Scientists “hacked” the genetic code of brewer’s yeast to produce cannabis compounds. They inserted genes from cannabis plants into the yeast’s genetic code which allowed it to produce CBD and THC. Their end goal is to allow large scale cannabinoid production without cultivation.

Scientists brew cannabis using hacked beer yeast

The yeast that people have used for millennia to brew alcoholic drinks has now been engineered to produce cannabinoids — chemicals with medicinal and sometimes mind-altering properties found in cannabis.

The feat1, described on 27 February in Nature, turns a sugar in brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) called galactose into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis (Cannabis sativa). The altered yeast can also produce cannabidiol (CBD), another major cannabinoid that’s attracted attention lately for its potential therapeutic benefits, including its anti-anxiety and pain-relief effects.

The hope is that this fermentation process will enable manufacturers to produce THC, CBD and rare cannabinoids tha… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

7 thoughts on “Scientists “hacked” the genetic code of brewer’s yeast to produce cannabis compounds. They inserted genes from cannabis plants into the yeast’s genetic code which allowed it to produce CBD and THC. Their end goal is to allow large scale cannabinoid production without cultivation.”

  1. GypsyBagelhands

    Changes the meaning of “baking” bread

  2. tehmlem

    You can make all kinds of drugs this way with yeast as I understand it! That’ll really throw a wrench in prohibition. When you can make whatever in a jar under your bed.

  3. manwhole

    One stray yeast could have unforseen consequences.

  4. remimorin

    Never understood why organised crime didn’t go that way. Home brew cocaine? A lot of precursors can be done that way as well.

    I also always wondered what would “war on drugs” look like not it can be cheaply produced about anywhere. Close to alcohol prohibition, everybody can create booze.

  5. AdvancedAdvance

    This is going to make for some entertaining episodes of The Great British Baking Show.

  6. nobody-knows2018

    Better buzzes through science.

  7. aldergone

    Currently there is a race to the bottom with the price of CBD, this would cause a race to the bottom for THC. Good for edibles and oils. Should not affect the sale of dried flower

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