cannabis-consumption-tracking app partnered with a diverse group of high profile clients—including WeedMD, Athletes for CARE, and Health Canada—to study how Canadians are consuming cannabis. To date, 1.3 million medical cannabis patients have used the app to record their experiences, making it the largest cannabis data set in North America.
Brilliant cannabis research came from multiple UBC departments in 2019. The faculty of medicine identified less depression and suicidal ideation in PTSD patients who used cannabis; the department of family practice found that up to one-third of pregnant women don’t believe cannabis is harmful to their fetus; and the botany department linked the frostiness of a flower with the potency of a bud.
Meanwhile, M-J Milloy’s tenure as the school’s first Canopy Growth Professor of Cannabis Science began Jan. 1, 2019. In the position, jointly sponsored by Canopy Growth and the BC provincial government, Milloy has continued his research on cannabis as a harm-reduction tool for people addicted to opioids.
Two years after launching a dedicated cannabis research centre, the Hamilton university continued to innovate, debuting the Science of Cannabis certificate in May. Among the research published by the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research in 2019 was a study in June demonstrating “minimal adverse effects” to CBD consumers’ health and a survey that found Canadians ages 15 to 24 were four times more likely to purchase legal cannabis than Canadians over the age of 65.
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