Cannabis Genome Research

cannabis genome
Written by Cara Wietstock

More understanding of the cannabis genome to come with UC Davis research team dedicating their time to the hemp plant.

By now, most of the general public has caught on to some of the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD). After some great press regarding the amazing results with epilepsy patients and professional athletes speaking out about the pain management benefits hemp oil is almost common knowledge. This has not only helped build a stronger foundation for cannabis as medicine in our society, it has helped normalize the plant on the whole. It has also inspired more research teams to uncover the healing potential of the plant’s compounds. In hopes of understanding the full medical and nutraceutical potential of the non-psychoactive constituents of cannabis, a research team at UC Davis and biotech firm Front Range Biosciences (FRB) are mapping the cannabis genome. More specifically, they will be focusing on the hemp plant. 

“We have successfully applied cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies and computational approaches to study challenging genomes of diverse crops and associated microorganisms,” said Dario Cantu, an assistant professor in the department of viticulture and enology at UC Davis.

Previously, the UC Davis research team led by Dario Cantu has studied Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and Arabica coffee to understand their commercial potential. Their newest project is in response to the dramatic growth the cannabis industry post-prohibition. The most current study released in June of this year shows that anywhere from 165,000 to 325,000 people are currently employed in the cannabis industry. That means there are currently more cannabis industry employees than there are dental hygienists. This employee and consumer growth preceded research and education, a gap that research projects like this could finally close.

“UC Davis is renowned as the leading agriculture university in the world and we are excited to work with Dr. Cantu’s team to improve this crop to reduce pesticide residues and excessive application of fertilizers, in preparation for production targeting medically beneficial compounds,” said Jonathan Vaught, CEO of FRB.


About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

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