Sask. company investigating cannabis as a treatment for depression, PTSD

A Saskatoon-based company is looking at the possibility of cannabis as a treatment for mental health issues.

ZYUS Life Sciences has formed a partnership with a University of Saskatchewan research team to begin the process with pre-trial study.

The 18-month study will establish a baseline foundation for clinical trials.

ZYUS President C-E-O Brent Zettl says the entire process could take about five years with the hope of developing a fixed-dose combination.

Zettl says their goal is doctor-prescribed capsules that could treat disorders like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder without side-effects.


Saskatoon woman appealing after court says province was right not to subsidize her medicinal cannabis

A Saskatoon woman who is fighting to have the Government of Saskatchewan subsidize her medicinal cannabis says she hopes to take her battle to the province’s highest court.

Alicia Yashcheshen, who consumes medicinal cannabis to treat her Crohn’s disease and chronic pain, receives social assistance through the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services. In 2018, she applied for special food status coverage to cover her medicinal cannabis. According to court documents, the ministry rejected the application, saying that cannabis is a drug, not a food item.


University of Saskatchewan, ZYUS Life Sciences to study marijuana's effects on mental health

ZYUS Life Sciences is partnering with the University of Saskatchewan to take a closer look at how cannabis derivatives can improve mental health.

The pre-clinical study, called Cannabis Derivatives: Therapeutic Potential in Animal Models of Brain Disorders, will be led by Yanbo Zhang, a psychiatrist and associate professor at the university.


Sask. marijuana users asked to be cautious as edibles hit store shelves Tuesday

The provincial government says people should be prepared as marijuana edibles, extracts and topicals become available for purchase this week.

While these products have been approved by Health Canada, experts said edibles work differently in people's bodies than smoked marijuana.

"Consumers should be starting low and going slow," said Geoff Conn, owner of Saskatoon's The Pot Shack. "Your body's got to get used to it."

Conn said edibles often have a longer onset period between eating the pot and feeling its effects. As a result, people need to be careful not to ingest too much if they think the edible isn't working.


Don't expect to see edibles in these three provinces for at least another month


Police saw 'fewer issues than were expected' during 1st year of cannabis legalization: report

A report to Saskatoon's Board of Police Commissioners outlines how the first year of marijuana legalization affected law enforcement in the city.

"Since cannabis legalization on Oct. 17, 2018, the Saskatoon Police Service has experienced fewer issues than were expected based on our research," says the report, dated Nov. 28 and set to be presented at the board's Thursday meeting.


Zenabis hopes new, $5 Re-Up brand will take bite out of illicit markets in Atlantic Canada, Saskatchewan

Canadian licensed producer Zenabis has increased its market share in the New Brunswick cannabis market since launching Re-Up, a lower-cost brand of flower and pre-rolls.

The Atholville, N.B.-based company has produced data indicating a 38 percent market share of sales in Cannabis NB stores across the province for the period concluding in October 2019. The number indicates a spike in sales of the brand, which rang in at 20 percent this past July.

Zenabis credits its bump in sales to the Re-Up brand, which the company hopes will give it a competitive edge against the cheaper prices offered on the unlicensed market and incentivize consumers who source their cannabis from illicit distributors to consider purchasing from the legal market.


Shoppers Drug Mart expands online medical cannabis retail into Saskatchewan

Medicinal cannabis users in Saskatchewan can now order online from the largest pharmacy chain in Canada.

Starting Tuesday, Shoppers Drug Mart has expanded its online platform to provide Saskatchewan residents with front-door registered mail delivery of dried cannabis or oil to be ingested orally. Shoppers launched the platform, Medical Cannabis by Shoppers, in Ontario in January and expanded in April to include Alberta.

Under the current legalization legislation, pharmacies are not allowed to dispense medical cannabis.


How University of Sask. researchers hope cannabis could one day help pets

With growing interest in potential therapeutic uses for cannabis-derived products, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine are examining the effects of cannabis extracts in pets.

"What we want to do is administer various doses of cannabis extracts to dogs currently and eventually cats, to see what we find in terms of changes in behaviour or neurological signs or gastral intestinal signs," Dr. Al Chicoine said in an interview.

The department of veterinary biomedical sciences assistant professor is leading the project and a team of three research students and three other veterinarians.

The preliminary portion of the research project started in October.


U of S research looks into health benefits of cannabis for pets

A team at the University of Saskatchewan is setting the stage for future research into the potential health benefits of cannabis for pets.

While the project is still in its early stages, researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are looking into whether cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis, could be used as a long-term therapy to treat chronic vomiting in animals. 

In August, a team led by Dr. Al Chicoine and Dr. Kevin Cosford started preliminary work that must occur before any clinical trials can take place. Low doses of a CDB-rich extract were administered to 12 dogs from the WCVM’s teaching population. 


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