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Research-Drs. Nicole Hansmeier and Tzu-Chiao Chao

2019-20 Collaborative Innovation Development Grant Recipient

Drs. Hansmeier and ChaoDrs. Nicole Hansmeier and Tzu-Chiao Chao and their team from the University of Regina will look at the molecular effects of second-hand cannabis exposure.

The legalization of cannabis in Canada has provided many opportunities, but also comes with significant challenges and uncertainties. In order to deploy fair and meaningful policies and regulations, it is important to accurately and objectively investigate the impact of cannabis and its use on public health and safety.

Currently, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis, is measured in blood, saliva or urine as a means to test cannabis consumption. However, the presence of THC is an insufficient indicator of impairment, as it can reside in the body for longer than its actual biological effects. This research will improve the ability to assess cannabis-related impairment.

This project aims to identify biomarkers indicative of active impairment and investigate the impact of delivery, such as oral consumption or inhalation of cannabis smoke and aerosols on the biological effects of cannabis. This will lay the foundation for the development of an innovative cannabis-testing method to detect real impairment and in the long run, improve road and work safety.