CannaCiencia promotes Medicinal Cannabis in the medical, scientific and business agenda of the country.

CannaCiencia promotes Medicinal Cannabis in the medical, scientific and business agenda of the country.

With close to 350 attendees, 24 presentations by experts in medicinal cannabis and a commercial space that gathered brands and enterprises at national and international level, Cannaciencia, the first Cannabis Science Symposium of the Americas is consolidated as the platform to educate, visualize advances scientists, academics, doctors, pharmacists and technologists in this field, and the challenges and opportunities for the development of the cannabis industry in Colombia.


The first edition of CannaCiencia leaves a good balance. The participation of world authorities such as Dr. Uma Dhanabalam, expert, activist, defender and educator of the therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis; and Dr. Sue Sisley, who has been working on the investigation of the use of cannabis in the treatment of post-traumatic stress in veterans of war in the United States, had a great reception as a reference of the advances and barriers that currently face in their exercise professional, and education as the first path to destigmatization both in the medical community and in the general imagination.


In this context, the educational impact is highlighted as one of the main achievements of the event, especially with the topics related to the analytical laboratory and quality control, where there was a great lack of knowledge in the country. The outstanding participation of Scott Kuzdzal, an expert in toxicology and therapeutic drug monitoring, emphasized the responsibility of the industry in the implementation of effective processes to guarantee the correct labeling and the production of safe and contaminant-free medicinal cannabis.


For his part, Joshua Crossney, Founder of jCanna and the Cannabis Science Conference in the USA, presented the advances in academic research, in its commitment to close the gap between analytical sciences and the medical industry of cannabis to help improve quality of the products that patients use.


CannaCiencia also made visible the Colombian scientists and the research they are currently carrying out, offering them a platform for discussion, interconnection and search for funding, at a point where it is crucial to promote research for medical, clinical and pharmaceutical development.


The context of legalization and regulation of Medicinal Cannabis in Colombia also opened a door for industry experts and investors from countries where the business is already on a journey, which focus on the opportunities and potential of the nascent local industry. The presence of important investors in Cannaciencia such as Tuatara Capital of New York, support the importance of this scenario.


In the same way, a new and growing generation of entrepreneurs was identified around the medicinal cannabis industry, eager for ideas, information and alternatives to access capital.


“We are facing the challenges of an industry that is at the starting point. The economic impact of the emerging industry worldwide is historic, with compound annual growth rates of up to 34% (CAGR). It requires a huge venture capital education (risk capital) component, clear regulation by the competent financial authorities and inclusion for the Latino community in the emerging industry worldwide, “says Carol Ortega Algarra, CEO of Muisca Capital Group, the first Latin investment management firm, Founder of CannaCiencia and the Network of Cannabis Entrepreneurs of Colombia ”


For his part, Ricardo Martinez Executive Director of CannaCiencia and the Network of Cannabis Entrepreneurs of Colombia, says that the 3 most outstanding results of the symposium were: advanced scientific education given to attendees, visualization of Latin American scientists and their findings , derived from research projects, and the visit of multiple investment firms and family offices in North America, Europe and Asia. CannaCiencia is positioned as an international benchmark in science related to Medicinal Cannabis.


As a result, in August, the first cycle of training for entrepreneurs linked to the Network of Cannabis Entrepreneurs of Colombia and individuals interested in training will begin, with the first CannaCiencia Workshop, which will include the participation of specialists in cultivation, production, transformation and economic science of medicinal cannabis.

Dr. Scott Kuzdzal: Expert in Clinical Chemistry and Clinical in Cannaciencia

Dr. Scott Kuzdzal: Expert in Clinical Chemistry and Clinical in Cannaciencia

Dr. Scott Kuzdzal gave me a series of papers that allowed me to write these lines about him. I would define him as the expert in analytical and clinical chemistry in the medicinal cannabis industry.

I will start with analytical chemistry, it is about the study of the chemical composition of a material or sample, through different methods and laboratory tests. In our case, the Medicinal Cannabis plant can have more than 500 chemical compounds that must be studied. Among those that highlight Cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids, in addition to the study of the relationships and synergies that could exist between these compounds.


The study of the analytical chemistry of Medicinal Cannabis has been blocked for more than 80 years, with which there is a lot of delay in this field, only until they have been giving legalizations to the use of Medicinal Cannabis have begun to make these studies.


