Biosynthesis of cannabinoids vs. chemical synthesis

Biomedican - yeast fermentation

What is the biosynthesis of cannabinoids?

Biosynthesis is the process in which naturally occurring reagents and catalysts are used to create compounds identical to those found in nature. Biosynthesis of cannabinoids allows their production to be faster, cost-effective, and more sustainable than alternative methods. Biosynthetic cannabinoids grow through naturally occurring processes within a living organism, making them identical to extracted from plants. Also, biosynthetic cannabinoids usually have higher quality, and they are free or almost free of undesirable byproducts.

Biosynthetic vs. synthetic compounds

In contrast to biosynthetic ones, compounds derived from chemical synthesis often possess components that differ from the desired naturally occurring compound. Incorporating human-made materials pose a greater risk of toxic contamination. Those compounds are generally less stable and, therefore, can result in undesired side effects.

Common synthetic products often have endocrine-disrupting properties and other adverse human health risks. Additionally, chemically synthetic reactions are not as sustainable, economical, or environmentally friendly as natural alternatives.

Biosynthesis of cannabinoids relies on naturally occurring biological processes to carry out complex reactions in a highly controlled and regulated manner, preventing the byproducts that create side effects.

Biosynthesis allows scientists to manipulate natural biological transformations to produce a high volume of the exact natural product in an efficient and sustainable way. The adoption of biological synthesis by a vast majority of industries has led to increased efficiency, scalability, and stability of supply. It allows greater flexibility to engineer new patentable molecules for future products.

Opting for a biosynthetic process over a synthetic process achieves the identical composition of the cannabinoid compound in nature while retaining all its benefits without undesirable side effects. Where biosynthesis is the creation of products through natural means, chemical synthesis is the creation of compounds through human-made artificial means by a chemical reaction.

Biosynthesis of rare cannabinoids

Biotechnology allows scientists and engineers to push society forward and create quality products with immense potential and fewer side effects. Biomedican has developed a patented biosynthetic method to use a proprietary yeast for the optimal production of rare cannabinoids. We have engineered the unique biosynthesis process for the extraction and purification of CBG and CBGA – two rare cannabinoids in large quantities without undesirable byproducts often associated with adverse side effects. When a living organism, such as yeast, is provided with the proper resources and nutrition, it will intrinsically produce various compounds according to its genetic information. To optimize a biosynthetic pathway, we programmed DNA of oily yeast Yarrowia Lipolytica (YL) to create those rare cannabinoids – CBG and CBGA.

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Content author Dr.Saba IqbalAuthor posts

Saba Iqbal

Dr. Saba Iqbal is a contributing writer for BioMedican. She's a clinical pharmacist turned writer. Dr. Saba's education includes a doctoral degree in pharmacy (Pharm D) from the University of Sargodha, Pakistan. In search of a career that would take advantage of her medical and pharmaceutical skills, Dr. Saba found medical writing – a career path a few medical students consider. In her journey "from a medical bench to pen," she has worked with several startups for many years managing content on biotech products, pharmaceuticals, drugs, devices, and techniques. While keeping up with the latest trends in medical writing, she aims to use her writing skills to clearly communicate complex scientific, medical, and health information to the potential investor and general audience.