Scientists have successfully created the properties of cannabis without growing the plant. Medical use of marijuana is becoming widely accepted as an effective treatment tool for a range of conditions from anxiety to epilepsy.
However, the extraction of the cannabinoids is an expensive process and growing the marijuana plants can be environmentally problematic.
Scientists from the University of Berkeley have now used simple brewer’s yeast to produce marijuana’s main ingredients, the powerful THC and non-psychoactive CBD. They also created novel cannabinoids not found in the plant itself.
Cheap abundant supply
The yeast is a cheap and simple way to produce pure cannabinoids. “For the consumer, the benefits are high-quality, low-cost CBD and THC: you get exactly what you want from yeast,” said Jay Keasling, a UC Berkeley professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of bioengineering and a faculty scientist at