Scientists Sequence Genetic Code of Marijuana

Cannabis plant falls under the microscope
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2011 6:22 PM CDT
Scientists Sequence Genetic Code of Marijuana
Marijuana has been sequenced.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Marijuana is giving up its secrets: A Massachusetts company has sequenced the entire genome of the cannabis plant for the first time, reports the Nature news blog. The results from Medicinal Genomics have yet to be peer-reviewed and probably won't be published in full until next year. And the company has only the best of intentions, notes Bloomberg: “It may be possible through genome directed breeding to attenuate the psychoactive effects of cannabis, while enhancing the medicinal aspects.” In other words: Make medical marijuana more "medical" and less "marijuana."

That's not to say others couldn't take the information and do the reverse. As the PopSci blog notes, the discovery eventually could have "significant implications for both the medical and recreational users of the drug" by allowing particular genes to be "isolated and concentrated." The company promises to make genome annotations available via iPhone app next fall. (Read more marijuana stories.)

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