New Gingko and Cronos Partnership Aims To Produce Lab-Grown Cannabis
A new partnership has emerged between biotech firm Gingko Bioworks Inc, and cannabis company Cronos Group Inc with the aim of producing genetically engineered cannabinoids.
Gingko is working with Cronos, a Canadian company, to find a way in which to create cannabis cannabinoids independent of the cannabis plant.
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Cannabis contains a number of beneficial cannabinoids, most notably, THC and CBD, however, most of these cannabinoids exist in such small amounts that those wishing to benefit from them often need to consume flower in its entirety to feel any effects. Certain cannabinoids, such as delta-8-THC, are found in amounts that are still very low, even in whole flowers. However, this cannabinoid may still have significant therapeutic effects. Some research suggests that delta-8-THC may contribute to the death of cancer cells in certain patients.
Gingko and Cronos aim to isolate these potentially life-altering cannabinoids and use their DNA sequences to produce large quantities of them independently of the cannabis plant. If successful, the results of this partnership could bring countless new cannabinoid-based medicines to the pharmaceutical industry and potentially change the state of the cannabis industry as well.
Some are cautious about the new partnership and the effects it could have on the burgeoning cannabis industry. Cultivators are among the concerned, as mass-produced cannabinoids will surely compete with grow operations already seeking to keep up with increased demand. Gingko and Cronos' partnership could shift the industry into a new, technologically-driven era, replacing the industry's historical focus on agriculture. If their work proves to be fruitful, Gingko and Cronos could also make the benefits of cannabis accessible to more people, as it is likely the federal government would be more inclined to legalize lab-produced cannabinoids.
Gingko announced the $122 million deal this week, and will now have access to Cronos' Canadian-based labs to begin experimenting with the DNA of the marijuana plant.
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