An Israeli medical marijuana grower has joined forces with an American tech company to begin genetically breeding new strains of cannabis that can be used to effectively treat specific health conditions. A report from The Times of Israel indicates that New York-based software developer, BreedIT and licensed grower, Seach Ltd. have developed a new program called KanaboSeed that will assist breeders in growing marijuana strains with precise attributes and effect.
Interestingly, the BreedIT project was created using a concept developed by scientists from Hebrew University, in which they produced strains of cherry tomatoes with a ripening inhibitor that gave the fruit a longer shelf life. Oded Sagee, CEO of the tech firm, says that medical marijuana is on it s way to being embraced worldwide, and with that comes the need for advancements in breeding. “We believe that with our knowledge and background we will be able to develop new breeds that will be more effective,” he said.
The goal of the program is to create “designer strains” with enhanced CBD to THC ratios, in order to provide patients with optimal medicine, both with and without the high effect. Patients suffering from chronic pain often experience better results by medicating with strains higher in THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, while people with conditions ranging from epilepsy to heart disease sometimes prefer the non-intoxicating route associated with high-CBD variations.
The company has already submitted applications for the approval of two new strains, which they “anticipate will be a line of new potential cannabis varieties… to address specific medical uses.” The applications now go before the Agriculture Ministry and the Rural Development Plant Breeders Rights Council to decide if the company should be awarded a patent for the strains. Once the company has received approval, they will begin growing.
This is “an important milestone for KanaboSeed,” said Shay Avraham, manager of research and development. “The BreedIT team contributes significant value to our development efforts, most notably the ability to streamline the breeding process. In addition to saving time, we are also developing new varieties more cost-effectively. Together we are building a product pipeline that will provide numerous opportunities for revenue growth going forward.”