How new research insights will change the cannabis genetics in the future
Cannabis is moving into mainstream science at a rapid pace. Historically, cannabis was officially said to have no medical potential and a massive risk of misuse. As a result, cannabis has been largely ignored as a potential medicine over the last few decades. But that is starting to change. Today cannabis is the darling of the medical world. More money is going into scientific research on cannabis than ever before. More mainstream pharmaceutical companies than ever are keen to get a slice of the lucrative future medical market. Research on cannabis is becoming easier as laws ease around the world. Cannabis is increasingly recognised for the medical benefits it offers.
Some of the current research could have a profound effect on the type of cannabis seeds you will grow in the future and the type of effect it will have on you. You may even be able to get your ownendo-cannabinoid system mapped one day in the future. Your endo-cannabinoid system is the part of the body which binds with, and reacts with the cannabinoid molecules it receives. Who knows, one day you may even be able to get a cannabis variety recommended for you which perfectly matches your own endo cannabinoid system.
Cannabis genetics and science
Research into cannabis is ongoing around the world by numerous drug companies and research groups. Hundreds of €millions, if not €Billions, of funding is being rushed into cannabis research. Pharmaceutical companies fund their own extensive research. Little is made public until they want to try to file patents, publish scientific papers or release a new product. Patents are legal ways to prevent others from copying your product. That’s something that the cannabis community is rightfully very concerned about. The possibility that someone, someday, will find a way of commercialising a new cannabis variety for their own financial gain and prevent anyone else from being able to explore the same topic. Onerecent research paper discusses the genetics of CBD rich and THC rich varieties. People are trying to understand what, at a genetic level, causes cannabis to grow the way it does. How cannabis DNA controls growth has been difficult to study while cannabis was illegal. Now, the full scientific glare is beginning to rest on cannabis. On the one hand is a massive potential market for future cannabis based pharmaceutical medicines. On the other hand is the fact that the pharmaceutical companies are only just starting to move on the long and hugely expensive scientific road.
Cannabis research and big pharm
Realistically it will take years of research for medical researchers to start to find out the various benefits of each cannabinoid. Then it will take further time for clinical trials on any potential medicine. There are several severe complications for the cannabis research. Firstly, very little research has been done before due to prohibition. Secondly, the cannabinoids may amplify the effects of each other when used together (the entourage effect), this could make research difficult. Thirdly, there area uniquely broad range of medical applications to study.
Big pharma will do their best to dominate the medical cannabis market with finely-tuned and expensive future cannabis based medicines in the coming years. But in the meantime, lots of medical users will simply be growing their own cannabis from feminized seeds or autoflowering seeds and getting good results. Growing your own cannabis seeds is still the cheapest way to produce your own medical, or recreational cannabis
Medical uses of cannabis
Throughout history, many people noticed cannabis was very effective for certain medical conditions. MS users would claim cannabis eased muscle stiffness. AIDS patients would use cannabis to improve appetite. Some cancer patients would feel additional pain relief and well being after using cannabis. For some people, cannabis reduces the nausea associated with chemotherapy. For others it helps promote restful sleep. Crohns disease patients report reduced discomfort. People with treatment resistant depression, PTSD, anxiety and other conditions have reported medical uses for cannabis. Epilepsy sufferers, including children, would report genuinely remarkable reductions in seizures when they used cannabis oil. The list of areas with a clear medical interest is huge. Uniquely so for a potential medicine. And thats explains the interest from big pharma. Many minor cannabinoids have received very little attention. And that complicates the job of modern researchers, whether they are from pharmaceutical companies, universities or the cannabis industry.
Genetically modified cannabis
Despite the hype, there are no genetically modified cannabis varieties. At least not yet. The cost of a GM (genetically modified) cannabis project would be many tens of millions of Euros.There are some suggestions that it would cost over €100 million. That’s partly because of the complexity and time required. It often takes a decade or more after starting a GM project before receiving commercial revenues from any future product. It would be a major research project, perhaps too much cost for any single company to afford. And it wouldn’t be clear if there were any guaranteed benefits. The most obvious interest would be to increase the cannabinoid content, or cannabinoid type. Or perhaps increase the speed of growth, or to produce heavier yields from monster sized plants. Maybe one day a project for GM cannabis will be created. But it will be hugely controversial and perhaps unpopular within the cannabis community. Most cannabis lovers feel uneasy about the thought of genetic manipulation of cannabis, especially if done for profit by a pharmaceutical company that will try to patent their work.
High quality seed banks like Dutch Passion are looking at future cannabis varieties which could be rich in some of the minor cannabinoids.CBD rich cannabis seed varieties have shown this is possible. Selective breeding is underway which may allow future cannabis seed varieties which could be rich in CBG, THCV, CBDV and others. These seeds will probably be available asfeminized seeds initially, and perhaps later asfeminized autoflowering seeds. These could have interesting properties for medical users as well as a slightly different psychoactive effect for recreational users. Keep reading theDutch Passion blog for the latest information.