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Cannabis is one powerful plant.
It's a manufacturing machine. It makes a special class of compounds called cannabinoids, producing the most familiar cannabinoid molecules, THC and CBD, in abundance.
Just how many it produces is up for debate, but some researchers estimate that the plant produces over 100 different cannabinoid compounds.
In fact, just recently, researchers discovered two new compounds to add to the list.
These newbies are cousins of THC and CBD.
But as I've learned, add a carbon atom here or an oxygen atom there, and you dramatically change the way the molecule interacts with the human body.
However, each of these compounds - and the possible combinations - represent phenomenal opportunities for medical researchers.
It's a veritable ocean of possibility, with tremendous profit potential lurking just below the surface...[mmpazkzone name="in-story" network="9794" site="307044" id="137008" type="4"]
The Promise (and Profit Potential) of Two New Compounds
The two newly discovered compounds are called tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) and cannabidiphorol (CBDP).
The properties of these compounds are still unknown, but researchers suspect THCP might prove to be 30 times as powerful as THC. Now, that doesn't mean it gets you 30 times as high - they have not determined its psychoactive properties yet.
But its other effects on the body are like THC, and that opens the door to many therapeutic qualities.
Indeed, the ever-growing list of cannabinoids provides researchers an astoundingly large number of research paths.
Learning how these compounds benefit the human body is one thing.
Figuring out how to maximize those benefits is an entirely different matter.
Challenges arise because of the very low concentrations of most of these cannabinoids within the cannabis plant. Both CBD and THC are produced in large quantities, but most other cannabinoids are produced in trace amounts.
Should THCP, CBDP, CBG or any of the other trace cannabinoids prove effective in larger doses, profit-seeking companies like this one will need to work on how to get large doses into products....
This Company Already Knows the Value of These Compounds
Cannabis compounds are so promising that back in 2018, Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) made a $122 million deal with Ginkgo Bioworks, a private, Boston-based bioengineering company.
Through the partnership, Ginkgo will be able to create rare cannabinoids in large quantities.
One of those compounds is one I didn't mention earlier, but it's called tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). It also appears in small quantities in the marijuana plant, so it's difficult to produce THCV at scale.
But if Gingko can make it in large quantities, it could be a game changer, especially for those shareholders who backed Gingko early.
Now, if you're looking at this deal a little closer, why would Cronos be willing to pay all that money to produce a lesser-known cannabis compound?
Early research has suggested that THCV could help individuals with diabetes.
Diabetes can produce a number of health issues, which include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
- Frequent infections
On top of all that, it can lead to heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and sleep apnea. It can even increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
A study published in 2013 looked into using THCV as a treatment for diabetes.
Based on the data, it could be suggested that "THCV may be useful for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes, either alone or in combination with existing treatments."
Essentially, THCV could be used as a medicine or paired with other medicines to help treat type 2 diabetes.
Just imagine what THCP and CBDP could be capable of once they're further researched. The possibilities are endless. You'll have other companies like Cronos lining up for a chance to test these compounds. And the profit potential could be huge.
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, let's break down the actual process a little further...
The Powerful Potential of Biosynthesis
Growing strains of cannabis with higher doses of trace cannabinoids is one method. But I'm skeptical that botanists can develop strains producing large enough quantities to extract economically.
The unique cannabinoid profiles of these new strains could prove more beneficial for certain conditions, but it's not nearly as reliable - or marketable - as producing very pure isolated formulations of a particular cannabinoid.
That's where biosynthesis enters the stage.
Biosynthesis utilizes microbes such as yeast to turn their metabolism into tiny cannabinoid factories.
Once the genome of, say, brewer's yeast has been altered to manufacture CBG instead of alcohol, these trace cannabinoids can be manufactured very cheaply in vast quantities.
In my view, looking 10 years down the road, most cannabinoids will be sourced through biosynthesis.
And that includes THC and CBD.
It's the only way to produce trace cannabinoids economically, and it's the cheapest way to produce THC and CBD isolates essential for high-quality cannabis-infused edibles.
Once again, unlocking the full power of the cannabis plant opens the door to many more therapeutic solutions.
It's a game changer that's going to disrupt big pharma. And the potential gains for cannabis investors could be huge.
Before you go, I've got another cannabis opportunity for you...
You see, a breakout cannabis startup is giving you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grab early-round shares - for just $0.50 each. You could see your money multiply exponentially - enough to turn a small stake into a life-changing windfall.
Getting the details on this kind of ground-floor opportunity is almost unheard of. Which is why I'm going to show you more right now...
About the Author
Don Yocham is Executive Director for the National Institute of Cannabis Investors (The Institute) and Director of Cannabis Investing Research for Money Map Press. Before starting his role with the Institute, he was the Head of Private Deals for the publication Cannabis Venture Syndicate. From his first foray into the trading pits of Chicago to introducing institutional investors to entirely new markets in the early 2000s, Don has pretty much covered the entire field of investing in his 25-year career. In the depths of the financial crisis, when the typical investor had lost more than half of their money, his portfolios were up.