Israeli Researchers Manage to Grow ‘Enhanced’ Cannabis
Israeli researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem recently managed to cultivate an enhanced cannabis strain.
This lab-cultivated strain has 17% higher levels of THC (the psychoactive chemical that makes people high), 25% higher levels of CBG (a non-psychoactive cannabinoid generally associated with a feeling of physical relaxation), and a 20–30% higher presence of terpenes.
The study’s aim was to develop a system that would enable scientists to modify cannabis’s biochemical pathways and alter the levels of active substances in cannabis.
Using a repurposed plant-based virus, the scientists managed to manipulate (both increase and reduce) the production of specific chemicals in cannabis. In other words, this virus was able to modify the cannabis plant’s active chemical-producing genes without harming it.
The researchers also added that no one has ever been able to alter a cannabis plant and its active components or proportions in such a way so far, implying that this discovery could create new medical possibilities, such as creating new strains for medical marijuana patients.
So far, scientists have managed to identify more than 200 active components in cannabis. With the wealth of information available on cannabinoids, researchers are racing to discover additional chemicals and medical therapies that can be produced from the cannabis plant.
This is excellent news for Israel’s medicinal cannabis market, which reached $264 million in 2021, about only $7 million less than the entire European market.