To understand cannabinoid biosynthesis you need to understand biosynthesis first, biosynthesis is a complex but natural process that is done by every single cell in everything that is on the planet including you and I. Cells have machines that are instructed by DNA to use nutrients to create chemicals. Cells in the cannabis plant use nutrients from the soil, water, and sunlight to create more than 400 different chemicals. We can now engineer cells to turn them into scalable manufacturing technologies as this science has been done before. Scientists can now swap out the natural machines of the cannabinoids with ones that are in, for instance, yeast cells and put in new machines, rewriting their DNA code which enables those cells to produce pure, natural cannabis extracts. So for instance, instead of using yeast for things such as brewing beer, now we're able to program that yeast to take sugar water in a fermentation process like a brewery, but instead of beer, produce a supply of cannabinoids removing the need for agriculture in the supply chain. This technology holds the promise of producing THC, CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids at a fraction of the cost of traditional agriculture practices.
The term “biosynthesis,” naturally, makes people think of the word “synthetic.” but, this process is not about making synthetic cannabinoids. These are pure and natural cannabinoids, the process can be described as a natural product, made by a different cell type. Rather than cannabinoid growth in plant cells, which create a variety of different chemicals and include variables you can not control, biosynthesis enables cannabinoid growth in cells that function as "pharmaceutical grade" allowing for a consistently pure and high-quality product.
There is more than one way to approach cannabinoid biosynthesis, the use of yeast cells, E. coli cells, and algae cells are three of the most common. Yeast and E. coli are so popular simply because scientists are already familiar with them. Algae cells have been used in efforts to replace oil and gas, and that same approach is being used by companies to explore biosynthesis in the cannabis space while other companies like Cellibre work to focus on non-traditional organisms. The difference in all these simply put is the reengineering from point A to Z, in the future, we will be able to find the cells most like the cannabinoids that would be best for this process throughout time and testings.
As this technology and science emerge and large cannabis companies continuing to invest, it is a matter of when, not if, this technology will dramatically change the cannabis supply chain. You might think that our farmers would be hesitant in implementing this technology but in fact, cannabinoid biosynthesis eliminates the variable that causes inconsistency in products and creates extracts of up to 99.9% purity. That level of consistency and quality ensures that brands can create products that offer consumers the same experience every time no matter where it's consumed while beating the prices of traditional agriculture. Flower products will likely always have a demand but will be largely superseded by extract-based products as market shares in the cannabis industry begin to advance. This means that the demand for high-quality, consistent, and scalable extracts will only increase. Additionally, this technology allows cannabis companies to deconstruct the plant to its unique components, at a comparable cost for products like CBD and minimizes waste.
○ 98.7% Less Water: Low water consumption/recyclable system
○ 99.9% Less Land: Smaller footprint than plant agriculture
○ 99.8% Less Pollution: No pesticides or agricultural waste
The opportunity for cannabinoid biosynthesis is clear, major companies in the cannabis space are looking to commercialize this technology within the next 12 -24 months. Though there is competition, this is not a race to see which company can be first. It's believed that multiple companies will utilize cannabinoid biosynthesis and have success in the market. The main factors in the success of biosynthesis are simply having plenty of capital and the right team in place. This science requires expertise across multiple fields who have a shared drive for shifting the paradigm in biotechnology. Biosynthesis also has a large upside to sustainability for our planet in the future. Companies like Biotti are not only looking into cannabinoid biosynthesis but also ahead into the next 10+ years to solve global issues such as the depletion of fossil fuels, freshwater shortages, the mental health crisis, and climate change. Biosynthesis opens up endless possibilities in the cannabis market but also on a much broader scale as one of humanity's few solutions for creating an abundant world.