Colorado State University will soon launch a cannabinoid research facility, thanks to a $1.5 million gift from an alumna.
There are a variety of cannabinoids, with cannabinoil — or CBD — probably the most commonly known, College of Natural Sciences Dean Janice Nerger said. Medical uses are for pain, anxiety and seizures.
The lab is under construction in the chemistry building and may be open and operating by April or May, Nerger said. The goal of the lab, Nerger said, is to provide more scientific backing for the uses of cannabinoids and potentially find new uses for the chemical.
CSU is the only institution in the state diving into cannabinoid research to this extent, Nerger said.
Different subject areas at CSU already work in some cannabinoid research, Nerger said. For instance, the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital has studied how CBD can help sick or injured dogs.
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„We have all of these pieces at CSU,” Nerger said. „What was really missing was a good analytical chemistry lab.”
Nerger said so much of this growing field has been unexplored.
One of the goals for this lab will be to research and provide the scientific backing for cannabinoid uses that Nerger says is currently missing from the field.
„It’s really going to take us to an incredible new level,” Nerger said.
The funding for the lab came from College of Natural Sciences alumna Leslie Buttorff, who started Panacea Life Sciences, which creates and sells CBD products for humans and pets.
When starting her company, Buttorff „quickly saw” this area lacked scientific analysis and understanding, Nerger said, and Buttorf decided to invest in cannabiniod research at CSU because she believes in the university’s land grant mission.
„She wanted to bring that technology up here,” Nerger said.
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Buttorff’s $1.5 million contribution will pay for the renovation of the lab space, some of the technology needed and startup operating costs, Nerger said.
Buttorff has previously donated to CSU, providing scholarships for students majoring in statistics.
Buttorff’s company will be the first but not the only corporate sponsor to work with the research lab, Nerger said. Corporate partnerships like Buttorff’s will also help provide internships and scholarships for students involved in the lab.
“We are very excited about this partnership with CSU,” Buttorff said in a CSU news release. “CSU offers expertise in the complete cannabinoid value chain, including botany, chemistry, biology, psychology, agricultural sciences, statistics and veterinary research. Panacea’s focus in developing scientifically driven and medically focused products will be further advanced with our partnership with CSU.”
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