Mario ToneguzziAlberta-based cannabis producer Sundial Growers is partnering with the University of Saskatchewan to research the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for dementia.

Clinical studies will be undertaken as part of the research.

“With today’s (Tuesday) announcement and similar collaborations with the University of Calgary and Sundial’s Mitacs research initiative, we are demonstrating our commitment to becoming a leader in Canada with respect to cannabinoid research,” said Sundial President Geoff Thompson.

“We believe strongly in the potential of cannabis as a modern natural alternative and health solution to many ailments. We are excited to work with the University of Saskatchewan to further prove the efficacy of cannabis through rigorous scientific research and clinical testing.”

Karen Chad, U of S vice-president of research, said this collaboration will position the university as a national leader in advancing cannabis as a treatment for dementia.

“With our wide-ranging multidisciplinary expertise and cutting-edge plant genomics research, the U of S is eager to work with Sundial to uncover the full potential of cannabis for health and economic benefits,” she said.

In a joint news release, Sundial and U of S said the randomized and placebo-controlled, blinded dose-escalation study will take place at two extended care facilities in Saskatoon. The study aims to examine the degree to which patients can tolerate side effects of the drug, the dosage and any adverse effects of dose escalation.

The U of S Cannabinoid Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (CRIS), an interdisciplinary biomedical and plant genomics research initiative, aims to obtain scientific evidence about the application of cannabinoids and cannabis derivatives to humans and animals for health, disease and disorders.

“This partnership with Sundial will create opportunities to sponsor specific trainees and faculty for projects that will advance understanding of medicinal applications of cannabis, as well as secure other partnership funding for trainee sponsorships,” she said Jane Alcorn, co-lead of the biomedical branch of CRIS and associate dean of research and graduate affairs in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition.

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


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