Whether we are talking about medical marijuana or cell technology for cloning, we have seen some big breakthroughs in technology and research in recent years.
The rapid pace of advancement is supported by changing policies, as legalization and decriminalization open the doors for funded research. The benefits of cannabinoids for the medical industry, as well as plant media and plant tissue culture for efficient cultivation, are taking center stage. And it looks set to keep on moving forward with rapid momentum.
Let’s take a look at 3 of the most significant scientific advances in cannabis research.
But wait, before we continue, let’s remember that some federal restrictions are still in place, and cannabis research is still in juvenile stages. This means that any breakthroughs in research could be debunked a little way down the road, especially when it comes to the proposed medicinal benefits offered by cannabis.
1. Large scale production; genomics, tissue culture, and cloning
On top of our list for 2019’s most significant discoveries are the advances that could assist large scale cannabis production. One of the most critical aspects of commercial cannabis cultivation is the manipulation of genomes to control the cannabinoid levels. And yes, you guessed it, the most crucial cannabinoid to be controlled is THC.
CBD is another essential cannabinoid that cultivators are focused on controlling. There are other traits garnering attention as well, not just these two cannabinoids, and this is why there is plenty of attention being focused on genetic manipulation in the cannabis research communities.
Tissue culture has stepped into the spotlight as well, especially as it aids growers in cultivating multiple plants that carry excellent genes and with short production times. And what makes ‘excellent genes’ in the world of cannabis? Well, this may depend on what the cannabis flower is destined for, but generally speaking, both high yields and potency account for most of what we will call ‘excellent genes.’
2. Bacteria to Customize GMO Strains
GMO crops and cultivations have received plenty of flack over the past few years. However, this has not inhibited cannabis from entering the world of GMOs. Some companies have begun exploring GMO cannabis, and we are even seeing designs for a cannabis plant that uses genetically modified agrobacterium to splice artificial genes into cannabis plant matter.
The result? A new breed of cannabis, a plant that can produce CBD that is water-soluble. Why does this matter? Well, if the CBD cannabinoid is water-soluble, it can be extracted using a cold-press technique.
The concept is simple; the cannabis plant material can be cold-pressed to extract CBD, and in this way, eliminates the need for sophisticated extraction techniques that could introduce toxic chemicals like butane and propane. And in an industry where quality is the key to high profits, this is water-soluble CBD could quite quickly become akin to liquid gold.
Furthermore, these advances don’t stop at water-soluble cannabinoids. Using customizable genetic modification, companies can adjust terpene ratios, cannabinoid profiles and also make the plants resistant to extreme weather elements (such as cold or drought). We will see an increase in cell technology advances from the folks over at Plant Cell Technology as well as other agricultural heavyweights.
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3. Genetics and How Cannabis Interacts With Individuals
Recent discoveries reveal how genetics could play a role in how people respond differently to cannabis. Have you ever traded stories with another person on how a strain or oil has affected you? If you have, you may have noticed some shared similarities, but also some distinct differences as well. Well, this new research could explain why some seem to experience a different high or effect than others.
According to researchers, there are a few genes that could be related to the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids. At present, the industry’s lead marketers are promoting terpenes as the main decider for the type of experience certain strains or flowers will offer.
For example, Limonene is proposed to create a more uplifted and motivated effect, while myrcene is thought to create a more relaxed and ‘stoned’ effect. Basically, the research is revealing that cannabis and its impact on the human body could be incredibly nuanced; if the recent studies that individual genetic makeup is responsible for how a person responds to cannabis.
Again, this research is still in the juvenile stages, and scientists are just scratching the surface. But we are excited to see what 2020 will bring us. Surely, it will bring a clearer vision to the rabbit hole world of cannabis and how it interacts with the human body.