The medical cannabis analytical tests are in their infancy, but it has all the importance to preserve the health of the patients. The medicinal Cannabis plant is exposed to many risks since it is grown: bacteria, fungi, yeasts, molds, heavy metals, pesticides, aflatoxins, mycotoxins, is processed and packaged: residual solvents, packaging and delivered to the patient. And precise labeling is required to guarantee the safety and quality of medical cannabis to the patient.


A deeper step is clinical chemistry, it is about the study of the chemistry of the human body versus treatments. By means of bio-markers, the response or tolerance of a medicine is evaluated and it is revealed if the treatment is effective. This development in the case of Medicinal Cannabis can lead to a personalized medicine approach.


With all this evidence, Dr. Kuzdzal’s assessment is overwhelming that today there are huge and important opportunities in the medical cannabis industry for analytical and clinical chemists and they have a decisive role.


Dr. Kuzdzal will participate in Cannaciencia with the lecture titled, “Cannabis Analytical Testing: From Cannabinomics to Contaminomics and Beyond.” This lecture will take a closer look at cannabis QC analytical testing and discuss some of the major challenges and opportunities, including a comprehensive look at cannabis heavy metals testing. Attendees will learn about analytical technologies employed in cannabis QC testing labs, understand the limitations of current lab testing applications and take a deep dive into cannabis heavy metals testing technologies. This lecture will also present future opportunities for cannabis testing and research.


Unraveling the cannabinome. By Scott Kuzdzal and William Lipps.


The Social Drama of Chronic Pain

The Social Drama of Chronic Pain

Colombia, like all countries worldwide, begins to present alarming levels in the number of people suffering from “Chronic Pain”, that is, the pain that is permanent and is maintained over time.


According to statistics 3.5 Colombians are condemned to live with chronic pain, and what happens when this chronic pain increases to unbearable levels? It begins to increase the consumption of opioids and in the end the addiction will lead many to suicide.


What does the person with limited resources do not have to buy an analgesic? Get used to chronic pain, live with chronic pain, he have no choice.


This is a great social drama, for everyone, both for those who have resources and those who do not. In the end the despair on the one hand and the resignation on the other end in more painful situations.


Below I include the words of a friend who suffers from chronic pain and shared his appreciation: “The pain is always marked by the moment, at that time the pain becomes a permanent part of one for a post-traumatic, an accident or a chronic degenerative disease and to that extent the pain has to interact with one, and in the end one ends up learning to interact with the pain. ”


Finally you learn that it is a balance, sometimes the chronic pain dominates you and other times you manage to dominate it.

When chronic pain reaches unbearable levels, it does not let you sleep, it does not let you relate to others, it does not let you work, it isolates you and you end up like a dead person in life. It is the moment when you perceive that something very serious has happened, and that is that the balance has been broken and you have lost control over chronic pain.


When you lose control over chronic pain, you also lose control of your health, your life, the care of your health, you will depend on others, and that is frightening.


The hope of every human being is that this chronic pain disappears some day, and it seems that day is increasingly distant for many people, if they continue with conventional treatments.


And there is a light of hope, when you discover a product as powerful as Medicinal Cannabis, with which you can recover this control of pain, your health and your life, you are reborn, as Dr. David Casarett says.


This is priceless, that is why there exists Cannaciencia!

Dr. Paola Santander: “Passion for research in Medicinal Cannabis”

Dr. Paola Santander: “Passion for research in Medicinal Cannabis”

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Paola Santander in her natural environment: the cultivation of Medicinal Cannabis and the laboratory where she investigates Medicinal Cannabis. From the first moment what I perceived was an immense passion for what she does, a great happiness and a huge desire to contribute with her research to the solution of the health problems of thousands of sick people in Colombia and the world.


Dr. Paola has been a researcher all her life, to the point that she already has, together with her colleagues, a patent for a product to treat cancer patients. This has been one of his favorite disease of research, made at the time of knowing the laboratory where she conducts her research, I could see first hand how Medicinal Cannabis destroys cancer cells, this has been exciting for me, and even more so to see for myself that research is already being done on Medicinal Cannabis in Colombia.


And that is being done by great human beings like Dr. Paola, along with co-investigators, one of them the biologist Dr. Antonio Mejía, with whom we shared this visit, and in whom we saw the same passion that radiates Dr. Paola for the research of Medicinal Cannabis.



