Greenlight Medicines Research Programmes

Our research and development is based across 13 international universities from Ireland, UK and the USA. We have carefully selected the very best academic and clinical researchers for the various diseases we research. We have also selected the finest plant material with which to produce our candidate medicines.

So far we have successfully attained a number of grants from the Irish and U.K. grant agencies for our most advanced research programmes. These are the following:


We are working with Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland on a large project to fully elucidate the role of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system in patients with epilepsy. Science Foundation Ireland is co-funding this project which is lead by Professor David Henshall, acclaimed Epilepsy researcher and Chairperson of Neuroscience Ireland.


We have built a formidable cross border team to explore the role of cannabinoids (and other plant molecules) in cancer development and treatment. University College Dublin, Ireland’s leading Cancer Research university, and Ulster University will conduct the core research element. Letterkenny IT will host an ambitious screening project to allow us screen multiple molecules across a large number of cancer types. These projects are supported by the Irish Research Council, Donegal County Council, Invest NI and Udaras na Gaeltachta.


Ulster University is our base for researching arthritis. Several cannabinoids (like CBD/cannabidiol) have been proven to be effective agents for reducing the inflammatory response and therefore also reducing associated effects of inflammation such as pain and joint stiffness. We have developed a number of assays using human tissue to allow us screen high numbers of potential therapeutic agents such as the 130 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. We are also conducting research with the University of Colorado on the interaction of cannabinoids with the body in chronic inflammatory diseases such as Chrons and IBS.

Medical Devices

GreenLight has initiated an ambitious plan to create a multitude of medical delivery devices that are suited to the oils and isolates derived from the cannabis plant.


Our combined experiences have lead us to consider the roles of plant molecules in the treatment of inflammatory eye diseases such as glaucoma and AMD. We have experts in Queens University Belfast, University College Dublin and University College Cork who are designing the base research platform to allow us to methodically assess plant molecules for their efficacy in treating these diseases.

Addiction/Mental Health

GreenLight has a non-profit research arm which is dedicated to researching addiction and mental health. We are exploring a number of psychotropic compounds (from cannabis and other plants) with regard to their ability to reverse damage that leads to mental health and addiction issues. UCD and Imperial College London are hosting this programme which is co-funded by the Irish Research Council and has also attracted donations from various public figures who have been adversely affected by such issues.

Plant Technology

We have partnered with one of Europe’s leading plant breeders here in Ireland. We can use a raft of modern technology to create our own strains of cannabis in a bid to identify and isolate rare and uncategorised molecules of interest as medicines. Our plant breeding partner has developed novel hydroponics systems for large scale cultivation of wasabi and similar water thriving plants.

We have laboratory space in which to maintain our genetic lines using micro-propagation and tissue culture techniques. We are working with UCD to help us best utilise modern technology and genetic identification techniques.


Isolating molecules from plants is a complex process and requires many time consuming steps. We are working with the Chemistry Department at Queens University Belfast on novel extraction technology that is both efficient and scalable.

We are currently developing our very own analytical suite in the Northwest which will allow us to accurately determine the contents of our plant materials and extracts. To top this we also have our own team of PhD chemists with experience in large scale isolation and identification of cannabinoids.


The biochemistry and pharmacology of cannabinoids and other cannabis molecules is still widely misunderstood. There have been a number of cannabinoid receptors identified in humans to date, of which CB1 and CB2 have been widely characterised. The other receptors are novel and, like many of the cannabinoids, they’re method of action in the body is unknown. We are working with several researchers who are experts in cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system.