Hello everyone! Today we’ve got an interesting read for you. Recently, Israeli researchers have engineered “enhanced cannabis”. What does that mean? Well, let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.
Is enhanced cannabis the new player in town?
Agricultural Minister Oded Forer said in a statement that “Israel has the ability to make its mark on the cannabis industry and be among the world’s leaders”. This is being achieved by researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where they’ve engineered a cannabis plant that makes it possible for producers to grow new and much more potent strains of cannabis while additionally increasing crop yields. The team of researches achieved this by raising the level of THC by close to 20% and the level of CBG by almost 25%. Moreover, the team has been able to raise the level of terpenes by 25-30%.
Project leader Professor Alexander (Sasha) Vainstein, at the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, said: “We have devised an approach for changing the production of certain cannabis compounds. This is the first time that this has been achieved with cannabis plants. Until now there has been no way to tailor strains to produce certain cannabis substances or alter the ratio between them.”
Together with their funding and research partners, Mariana Bioscience Ltd, the team set out to intervene in the biochemical pathways in the cannabis plant inorder toaffect the levels of the active components.
“This represents an innovative use of these tools, which were constructed using synthetic biology tools,” Prof. Vainstein said.
“These study results will be valuable to the medical industry to cultivate and develop new strains for medical cannabis users, as well as to the cannabis industry as whole to increase the crop yield of active substances.”
Israel’s medical cannabis market was valued at around $264 million in 2021, roughly just $7 million less than the entire European market, according to Prohibition Partners, an industry analyst.
Amit Shema, head of research and development at Mariana Bioscience, said talks are currently underway with potential US partners to distribute the innovative technology to large growing farms in the United States.
This could be a major breakthrough for the cannabis industry but especially for Israel, who is looking to leave its mark in the industry. The business opportunities worldwide are endless for for Israel and could prove to be extremely beneficial economically.
Amit Shema further stated that “this is the first time it has been possible to manipulate cannabis in this way, enhancing the structure and increasing the yield. It also makes the research relevant for further discoveries and for new medical treatments.”
What do you think about this breakthrough? Are you excited to try the new products once they eventually hit the North American market? We definitely are and we’re excited that the cannabis industry is expanding in such vast areas.
We can’t wait to hear more news about this, and you can be sure we will be keeping you updated on it; until then, stay green!