Extract Value from Plant Residues from the Cultivation of Cannabis for Medicinal

Extract Value from Plant Residues from the Cultivation of Cannabis for Medicinal

Purposes L. Fiset-Sauvageau, J.F. Vermette, J. Gendron, W. Durand.

EXKA wishes to extend its approach by integrating the recovery and responsible treatment of plant residues generated by its activities. Hundreds of cannabis producers already generate this type of residue in Canada and must dispose of it at great cost given the presence of traces of cannabinoids. With the recent legalization of cannabis, the industry has not yet found an optimal economical solution to treat and / or eliminate its residues. Exka intends to demonstrate to its customers and stakeholders that it is a responsible company concerned with minimizing the volume of residues from this new sector of activity. Eventually, Exka could become a leader in the processing and resale of plant residues from the cultivation of cannabis. Exka asked the CTTÉI to characterize plant residues from the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes and to obtain indications leading to the transformation and / or repurposing of this new type of residue. The CTTÉI has the expertise, the team and the infrastructure to support Exka with this mandate. If necessary, the CTTÉI may have recourse to the expertise of the Biopterre center, which has all the accreditations for handling regulated biomass.



Development of Cannabinoid Delivery System in Edibles

Development of Cannabinoid Delivery System in Edibles

Professor S. Karboune, Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University.

Our third research project focuses on the development and optimization of a food- based delivery system for cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol in collaboration with McGill University Professor Selwa Karboune. The objective of this research is to design and optimize a stable food- based delivery system for cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydro- cannabinol (THC) in the form of an emulsion. Various emulsion systems will be characterized for their emulsion stability using turbidity readings, loading capacity and emulsion efficiency. The emulsion formulations will then be optimized using response surface methodology. Finally, the optimized formulations will be prepared with active THC and CBD and re-characterized to ensure maximal stability in various aqueous media. This project was awarded funding by the MITACS Accelerate Program for two years and is currently supported by Kelly Light, a graduate student from McGill University’s Nutrition Faculty who is working on this project towards her Master of Science.



Breeding for Powdery Mildew Resistance in Cannabis sativa: Strategies to Improve Resistance.

Breeding for Powdery Mildew Resistance in Cannabis sativa: Strategies to Improve Resistance.

Professor S. Jabaji, Plant Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University.

Professor S. Jabaji, Plant Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University.

Our second project focuses on plant breeding for powdery mildew resistance in cannabis in collaboration with McGill University Professor Suha Jabaji. Powdery mildew is a foliar fungal disease that attacks most cannabis varieties and is considered a problem in the industry. Plant yields and profitability can be severely undermined by pathogen infections. Powdery mildew is challenging to deal with, and early detection can prevent crop losses and improve overall yields. The proposed research project will apply novel molecular breeding approaches to obtain durable and broad–spectrum resistance to powdery mildew. The project will characterize the susceptibility genes (S-genes) in cannabis varieties and disable their functions through reverse genetics approaches, which should confer durable disease resistance. The development of cannabis varieties with improved resistance to powdery mildew will benefit the cannabis industry by reducing and/or eliminating the need to use fungicides and by producing superior yields. This project was awarded funding by the MITACS accelerate program for three years and is currently supported by post-doctoral fellow Dr. Ines Ben Rejeb.



Horticultural and Production Research of Medical Cannabis for EXKA Inc.

Horticultural and Production Research of Medical Cannabis for EXKA Inc.

Professors M. Lefsrud, V. Raghavan, and V. Orsat, Bioresource engineering, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University.

Our first project focuses on horticultural and production research of cannabis, in collaboration with McGill University Professor Mark Lefsrud. Medical cannabis is a developing field, but limited information has been published on the production, harvest, post-harvest processing (drying, grinding, storage) and extraction of the cannabis plant. Factors that impact the accumulation of terpenes, cannabinoids and other secondary metabolites in cannabis are poorly understood. Understanding the environmental factors that influence the synthesis of these compounds will allow the development of production methods that optimize the production and ratios of these compounds. Likewise, methods need to be developed to maximize the extraction and purification of these compounds for medical applications.

Post-harvest processing of medical cannabis is an important part of the production process, but the public knowledge available for optimal extraction technologies is very limited as most knowledge is anecdotal or kept as trade secrets. The retention of trade secrets has limited the development of this field and resulted in conflicting methods and an absence of standards to produce medical cannabis. This lack of standards has resulted in large variations in the yield and quality of the final product. This project, which has already started, was designed with the objective to find answers to these questions. In March 2020, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awarded a $500,000 grant for this project ($100,000 per year from 2019 to 2023). EXKA will match the grant with an annual contribution of $50,000, bringing the total amount to $750,000 over five years for this research project.