INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS IN CANNABISRecognising new products and processes driving cannabis science forward - whether in testing, processing, medicine, or botany, innovation is bubbling over in this emerging field.

Here, we count down the top five.

ArchaTechCombining data science, genome editing, and predictive breeding to rapidly prototype and advance cannabis varieties.

Why is it innovative?
The ArcaTech platform is a combination of several technologies, including screening tools to identify desirable genetic variation and gene editing to edit plant genomes. Having worked on various crops over the years, the company decided to apply this technology to the growing hemp market and last year launched a line of hemp seeds promising consistent low THC levels and disease tolerance.

What is the potential impact?
The company says, “We believe that by targeting this powerful technology platform at a semi-domesticated crop like Cannabis, we have the opportunity to rapidly solve grower challenges such as disease, yield, and plant architecture.” For example, the platform could be used to engineer varieties with custom cannabinoid and terpene profiles for the wellness market, improved flavour and oil profiles for grain, or higher quality fibre for industrial uses.
Pulverisette 19 Precision Cutting Mill SystemMilling re-engineered for the cannabis industry.

Why is it innovative?
Efficient grinding of cannabis flower to a consistent particle size is important for producing a wide range of cannabis products, from pre-rolls to extracts. This easy-to-use homogenization system aims to make milling easy, with a variable-speed motor (300-3000 rmp) and adjustable, controlled particle size output. The Pulverisette 19 is suitable for large-scale operations, allowing continuous processing.

What is the potential impact?
This technology is another step towards standardisation and efficiency in the industry, allowing greater product consistency and improved extraction yields at greater speeds. Plus, the speed of cutting allows no time for friction to generate heat, so cannabinoids and terpenes are preserved.
TriploidTriploid cannabis varieties that cannot be seeded by rogue pollen.

Why is it innovative?
If female Cannabis sativa plants are pollinated (by pollen from a rogue male/hermaphrodite plant on the same site or drifting across from a neighbour’s farm) it causes the plant to produce seeds instead of buds and significantly reduces overall biomass – disastrous for farmers. Wild cannabis is usually diploid (two sets of chromosomes) but spontaneous mutations can produce plants that are tetraploid (four sets of chromosomes). By crossing diploid and tetraploid plants, triploid plants are created, which have a number of advantages – most importantly, they produce sterile flowers and pollen, eliminating the risk of accidental fertilisation.

What is the potential impact?
Farmers using the triploid seeds will no longer have to worry about crop loss due to pollination events, and can grow grain and fiber crops alongside cannabinoid crops without issue. Tests grows of the triploid plants suggest that the increase in ploidy also makes for more vigorous, hardy, and aromatic (via increased secondary metabolite production) plants.
Zachary Parish, Conner Griffeth, Dennis Acord, Wallace Harvey, Klaus Schöne, and Evelyn MarschallMoisture content determination in cannabis inflorescence

Why is it innovative?
There is no current approved standard methodology for performing moisture analysis in cannabis/hemp. This was the first published extensive study done in collaboration with the cannabis testing lab industry that indicates the potential for using moisture analyzers as a suitable methodology for determining moisture content in cannabis/hemp.

What is the potential impact?
Determining moisture content is vital in several aspects of the supply chain from curing flower to understanding the chemical profile for extraction. Familiar with the innate flaws associated with the “loss on drying” technique for moisture content determination, this important parameter in cannabis production is being more thoroughly investigated through collaboration between an established testing lab and instrument vendor.
David D. Dawson and Robert W. MartinInvestigation of chocolate matrix interference on cannabinoid analytes.

Why is it innovative?
The first known findings of chocolate matrix interference on cannabinoid analytes is reported. Stock solutions of four biogenic cannabinoids (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabinol, and cannabigerol) and one synthetic cannabinoid (cannabidiol dimethyl ether) are subjected to milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder. A clear trend of matrix interference is observed, which correlates to several chemical factors. The amount of chocolate present is directly proportional to the degree of matrix interference, which yields lower percent recovery rates for the cannabinoid analyte. Structural features on the cannabinoid analytes are shown to affect matrix interference, because cannabinoids with fewer phenolic − OH groups suffer from increased signal suppression. Additionally, aromatization of the p-menthyl moiety appears to correlate with enhanced matrix effects from chocolate products high in cocoa solids.

What is the potential impact?
These findings represent the first known documentation of chocolate matrix interference in cannabinoid analysis, which potentially has broad implications for complex matrix testing in the legal cannabis industry.

Trailblazing Partners - Issue 6


Foreword - Issue 6


Issue 6 - Cover

Issue 6 - Cultivation