How Technology Is Transforming the Marijuana Industry
For many years, marijuana was stuck in the equivalent of the stone age. Prohibition made it difficult to work with marijuana in labs and other facilities, which meant that most of the knowledge about marijuana, including how it works and how best to grow and manipulate it, was limited to a few. However, with the end of prohibition in many states, and what many see as an inevitable march toward full recreational legalization nationwide, tech is now getting involved.
And just like in many other fields, nothing seems to have quite the impact of technology on the marijuana industry. Tech has already revolutionized how we communicate with others and how we get our work done — and now the full might of technology is transforming the marijuana industry, taking much of the industry under its wing and effecting all kinds of technological advancements that are sure to resonate for years.
Rather than simply growing plants, trimming flower, and selling the buds to consumers, technology and marijuana now go hand in hand, and that means significant breakthroughs in the recent past, as well as in the future. It’s known as marijuana technology, though there’s no overarching initiative, so you’ll have to look more closely to see how technology is shaping the marijuana industry today.
Better DNA Sequencing
For hundreds, if not thousands of years, our understanding of the cannabis plant was limited. We knew that it had beneficial effects and worked with the body’s systems, but it’s only when technology got involved that our understanding jumped a notch. Now, the cannabis plant itself has been DNA sequenced, and that means that DNA editing is now possible.
In fact, several producers and companies are looking into how the plant does what it does to help create even more powerful and helpful strains and products. One such company has even started using technology and marijuana via CRISPR gene editing to yield marijuana plants that contain absolutely no THC or CBD. Also known as customized breeds, this could help affect everything from THC content to taste, as well as honing in on other rare cannabinoids such as CBC and CBG, all without having to actually grow the plant at all.
Better Marijuana Products
While much is made of different strains and how they may make a user feel, technology and marijuana will undoubtedly bring more choice and personalization to the market. That’s good news for users who may not vibe with a specific strain or product, and it also may mean that in the future dispensaries will be able to better match strains to a customer’s needs. Instead, a tailored blend of cannabinoids may be able to offer exactly what a customer is looking for without having to trial a bunch of different products in hopes that one works.
One such company uses a swab test to identify genetic markers that match with different strains, which is a sort of profile that lets them know what strains and products may be a good fit. Retailers will likely jump on this opportunity to better serve their customers as most cannabis shopping today is fairly hit-and-miss unless you have a good idea of your needs and have a reliable budtender to help you out.
Better Grows and Yields
Known as “weed” due to how easily it grows outdoors in tropical climates, technology has transformed marijuana growing indoors. Outdoors, crops can be stolen, eaten by animals, and ruined by the weather, but inside, marijuana can grow unimpeded under ideal growing conditions that make for better yields, grows, and even strains.
With the use of LED technology, hydroponic technology, and other methodologies to make it easier to grow marijuana, it’s easy to see how tech is revolutionizing the marijuana industry, particularly in areas that don’t have the right climate and sun exposure to grow marijuana effectively. Newer and stronger LED bulbs have enough wide-spectrum light to match the benefits of the sun, and some light manufacturers have even started producing lamps that can be better oriented to meet the needs of growing cannabis plants. These newer lights also run cooler than traditional bulbs, which reduces energy consumption as growers have to manage all that indoor heat.
Better Marijuana Beverages
Another area where technology and marijuana are coming together is in nanoencapsulation. Since CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids require oil to extract and hold the valuable compounds within, marijuana-based beverages have shorter shelf lives since the extract is not water soluble, meaning that it will eventually separate. But nanoencapsulation seeks to add THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids directly to water-based products such as marijuana beverages.
Furthermore, nanoencapsulation will increase the amount of each product that will eventually make its way into the bloodstream, which is currently capped at about 20 percent when consumed orally. According to scientists, smaller emulsions should increase the bioavailability of cannabis products when consumed orally, and that will mean better and stronger marijuana beverages.
Learn more about how technology is transforming the marijuana industry from the cannabis experts at Embarc. Whether you’re new to marijuana products or you’re a longtime user, we have the products and deals that you need to unlock the best cannabis experiences.