What are the main challenges to implementing genetics within the medicinal use of cannabis?

In our quest for knowledge and solutions, we encounter a fascinating and complex subject: the challenges in implementing cannabis genetics in medicinal use. This field, brimming with potential and challenges, requires a detailed exploration to understand its intricate dynamics. Nevertheless, in this article, we will address three key points:

  1. Cannabis genetics and the companies developing them: these entities are crucial in the medicinal cannabis ecosystem as they provide the basic components for cannabinoid-based active principles. Their success is vital for any company focused on the production of these active principles. Innovation and quality in cannabis genetics determine the effectiveness and safety of the end products, which, in turn, directly impact the acceptance and growth of the medicinal market.
  2. Navigating an emerging industry with regulatory complexities: the primary challenge for these companies is operating within a legal framework that varies significantly from one country to another. Regulations not only impact the research and development of new genetics but also the production, marketing, and export of cannabis-based products. Additionally, competition with the unregulated market, which often offers products without guarantees of quality or safety, poses a constant challenge to maintaining integrity and trust in the medicinal cannabis sector.
  3. Integration of technology in the development of new varieties: the application of advanced technologies, such as genomic editing, genetic and molecular selection, and in vitro cultivation techniques, is crucial to overcoming industry challenges. These technologies enable development of varieties with specific profiles of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, optimizing therapeutic effects and minimizing unwanted side effects. The battle against pathogens like viroids, through genomic editing techniques, is also crucial to ensuring healthy and productive crops.

Each of these aspects underscores the importance of an integrated strategy that combines advanced science, regulatory understanding, and innovative market approaches to overcome the challenges of implementing cannabis genetics in medicinal use.

Iker Val, CEO of Sovereign Fields, a member of the Board of Directors of AECAME, and part of the Board of the Cannabis Hub in Spain.