Can beer yeast be used to create THC and CBD?

December 31, 2019


Photo: tombock1 via Pixabay

Here’s why researchers are going through the trouble of creating THC and CBD from yeast when these chemicals are naturally available in the cannabis plant.

Science has a way, from time to time, of stepping outside the realm of the sane and possible and wallowing around inside dark territories that can only be called, as the kids might say, WTF moments.

Last year, it was head transplants pushing the limits of our medical potential, and now researchers say they have managed to create the cannabis compounds CBD and THC from the building block of bread and beer. Apparently, yeast is all we ever needed to produce the effects of marijuana. And if you just found yourself thinking holy cow, this is a brave new world, we are right there with you!

In a paper published earlier this year in the journal Nature, scientists explain the process in which they are using yeasts to manufacture cannabis compounds. These test tube shenanigans are being conducted more as a way for scientists to gain a better understanding of THC and CBD rather than a means for bypassing the cannabis plant in one’s quest for buzz or therapeutic benefits.

How does this work? It’s complicated, so try to keep up. Scientists essentially load hacked beer yeasts with the genes of a cannabis plant, which turn into CBGA, which then become either THCA or CBDA. Once these compounds are exposed to a heat source, they magically transform into THC and CBD.

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