Canopy Growth Corporation acquired a few old cannabis patents last year. One patent Canopy acquired was for the production of a synthetic variation of THC known as dronabinol. (1) Previously, it was understood that Dronabinol is too expensive to fit within the recreational cannabis market. Well, chemistry has made a few advantages that will be good for the research of the endocannabinoid system. However, these advantages can also put synthetic THC hidden as an organic phytocannabinoid on shelves thats a dollar or less to produce per gram.
Cost cuts give a synthetic cannabinoid an unfortunate chance
Dronabinol itself is expensive partly due to phase III clinical trials, which racked up a $10 million to $40 million bill according to a book published by the National Academy of Sciences — in 2001. And, it currently still costs $292 to $633 for a gram and a half of synthetic THC, divided into individual 2.5 mg capsules, as a prescription medication.
Not to disregard good cultivated cannabis (C. Sativa), but perhaps we should say, “at least this THC came from hemp, rather than acetylated terps?”
Regulators, and ultimately some processors, have distanced themselves so far from cultural tradition that non-cannabis-derived cannabinoids can enter the market disguised as natural substances — as phytocannabinoids. Now, due to advances in organic chemistry, it will cost less than a dollar a gram to produce THC and other rare and expensive cannabinoids.
‘Is it Eubio?’ – A motto for cannabis fit for 2021
Many sales reps are promoting irrefutably poesynthetic cannabinoids as rare compounds with bold claims that they’re derived exclusively from the cannabis plant. In reality, it is irrational, economically, to produce certain cannabinoids, such as THCp for example, from cannabis. But, a eubiosynthetic cannabinoid should be exclusively produced by a plant according to a study published in Sage Journals. This research project was conducted by the independent researcher, Kenzi Riboulet-Zemouli, co-founder of the FAAAT Think and do tank. (3)
Some cannabinoids, such as THCp, are only found in the plant at less than 0.001 percent, which would require at least 100 kilograms of flower (or biomass) to produce 1 gram of isolate.
Now, the cost of cannabinoids made with chemical synthesis can drop so low that cannabis farms will struggle to compete. A few cannabinoids will always have their place in semi-synthesis, such as clean Delta-8 and even D10-THC. But, altering other cannabinoids found in hemp or cannabis is what creates these isomers of THC. There now exists techniques to turn non-cannabis terpenes into isomers of THC and other cannabinoids without any molecular differences — given the chemist’s experience.
How will chemical labs disrupt hemp farms?
Semi-synthetic THC for under a dollar gram is what currently threatens to disrupt the cannabis farmer and the market. This process will launch the industry’s reliance on the shoulders of labs and chemical manufacturers, if not low-cost hemp farms. This raises a lot of ethics questions but also directly puts the globe’s hemp farmers in the face of career loss, or at least major profit reduction. Are we really prepared to move the entire cannabinoid isolate industry away from agricultural fields and purely into the realm of chemical laboratories and imported regents?