An important part of the work team are the people who collaborate in the cultivation and are pending the Medicinal Cannabis plants. We found Mr. Gustavo and his assistant, collecting the flower and processing it to have it ready for Dr. Paola’s research. Something that Gustavo mentioned, in relation to Dr. Paola; “Before, I was the person who arrived earlier in the cultivation, now it is Dr. Paola who arrives first than me and is looking for the Cannabis plants” and that is how Dr. Paola is, a dedicated and outstanding person. all the details so that your research can meet the proposed objectives.


At the end of this visit, my reflection revolves around that “We have researchers who are great human beings and professionals, with excellent Medicinal Cannabis plants that can be grown in Colombia, with people who grow these plants with a lot of passion and dedication, with a solid legislation that allows research in Medicinal Cannabis to be a reality in Colombia and with Colombian patients who long to have different alternatives for their treatments “.


We need to get down to work and follow the example of Dr. Paola and start researching with great passion to ensure that in a short time we have the evidence required to give greater evidence to doctors and patients of the benefits of Cannabis Medicinal for your treatments.

Chronic Pain and Medicinal Cannabis

Chronic Pain and Medicinal Cannabis


What is chronic pain?


The World Health Organization (WHO) considers chronic pain a disease in itself and not a symptom as medicine has traditionally treated pain. In addition, WHO describes chronic pain as the greatest threat to the quality of life worldwide and reiterates that the treatment of pain is a human right. 80% of cancer patients, in advanced stage, suffer from chronic pain.


What is chronic pain?


Chronic pain may be due to some traumatic injury, aging, incorrect lifting, obesity and poor posture. In many cases, chronic pain is an indication of an underlying disease, such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, herniated discs, herpes, neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, muscle pain, etc.


Chronic pain statistics:


An investigation by the Colombian Association for the Study of Pain (Aced), which analyzed the prevalence of chronic pain, found that it affects 46 percent of people in Colombia. Seven out of every 10 people (70%) who say they have it have received treatment without finding improvement.


A recent study by Torrance et al found that the relevance of chronic pain, of any origin, in the general population is 48%.


Pain is the most frequent cause of consultation with a health professional. The Spanish Society of Pain (SED) estimates that between 40% and 80% of medical consultations are related to pain, being the most frequent cause for patients to go to the medical center.

This graph shows the importance of chronic pain in Colombia, where it finds the greatest potential for drug demand. Unfortunately, this demand is currently focused on chemical and synthetic medicines.


Conventional treatments against chronic pain:


Pain relief is a human right. However, the absence of policies for its correct approach and the barriers to access to medicines mean that it is repeatedly violated.


The first medications that were used were the tricyclic antidepressants: amitriptyline. Neurolécpticos: Levomepromacin, and then extended the spectrum to anticonvulsants: Clonazepam, pregabalin, gabapentin. Anesthetics – anti-inflammatories: paracetamol, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen, celecoxib and ibuprofen and aspirin. Bisphosphonates, muscle relaxants, antidepressants specific inhibitors of serotonin and norepinephrine. Opioids: codeine, tramadol hydrochloride, morphine, fentanyl.


With most of these drugs tolerance to drugs can be generated (and the need to increase the dose), hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain) and addiction. Those based on opioids can cause a variety of devastating side effects (restlessness, anxiety) and long-term problems (tachycardia, addiction, and suicidal tendencies). This has led to an epidemic of opioids, which has led to a considerable increase in deaths.


This has become in these countries a problem that has demanded attention and answers aimed at solving it in a different way.


Medicinal cannabis as an alternative to the relief of Chronic Pain:

Medical cannabis is an analgesic and provides a natural alternative to chemical pain medications. Those who consume medicinal cannabis as a treatment for pain may experience a general increase in their quality of life due to the many other medicinal benefits it provides.


Based on the experience of other countries such as Israel, Australia, Canada and the United States, cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of chronic pain.


In the words of Dr. Jordi Pérez, director of the Cancer Pain Program and Professor of Anesthesiology at McGill University in Montreal (Canada): “The available studies demonstrate its analgesic efficacy mainly in chronic pain pain such as neuropathic or oncological, providing benefits moderate for spasticity, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and nausea. “


Dr. Pérez has pointed out that patients who treat chronic pain with medicinal cannabis and respond effectively, show a tendency to decrease the consumption of other analgesic drugs such as opioids, antidepressants and anti-inflammatory drugs and less possibility of developing dependence and addiction.


Medical cannabis is significantly safer for older people with chronic pain than opioids, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University and Soroka University. Medical therapy with cannabis can significantly reduce chronic pain in patients over 65 years of age without adverse effects, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel.


