Science: Production of THC by genetically modified bacteria
Scientists of the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany, have genetically manipulated bacteria in a manner that allows them to produce the main psychoactive compound of cannabis. This procedure for the production of THC (dronabinol) is thought to be less laborious and therefore cheaper in comparison to the currently used procedure in Germany, said Oliver Kayser of the university on
To date, dronabinol has been produced from fibre hemp in Germany. Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from this hemp and converted into THC. Chemical extraction from THC-rich drug hemp is not allowed in Germany. The synthetic manufacture of dronabinol would also be costly in comparison to the new procedure. Kayser is anticipating production costs with the new procedure of only about 2,500 Euros per kilogram of THC. E. coli bacteria with isolated genes are responsible for the production of THC in the plant are used. Together with a pharmaceutical company, the University of Dortmund is planning the foundation of a company for THC production.