Wana Brands, an international cannabis-infused edibles brand, announced it is donating $3 million to Johns Hopkins University to fund cannabis and psychedelic medicine research through its recently launched Wana Brands Foundation (WBF).
WBF is a $50-million charitable organization dedicated to providing individuals with the necessary resources to live happy and healthy lives. The organization’s areas of focus “include research & education, food security, shelter, safety, mental health, sustainability, connection, and social justice,” according to a press release.
WBF is donating $2 million to the university’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to support cannabis and cannabinoid research led by Ryan Gregory Vandrey, Ph.D., a professor in the department. The research will also explore the potential use of cannabinoids to treat autism, according to the release.
“The Foundation’s gift will give us resources we need to take our research to new heights,” Vandrey said. “An unrestricted gift like this provides us the opportunity to get creative in our research and conduct studies that we believe will be most impactful, rather than trying to fit our ideas to the priorities of other funding agencies. The Johns Hopkins Cannabis Science Laboratory is committed to the conduct of objective science that expands our basic understanding of the behavioral pharmacology of cannabis and informs policy, patient-provider decisions regarding medicinal cannabis, and the prevention and treatment of potential harms associated with cannabis use.”
WBF is also donating $1 million to the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, “which focuses on how psychedelics affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological markers of health,” according to the release.
Moreover, future research will look at the benefit and effectiveness of using psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms,” to treat Alzheimer’s disease, opioid addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, anorexia nervosa and alcohol use in people with major depression, according to the release.
Wana co-founder and CEO Nancy Whiteman said since the company was founded in 2010, it has been its mission to “enhance lives through cannabis.”
“We remain committed to the overall mission, but the formation of the Wana Brands Foundation enables us to dimensionalize what it means to enhance people’s lives and tremendously expands the scope and impact of how we can serve our communities and the world at large,” Whiteman said. “It’s an incredible privilege to be able to give back through the Foundation.”