The new study, published in The European Journal of Internal Medicine, found that cannabis therapy is safe and effective for older patients seeking to address the symptoms of cancer, Parkinson’s, post-traumatic stress disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, sclerosis multiple and other medical problems.


Some pain experts are advising that doctors recommend cannabis therapy, in addition to or in place of opiate medications to “reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with prescription pain medications.” Medical cannabis is a much better and safer and more effective alternative.


The Foundation for Health Research (Fuinsa) launched an initiative a decade ago, the Platform Without Pain, to raise awareness of the need for both the system and the patients themselves to take pain seriously. “The four vital signs are blood pressure, pulse, body temperature and respiratory rate. We defend that pain is added as a fifth sign, “says Antón Herreros, Fuinsa’s CEO.

Why Medical Cannabis? A Physician point of view

We welcome Cannaciencia to the doctor Francisco Alvarez, certified in Medicinal Cannabis who has gladly shared this article with us:


As a physician, I have been studying, working and treating patients with medicinal cannabis for a few years now. Finally, I have decided to write some of my evidence based on experience and knowledge. Recently, a lot more information and research studies have been exposed to the public, thanks to many years of hard work to make the medical cannabis legalization possible in many countries around the world. Also, the ability of the internet and social media to work as an eye-opener for people has raised more awareness around this plant and its amazing medicinal properties. On the other hand, this has left a lot of questions unanswered.Therefore, I decided to share my medical knowledge and opinion in the area, acquired through years of experience in an attempt to clear a lot of controversy in the area.


I have always been curious about cannabis or “marijuana” this ancient natural herb that has medicinal properties but it is considered a hardcore drug. I never stopped wondering how this was different than the tobacco in cigarettes people smoke every day. A few years after I was in medical school, me and my fellow students were learning the Endocannabinoid System. Our professor of physiology explained this system is composed by the receptors CB1 and CB2 located in our central nervous system and all throughout our bodies that work like key-locks that only match a specific key. In this particular case, the main keys were Tetrahydrocannabinol commonly known THC and cannabidiol or CBD, the active components of cannabis. After that lesson, I realized this illegal herb couldn’t be as evil as it had been portrayed and thus decided to give it a try. My first experience was very positive and I remember thinking this feels like “a medicinal or shamanic herb” which made me want to go deeper in my studies with cannabis as I felt like I had discovered ‘the holy grail” of medicine.


Many years passed since that day and I moved to California to continue my medical studies. Here I had the opportunity to work with patients using medical cannabis as part of their treatment regime, and I saw amazing results and improvement of their overall wellbeing. This just increased my fascination about the medicinal properties of the plant so I went straight to the source the farms and growers. This is where all the magic happens and I gained a lot of respect for this group of humans who are devoted to growing the healthiest marijuana plants, ultimately providing high-quality medicine for the people. Producing clean, organic, sustainable cannabis is not an easy task; but it is definitely a rewarding job for those who like it. Working closely with the master growers of Northern California gave me the opportunity to learn and understand all the details that are required to grow from scratch high-quality medicine for patients; this is why knowing the source of your cannabis starts to matter.


The search for the best cannabis and more knowledge didn’t stop there. After November 2016, when a lot more states voted and legalized medical cannabis in the USA, I was invited to enroll in a course in Puerto Rico to get certified as a Medical Cannabis Doctor, Master Budtender and learn more about technical details on cultivation. This was an enlightening experience for me, not only because of all the knowledge I acquired, but also having the opportunity to be a part of this movement of people working to promote and improve health through cannabis. After this course, I was not only completely convinced, but also had scientific evidence and skills to treat and provide my patients the necessary resources to get them started on their healing journey with medical cannabis.


Like we said before, there are Cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2 in your whole body and even an “endocannabinoid system”. This basically means your body is made to receive and interact naturally with THC and CBD molecules mainly found in Cannabis; also an endogenous cannabinoid called Anandamide activate the system. In general, active THC tends to be the responsible for the “psychoactive” or “feeling high” effects of cannabis while CBD has little to non psychoactive properties. Cannabis exists in nature mainly in two forms: Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. Each with different THC:CBD ratios, concentrations, and effects in the body. Sativas tend to have higher THC:CBD ratios thus having more uplifting and energizing effect. Indicas, on the other hand, tend to have a lower THC:CBD ratio having more sedative and calming effects. There are also plenty of Hybrid strains with their individual THC:CBD ratios according to their lineage. With this in mind, I will suggest for your first encounters with medicinal cannabis to choose strains with high CBD and low THC. This concept also becomes relevant when choosing the right cannabis strains for your specific medical condition as each one will benefit from different stimulation of CB1 or CB2 receptors. Another key point to consider is that cannabis only becomes active when it is “decarboxylated”. This is a biochemical process that only happens at high temperatures above 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 Celsius). Therefore, it is possible to use Cannabis in its inactive (carboxylated) state in instances such as juicing allowing us to obtain plenty of the medicinal benefits of THC and CBD in a very safe way and without any psychoactive effects.


