The Cannabis sativa genome has been sequenced by a team of scientists in Amsterdam (yes, really). The raw genetic sequence was posted yesterday to Amazon's EC2 cloud computing service by a company called Medicinal Genomics — just in time for the weekend.
So what will we learn from weed DNA?
Kevin McKernan, the founder of Medical Genomics, said the company's research was inspired by this 2003 publication in Nature Reviews Cancer, which examines the numerous therapeutic applications of cannabinoids — the active components of Cannabis sativa and its derivatives — including cancer treatments that could shrink tumors.
You'll find about 60 different cannabinoids in your average strain of Cannabis sativa, the most famous among them being delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (you may know it as THC). McKernan believes his company's newly released data well help shed light on some of the lesser-known cannabinoids, and maybe even give rise to some of the first truly genetically-engineered strains of pot.
So when can you expect your super weed? Well...it's still a little ways off, man.
So far the company has only released the raw genetic sequence. That means the genetic data has yet to be assembled into a coherent, organized genome. The fact that McKernan has decided to make the data available for free, however, should help expedite this process.
You can read more about the implications of weed genomics over at Nature's news blog.
Top image via GreenWood/Shutterstock and here