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Food and Beverages | Friday, June 04, 2021
Several renowned cannabis producers are working on sequencing the DNA of the Cannabis sativa plant to piece together a clear blueprint for how the plant produces the wide range of compounds it contains.
FREMONT, CA: The legal weed market has seen a sea change in the last decade, with numerous states legalizing marijuana for recreational and therapeutic purposes. Bringing these products to the general public has necessitated a slew of scientific advancements. Rather than minimal processing, producers are increasingly producing oils for vaping, capsules, edible gummies, and other products. It will be interesting to observe how technological advancements impact moving forward into a new era of marijuana usage. Here are a few projects in the works that have the potential to transform the cannabis industry completely.
The Cannabis sativa plant is a natural wonder, a factory for mind-altering compounds unlike anything else on the planet. However, there is a lot of variation across strains of the plant, with each grows yielding a varied THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (Cannabidiol), and other element balance. This results in a thriving product market, but one that is difficult to govern. Modern genomics may hold the key to realizing the plant's full potential. Several renowned cannabis producers are working on sequencing the DNA of the Cannabis sativa plant to piece together a clear blueprint for how the plant produces the wide range of compounds it contains.
One firm claims to have created a method for using CRISPR gene editing to generate plants that contain no THC or CBD. These specialized varieties may also have distinctive tastes or be easier to grow. They are also uncovering enzymes in the plant that make even rarer cannabinoids, such as CBC, which is known to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. One long-term goal is to take the genes that make these compounds and implant them in yeast or bacteria, enabling industrial manufacturing without any plants.
People's particular biochemistry causes them to metabolize cannabinoids in different ways, so finding the perfect balance of THC and CBD can be difficult. While certain marijuana strains are known for their mellowness or potency, there are still many leeways when choosing what to use in the vaporizer. Because marijuana is a psychoactive substance, picking a strain that does not resonate with the mind can be disastrous. As a result, personalized mixtures of vital cannabinoids adjusted to the particular physiology are the next stage in cannabis use.
Some businesses have already begun to experiment with this new approach of personalization. One company offers a 129 dollars saliva-based swab test that analyzes over 70 genetic markers to construct a profile of the responses to well-known cannabinoids, followed by a report that predicts the compatibility with other strains. Marijuana retailers may combine this testing process with customized product manufacturing in the future, blending isolates into personalized formulae that provide a focused experience for the customer.