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USU Researchers To Study Production, Medicinal Uses of Cannabis Oil

LOGAN, Utah — Inside a greenhouse at Utah State University hot lamps and fans help cannabis grow to thrive.

Dr. Bruce Bugbee, Professor of Plant Physiology told KSL TV the plants have grown quickly, ever since the study began just this past February.

He said this study, funded by farmers of the plant, stands to gain a lot.

“In spite of many people wanting to study this, because it was illegal, you couldn’t study it at the research universities,” Bugbee said. “People studied it illegally, people going in their closets and illegal places, and these are people without formal training.”

Bruce Bugbee by Cannabis Plants

Bruce Bugbee by cannabis plants

Bugbee says the federal farm bill of 2018 changed that.

Cannabis plants at USU are grown specifically for the flowers, where the oil can be harvested.

“These plants are grown for their botanical medicine. They’re not marijuana plants,” Bugbee explained. “You wouldn’t get high. You wouldn’t get intoxicated from these, they’re genetically selected to have low THC.”

Research lab at USU

Research lab at USU


With very little chance thus far to research the plants legally in the United States, Bugbee says the potential for refinements and discoveries is high.

While the first phase of the study is focused on more efficient production and larger yields, researchers will later team up with the University of Utah School of Pharmacology to study medicinal uses.

“There’s been a big lack of solid research science at American universities. So we really have a great opportunity to take a lead in doing scientific studies on this,” Bugbee said. “It’s a pretty wonderful thing that we might be able to use now.”

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