What Is Cellular Agriculture, And How Can It Shape the CBD Industry?

What Is Cellular Agriculture, And How Can It Shape the CBD Industry?

Now that industrial hemp has been federally legalized, the science behind CBD is working to make up for lost time. Leading-edge agricultural research is being paired with cannabis, and the results have been staggering. One of the most promising developments, cellular agriculture, is generating a lot of excitement among those who use CBD to promote better health and wellness, and for good reason. It has the potential to allow the targeted production of cannabinoids to allow users more options to select the right cannabinoid blend for their needs.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are active compounds found in cannabis plants. Identifying and understanding these substances has been a major focus of the science behind CBD, as there are more than 100 cannabinoids that have been discovered to date. When used, these compounds have varying effects on the body--effects that have been rarely studied due to the former classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance. Early indications are that there are cannabinoids that could benefit those suffering from pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and a host of other conditions.

What Is Cellular Agriculture?

There has been a lot of talk in the grocery industry about lab-grown meats, food that is genetically identical to it’s naturally occurring counterpart, but without the need to raise and slaughter an animal. In much the same way, the science behind CBD indicated that cannabinoids could be produced in a lab without the need to grow an entire plant for months on end. Instead, a selected cannabinoid would be created and harvested in a lab setting, where it could then be utilized in commercial products.

Close up of large, green leaves

The Benefits Of Cellular Agriculture For Cannabis

  • Promotes The Advancement Of Cannabis Research - Any research involving cannabis has huge potential, and this is no exception. One thing industrial hemp and CBD has lacked is a firm, peer-reviewed understanding of the science behind CBD, and that is finally changing.
  • Allows For Study Of Purer Cannabinoids - Not all cannabinoids are found in equal quantities within a cannabis plant. Some, like CBD, are plentiful, while others may only appear in trace amounts. This process would allow for the creation of purer cannabinoids and in sufficient quantities, which would allow them to be fully researched.
  • Tailored Hemp Compounds - The science behind CBD points to a wealth of benefits, but many of them are unevaluated by the FDA. If long-term studies do hold that certain cannabinoids offer treatment potential for certain conditions, the ability to create a tailored treatment plan can’t be overstated.

Potential Drawbacks Of Cellular Agriculture

  • Potential Expense - While cost may come down over time, in the early stages of innovation, science doesn’t come cheap. Even as the science behind CBD shifts from research to application and production, the financial threshold for entering into commercial use of cellular agriculture for manufacturers will be significant. These costs will likely be passed on to the consumer.
  • Loss Of Entourage Effect - One of the reasons anecdotal evidence points to CBD offering such a wide range of benefits, is the sheer number of active compounds found in industrial hemp. While the ability to create a pure form of a needed cannabinoid is exciting, many users feel that hemp is an example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Increased Need For Independent Testing - Right now there is little official guidance on lab testing CBD products. Top-tier manufacturers provide lab tested results you can count on, but there is no requirement to do so. While lab-grown cannabinoids will still need to be fully evaluated for components and concentrations, genetic testing may also be needed to determine if these products are in fact identical to the intended compounds.
  • Shifting Legal Landscape - Hemp’s newly legalized status is far more complicated than it appears on the surface, and as purer derivatives become available with potential medical applications, the waters get even murkier. CBD, and industrial hemp as a whole, are regulated as a food, rather than as a supplement as many people would expect. The reason is that, prior to its inclusion in the Controlled Substances Act, the science behind CBD already pointed to potential health benefits, and some cannabis-based products had been submitted to the FDA as medicine. While unsuccessful, once a substance has been submitted for evaluation as a drug, it cannot be sold as a supplement. As more and more compounds from hemp are identified and their efficacy established, the legal ramifications will have to be considered.

Lab-Made Cannabis Is Coming

One way or another, the potential for the cellular agriculture of cannabis will be explored. It’s a promising technique that, despite potential drawbacks, offers a lot of potential toward a better understanding of the science behind CBD and its sister cannabinoids.

When choosing CBD products, make sure to choose a supplier you can trust who stays at the forefront of CBD research. We bring you the top CBD products on the market, so you know you’re getting the full health and wellness benefits of industrial hemp. Order your high-quality CBD products online from CBD Choice today.

Back to blog