Israeli Company Clones Cannabis Cells As 'Wellness And Sustainability' Solution

Israel has long dominated the cannabis industry in terms of innovative research and an emerging market.

Now, Rehovot-based BioHarvest Sciences is cloning hemp cells to grow them into powdered biomass containing the active compounds of cannabis that can be dialed up to 12 times the potency simply by changing the environment inside a bioreactor.

Ilan Sobel, BioHarvest CEO, told High Times that “portions of the plant matter from the cannabis plant are waste that can be avoided using BioHarvest Technology.”

He explained that cannabis plants are grown mostly just for the flower. “The flower contains the critical trichomes which are the source of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. BioHarvest’s technology allows it to grow cannabis cells with 93% trichomes in its bioreactors.”

One of the advantages of this technology is the potential to minimize waste. Cannabis biomass, which the BioHarvest team said requires less water and resources than plants, is not grown like a typical plant; instead, it is produced in a bioreactor.

“We don’t grow the plant at all,” Sobel told The Times of Israel. “We grow them in huge bioreactors in just three weeks—while regular cannabis takes 14 to 23 weeks. Our tech can also significantly increase the levels of active ingredients, as a percent of the weight, versus what is found normally in the plant.”

Also, the biomass they produce is full-spectrum and contains the variety of phytocannabinoids that can be found in a plant.

“Our composition has significant amounts of both major cannabinoids such as CBD and THC as well as significant amounts of what have been termed minor cannabinoids,” Sobel said.

By adjusting the specific conditions cells are exposed to, they can create different desired compositions of active ingredients, “which means we can increase and decrease the various cannabinoids [compounds],” noted the BioHarvest CEO.

“The bottom line is that we can make cannabis and hemp far more useful than before, at a lower cost to our planetary resources,” Sober concluded. “It is a wellness and sustainability solution from Israel that can provide a truly inspiring contribution to the world.”

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