The list of medical conditions that benefit from treatment with medical cannabis is extensive and includes pain, insomnia, anxiety, inflammation, depression, arthritis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, PTSD, addiction, cancer, HIV and many others. Moreover, healthy people and athletes looking to improve their overall wellness and performance can benefit directly from adding cannabis into their lives. Why should you give this medicinal herb a try? After all that I just told you, I say, why not? “How to start using medical cannabis” is one the most common questions I get. If you happen to live in a place where medicinal cannabis is legal, you have probably noticed the options for consumption are endless from cannabis flowers to candies and kombucha, for that reason, I have dedicated the next article to explain this particular topic.


To conclude, I want to invite you to open your mind to the many health benefits of adding cannabis into your daily life. Also, I want you to reflect on the fact that this is a plant that could also be a natural solution for your illness and to improve your overall health. Yes it is that powerful and that is why I am so fascinated by it.



Tomado de:

Need for a clinical trial on post-traumatic stress in the Armed Forces of Colombia

Need for a clinical trial on post-traumatic stress in the Armed Forces of Colombia

According to the USA National PTSD Center, more than 8% of the US population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.


A study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry, by the authors: Dückers ML, Alisic E, Brewin CR. mentions that Canada has some of the highest rates of PTSD, with an estimated 9.4% of the population experiencing some form of the disease.


In Israel, a country where military service and reserve duty is mandatory, post-traumatic stress disorder is frequent. In Israel, approximately 9.4% of citizens have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the study by Bleich et al. (2003).

A country like Colombia with more than 50 years of conflict and wars with mafias, drug traffickers, paramilitaries, guerrillas with confrontations, massacres, terrorist attacks that have left more than 8 million dead (almost 20% of the population).


In Colombia, the PTSD indicator is not known according to the researcher Vallejo (2009, 2011), but some clues indicate that the figure may be significantly higher than countries such as the United States, Canada and Israel.


Thus, it is essential to motivate and promote a study of the effectiveness of medical cannabis in post-traumatic stress in Colombia, starting with its military forces.


How is it possible that Israel, Canada and the United States have studies on Post-Traumatic Stress in their Armed Forces and Colombia, with all the violence they have suffered, with all the evidence that shows that it is not a peaceful country, with all the facilities that exist today to investigate the efficacy of Medicinal Cannabis in Colombia, from the law passed in August 2016 by the Colombian Congress that regulates the medicinal use of cannabis, we do not have a clinical trial that allows us to face this serious illness that affects to a greater extent the members of the Armed Forces and in general to almost the entire population.


Joshua Crossney: The Entrepreneur of Medicinal Cannabis in the United States.

Joshua Crossney: The Entrepreneur of Medicinal Cannabis in the United States.

Joshua has been the founder and pioneer in the United States of a major event on “Cannabis Science”, which he has called the “Cannabis Science Conference” which started in 2016 with 750 attendees and 75 stands of sponsors and exhibitors and it was made at The Red Lion Hotel. For the year 2017 they moved to the Downtown Portland Convention Center and achieved 2,000 attendees and 120 stands of sponsors and exhibitors. For this year 2018 continue at the Portland Dowtown Convention Center with an expectation to reach 2,500 attendees and 150 stands of sponsors and exhibitors, for all this is considered the world’s largest cannabis science conference and exhibition and Joshua Crossney is known today in the world as the synonym of ‘cannabis science’.


Joshua Crossney has created the JCanna Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization comprised of affiliates that include cannabis industry experts, scientists, physicians, legislators and interested entrepreneurs who work together to promote the advancement of science of cannabis, analytical tests and personalized medicine (precision). Our affiliates work to share ideas and advanced solutions to improve the technologies of the medical cannabis analytical tests.


Joshua leads in the United States the use of medical cannabis analytical tests. Medicinal Cannabis offers an opportunity to heal people, and the last thing we want is for Medical Cannabis to make people sick, for not applying very high and complete testing standards that include, analysis of dangerous pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents , microorganisms, aflatoxins, including analysis of dispensing materials and final product tests. This becomes much more relevant when dealing with young children who demand Medicinal Cannabis for epilepsy processes, because a contaminated Medicinal Cannabis offers more risks for them.


