A team of synthetic biologists at the University of California, Berkeley have successfully extracted THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids — including some that are not found naturally inside the cannabis plant — from yeast.
In their findings, the researchers show that common brewer’s yeast, which can already be used to produce other chemicals including insulin, human growth hormones, and recently opiates, offers a potentially cheap and easy source of cannabinoids.
According to professor Jay Keasling, a specialist in chemical and biomolecular engineering, the UC Berkeley research team has established a method for manufacturing specific cannabinoids that is cheaper and requires less labor than the traditional water-and-soil approach to growing cannabis.
“For the consumer, the benefits are high-quality, low-cost CBD and THC: you get exactly what you want from yeast. It is a safer, more environmentally friendly way to produce cannabinoids.” — Jay Keasling, UC Berkeley professor, in a news release