Is Yeast The Future Of Cannabis?

This article was originally published on Flowertown, and appears here with permission.

If fire came first, yeast came second.

Yes, yeast. You know, the fungi used to harvest energy from sugar without oxygen in the fermentation process. It gives us beer. It gives us wine. It gives us bread. It gives us kombucha. And perhaps soon, it will give us even more.

That’s right. Though it’s been helping us get drunk since the early days of ancient Egypt, thanks to new breakthroughs in research conducted by synthetic biologists in California, yeast may soon be getting us high as well.

Yeast Manufactured Cannabis

For thousands of years, humans have been using yeast in baking and brewing. During fermentation, yeast produces carbon dioxide (which makes bread rise and gives beer bubbles) and ethanol (which is responsible for producing the many alluring flavors not found in the barley, grapes or wheat.).

On February 27th of this year, UC Berkeley chemical engineer Jay Keasling published an article in Nature, detailing a new technique that uses it to do something unlikely: produce cannabinoids.

The main aim of Keasling’s research was to dissect the cannabis plant, and recreate its compounds in an attempt to better understand their true potential.

However, Keasling …

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