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Israeli researchers use repurposed plant virus to grow ‘enhanced’ cannabis

Scientists manage to increase levels of active components THC and CBG, opening up new opportunities for the growing industry

Israeli researchers have used advanced technology to grow an enhanced strain of cannabis that contains higher levels of THC and CBG, the main active components in cannabis, opening up new possibilities for the popular medicinal plant and recreational drug.

In work conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, researchers were able to successfully engineer and grow a cannabis plant with close to 17 percent higher levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive component in cannabis, and 25% higher levels of CBG (cannabigerol), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid — a substance usually associated with a sensation of physical relaxation and sometimes used as a treatment for sleep disorders, inflammation and chronic pain.

The lab-developed strain also had a 20–30% higher presence of terpenes, which are responsible for maximizing the euphoric effects of cannabis

The study’s goal, according to a statement issued by the university, was to develop a mechanism that would allow researchers to intervene in the biochemical pathways of the cannabis plant and change the levels of active substances it produces...


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