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Akeem Gardner

Sunday, 31 March 2024 12:46

E121 - Akeem Gardner - Canurta

Akeem Gardner and his team at Canurta are delving deep into the hidden corners of the cannabis plant. They want to know if we extract this cannflavin, this terpene, this cannabinoid, or one of the other thousands of molecules in the cannabis plant, can it treat a disease? Last year at CannMed 23, he talked to us about how cannflavins could be used to treat a particularly nasty brain tumour called glioblastoma. Since then, Akeem has hit the road and brought the gospel of cannabis plant medicine to conferences and other canna-curious folks across North America, Europe, and as far away as the United Arab Emirates.

This year Team Canurta is looking at neurodegenerative diseases like ALS and even aging itself. They are using artificial intelligence to help screen where in the cannabis plant to focus their research. They are partnering with Universities to get academic papers turned into potential treatments. Akeem is one of the featured speakers at CannMed 24 again this year. We’d love to see you in Florida at CannMed 24 in person, and here is a preview of Akeem’s presentation!

We've got another amazing group of attendees from CannMed 23!

One evening they said dinner was on Lanai Beach. In Manitoba, if you are at a conference and someone says dinner is on Lanai Beach, then Lanai Beach is the name of a room. But in Florida, they actually meant dinner was on a beach. That sounds like a lovely idea, unless it is over 30 C and there is no shade. Thankfully, I brought a ball cap for my bald head and I met Dr. Joe Thompson also looking for some shade beside a pole. Dr. Thompson trained as a pediatrician, but now is the President & CEO of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. They have a program where they are going to analyze the data of people who got medical cannabis in Arkansas and see what happened to Health Outcomes. You want to hear about how that study will be done.

Dr. Leah Johnson Pharm D is a pharmacist and we met her in the Poster Hallway. Her Poster was about palliative care patients in California. Her group believes that if patients have access to cannabinoid medicine during palliative care, that will promote a better quality of life for the patients. Dr. Leah helps patients with their cannabis therapy and is a Cannabis Speaker and Educator across the US. She is on the Executive of the Pharmacist Cannabis Coalition of California (PCCC).

I met Akeem during the opening reception of CannMed 23. I didn't know anyone at the conference yet, so thankfully, he came up to me, read my name tag and introduced himself. Soon we discovered we were both from Canada, and we laughed over the fact the sliders were taken away too quickly. He told me he was nervous about a main stage talk he was giving. Now I understand why. He was giving a very technical, science heavy talk to a room full of cannabis doctors and researchers. But he killed it during his talk. He even handled challenges from the audience. I got to collect some audio from Akeem right after his talk. He’s from Mississauga. He’s a huge basketball fan. He has a nephew who Uncle Akeem really wants to become the next Lebron James. But for our story, Akeem is a Canadian lawyer turned hemp farmer turned CEO of the BioTech company Canurta Inc. His talk was about cannaflavins and their potential to treat glioblastoma, a common and aggressive form of brain cancer.

Bruce Mackler was involved with Prairie Plant Systems in Flin Flon when all “legal” Canadian Government Cannabis was grown in a mine in 2000. That became Cannimed in Saskatoon. And that got bought out by Aurora. Former lawyer that fought cases against the FDA. Former immunologist. His company, Ethicann, is developing a sublingual tablet for Multiple Sclerosis as a competitor to Stativex.