DAVIS -- It’s already a major hub for agriculture research and now the University of California, Davis is expanding its reach on one more plant — cannabis.
UC Davis has established its own Cannabis and Hemp Research Center.
Nationwide there is no other program like it.
Gail Taylor chairs the UC Davis’ Department of Plant Sciences. While cannabis is being used more and more for treating medical issues, she told FOX40 there is simply not enough research on the best ways to do it.
“We need to understand more about the chemistry of the plant so we can understand how we can link that to making better drugs to treat some of these medical conditions,” Taylor told FOX40.
Cannabis is complicated. Different strains of the plant affect users or patients in different ways.
While some growers and experts understand that, Taylor said there is not enough science to back it up.
“Many of the claims don’t have a significant amount of research to substantiate them,” she explained.
The university is partnering with Biopharmaceutical Research Company to develop a source of clean cannabis solely for research.
Maria Herrera, with the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, helps represent local marijuana farmers. She said if a major research institution like UC Davis puts a focus on the plant, it validates her farmers’ work.
“Part of the reason why the federal government has been so slow in joining all these things is because there has been a lack of scientific data backing everything we’ve been saying for all these years,” Herrera said.
We may not know the full impact of UC Davis’ cannabis research for a few years but it’s Taylor’s hope that with more research comes more understanding.