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Molecular Science master's student Steve Naraine conducts research on the medical use of cannabis

Cannabis research meets new potential​​​​

Steve Naraine, Molecular Science MSc

As Canada moves to legalize marijuana, Steve Naraine is advancing research on its medical use.

As a Molecular Science master's student conducting research in Dr. Lesley Campbell’s Plant Evolutionary and Ecology Lab, Steve is investigating the evolution of seed morphology between hemp and marijuana. For his master’s thesis, he is studying Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s cannabis seed collection.

Steve’s passion was sparked in 2008, when a friend asked if he could help grow more effective medical marijuana for his mother, a cancer patient and prescription holder suffering from extreme nausea and pain caused by chemotherapy. Using scientific experimentation skills learned at Ryerson, Steve cultivated plants with higher levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that alleviates pain.

Steve and Dr. Campbell began a research collaboration with Tweed, a licensed medical marijuana company. In addition, Steve conducted research for Tweed on cannabis genetics and strain varieties during a six-month study on how different light sources affect cannabis growth.

At Ryerson, we provide a fertile learning environment for groundbreaking research on real-world topics.

“The graduate school at Ryerson understands the value of this research and the incredible impact it can have,” says Steve. “It’s providing me with a platform to further explore this plant and its potential.

Photo credit: Kevin Van Paassen 

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