Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis that have health benefits and sometimes mind-changing qualities. The yeast used to make alcoholic drinks since then and has now been improved to create them.
Can Yeast Produce Cannabinoids?
Yeast have an ability to change sugar into alcohol. The researchers added more than a dozen genes into the yeast genome to produce cannabinoids. Sugar is mixed to the strains that produce yeast, which would produce large amounts of cannabinoids.
Synthetic biologists made a group of enzymes in yeast that transforms sugar into cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Growing the plant and separating the psychoactive and non-psychoactive chemicals would be good for the environment and would need more energy than using yeast from factories. They have the ability to produce cannabis compounds with unexpected medical use.
Is Yeast A New Source for Rare Cannabinoids?
Outperforming cannabis plant yields for THC and CBD may be hard. Because THC and CBD are the richest cannabinoids—the plant produces large amounts of these compounds. When it comes to more rare and unique cannabinoids, however, yeast has the potential to be the best among others.
There are about 100 cannabinoids found naturally in the cannabis plant, however you can only find them in small amounts. This makes them difficult to remove and even more difficult to research. Using typical plant extraction procedures, the numbers necessary for medicinal research would be prohibitively expensive. As a result, little progress has been achieved in studies into the medicinal benefits of these cannabinoids.
Producing yeast solves this problem by allowing for the big manufacturing of certain cannabinoids other than THC and CBD. Keasling and his colleagues synthesise cannabinoids THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) and CBDV in addition to THC and CBD (cannabidivarin).
They also discovered that yeast, as well as the enzymatic steps involved in the production of cannabinoids, were quite adaptable. This suggests that scientists could create yeast strains that produce both rare and wholly unique cannabinoids with medical applications.
Why Yeast Can Be A New Source for Producing Cannabinoids
The yeast, which only eat sugar, are a simple and inexpensive approach to manufacture pure cannabinoids, which are currently expensive to extract from the buds of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Cannabinoids join a growing list of compounds and pharmaceuticals produced in yeast, including human growth hormone, insulin, blood clotting factors, and, most recently, morphine and other opiates, which are not yet on the market.
What Yeast Can Be Used To Produce Cannabis?
Californian scientists, creates a breed of yeast that we can use to make cannabis extract instead of beer.
The genetically modified yeast ferments to create pure cannabinoid chemicals, including mind-altering THC and non-psychoactive CBD, which helps medically to treat illnesses such as chronic pain and pediatric epilepsy, with just the addition of sugar.
The scientists, who have already established a cannabinoid brewing company, claim that the method is far less expensive, safer, and ecologically friendlier than extracting the components from marijuana plants.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, often known as brewer’s yeast, changes grape juice into wine, barley mash into beer, and dough into bread, so it’s an excellent contender if you have to pick a favorite microbe. Scientists have modified the yeast genome to make it create less appetizing but perhaps more crucial chemicals, such as hormones like insulin and medicines like opiates, over the last few decades. It’s now producing cannabinoids, the chemical chemicals contained in marijuana.
Can Yeast Produce Cannabinoids Better Than Cannabis?
There are over 100 distinct cannabinoids, although most of them are at considerably lower amounts than CBD and THC. Plants are more expensive to grow because they yield such small amounts of the rarer chemicals. Even when extracting them successfully, the chemicals frequently get contamination from remnants of their more common counterparts. Yeast could create purer forms of these cannabinoids, allowing uncommon kinds to compete on price with more popular cultivars. It’s a platform for manufacturing all of the cannabinoids which assume to exist in cannabis, as well as all of these unnatural ones that you’d never find in any organism. What distinguishes some of these as “abnormal”? Normally, marijuana plants combine THC with a substance known as hexanoic acid (which humans utilize as a cheap food additive).
Producing Cannabinoids Using Yeast Is Cheaper?
Scientists are converting yeast into small chemical factories that produce cannabinoids found in marijuana plants (Cannabis sativa). The method reported in a Nature research published this week changes galactose—the sugar found in brewer’s yeast—into THC and CBD, as well as additional cannabinoids that don’t naturally reside in the plant.
Previous research has used yeast to partially synthesize cannabinoids, but this is the first time a complete biosynthesis of Cannabis sativa’s key components has been achieved.
As a result, the cost of synthetic THC and CBD may be comparable to that of traditional plant-based products. Another advantage is that there would be no chance of psychoactive contamination in a non-psychoactive product.
How Does Yeast Produce Cannabinoids?
The fermentation process converts the mutant yeast into the main cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). To convert galactose into inactive forms of THC or CBD, the scientists needed to make 16 genetic changes.. The active forms of cannabinoids activate when you heat them. They were able to use the modified yeast to convert fatty acids into cannabinoids that do not occur in nature.
By designing yeast to convert sugar into other molecules that react with additional enzymes, scientists were able to turn it into a cannabis factory. The enzyme that ordinarily synthesizes CBGA, the mother of all cannabinoids, does not work in yeast, according to preliminary experiments.
After that, scientists added more enzymes to build particular pathways for THC and CBD production. Other enzymes were also introduced to make CBDV and THCV, which are less well-known cannabinoids with medical potential.
Why Scientists Use Yeast To Make Cannabinoids
Sugar causes yeast to produce ethanol, which is why it’s a major element in beer and wine production. However, because we know so much about yeast and it’s so easy to grow in vast quantities, scientists are increasingly “hacking” yeast to manufacture various medications instead. In this scenario, yeast ingested sugar and generated a number of key cannabis components. “There was a lot of engineering involved in getting there,” says Keasling, a chemist at the University of California Berkeley and co-author of the study. “We developed a frankenyeast by combining genes from a variety of creatures that would collaborate to produce these cannabinoids.”
The psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) shows in this cannabinoid crop, as well as cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s suddenly ubiquitous. (Keasling’s team was able to produce about 8 milligrams of THC per liter of yeast solution, and a little less for CBD.) But cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids, and Keasling’s team was able to produce some of the rarer ones, as well as some that don’t occur naturally, potentially opening up the possibility of new medicines.