Yeast is a single celled organism with over 1,500 known species. But did you know that the stuff which makes beer bubbly and doughs rise to attention can also produce some of the cannabinoids found in cannabis?
Yep. You read that correctly, tokers of the trees. According to recently published research conducted at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany, biochemists at the university claim they have engineered a strain of yeast that produces THC.
And why exactly would someone want to engineer such a Frankenstein-esque form of cannabinoids?
Well, according to Kevin Chen, the chief executive of Hyasynth Bio, a company working to create yeasts that produce THC and cannabidiol, the current laws regarding cannabis make it difficult for the majority of the world’s populace to legally access a compound that’s found to have a plethora of medicinal uses.
Here’s what Chen had to say:
This is something that could literally change the lives of millions of people.
But unlike normal yeast production, which can be made via using simple sugars, cannabinoid-producing yeast requires what is referred to as “precursor molecules” and only has the ability to produce small amounts of THC and Cannabidiol.
There’s another biochemist at the university, Oliver Kayser, whose hopeful he can in due course engineer the yeast to reproduce the full THC-production pathway, which is why he has joined forces with THC Pharm of Frankfurt in order to make an effort to scale the processes for industrial production.
Furthermore, Kayser claims that European regulators are anxious to manufacture a secure stock of cannabinoids but without actually farming the cannabis plant due to their fear that the crops would be cultivated for illegal dedications.
They [European regulators] are in fear that these plants will be grown and will support some illegal farming.
Can synthesized cannabinoids produced by yeast ever compare to that of the full spectrum of cannabinoids that the cannabis plant produces?
Only time and a bud-load of more research will tell.
Until then, I’m sticking with the real deal.