The Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis has 5100 square feet of advanced equipment and instrumentation located in 3 separate laboratories.

Our laboratories house equipment to support sample preparation, extraction and advanced analytics, formulation and product development, and tissue culture and micropropagation.

Some highlights of key pieces are outlined below:

Extraction and Advanced Analytics

The Centre supports its industry partners by providing advanced analytical instrumentation to conduct routine and specialized chemical and biological analyses. Our team is equipped to help identify problems and improve manufacturing operations, resulting in more profitable product lines.

Being Canada’s only National Technological Access Centre for natural products and medical cannabis, we have formed a team with unique expertise in extraction to explore different active compounds from medicinal plants or herbs, with applications in the cosmetics, food and
cannabis industries. 

  • Bench and Pilot scalesupercritical (SC) CO2 extractors

  • Research scale accelerated solvent extractor (ASE)

  • High performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) with UV detection

  • Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (head-space and liquid injection)

  • LC/GC-QTOFMS for screening and quantification of unknown compounds in complex mixtures

  • Supercritical chromatography for both analytical and purification of applications

Tissue Culture

The tissue culture lab within the Centre offers specialized equipment to conduct biological research, including the growth of plant cells from existing tissue under controlled environmental conditions. 

Our team harnesses a collection of specialized techniques to aid our industry partners in utilizing micropropagation to grow desired plants in bulk, producing more samples than traditional methods in a shorter amount of time. Some additional benefits of using this technique include increased likelihood of disease-free plants,  propagating rare and endangered plants or plants with difficulties in seed germination and dormancy. 

  • Controlled environmental chambers

  • Biosafety cabinet

Formulation and Product Development

The Centre provides unique expertise in formulating a wide range of natural products, from cosmetics to food items as well as various cannabis-infused products. 

At the Centre, we are engaged in research projects at every stage of product development, from literature reviews to method development, all the way to formulating viable end products and innovative solutions that contribute to the bio-economy.

  • Lab scale, high shear microfluidizer for production of micro and nanoscale-sized materials

  • Particle size analyzer for characterization of emulsions and other products

  • Kinemetric viscometer for viscosity measurements of small volume samples

  • Pharmaceutical stability and photostability chamber designed for ICH Q1B photostability and ICH Q1A stability testing

Sample Preparation

The Centre is equipped to perform several different types of sample preparations, supporting our industry partners in assessing and comparing manufactured products to ensure consumer safety, test ingredients and monitor potential contaminants.   

Sample preparation is a crucial step in analyses that, when done correctly, allows researchers to unlock faster and more accurate results to advance product and process development. 

  • Airflow Kiln designed to control temperature and humidity during the drying/curing process, containing 30 stainless steel trays

  • Freeze Dryer purposed for sample preparation, preservation and/or storage of heat-sensitive samples. Equipped for bulk and individual lyophilization

  • Rotary Evaporator (1L)

  • Variable speed rotor mill for impact, shearing and cutting comminution in one instrument