Many countries have legalized the personal or medicinal use of cannabis in recent years, and the emergence of CBD pain cream Canada has gained wide acceptance alongside it. So, the next logical question is, can cannabis be bioengineered?
Although there is still much research to be done on the subject, many have found the CBD in Canada to be genetically modifying cannabis that could produce more beneficial cannabinoids on an industrial scale.
However, the main problem with the cannabis plant is that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is only found in small sections called trichomes, the plant’s flower buds. Therefore, the leaves, stems, and stalks have no value.
What Bioengineering Methods Are Currently Being Considered?
Replace the actual plant with genetically modified microorganisms that secrete the THC and cannabidiol (CBD) components.
Genetically modify plant cells so that the desired components are produced in the entire plant and not just the trichomes.
Adding certain enzymes to make the cannabinoids less toxic, oily, and more water-soluble.
The use of biomanufacturing techniques such as bioreactors or fermenters
Bioengineering aims to produce cannabinoids in a more affordable, efficient, and reliable manner than cultivating plants in fields or greenhouses. In addition, there are also other cannabinoids besides THC and CBD oil in Canada that may be of pharmaceutical benefit.
For example, cannabichromene is a rare cannabinoid believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties. At the same time, Cannabigerol (CBG) is considered a predecessor to CBD and THC.
Moreover, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) has the potential to help people who suffer from eating disorders or THC users who would like to avoid the subsequent hunger urges.
The Benefits of Bioengineering Cannabis
So, what are the benefits of bioengineering cannabis?
Rare trace cannabinoids can be mass-produced in more significant quantities using fermenters.
Plants can be bioengineered for better resistance to insects, weather, and other environmental conditions.
A more varied range of cannabinoids could be made available.
The use of bioreactors will reduce the cost of production.
The quality of the finished product is more consistent.
Electricity usage is lower. Bioreactors are more energy-efficient than grow lights and ventilation fans.
There is no water pollution and land destruction.
What Is Currently Already a Reality?
Of course, although bioengineering cannabis is yet to happen, some developments in the industry are already underway. Some examples include:
A German company in Frankfurt is making a bacterial version of pure CBD oil.
A Canadian company in Toronto is making pure CBD oil in yeast.
At least 20 other companies are competing to produce cannabinoids in either algae, bacteria, or yeast.
Another company in Toronto, Canada, has succeeded in increasing the yield of cannabis plants and making them less toxic and more water-soluble.
A researcher has succeeded in growing cannabis plants that produce only CBD or CBG by deleting certain enzymes in the synthesis process.
Overall, while it may seem that the benefits of cannabis bioengineering are real, that may not be the case in the immediate future. After all, some people still have an aversion to genetically modified crops and still prefer their drug produced traditionally.
Adding to this is that biochemically produced cannabinoids, no matter how well formulated, are unlikely to be as good as what nature has already perfected.