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Hemp And Marijuana: Genes Producing THC Identified

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:22 AM
Original message
Hemp And Marijuana: Genes Producing THC Identified
ScienceDaily (Sep. 15, 2009) In a first step toward engineering a drug-free Cannabis plant for hemp fiber and oil, University of Minnesota researchers have identified genes producing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance in marijuana. Studying the genes could also lead to new and better drugs for pain, nausea and other conditions.


The finding is published in the September issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany. Lead author is David Marks, a professor of plant biology in the College of Biological Sciences.

The study revealed that the genes are active in tiny hairs covering the flowers of Cannabis plants. In marijuana, the hairs accumulate high amounts of THC, whereas in hemp the hairs have little. Hemp and marijuana are difficult to distinguish apart from differences in THC.

With the genes identified, finding a way to silence themand thus produce a drug-free plant comes a step closer to reality. Another desirable step is to make drug-free plants visually recognizable. Since the hairs can be seen with a magnifying glass, this could be accomplished by engineering a hairless Cannabis plant.
more:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/0909151135...
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. nice-- now we can target that gene for over-expression...
...or stick it into transformed corn or soybeans! :rofl:
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Or...something really devious...
Put it in dandelions or Kudzu or some other really invasive weed. That would really drive the anti-drug crowd crazy....

Actually I hope this does open up the Hemp market. Although the best would be for the US to pull it's collective head out and decriminalize all forms.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Why not put it in something like the kudzo that was overrunning the south a few years ago? Watch
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 11:10 AM by Vincardog
the price of pot after that runs rampant for a few years
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Mary Jane is pretty much as effective as it can get. ;)
We got selective strains that have THC crystals dripping off of them!
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. PM me on that
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 11:10 AM by Vincardog
I want proof
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Google for "White Widow," "Warlock," "White Rhino."
I'm not sure we can get much better. We're talking about 30% THC in some cases.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. I love a challenge....
:evilgrin:

I remember thinking something similar in the 1970s, too. :rofl:

Selective breeding has done wonders for Cannibis, but I'm not convinced we can't improve it a great deal more. How about strains that are not appetite stimulants, or which produce enough THC to effectively overshadow appetite stimulation? Or strains that reliably target specific cognitive or physical responses? We already have the beginnings-- selectively bred lines that are especially stoney, or particularly cerebral, but I think we could do much more. Cannibis is a marvelous plant!
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
2. I wonder if it will make any difference...
I mean, "hemp" is already very low in THC. If people were thinking rationally about this topic, we'd already be growing it. It makes me wonder if announcing a "THC-free" strain will get around the irrational resistance.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. It most certainly would! It'd be a highly controlled GMO!
You wouldn't be able to get seeds for it without signing some long agreement about strain varieties and such, you wouldn't be able to grow it without significant oversight, continual DNA testing, etc.

Would be really bad in many ways. Hopefully this gene can be removed by industries that are willing to *share* the seeds. Then things will get interesting.

(If there's *no* possiblity of selectively breeding hemp *back* into having a lot of THC then there's no issue.)
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I bet it will always be possible to breed the THC back in...
For one thing, plants seem to share genes pretty easily. I'd bet a donut that a THC-free hemp would happily crossbreed with the original THC version. Or share the genes some other way for that matter.

As for the evil-Monsanto-overlords angle, you are sadly right. I've been thinking that GMOs for agriculture should be yet another thing provided by public sector, not private. Create the GMOs, but then fucking share them, so humans can actually benefit from them instead of becoming enslaved to commercial gene chop-shops.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Indeed, that's precisely why they'd control the seeds, they'd argue that people would...
...try "breeding in" THC variants (but as Jack Herer notes, hemp is hopeless in that cause, it'd be like trying to breed a pug with a wolf in order to make a better wolf).

"We have to control the seeds otherwise people will pollute the strains!"

There *is* the possibility that the THC-less hemp genes could propagate into the wild, though, thus rendering impotent those wild strains that have THC (a nightmare for the drug lords).

But yeah, open GMO. This guy argues for it pretty effectively: http://fora.tv/2009/05/05/Michael_Pollan_Deep_Agricultu...
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gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. There arlready is THC-free hemp.
Or at least it seemed like it.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. As long as the THC-bearing and THC-deficient varieties
are indistinguishable, it'll most likely be banned in the US.

Used to work for a company that imported things made out of hemp thread/yarn. (Oddly, the locals didn't seem to have any great fondness for smoking the hemp plants. They were too busy making a living to have time for such activities. And there wasn't much of a kick in it.)
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. So they're genetically modifying hemp while it's still illegal to grow it?
WTF?

Hemp is just fine the way nature made it. There is no reason to destroy the Cannabis gene pool just because they can.

Say no to GM hemp.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Humans have been modifying "hemp" for a long ass time.
I do agree that GMO hemp is bullshit unless we the people see how it's done (simply removing a gene is not a big deal, theoretically you could do it through many generations of selective breeding). Open the gene up.

Also hemp is fairly legal around the world, it's just that you have to go through a shit ton of paperwork to grow it. Canada in particular has some big hemp farms.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. I'm worried about GM hemp pollinating recreational and medicinal crops
It's a serious issue, and pretty much the same reason I'm opposed to all GM crops.

Selecting and breeding crops for good traits is completely different than removing and splicing genes. That's what the Mayans did with maize, and then Monsanto started modifying corn genes directly and screwed up all that hard work.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:25 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Seconded.
Monsanto have already got a bad reputation for the regulatory nightmare
of seed "use", for the cross-pollination/escape problems and for the
mind-numbing use of "terminator genes".

We need to get them OUT of their existing toxic pollution species rather
than adding even more to the risk list.
:banghead:
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SlingBlade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
15. That's It !!!!.....Frankenstien Weed
Enough's E-Nuff dude's, Leave my weed the hell alone
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