News » Scientists Decode Cannabis Genome
August 22, 2011 by justin
While most people are familiar with chemical compound THC (Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol) and the cannabanoid CBD, fewer are aware of the other 83 chemical compounds that are contained in marijuana. These compounds may offer medical benefits such as pain relief and possible even shrink some cancer tumors.
To further study these compounds, scientists working for Medicinal Genomics, a small biotech startup, have decoded the DNA of Cannabis sativa. Their goal is to breed plants that do not contain the psychoactive properties commonly associated with marijuana today, rather only the compounds found to be most valuable therapeutically.
Although many medical marijuana activists may disagree with the goals of the project – to produce pharmaceutical drugs along the lines of Sativex, produced by German company GW Pharma – there is still something to for them to get excited about.
Kevin McKernan, the founder and CEO of Medical Genomics, plans to make the research public on Amazon’s EC2 servers, taking advantage of the research done at the company’s facilities in the Netherlands, where marijuana be obtained legally.
“A lot of people who want to contribute to this field can’t, but now that this information is available, a lot of research can get done without growing any plants,” McKernan said.
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