The cannabis plant is exceptionally efficient at producing the cannabinoid THC after years or being bred to produce the best high. Until recently, the marijuana plant was the only source of THC, but now scientists are able to grow many cannabinoids straight from yeast. Though it is a complex process, due to marijuana's current federal classification and being very difficult to test and research, the yeast provides a unique and legal way for scientists to develop and research different sought after cannabinoids such as THC and more recently CBD. THC yeast would also provide an efficient way of creating a THC-beer, though scientists have shown little interest in it.
“This is something that could literally change the lives of millions of people,” said Kevin Chen, the chief executive of Hyasynth Bio, a company working to create yeasts that produce THC and cannabidiol, another marijuana compound of medicinal interest.