Cannabis is a plant that produces tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is a psychoactive chemical that is usually only found in a small portion of the plant. It helps treating many diseases now, for arthritis, many turn to CBD and it successfully worked for many of them.
Genetic engineering has opened up different options for scientists to work with cannabis. Many scientists in biotechnology companies today are researching on means to replace the cannabis plant with microorganisms.
These microorganisms are genetically modified to eject THC, and cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) as well as other cannabinoids of medical and pharmaceutical importance. The goal of many other researchers is to find a means to modify the chemical process of manufacturing a certain chemical alone and make the cells of the cannabis plant to make the desired chemical in the entire plant, at a greater concentration.
The ultimate goal is to mass produce cannabinoids in a cheaper, more reliable and efficient way other than by planting cannabis on the farm or in greenhouses. This ensures that the cannabinoids usually only seen in trace amounts are easily available. The plants are also engineered to be resistant to pests and environmental factors so that they have more chances of reaching full growth.
There has been an increase in the commercial interest of bioengineering strategies. Canopy Growth Corporation in Canada is the largest and legal company for cannabis. It paid an immense sum of money to own Ebbu. Ebbu is a company in Colarado that is making progress in cannabis genome alterations and manipulation.
Kideckel is an analyst specialized in cannabis, he works at AltaCorp Capital, Canada. He describes the bioengineering of cannabis as a disruptive method that will cause agricultural growth of the plant to be overtaken by biotechnology. He believes that this will cause ripples in cannabis sectors around the world.
The biggest appeal for commercial interest in the biotechnology of cannabis is the reduced cost it will ultimately bring to the purchase of CBD oil. It offers a high and consistent quality that plants do not have due to weather, pests and other environmental factors. Further more, the production of cannabis in the laboratory uses less energy than producing cannabis in a greenhouse.
Currently, there are approximately 18 companies that are competing to be the first to produce cannabis in yeast, algae or bacteria.
The senior scientific officer at Librede Carlifornia, Tony Farina, explained that although THC and CBD oil are the most common substances obtained from cannabis, there are other potentially important and useful compounds available inside the plant. Biosynthesis is a viable method of researching them.
Some compounds of interest include cannabichromene. It is a very rare compound that is believed to be anti-inflammatory. Cannabigerol, or CBG is the precursor of CBD and THC. It has a potentially protective function for cannabis against molecules that induce damage. Tetrahydrocannabiverin, or THCV has captured medical interest for its potential to suppress appetite and be a treatment to people who suffer from compulsive overeating diseases. It also provides a euphoric feeling like THC.