Frankenstrain Cannabis Bud with 17% More THC, 25% More CBG, and 30% More Terpenes Created by Israeli EngineerJune 17, 2022
Israeli Engineers Create A Novel New Cannabis Strain With More THC…And More Terpenes Too!!!
Israeli researchers see the potential of more THC and terpenes for cannabis’ healing properties.
That’s why engineers from the University of Jerusalem have been able to create a new cannabis plant strain with 17% more THC, and 25% more CBG. The team, led by Professor Alexander Vainstein from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, were successful in increasing cannabinoids as well as terpenes from 20-30%. The intention of this project was to “intervene in the biochemical pathways in the cannabis plant” and eventually alter how active substances were produced, reports JPost.com.
“This represents an innovative use of these tools, which were constructed using synthetic biology tools,” he said. “Next, we developed an innovative technology based on infection with an engineered virus to facilitate chemical reactions that increase the quantities of desired substances. In collaboration with Mariana Bioscience Ltd., we examined infected plants and found that the levels of the substances in question had indeed risen,” Vainstein explained.
They were able to do this by toying with a neutralized active virus found within cannabis. “We examined the infected plants and found that the levels of the substances in question had, indeed, risen,” the researchers wrote. “These study results will be valuable both to industry, to increase the yield of active substances, and to medical researchers to cultivate and develop new strains for medical cannabis users,” says Vainstein.
It’s the first time researchers have been able to succeed with an experiment of this kind.
Before this, there was no known way that anyone could tailor the cannabinoids or other plant compounds within the plant.
Fast-Growing Medical Marijuana Market In Israel
According to cannabis industry analysis firm Prohibition Partners, the medical cannabis market of Israel was worth some $264 million in 2021. Several cannabis and biotech startups with marijuana-based medical products have seen tremendous growth over the last few months, and things are only expected to get greener for Israel.
Last month, the Ministry of Agriculture released a statement saying that cannabis seeds from local crop firm BetterSeeds were exported to the United States, making it the first time seeds were ever exported. US companies will then analyze the seeds for viability to market in America, though it’s safe to assume that more exports will come in the near future. This is another major step forward for Israel to position itself as a pioneer in the global cannabis marketplace, especially considering that the steps necessary to get here took around almost a year.
“Israel has the ability to make its mark on the industry and be among the world’s leaders,” said Agriculture Minister, Oded Forer. “The export of cannabis seeds invites us to expand the diversity of Israeli agriculture exports and strengthens local agriculture,” he said in the statement. In addition, these efforts “exploits Israel’s relative advantage in an area that is still considered preliminary.”
“Increasing the range of exports and expanding it to cannabis products will enable the deepening of existing markets and penetration into new markets while riding on the growing wave of demand for cannabis products with medical-health value,” the statement continues.
It’s not surprising that Israel is destined to become the global pioneer for medicinal cannabis; it is, after all, where Raphael Mechoulam, also known as the godfather of THC, first isolated the famous psychoactive compound in the plant back in the 1960’s. Even as early as then, Israelis were already researching the plant’s medicinal compounds and Mechoulam was among the best-known of them.
Aside from isolating THC, he was responsible for helping to discover the existence of the endocannabinoid system. Other notable discoveries of his include the fact that the human brain makes its own cannabinoids, which stimulate our very own receptor system. It was through Mechoulam’s body of research that the doors to studying medicinal cannabis opened worldwide.
Even their laws have been more progressive compared to other countries, and they were among the first countries to legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes. By the early 1990’s, it was already legal for patients suffering from Parkinson’s, Crohn’s and cancer to use medical marijuana.
Israel is also home to Tikun Olam, the biggest MMJ supplier in the country and one of the world’s biggest MMJ companies. They have already developed almost 230 proprietary cannabis varieties. Meanwhile, numerous startups are focused on making marijuana more accessible through prescription at pharmacies, which they can do with the support of the government. International cannabis companies are also leaving a footprint in the Israeli marijuana landscape.
However, recreational cannabis is still illegal in Israel. But because Israel is so fertile for the growth of medical marijuana companies, it’s home to a huge concentration of startups and companies that are solely focused on developing therapeutic products for the sick, all from compounds from the cannabis plant. Successful startups especially in technology have long been a strength of Israelis thanks to the presence of numerous private investors and investment funds.
Furthermore, the country as a whole is committed to medical research, with many of the biggest breakthroughs in the last few years coming from the Holy Land. According to Michael Dor, the Ministry of Health’s medical marijuana department senior medical adviser, there are over 110 clinical trials going on. It’s certainly the one country that has the most number of clinical trials analyzing the benefits of cannabis. Many of these are being subsidized by the Israeli government, too (while much is still to be desired in this aspect in the United States).
With all these breakthroughs in Israel, they are no doubt the most powerful pioneer for cannabis in the world.