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Scientists develop genetically modified strain that can produce cannabinoid with added sugar and make it much more environmentally friendly

Scientists in California have developed a new strain of yeast that can be used to brew cannabis instead of beer and could and THC and CBD could be made in the lab in the not to distance future.

All that is need to to brew this wonder strain is added sugar which is GM yeast that has been fermented to produce THC, the mind altering drug and also CBD which is more used in medicine.

The scientists have already setup a new brewing company and they say the new method is cheaper, more eco friendly and safer than extracting from raw plants.

Jay Keasling says “The process is just like brewing beer,” she said. “You feed the yeast sugar and they produce the cannabinoid you want to produce, rather than ethanol, which they would normally produce.”

In traditional brewing, yeast produces enzymes that naturally turn sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. In this new version, the scientists inserted more than 12 genes into the yeast’s DNA, many of them copied from the cannabis plant..

The genes turn out enzymes, which act as catalysts in a chain of chemical reactions, starting out with sugar and leading, eventually, to a chemical called cannabigerolic acid.  THC and CBD, can then be derived from this acid.

THC is the high people get when they smoke or digest cannabis and is now a billion pound industry.  Medical uses for THC has been approved in many countries and CBD has been used in the treatment of child epileptics fits and new research is underway in the effective treatment for conditions such as Parkinsons and chronic pain.

Cannabis is a water-hungry crop and is often farmed using heavy quantities of pesticides and fertilisers and indoor growing under UV lights with vents uses vast amount of electricity. A study estimated that California’s cannabis industry accounted for 3% of the state’s energy usage.  This new method of making THC and CBD in the lab could transform the industry.

 

 

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