Newly Risen from Yeast: THC

Photo Credit: Blaze Now

Photo Credit: Blaze Now

Medical marijuana is known to provide many therapeutic benefits thanks to its unique cannabinoids and terpenes. Recently, however, scientists have discovered one of the more well-known cannabinoids may not be unique to cannabis alone; scientists have genetically engineered yeasts that can produce constituents of marijuana, like the psychoactive cannabinoid THC.

Synthetic THC is already available in certain pharmaceutical medications and usually used to treat nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite from HIV infection or chemotherapy. THC produced by yeast could provide a cheaper and more streamlined alternative to these medications. 

In addition, yeast-produced THC provides new access to cannabinoids so that scientists can increase clinical research on their therapeutic potential. As it stands, marijuana is a schedule I substance, so accessing the plant's cannabinoids for clinical research and a better understanding of their health benefits is extremely limited. Since yeast is not a scheduled substance, this opens up a whole new opportunity for examining the medicinal properties of cannabinoids. 

Be sure to check out this Blaze Now article, which discusses the process of synthesizing cannabinoids from yeast and examines the history of this discovery.