Cloning cannabis cells with up to 12 times the potency by Israeli company
Using a bioreactor, an Israeli company has cloned hemp cells to cultivate them into a powdered biomass that contains all the active cannabis ingredients and can be increased to twelve times the potency. Not to be confused with the horticultural practice of cloning, Rehovot, Israel-based BioHarvest Sciences clones on a cellular level.
Changing the way we think about the cannabis cloning
One of the advantages of this technology is the potential to minimise waste. “Some of the plant material from the cannabis plant is waste, which can be avoided with BioHarvest technology,”
“Cannabis plants are mostly grown for the flower alone,” Sobel continued. “The flower contains the crucial trichomes, which are the source of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. BioHarvest’s technology allows them to grow cannabis cells with 93% trichomes in their bioreactors.”
The biomass is not grown like a typical plant, but produced in a bioreactor. “We don’t grow the plant at all “. We grow it in huge bioreactors in just three weeks – whereas normal cannabis takes 14 to 23 weeks. Our technology can also significantly increase the content of active ingredients as a percentage of weight compared to what is normally found in the plant.
And gram for gram, the BioHarvest team says their cannabis biomass requires less water and resources than plants.
Sobel and BioHarvest stress that the cells have not been genetically modified and that they are identical to cells found in living plants. While the technology may sound far-reaching to the untrained ear, it is a great way to avoid unwanted waste from plant material and increase potency. The biomass they produce is a full-range producer, containing a variety of phytocannabinoids, just like those found in a plant.
“Our composition contains significant amounts of major cannabinoids like CBD and THC as well as significant amounts of what we call minor cannabinoids,”
The team is able to increase potency by playing around with conditions in the bioreactor. He continued, “By adjusting the specific conditions the cells are exposed to, we can create different desired compositions of active compounds, meaning we can up-regulate and down-regulate the different cannabinoid [compounds].”
The team doesn’t reveal the proprietary technology in detail, but said they can increase potency twelvefold simply by changing the environment in the bioreactor.
If you’re trying to imagine what that looks like, here’s a simple explanation.
The BioHarvest Sciences team has invented Bio-Plant CELLicitation, which is described in detail on the website. A plant is selected that contains important active phytochemicals. They are then cut into small pieces and placed in a petri dish on a solid medium containing nutrients. Like a plant, the cells need light, oxygen and nutrients. Then these cells are stored in a cell bank so that they can be produced again and again. They are biologically farmed, and when the biomass grows enough, it is harvested into powder that can then be used for various purposes.
According to BioHarvest Sciences, each gallon of water produces 54 times (!) more bioreactor material than plant material, and reduces land requirements by over 90%.
This system also allows growers to avoid contamination and nature’s own variation of cannabis compounds in plants.
On 12 May, BioHarvest announced the composition of its biomass, stating that trichomes make up 93% of cannabis biomass produced using the company’s proprietary Bio-Plant CELLicitation™ technology, and that the bitter taste of the plant material is significantly reduced.
“The bottom line is that we can make cannabis and hemp much more useful than before, and at a lower cost to our planetary resources,”. It’s a wellness and sustainability solution from Israel that can make a really inspiring contribution to the world.”
Dr Yochi Hagay and Dr Zaki Rakib founded BioHarvest after meeting in 2007. BioHarvest Sciences’ first product, Vinia, which is derived not only from cannabis but also from red grape cells, contains a rich complex of polyphenols that is good for cardiovascular health. The company is currently present in the USA and Canada.
Are you surprised by this progress made in Israel ?
No wonder, Israel is a leading player in the development and study of cannabis.
Published by Sakul21/01/2023