Gaps and inconsistencies exist in the cannabis space when it comes to producing cannabis medicine and products. One gap is cannabis dosing. Two others are a lack of research and quality grade cannabis especially for research purposes. One researcher, Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Massachusetts, has sued the U.S. government over the quality of research cannabis.
One of the major gaps is relying on traditional plant cultivation and extraction operations to produce consistent high purity THC and CBD for making cannabis medicine and products.
This consistency is difficult to achieve through traditional agriculture, especially for rare cannabinoids that are found in trace amounts and not easily or economically produced in mass quantity via plant extraction to be further studied or utilized for cannabis medicine and products.
Traditional agricultural means are resource-intensive, can lead to quality and quantity variability in the end products and is detrimental to the environment. Disposal also can be a problem. And this method may also be subject to breakdowns in the supply chain. Currently most companies in the cannabinoid synthesization space are concentrating on utilizing live organisms – yeast, bacteria or algae – as the medium for synthesization. Live organisms are difficult mediums to manipulate and need to be chemically or biologically “tricked” into producing a desired outcome.
Stable, reliable, consistent, scalable, cost efficient, safe and efficacious compounds/formulations are needed in order to make cannabis medicine and products.
One of the best and most reliable ways to achieve these goals with cannabis and other plants is through the process known as synthesization – specifically cannabinoid synthesization. This process captures the plant’s essence and offers the ability to perfectly mass produce compounds, medicines, products at lower cost in the form of reusable materials. Plant chemicals are responsible for some of the most important medical advances of our time, including antibiotics, chemotherapy, pain management and hallucinogenics. Widely known and used synthesized drugs and products include morphine, aspirin, vanilla extract, vitamin c, penicillin, Taxol, insulin and wine. Green, clean technology produces non-toxic and non-immunogenic molecules and compounds meaning we can have at the ready genetically modified superior synthetic molecules to make badly needed cannabinoid medicine to fight cancer and other diseases and ailments.
There may also be an urgent need in the near future for a process to capture the compounds of other plants threatened by climate change. In addition, synthesization of plants just may be a solution to the climate crisis by capturing their essence, banking molecules or compounds and having the ability to reuse them when and as needed – similar to U.S. and other global seed saving programs.
Rare cannabinoids exist in such trace amounts that traditional extraction techniques cannot produce substantial quantities in order to be studied therefore the need for synthesization.
Synthesization will preserve the plant’s compounds through banking of its materials.
Currently and in the future when federal regulators de-schedule cannabis, pharmaceutical, bio-technology, chemical and cannabis companies will all be vying with their own proprietary process to synthesize cannabinoids.
The synthesization process can be applied to mass-produce reliable, consistent, scalable, full spectrum cannabinoid-based products. It can be used to produce currently widely popular cannabinoids THC/CBD as well as rare cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, THCV, CBDP, THCP at high quality and purity at lower cost. Using the synthesization process will allow one lab to produce in one week what a one-acre field can produce in a year and, more important, produce it perfectly.
Several companies have used and designed genetically engineered microorganisms – yeast, algae and bacteria – to gain some control over cannabinoid production. The use of these organisms has some drawbacks. First, genetic changes occur when using live organisms for production. Second, although less costly than traditional cannabis farming, significant expense is incurred for microbiology scale-up. Third, yeast is a structurally inefficient support-mechanism; its cells can only produce a small amount of the cannabinoids before cell death. This is due to exogenous proteins needed to produce the cannabinoids interfering with the endogenous cellular machinery, as well as the cannabinoids themselves. These cells have no means of exporting them outside the cell. The more efficient, streamlined and scientific approach would be to use the synthesization process in conjunction with nanotechnology.
This process of combining synthesization and nanotechnology can also be used to mass-produce hard to isolate, cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, THCV, CBDP, THCP, CBC, Delta-8 at in quantities sufficient to allow further studies in clinical trials. Research can explore the further potential of CBN as a sleep aid and CBD as an anti-inflammatory in cancer treatments.
The full therapeutic and commercial value of rare cannabinoids is an untapped market open for exploration and commercialization. Synthesization of plants also may be a solution to the climate crisis by capturing their molecular structures, banking them and then retrieving and reusing them in the future as needed. In addition, this technology could help fight emerging diseases such as coronavirus and allow the U.S. to compete with other countries such as China which is out-investing this country in such research.
Gaetano Lardieri is the founder of THCBD LLC.