GMO or glycosylation of cannabinoids
And no, Monsanto did not survive but after years of fake alertsis finally here: genetically modified cannabis for the commercial market. Created by Trait Biosciences, the first truly transformed plant has arrived. Trait, a biotechnology company based in Los Alamos, New Mexico, has designed this plant to produce water-soluble cannabinoids, which they believe provides a number of industrial benefits that companies can not obtain from the plant produced from water. natural way.
Classical techniques Water-soluble cannabinoids can be produced by generally emulsifying cannabis extracts that are essentially mixed with starch. Exclusive plants feature generate the soluble cannabinoids inside the cannabis itself. It is therefore not necessary to modify the molecules chemically after expensive and dangerous extraction processes.
Before diving into this biotechnological marvel (or genetic modification), let's look at what makes something genetically modified (GM) and what does not.
An introduction to genetic engineering
Cannabis activists who are less in favor of biotechnology will say that genetically modified grass has been on the market for years and that it often repeats the same "naturalistic" claims invented by the biotechnology industry itself. According to this (erroneous) belief, nature has essentially "genetically modified" plants forever. But this is not true, it is a marketing line invented to make the public more sensitive to GM crops.
In science (not private industries), genetic modification or engineering refers to artificial methods of splicing genes of human origin or genes from foreign organisms into another living being. Genetic modification can also refer to "shotgun" techniques in which an organism is flooded with radiation or metal pellets carrying the genes in question. New forms of life created in this way are called genetically modified organism or GMO.
People often confuse GMOs with artificially selected organisms. Examples of artificial breeding or selective breeding include, among others, domestic dogs or (at the plant level) some crops such as berries, broccoli, bananas and cannabis. Artificial selection uses cross-breeding techniques to amplify the desired genes in the offspring of an organism, usually by inbreeding, but not always.
Whatever the way in which artificial selection is carried out, it rests always traditional breeding techniques (for example, pollination of flowers, obtaining two dogs), and introduces never foreign genes or created by humans in the parents or their offspring.
Modification or genetic engineering, on the other hand, does not use traditional breeding techniques. In the laboratory, organisms are subjected to very sophisticated methods that integrate foreign genes into their DNA. If the body can transmit these foreign genes to its offspring, we say that it is "completely transformed".
In what way is the plant of Trait Biosciences different?
La cannabis plant pending de message could have major consequences for the flourishing cannabis industry. In agriculture, GM crops are generally designed to resist pesticides, herbicides and extreme environmental conditions. Trait instead introduced a cannabis plant that fundamentally changes the chemical composition of its most valuable components: the cannabinoids.
"To our knowledge, this is the first truly stabilized and processed cannabis plant. There have been transients, but the genes have not been passed on to future generations. "said Ronan Levy, Head of Strategy at Trait, at MERRY JANE during a telephone interview.
One of these transformation attempts took place in 2012. A research group led by Dr. Imane Wahby, used Agrobacteria to introduce foreign genes into the tissues of cannabis plants, namely the roots. Although foreign genes were able to penetrate the tissue's DNA, they probably could not be passed on to the offspring (a "transient transformation," as Levy called it). This is probably because cannabis has evolved to conserve its internal genetics and plants that can self-pollinate by becoming hermaphrodites (such as cannabis) often bypass attempts to completely transform them.
Trait's water-soluble cannabis technology falls into two product lines, Trait Distilled and Trait Amplified. Distilled trait focuses on making edible and drinking products using the company's water soluble cannabinoids. Amplified trait refers to the GM plants themselves.
Trait also has more product lines. Trait Defense uses biotechnological methods to protect its cannabis from viruses, bacteria and molds. Trait Tailored offers custom cannabis that produces specific levels or ratios of cannabinoids, eg plants still producing 30% THC that still balance a ratio of 1: 1 between THC and CBD. And the company's Trait Zero line promises hemp plants that never produce THC.
Because the plants of feature produce cannabinoids inside and outside flower trichomes, they can produce higher yields of cannabinoids than traditionally grown plants, up to five times higher. The company extracts the glycosolated cannabinoids from the plant material using an industrial press, the same technique used to extract sugar from sugar cane.
"It is not necessary to wait for the flowering phase to harvest the plant," he says. "The growth cycle is therefore shorter. And because cannabinoids grow in stems, stems, roots and leaves, in theory you can take a continuous harvesting approach, removing leaves and stems from a plant without having to start with a new plant. "
Basically, trait's genetically modified plants could be grown for their ever-virtual cannabinoids, since the initiation of the flowering stage is what ultimately tells the plant to die in the near future. Theoretically, this same configuration should work for THC as for CBD, but for the moment, Trait only focuses on the CBD.
Levy's previous statement may shock some people's sensitivity to cannabis, but it's true. Previous research has showed that if cannabis cells were exposed to unusually concentrated amounts of cannabinoids, they would die. As toxicologists say, toxicity has little to do with the nature of a molecule and much more with the dose. After all, drinking too much water can be toxic to the human body, even though 70 at 80% of our body is composed of water.
according to a patent filing , Trait's lab team explained how mutant genes for an enzyme called cytochrome P450, the same enzyme which breaks down the drugs present in our liver and another enzyme, glycosyltransferase, could convert cannabinoids into a water-soluble form in the cannabis plant itself. When the mutant glycosyltransferase binds to a cannabinoid such as CBD, it attaches a single sugar molecule to the cannabinoid via a process called glycosolation. The cannabinoids that cradle this sugar accessory are called glycosolated cannabinoids. This development has had several consequences for the plant and the manufacturing processes of Trait, only one of which is cannabinoids that dissolve in water.
Glycosylation of cannabinoids
"If you glycosylate the cannabinoids in the plant, you can detoxify the process of cannabinoid synthesis, potentially allowing the plant to synthesize and store cannabinoids in every cell of the plant, not just trichomes."
In other words, Levy says that every part of Trait's cannabis plants could produce cannabinoids. This includes leaves, stems and roots. And since cannabis does not depend on cannabinoids, Levy argues that these glycosolated compounds do not compromise the health or survival of the plant.
What is the point of making cannabinoids soluble in water?
GMO trait plants are ideal for the manufacture of high-pressure homogeneous beverages (such as in milk), sonication (sound waves) or emulsification (a mixture of cannabinoids and starches) to disperse cannabis extract in the body. 'water.
Some companies have made cannabinoids dissolve better than others. While some weed-based drinks are "consumer-stable", which means that cannabinoids remain suspended and invisible in the water, others are not as effective. For example, you may notice that in some drinks the extract accumulates in the bottom of the bottle or the drink will appear cloudy when shaken. Levy explained that Trait Amplified cannabinoids beverages would actually contain 100% water soluble cannabinoids and that no agitation is required.