Rare Cannabinoids – Inspired by Nature & Scaled by BayMedica

Jul 22, 2022

Cartoon Scientist with Hemp Plant thought bubble

In the cannabis industry, it’s hard to improve the plant. 

Nature has crafted a nearly perfect specimen; hearty and multi-purpose, capable of growing around the world and providing fibers, food, and medicine. 

​​When a plant can have so many purposes, it’s hard to keep up with demand.

Like most things created by mother nature, it takes time to create, and no two things are identical. There is beauty in this individuality but consistency and scaled-up supply are needed to meet the increasing demand.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Western medicine and modern pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods have a long history of taking inspiration from nature and using manufacturing technology to scale an amazing compound. 

And that’s exactly what we do with rare cannabinoids. 

Accessing all of the cannabinoids 

So grand and complex is the cannabis plant, some things get lost in translation. There are over 600 active chemical compounds in the plant and over 100 cannabinoids. But when we talk about the plant, often our conversation is focused on just a handful of cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. These compounds are the most prominent, leaving many other rare cannabinoids yet to be fully utilized. 

While the plant produces all of these compounds, it does so on a small scale. These cannabinoids often comprise less than 0.01% of the biomass—a mere fraction of the entire plant. If we want to use and benefit from these compounds, how do we access them on a sufficient scale? 

For example, it’s estimated to take up to 23 football fields of greenhouse space to grow a sufficient amount of CBD for epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, to treat 40,000 patients.

As demand increases, the industry will look to modern scientific techniques to find ways to produce these cannabinoid compounds, like so many other ingredients that have revolutionized our health and wellness.

Inspired by nature, accessed by technology 

Aspirin: from willow bark to miracle pill 

Aspirin has been around for 125 years, but people have accessed the active compound, salicylic acid, for medicinal purposes in willow bark and other plants for thousands of years. After the compound was isolated in 1897, aspirin made its way into the homes of millions of people across the world, bringing easy access to pain relief. 

But it’s not by cultivating and harvesting willow trees en masse that we have aspirin it’s thanks to scientific breakthroughs and advances in modern technology that allow us to create this molecule under laboratory conditions and produce it in large quantities. 

Fortified Milk: health made in a lab 

Have you ever wondered exactly where the vitamin D in your milk comes from? It doesn’t occur naturally in milk, nor is there an abundance source in nature where we can simply “harvest” vitamin D. 

Thanks to scientific advances, we can easily manufacture vitamin D on a large enough scale to supplement the nutrients in a gallon of milk. You know every time you eat a bowl of cereal or drink a glass of chocolate milk your body is getting the vitamins and nutrients it needs- even if they didn’t start out there. 

Insulin: savings the lives of millions of people with diabetes 

Diabetes was once considered a fatal diagnosis, but with the advent of injectable insulin, people with diabetes could live a healthy, normal life. While insulin was once extracted from animals, this method was imperfect and caused many allergic reactions. Insulin made in a lab from bacteria has a much higher success rate with patients and is both faster and more cost-effective to manufacture. That’s why the insulin used today by millions of people living with diabetes is manufactured using biosynthesis, a common pharmaceutical manufacturing method that can mass-produce consistent therapeutics. It’s a technique applied by the team at BayMedica to produce rare cannabinoids.

Hyaluronic Acid: the fountain of youth

If only we could have the wisdom that comes with age, but the skin of our youth, that would be ideal. Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the body and helps to keep our tissues, joints, eyes, and skin healthy by retaining moisture.[1]  Typically, as you age, you don’t produce as much hyaluronic acid making this a popular supplement for anti-aging effects, such as reducing wrinkles.

Research suggests that eating certain food can increase hyaluronic acid production by the body. However, when the body can’t produce enough hyaluronic acid, many turn to supplements containing hyaluronic acid and introduce it as part of their daily anti-aging beauty routine. Much of the hyaluronic acid used today in anti-aging supplements, wellness products, and cosmetics is produced through biosynthesis just like insulin, citric acid, vanilla, and many other important ingredients and medicines.  

Looking to the future of cannabinoids 

The cannabis industry rightfully holds the plant on a pedestal. After all, what other plant has such medicinal, recreational, and industrial potential? 

While extracting rare cannabinoids from the cannabis plant is difficult to master, our team of cannabinoid scientists engineered a more efficient manufacturing platform that can create the same molecules produced by the plant. We employ modern manufacturing techniques to produce rare cannabinoids at scale, making these rare cannabinoids more accessible for a plethora of potential uses.

The result is pure, consistent cannabinoids that are bioidentical to those found in the plant.

Interested in putting the power of rare cannabinoids to work in your business? Reach out to our team to see how we can help you. 

Related: How to Future Proof Your Rare Cannabinoid Supply Chain