Scientists brew cannabis using hacked beer yeast

Researchers modify microbe to manufacture cannabis compounds including the psychoactive chemical THC
Nature (US)
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The yeast that has been used for millennia to brew alcoholic drinks has now been engineered to produce cannabinoids — chemicals with medicinal and mind-altering properties found in cannabis. The feat, described in Nature, turns a sugar in brewer’s yeast called galactose into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a main psychoactive compound in cannabis. The altered yeast can also produce cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid with potential therapeutic benefits, including its anti-anxiety and pain-relief effects. This fermentation process will enable manufacturers to produce THC, CBD and other rare cannabinoids more cheaply, efficiently and reliably than conventional plant-based cultivation. (See also: A cannabis high, no plant required)