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Identifying strains by their DNA is now possible

Cannabis leaves in test tubes

What strain is it really? For the first time reliable identification of cannabis strains by DNA

A revolution in cannabis? a company has developed a system that produces "biometric identifiers" for plants called " Cannabis Genetic Fingerprinting". Is the strain you purchased really the strain declared by the manufacturer or a strain that looks like it and “potentially” would have different effects? So far, there is no real possibility of finding out. But a new technology from Tikum Olam (CGF) now allows for the first time to obtain precise identification of cannabis strains by DNA. “It's the holy grail of the cannabis world,” says developer and geneticist Assaf Shalmon.

Genetic fingerprint of cannabis

How can you know for sure if the cannabis strain you bought or cultivated is the one we paid for? To date, this is done in an unscientific way, depending on a subjective sensation or external characteristics such as visibility, smell, etc. Now, a new technology called CGF, the result of Israeli development, should for the first time make it possible to characterize and accurately identify strains of cannabis from an analysis of the genetic sequence, the DNA, of a small piece of plant.

The new technology from the Israeli company Tikum Olam Cannbit is a technology that will finally allow the characterization of genetic fingerprints with "bar codes" for precise identification of cannabis varieties. This technology will first be used by the company itself, the ultimate goal being to enable the public to use it as well. According to the company it's like a big data charger for the cannabis world

For a long time and especially in the illegal market, but also in the world of medical cannabis, traders and companies have been selling cannabis strains with pompous names or with good “CV” and popularity with consequently high prices. But sometimes this is a completely different strain that you buy, although it may look similar, maybe it has a different bar of components and therefore has a dissimilar nature of influence.

Until now, the only way to try to identify a variety has been indicated or by its outward appearance. But the growing environment, lighting, fertilizers, and growing methods can affect many components of your strains. By characterizing the genetic sequence of each strain, it would be possible to identify which strain it is and thus ensure the same effect obtained each time. This development will therefore make it possible to verify “ownership” of varieties offered by a company, but also to be able to register patents, property rights and others.

Asaf Shalmon
Asaf Shalmon, geneticist and director of scientific development developer of the CGF system - "The Holy Grail of the cannabis world"

“The ability to identify cannabis strains with precision and reliability has for decades been considered the 'holy grail' of the cannabis world,” explains Assaf Shalmon , geneticist and scientific development director of Cannabis World Correction and who is in charge of the development of the CGF system. “We are making history with this technology, it is a revolutionary system for the identification and tracking of cannabis strains. Through the characterization of "genetic fingerprints" based on the DNA sequencing of each plant, "said Assaf Shalmon geneticist and director of the project.

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The name of the system is “Cannabis genetic fingerprinting (CGF) according to the company and characterization of“ fingerprints ”through the system is performed genetic mapping of the sequences of a variety throughout the plant genome based on consecutive genetic technology. The genetic fingerprint is a biological and natural barcode (GMO-free) that will accompany the plant throughout its life and until the finished product.

The company believes that the CGF system should fundamentally change the playing field on the ground and set a new standard in terms of identification, genetic stability, uniformity (reduction of the range of deviations in the composition of active ingredients), biological flats (improvement of the “therapeutic sequence”), registration and protection of property rights, management A genetic database and monitoring of cannabis strains, on the market of tomorrow ”, they explain.

Shlomon adds that “the one and exclusive parameter which completely and independently characterizes each cannabis strain, determines its properties, its therapeutic properties and also distinguishes it from all other cannabis strains in the world, is its unique genetic sequence. Therefore, determining the identity of a plant on the basis of its characteristic DNA sequence allows independent identification, exceptional reliability and statistical power far superior to any other biological parameter on which we have relied so far. . This is all due to the fact that the DNA sequence of a strain is the only source of its identity.

This ability to identify strains clearly and independently has been regarded for decades and more as the “holy grail” of the cannabis world, which includes thousands of different strains, without any ability to identify who is who “solidly” and objectively, and without effective monitoring tools, After varieties over time and in global space. " 

According to Shalmon, "Appropriate use of the system should allow the maximum realization of the potential that exists in any database of cannabis strains, which, among other things, in terms of quality, uniformity and apartments, growth stages to the final product. This, while improving and streamlining the control and monitoring of the genetic database, as well as preserving the value of the strains that compose it over time. This is the first and most important step, allowing for the first time the establishment of a permanent and stable "biometric identity card" for each type of cannabis. " 

To date, the identity of a cannabis plant has been diagnosed based on the characterization and measurement of its actual manifestations - traits such as plant height, leaf color and color, stem diameter, active ingredient profile and many other traits. Therefore, the actual properties of the plant are affected and vary depending on hundreds of external factors unrelated to the plant itself and its identity: factors that vary in the level of environmental conditions, methods of cultivation, storage and the measurement itself such as lighting and radiation, fertilizers, humidity, pests, diseases, temperatures, device models, working methods and many other variable factors. Depending on these variables, the expressive properties of the plant actually tested also change, and with them also its identity, which is diagnosed by them. 

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“So far, the procedure for diagnosing the identity of a plant has been conditioned by many variable parameters, both external and subjective, which cast doubt on its diagnosed identity. This low reliability of these methods has led to poor identification of plants. This, in addition to the accumulation of mutations in the multiplicity of plants, has led to the accumulation of genetic diversity within the populations of strains, therefore a "big mess", which manifests itself in "erosion" and weakening. specific features of the strains as well as uniformity and flatness. .

Besides the required use of the CGF system, to determine the identity of plants and later also unidentified products in the current activity, the company believes that on the basis of this system it will be possible to improve and streamline considerably the process of registering varieties under intellectual property (IP) rights. Cultivators' and / or 'patent', in accordance with procedures accepted in each country and state. As a result, the ability to "protect" property rights should improve and become much more effective, much more easily and effectively than today.

Today, the CGF system is in the middle of the last stage, the “Scale Up”, which is expected to provide a cheap and fast technical platform for the continued use of the system on a large scale. When this phase is completed, the system will be available for work, as part of “Fixing the World of Cannabis” activities. It is likely that in addition, the company, or another separate legal entity acting on its behalf, will also offer the genetic finger claims characterization service to anyone interested in Israel and around the world. 

Any characterization of such a fingerprint will require a very quick and simple procedure on the part of the customer of the service, which includes sampling a leaf of the tested plant and sending it for the test itself. In cases where the sample arrives outside the borders of Israel, the client of the service will first have to deal with the production of DNA from the leaf sample, using the laboratory services of the country of origin, and only then the DNA will be sent for testing in Israel. After characterization, the genetic fingerprint of the tested plant will be obtained, which will be sent to the customer, in a discreet and convenient way for reading, use and comparison.

Cannabis Genetic Fingerprinting

Tikun Olam-Cannabit, which is traded on an exchange worth around 202 million Israeli shekels, has announced today technological advances in the field of cannabis. The company claims to have developed a genetic trait system to identify and track strains of cannabis. Following the announcement, the stock climbed more than 3%.

The system, which goes by the name CFG (Cannabis Genetic Fingerprinting), has been developed into worldwide repair for about 3 years. According to the company, the system allows growers to sample leaves and characterize the plant's DNA, without harming it. Based on this, the company can create a genetic fingerprint that distinguishes the variety. Thus, according to the company, growers can maintain a "pure" and stable strain, Greenhouse plants are mutations of plants that will contaminate genetics, and since the beginning of the developmental phase of the system, more than one Thousands of plants have been tested using it.

Tags : ADNStrainTechnology
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Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.