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UC Berkeley Scientists Obtain THC, CBD From Yeast

February 28, 2019 4:17 pm
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Scientists at UC Berkley have accomplished the feat of obtaining the cannabis components THC and CBD from yeast.

What Happened

Through gene hacking, scientists managed to infuse genes from cannabis plant into brewer's yeast, according to Wired. Depending on the type of enzyme carried by the yeast, it can produce either THC or CBD, and both can produce CBGA — which is the main block for the formation of other cannabinoids. 

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Why It's Important

The discovery has major implications for the cannabis industry, as it could significantly simplify many processes. Instead of growing a cannabis plant and then processing it to extract THC and CBD, yeast could potentially be grown to obtain only CBD or THC, which could then be infused into other products.

A number of beer companies like Molson Coors Brewing Co (NYSE:TAP) and Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) have recently entered the cannabis space through partnerships with cannabis companies. The discovery by UC Berkley scientists shows that the synergies between beer and cannabis could potentially go further than previously thought. 

What's Next

The researchers' end goal is to be able to tailor cannabis products to consumers' preferences, such as a tincture with a customized amount of CBD, THC and other cannabinoids.  

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