PC mag reports….
The last decade has been a game-changer for the legal weed industry, with numerous states legalizing the consumption of marijuana for recreational and medicinal uses. Bringing these products to the mass market has involved numerous scientific breakthroughs. Instead of the minimal processing of the plant, growers are now creating oils for vaping, capsules, edible gummies, and more. As we move forward into a new era of marijuana consumption, it will be interesting to see how technological breakthroughs change the way we get high. Here are a few projects in development that could radically reshape the cannabis industry.
The Cannabis sativa plant is a wonder of nature, a factory for brain-altering chemicals unlike any the world has ever seen. But there is a tremendous amount of variance between strains of the plant, with each grow resulting in a different balance of THC, CBD, and other elements. That leads to a robust market of products, but a hard one to regulate. Modern genomics might be the key to unlocking the plant’s ultimate potential. Several leading cannabis growers are engaging in efforts to sequence the Cannabis sativa’s DNA, assembling a clear blueprint for how the plant generates the panoply of chemicals within.
One Colorado-based company claims to have developed a method to use CRISPR gene editing to grow plants with no THC or CBD at all. These customized breeds could also carry different flavors or be easier to grow. In addition, they are discovering enzymes within the plant that produce even rarer cannabinoids, including CBC, which is thought to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. One end goal is to extract the genes that produce these chemicals and implant them in yeast or bacteria, allowing for industrial production without growing a single plant.
Finding the right blend of THC and CBD can be a challenge, as people’s individual biochemistry causes them to process cannabinoids in different ways. While specific strains of weed have reputations for mellowness or intensity, there is still a lot of wiggle room present in choosing what to put in your vape.
Because this is a psychoactive substance, the consequences of choosing a strain that doesn’t vibe with your mind can be a real downer. That’s why the next step in cannabis consumption is tailored blends of essential cannabinoids balanced to your unique physiology.
Some companies are already making inroads into this new method of personalization. CannabisDNA administers a $129 saliva-based swab test that uses over 70 genetic markers to create a profile of your responses to notable cannabinoids, then produces a report that predicts your compatibility with different strains.
In the future, it’s possible that marijuana retailers will combine this testing methodology with bespoke product creation, combining isolates into individualized formulas that deliver a targeted experience for the user.