Yeast. What an amazing product right? This single-celled fungi, that helps to produce many of the great things we know of today, such as dough for bread and beer, and so many other things, well now researchers are discovering that this fungi may, in fact, be able to create THC and CBD!
How does this work? Well, it’s actually quite interesting. There are two different types of brewers yeast that will create either the compound THCA or CBDA once the specific yeast is loaded with CBGA. Think of CBGA as the main mother cannabinoid for other cannabinoids that exist. That’s how Jay Keasling puts it at least. He is the co-author of the paper “Complete biosynthesis of cannabinoids and their unnatural analogues in yeast”. This paper fully explains the process, but to explain it simply: The yeast that gets loaded with CBGA, due to its particular enzyme that the yeast carries, it turns the CBGA into THCA or CBDA.
Now before I lose you as I know there are many letters involved, THCA and CBDA are the non-activated cannabinoids that activate with heat, or a process also known as decarboxylation. They then turn into the compounds we know and love THC and CBD. THC also known as Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound in the plant that produces a “high”. CBD also known as Cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive ingredient that has a number of medicinal values.
This process of manufacturing could have a ton of benefits. To start the incredible benefit of being able to isolate one specific cannabinoid, without risk of any trace of another, could be something highly sought after by various companies. These companies could vary from being within the food industry to the medical field.
Furthermore, the process for growing cannabis just to then try to isolate the specific cannabinoid one is searching for is highly non-cost effective, and quite time-consuming. Traces of THC could still be found in isolates of CBD and vice versa.
In Canada, with the rollout of legalization, many licensed companies have been unable to provide the medical market, let alone the recreational market with a sufficient enough product supply, or quality of supply in many cases. The benefit of using yeast means there could be a much larger supply of the isolated cannabinoids available. This produces benefits for many areas of business in the economy (companies wanting to infuse or create products with THC/CBD) as well as medicinal benefits for those suffering and in need of the isolated product.
Another important point to note is the weather in Canada is not always ideal, and growing indoors is not always available, the benefit of yeast creating these compounds could greatly decrease the problems created with the need for growing the full plant.
In conclusion, researchers are inventing an incredible way to produce the highly sought after cannabinoids, that sometimes are not as widely available as we would like them to be!
What are some other benefits you think could occur with the production of THC/CBD being manufactured by yeast? Comment below, and follow @herbology420 on Instagram for more daily news and media!