Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Ketamine
by Chane Leigh
As much as cannabis has made exceptional progress on the political front, so have the advancements in science and research. BioMediCan is a biotech company which means that their products are from extraction or manipulation of living organisms. They recently announced that they have designed what is explained as “patented low-cost methods of growing high-value compounds at scale with proprietary yeasts” and have “successfully biosynthesized rare cannabinoid THCV”. This sounds great but what are biosynthesized cannabinoids and can we expect the same differences between biosynthesized and botanical cannabinoids as we did for synthetic and botanical cannabinoids?
Science Direct defines biosynthesis as “the production of all plant secondary metabolites: alkaloids, bitters, glycosides, gums, saponins, steroids, and essential oil compounds. While Biology Online describes biosynthesis as “the production of a complex chemical compound from simpler precursors in a living organism, usually involving enzymes (to catalyze the reaction) and energy (such as adenosine triphosphate-ATP)”. Lumen Learning defines biosynthesis as “an enzyme-catalyzed process in cells of living organisms by which substrates are converted to more complex products”. All of this may sound confusing but they are basically explaining that the creation of an organic compound is being conducted in a living organism (which is the yeast in this case).
THCV is a psychoactive compound (cannabinoid) known as Tetrahydrocannabivarin. THCV, or THCVA, shares a similar molecular structure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and so shares some of its properties. The only difference between the two is that there is a 3-carbon group instead of a 5-carbon group. The number tells you the elongation of the hydrocarbon which consists of hydrogens bound to carbon. Despite seemingly being a derivative of THC, THCV has been found to offer a sort of “combination” between cannabidiol (CBD) and THC. Similar to CBD, THCV can reduce the intoxicating or severe effects of THC.
The medical benefits, or therapeutic properties, of THCV, include: inducing feelings of motivation, alertness, energy, and euphoria, suppressing the appetite- as opposed to THC appetite stimulation, alleviates stress and anxiety, acts as a neuroprotective agent, promotes bone growth, and regulates blood sugar levels.
THCV has become one of the most sought-after cannabinoids, despite being so rare. Maxim Mikheev, BioMediCan CEO, stated that “the nutraceutical, CBD, health food, and cosmetics markets are beginning to understand the significant health benefits of THCV/THCVA. This allows them to differentiate themselves from crowded marketplaces and, more importantly, deliver healthier products”.
When professionals begin to alter or create things in a laboratory, we should automatically approach with caution as most man-made therapeutics and medication are accompanied by adverse side effects. Despite the fact that BioMedican was working in a laboratory, they managed to do away with such stigma as their products are pharmaceutical grade BUT also 100% organic, non-GMO, and is bioidentical to the molecules naturally occurring in nature. On top of such a win for manipulating living organisms, the production of this biosynthesized rare cannabinoid costs 90% less than current wholesale prices.
It is explained that THCV is difficult to manufacture with high purity since it is naturally produced in such small quantities. This means that the only way to produce products with high-purity levels of THCV, which is also toxin- and containment-free at a low cost is through biosynthesis.
According to BioMediCan’s press release, “the biosynthetic cannabinoid market is expected to reach $10 billion by 2025. With its strong health properties and applications to numerous industries, THCV/THCVA will represent one of the top three cannabinoids in market share”.
The CEO of BioMediCan explains that well-informed consumers are quickly realizing the significant health benefits of this rare cannabinoid (THCV). He goes on to explain that much like when CBD first evolved from an unknown substance into one of the world’s most marvelous medical compounds, so will THCV as it is quickly gaining interest and preference from the research and consumer sectors.
The significance of the BioMediCan biosynthesis of a cannabinoid is that they have chosen to produce one of the most beneficial and rare cannabinoids available. They have also seemingly been able to keep this man-made intervention as close to nature as possible.
Yes and no. Synthetic cannabinoids and biosynthesis of cannabinoids are both accomplished through human intervention. However, synthesis is the formation of something complex by combining simpler things. Meanwhile, the biosynthesis of cannabinoids is the synthesis of organic compounds within living organisms. Synthetic is thought to have more of an artificial connotation and biosynthesis speaks more of an organic significance based on the methods used.
Again, the answer is yes and no. Ultimately, biosynthesis is still synthesizing cannabinoids even though it’s done in a more organic fashion. However, it’s still too early on for there to be enough research to understand the extent of safety from consuming biosynthetic cannabinoids. One can stand to reason that if the biosynthesis of cannabinoids ends up with a product that is 100% organic, such as the THCV from BioMediCan, that it would be safer for consumption than the chemical-based manmade cannabinoids (synthetic cannabinoids).
The company answers it best themselves when they explain that it is biosynthesis and not chemical synthesis. They stated that “chemical synthesis is the creation of compounds through artificial means by a chemical reaction. Compounds derived from chemical synthesis often possess components that differ from the desired naturally occurring compound. These synthetic components can be toxic and result in undesirable side effects. Biosynthesis is the production of the desired compound through the natural means of an organism’s biological processes. Biosynthesis produces identical compounds to those found in nature, lending itself as the optimal pathway for the manufacture of cannabinoids and carotenoids identical to their naturally occurring counterparts”.
BioMediCan has chosen to pay attention to producing rare cannabinoids through organic measures in order to meet the demand of the market for those cannabinoids. They stated that “chemical synthesis of rare cannabinoids has become the leading method for the production of these rare, high-value compounds. However, chemical synthesis leads to the production of non-naturally occurring forms of these cannabinoids, which can have unwanted side effects. To overcome the large gap in the supply chain, reduce the environmental footprint, decrease the time of production, circumvent regulatory oversight, and produce high-quality cannabinoids with the exact chemical structures as naturally occurring cannabinoids, BioMediCan uses a method of production called biosynthesis”.
Hopefully, biosynthesis of cannabinoids becomes the future of cannabinoids as opposed to the harmful chemical synthetic cannabinoids.
With 19 states currently selling recreational cannabis, it may be tempting to forgo a medical card, even if you qualify as a patient. While recreational marijuana is accessible in many states for those of age, there are still some benefits to having a medical marijuana card and purchasing medical marijuana instead of recreational pot. For…
A type of arthritis known as ‘gout’ is common, complex, and can affect anyone. Patients who suffer from gout are plagued by sudden and severe spikes of pain, swelling, and more. This condition affects certain joints but is often the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is triggered by arthropathy which is…
In 1970 cannabis was federally placed as a Schedule I drug in the US, a category that is tightly restricted and reserved for drugs not medically accepted. When it comes to classifying drugs medically or recreationally, generally there are four broad categories according to the US federal government. Based on their properties and effects, a…
A New Mexico judge has instructed the state’s Department of Health (DOH) and the Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD) to halt the enforcement of stringent medical cannabis purchase limits. The previously imposed limits were included in an older version of the state’s cannabis law. Based on the judge’s demand, New Mexico’s medical cannabis purchase limits…
Associated with potential long-term adverse effects in the body, diabetes is a condition that requires continuous management and monitoring. The body is unable to control the blood sugar, which can lead to diabetic neuropathy caused by long-term levels of high blood sugar. Neuropathy damages the nerves that send signals to one’s hands and feet, causing…
For those interested in ensuring that the cannabis being sold today is pure and safe for consumption…this one’s for you! As the…
Ahh…fall is here! The leaves are starting to turn beautiful jewel tones, the air is getting crisp, and I’m looking forward to…