DNA Sequencing

DNA Sequencing

The Genome of Cannabis

DNA sequencing identifies the genes that are responsible for phytochemicals produced by Cannabis. The genome is still under-explored and complex, especially the THC-producing gene. 

Sequencing is used to elucidate the intricacies of the specific chromosome regions and drivers behind the biochemistry of cannabis. Sequencing information is used to produce a “DNA fingerprint” for specific strains and also to improve yield and medicinal quality.

Understanding the genome of cannabis is particularly important with respect to scaling up the production of minor cannabinoids, which otherwise are only present in the plant at nominal levels.

Plants that produce high levels of THC express genes that code for hyperactive versions of the enzyme THCA synthase, whereas those plants that code for the enzyme CBDA synthase produce more CBD.

The potency and medical benefits of cannabinoids can be attributed to a single enzyme, or a genetically encoded switch, which takes place at the last stage in the cannabinoid pathway.

The “switch,” called the THCA synthase and CBDA synthase enzyme is where precursor molecules of Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) are converted into either THCA or CBDA - the acidic forms of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).

It is expected that a direct result of marker-assisted hybridization and trait-based selection, "Within three years none of the strains being grown now will continue to be produced, and there will be unbelievable new varieties".

This presents a unique opportunity as minor cannabinoids pend entrance into markets already oversaturated with CBD products.


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