There are a series of phrases that Joshua has mentioned in his lectures and articles, I have selected some of them:


“What we know about Medicinal Cannabis is a drop and what we do not know about Medicinal Cannabis is an ocean.”


“There are many doctors who are not currently learning about Medicinal Cannabis in their medical training.”


“My passion is to help with medicinal cannabis to many patients in the world, especially pediatric patients.”


“I am excited to learn as much as I can about Medicinal Cannabis and to do my best to facilitate the education of others.”


“Every day I work to close the gap between analytical science and the Medicinal Cannabis industry, to help improve the quality of medical cannabis products used by patients.”



Dr. Sue Sisley: “Veteran of Medicinal Cannabis Research in the World”

It is a pride as a Colombian to present Dr. Sue Sisley who will be in Colombia on April 20 and 21 to be a keynote speaker at the International Cannaciencia Symposium on Medicinal Cannabis.


It is a privilege for us to learn from Dr. Sue, whom I have called the “WARRIOR of Medicinal Cannabis Research in the World,” she is conducting a clinical trial on the effectiveness of Medicinal Cannabis in PTSD in war veterans from United States after being stonewalled by the US government for nearly 8 years.

Dr. Sue Sisley MD, has no problem talking about how Big Pharma blocks research in whole plant Medicinal Cannabis, as well as entrepreneurs in private prisons in the United States striving to suppress efficacy research.


Discusses the DEA’s monopoly on the supply of Medicinal Cannabis for research studies, delays in supply and when it is supplied may not be the phenotypes they requested, or of inferior quality, resulting in delays in research and sabotage results about the effectiveness that the study tries to demonstrate.


Dr. Sue is a self-proclaimed “lifelong Republican” and has introduced legislation against smoking in the workplace, so at the beginning she was not a typical champion of Medicinal Cannabis, but considered herself a skeptic and still does.


The way Dr. Sisley finally comes into contact with Medicinal Cannabis was after a decade of listening to her patients telling her how cannabis has changed their lives. She had received a large amount of anecdotal evidence that had prompted her to conduct the 1st controlled clinical trial of the effectiveness of medical cannabis on PTSD in United States war veterans.


Daniela Vergara: The precursor of Cannabis Genomics in the world present in Cannaciencia.

Daniela Vergara: The precursor of Cannabis Genomics in the world present in Cannaciencia.

Dr. Daniela Vergara is an evolutionary biologist researching Cannabis genomics at the University of Colorado Boulder. In addition to her multiple publications in Cannabis, she founded and directs a non-profit organization, the Agricultural Genomics Foundation (AGF;  AGF’s aim is to make Cannabis science available to a broad public.


Dr. Vergara’s latest scientific publications include the comparison of the federal Cannabis to that produced by the private market, showing that the government’s Cannabis lacked potency and variation. These results were featured in news platforms such as The Atlantic, Science and FiveThirtyEight. Some of her other scientific publications are a compilation on the existing genomic toolsavailable for Cannabis research, and the maternally inherited genomes (chloroplast and mitochondria). Vergara has authored these publications advised by Dr. Nolan Kane whose group at CU Boulder she joined in 2013. These publications are a product of collaborations between graduate and undergraduate students, and scientists from the Cannabis Industry.


Through AGF, Vergara educates the public about science, Cannabis, evolutionary biology, and genomics. AGF also supports the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative (CGRI;, group that Drs. Vergara and Kane founded to explore the Cannabis genome.


Currently, Dr. Vergara is exploring the genes related to the production of CBD and THC, and is associating this important physical trait to the genome.


Most of Vergara’s research has been funded by private individuals who believe in her cause with donations to AGF that holds a 501(C)3 status.


Dr. Vergara will participate in Cannaciencia with the lecture titled: “5 facts about Cannabis Genomics” addressing the results from her research conducted in the Kane lab at the Ebio department in the University of Colorado in Boulder. Particularly, she will discuss five facts that her research has established: the genomic and phenotypic variation inCannabis varieties, the misnaming of these cultivars by the industry, the genes involved in cannabinoid production, and the phenotypic variation from the federally produced Cannabis. These projects are the first step to relate the plants’ genotype to their phenotype, which is crucial for breeding purposes, to understand the origins of this controversial plant, and to unravel the relationship between the cultivars