Since January 1st, when adult use & cannabis sales began in California, desire and interest for cannabis tourism in San Diego has only increased. It should be no surprise that you may find some of the most modern cannabis dispensaries, well stocked with premium products, along San Diego’s shores. Previously, only patients with state issued medical cards could choose from a list of Medical Marijuana Dispensary locations throughout the city. By April 2018, 17 San Diego dispensaries have been approved to serve any person 21 and over with valid identification, with no doctor’s recommendation required. This popularity has produced an interesting problem that two scientists are trying to solve with research. Here is their solution:
It’s Not Just Marijuana Flower, THC is in Food Too
With legalization comes many new customers and cannabis enthusiasts. For much of these first timers, smoking cannabis can be quite the foreign activity, and sometimes even challenging. The need for an easier route of administration has led to a surge in edibles popularity, with products available ranging from cannabis candy bars and soda to topical lotions and salves.
Cannabis Popularity is Growing
Although recent state sanctioned THC limitations were placed on edible products, their popularity only further increased. It’s estimated that edibles make up some 40% of all cannabis sales nationwide. As edibles continue to boom, many dispensaries find their cannabis growers can’t keep up with demand. Scientists and businesses alike seek a shortcut: isolating compounds like THC and CBD in a lab setting, so they can be easily included into food. Isolating these chemicals, however, is no easy feat.
Scientists are Experimenting
Here in San Diego, two biotech teams of expert cannabis scientists are poised to solve the problem of trying to separate the individual compounds. It is very exciting to see high level scientists taking an interest in the cannabis industry, further adding to the growing legitimate reputation that marijuana is gaining as a real solution to many medical issues.
San Diego based CB Therapeutics have bio engineered a yeast that grows cannabinoids after the addition of sugar. For San Diego based biotech groups CB Therapeutics and Librede, the events of January 1st, 2018 couldn’t come soon enough.
The Process of Developing a THC Compound
At first, in order to isolate cannabis chemicals, scientists had to wait for cannabis to be grown, and it’s ingredients extracted before any isolation process could take place. This traditional greenhouse method is just too lengthy. Scientists at San Diego based Librede and BC therapeutics anticipated the need for a quick and easy way to produce these important cannabinoids long before legalization became reality, and began their efforts to do so in 2013 and 2016 respectively.
Prior to mainstream acceptance spurred by cannabis legalization, their efforts and requests for collaboration often weren’t taken seriously. In an interview with the San Diego Tribune, Jason Paolos, Librede’s founder, described the early roadblocks he faced, stating, “Everyone just [laughed and made] a stoner joke about the yeast getting high or something.” CB Therapeutics co founder and CEO Sher Ali Butt remembered pitching the idea for isolation efforts in San Diego in 2016, but, “Before legalization in California, nobody wanted to even take my phone call. I would go places and people would laugh me out of the room.”
Today, the laughter has died down, and efforts by these two San Diego based groups may usher in a new era for cannabis edible products.
Turning Over a New Leaf
Isolating THC and CBD would allow cannabis edibles like canna soda to be mass produced without mass greenhouse production. One of the biggest reasons behind both group’s efforts is the growing bubble that is the cannabis industry. If they or any other biotech group isolated cannabinoids, they could earn a large stake of the 10 billion or so dollars that makes up the whole of the legal cannabis industry. Moreover, their work has an environmental impact.
While demand for cannabis brings many new tourists and customers to California, it’s important to note that cannabis growing does indeed leave a carbon footprint, and if we can isolate cannabis chemicals we may be able to save greenhouse resources and still meet the growing demand for infused products, like edibles. San Diego based CB Therapeutics plans to bring their cannabinoid growing yeast to market in the next month, and Librede continues to seek funding to commercialize. As to be expected, San Diego continues to be on the cutting edge of cannabis science, for the betterment of all customers and enthusiasts.
About the Author
Chris Matich is a professional writer, journalist, and editor living in Pittsburgh, PA. Chris blogs for Schenley.net. His writing interests include LGBT+ people/issues, sports writing, and blogging. Chris currently writes about web optimization, blogging practices, medical cannabis, and cannabis lifestyle. He writes fiction and creative nonfiction in his spare time.