Cannabis Biotechnology, explained...

Cannabis Biotechnology, explained...

Cannabis is commonly known as marijuana. It is a drug that is obtained from the cannabis sativa plant. The growing of cannabis sativa and consumption of cannabis is prohibited in many countries, and it could attract massive fines or jail sentences or both. In countries like Jamaica and some states in the United States of America, cannabis is legal. In addition to being a stimulating drug, it is also said to have the medicinal value which stems from the chemical compounds. 

It is noted that the original use of cannabis was medicinal centuries ago before people started using it for stimulation. Cannabidiol is a compound that adds up to 40% of the plant extracts, and it is the one responsible for the medicinal value of the plant.

Cannabis biotechnology is merely the manipulation of plant breeding techniques and genetic make-up to develop a new product from the plant. It also involves the making of synthetic products of cannabis to give products that are difficult to produce by plant breeding programs. The main products that are being created from marijuana is a medicine that is used to control and maintains body diseases and disorders. Several companies have taken advantage of the legalisation of cannabis to diversify the products of the plant. Some of the companies which have invested in the industry have specialised in the following processes;

Selling of whole cannabis flowers that have been dried. These flowers can be sold to other companies which deal with the formation of medicine by use of cannabis products.

Other companies have specialised in standardisation. This is one of the critical processes that cannabis is passed through before it used in the formation of pharmaceutical drugs. Normalisation is a process that is done to the cannabis products to ensure that there are correct amounts of doses that will be readily accepted by the body. It also enables the comparison and of the results of the drug in the human body by use of trials and research.

The lighting industry has a significant part of the medical and hydroponic cannabis business - Dimlux, Gavita and Solis Tek are currently the leading players in this sector. Commercial companies (i.e. Pharmaceutical and Medical Research) use these lights to maximise the output from their crops. Using the best equipment allows the production facilities to optimise yield and in turn maximise profit for the business partner and associate members. With interchangeable reflector trays, the cannabis production facilities change their reflector tray to keep optimum yield of there crop. The reflectors do not cost much,  and for a small amount to pay, they able to control the constant level of peak production. Example of this may be, without changing out old bulbs or reflector tray, with a percentage drop, per yield, this, in turn, will mean a revenue decrease.

This is done to ensure that the crop is not contaminated genetically by pollen from other plants or other agents in the background. They have established greenhouses to provide that there is no need for using pesticides or herbicides that may affect the quality of the products after harvesting. Practices like weeding are done manually to prevent damaging the plants. The quality of the substrate used is also tested to avoid planting the crop in soil that has heavy chemicals. Cannabis takes up heavy compounds very fast, and it may cause very disastrous effects when consumed by humans. Most of the greenhouses have opted to use hydroponics, which is the use of soilless media for planting, for the propagation of the plant. The most commonly used is rock wool, cocoa and Mapito.

Some companies are mainly involved in the breeding of the plant to come up with new varieties, at early stags the plant material can be tested before maturation to identifies critical components that the breeder required for the pharmaceutical company or for a breeding schedule. This is Key to producing plants that are able to cover different and rising pharmaceutical need of the patients. 

After the plant has been grown, there are additional processes that ensure the high quality of the products produced, these include procedures such as drying, processing and packaging. Processing involves the removal of the twigs and leaves and even subjecting the product to gamma rays to eliminate all unwanted micro-organisms that may be present in the product. Trimming is also done by use of hands to prevent damaging the outgrowths that may be on the plant which often have essential constituents.

Conclusion

Cannabis is a plant that is very popular as a stimulating drug. Recent studies have however revealed that marijuana can be used as a drug to treat and control many diseases and disorders in the human body. It is this knowledge that cannabis biotechnology developed - the use of scientific knowledge to diversify the products and applications of the cannabis plant. 

Many companies have invested in this technology which includes the use of greenhouses to plant the crop, standardised practices and even the use of soilless media to grow plants to maturity. Breeding programs have been carried out to produce new varieties and methods like grafting to maintain the genetic purity of the strain. 

Biotechnology, within the cannabis industry, is here to stay, large Pharmaceutical companies are recruiting with a heavy focus on the research and development of new drugs and products utilising cannabinoids, the active compounds within cannabis, The future is green.