Q&A: Breakthrough Formula for Mental Health: An interview with Paul Ramsay, President, CanaQuest Medical Corp.

The cannabis industry was founded on the plant’s medical benefits: the first states to legalize did so for patients seeking relief from severe illnesses, and although adult-use has gained a lot of respect and understanding since the early days, cannabis’s medical efficacy continues to be studied throughout the globe.

CanaQuest Medical Corp is a clinical-stage life sciences company that focuses on cannabinoids extracted from cannabis and hemp plants, advancing the industry through drug discovery and development of next-generation targeted therapeutics within the body’s endocannabinoid system and specific brain receptors.

Leafwire sat down with CanaQuest Medical Corp’s President and co-founder Paul Ramsay to discuss the company’s foundation, how their research is innovating the medical cannabis industry, and what they’re currently working on to continue advancing the plant’s medicinal progress around the world.

Leafwire: How was CanaQuest first formed?

Paul Ramsay: Canaquest was originally established as an algae company. After working with a professor at the University of Waterloo, we built an algae bioreactor, and that allowed us to learn all about essential fatty acids (omega-3s), which our bodies don’t produce. 

However, these compounds are still necessary for our health, so we typically have to consume essential fatty acids by consuming fish and/or supplements.

Seven years ago, we were asked if we could extract oils from cannabis. 

After digging into some research, we found that most of us have deficiencies in omega-s (DHA and EPA). Because of that, our receptors (omega-3 index) are not working effectively – or, at all. 

So, if people are taking cannabis – or any medication for medicinal purposes – the benefits will either be nominal or there will be no indications at all.  We wanted to help innovate that space.

LW: What exactly were you looking to contribute to medical cannabis and research?

PR: We wanted to enter the cannabis space from a scientific perspective, and we wanted to help people. 

When we first started building our team, Dr. Steven Laviolette was recommended as the number one neuroscientist in Canada. He had a team of 13 scientists and three decades of experience working on cannabinoids, with a focus on anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, and addiction.

We gave a presentation to Dr. Laviolette regarding the combination of DHA and EPA with cannabinoid molecules. He embraced our scientific approach, and we signed an agreement as an industry partner to explore the concepts further. 

LW: How do your services innovate the industry?

PR: After partnering with us, Dr. Laviolette and his team made a breakthrough discovery: a new pathway discovery into the brain to address mental health neurological conditions and mental ailments.

In the study, CBD, DHA, and EPA molecules bonded, worked synergistically, and attached to the PPAR receptors, which facilitated a pathway to cross the BBB to the section of the brain that regulates emotions (like anxiety, depression, and PTSD) with amplified effects and efficacy. 

The team also found a notable reduction in inflammation in the brain, which could be highly beneficial for other neurological conditions. So, not only did this help innovate the cannabis industry, but the findings can be useful for the universal world of science.

LW: What sort of services do you provide to your consumers?

PR: Our formulated product, branded as Mentanine, is available for sale via the CanaQuest store in the U.S. 

We also offer an omega-3 product, branded as Omega-3 Index Booster with a high concentration of DHA and EPA, to help people build the effectiveness of their receptors to improve efficacy of their medications.  

Our e-commerce site is also quite educational for anyone looking to learn more about medical cannabis’s effects.

LW:  Who is your consumer?

PR: Our customers are professionals in the mental health field, such as psychiatrists and healthcare practitioners, veterans, and people who have anxiety, depression, PTSD, and addiction.   

LW: What is on the horizon for CanaQuest now?

PR: We recently signed a Master Service Agreement with Neeka Health. The agreement will encompass multiple clinical studies to evaluate the efficacy of Mentanine® on targeted populations struggling with transitional issues.

It’s important to point out that Neeka conducted extensive due diligence on 97 companies in our space, and CanaQuest was the only company chosen. 

Dr. Hunter Land, CSO of Neeka, who co-led the clinical development of Epidiolex® (FDA approved prescription CBD) for GW Pharma will lead all studies for Neeka and CanaQuest. 

We also plan to continue building our team to educate and help people in need, and ultimately improve their quality of life. 

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