The program does not focus on the plant’s psychoactive compound — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — in which’s responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects. Cannabis plants contain more than a hundred additional cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, or CBD, which isn’t thought to get people high.
“Research into cannabinoids complements in addition to leverages Singapore’s strengths in biomedical research, in addition to can be a niche area in which Singapore can compete globally in,” a National Research Foundation spokesperson told CNBC.
Projects funded by the foundation will identify genes to create synthetic cannabinoids so researchers don’t need to grow the cannabis plant. Possession or consumption of cannabis in Singapore can result in up to 10 years of imprisonment, a $15,000 fine or both. Citizens in addition to permanent residents found to have consumed the substance even outside the city-state are still subject to the same penalties.
One venture can be centered on developing synthetic CBD for prescription medicine in addition to specialized treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s in addition to a range of additional illnesses. Led by Associate Professor Yew Wen Shan coming from the National University of Singapore, in which may eventually expand to include additional non-psychoactive compounds.