Home » Sensitive Subjects » 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 “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)

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