What the Marijuana of the Future might look like
With the unstoppable force of cannabis legalization sweeping across the globe, there are some interesting things that are happening with the cannabis plant. As the legal sector continues to grow, more money in research and development are being poured into the plant and with it we will see many changes occur on how we grow it and designer effects.
As we all know, there is no consistent strain as of yet on the market. When you’re smoking weed; the high is usually described to you based on a subjective analysis of the effects. In other words, someone is telling you ‘how it hit them’ as opposed to providing you with a standardized intoxication, as is possible with products such as alcohol.
You know ‘how many beers to drink’ before you get buzzed, however depending on the cannabis strain, there is no standard on how many ‘puffs’ you can take to achieve a desired effect.
However, scientists are testing the marijuana plant on a genetic level to figure out how it all works. This, is opening a door that the majority of cannabis cultivators have not been able to do by themselves. With new data emerging, there will be a definite impact on the way we cultivate in the future.
Some companies are already filing patents for “consistent strains” that could be a potential consumer “gold mine” if it turns out to be true. Imagine if you knew that by taking 3 hits of a joint, you’ll achieve a desired ‘high’. You would be able to plan out ‘how high’ you’d want to be.
This would be a highly sought after strain that would be commercially viable on an international buyer’s market.
While the genetic research into the marijuana plant is still very green, it won’t stay that way for long. Cannabis research is now becoming a priority for many industries. Meaning, more money being poured into R & D and new discoveries fueling the industry.
So what could the Marijuana of the Future look like?
The first and most likely scenario is a strain of marijuana that can be grown under the right conditions to produce a consistent yield, potency, aroma profiles etc. Let’s call these “Conveyer Belt Strains”. These are strains that would be purchased by mass producers and could also work very well within a medical setting.
This is currently the priority in Cannabis R &D within a recreational setting. The “Holy Grail” as cannabis scientists call it.
Designer Medical Strains
Some people will still prefer to consume good ol’ cannabis for their medical ailments. The medical marijuana of the future could be designed based on specific conditions. For instance, a strain for Multiple Sclerosis, where the most beneficial cannabinoids are being highlighted to provide superior relief.
As we unveil more about the relationship between minor cannabinoids and major cannabinoids and terpenes, our cultivation practices will change drastically.
True Sativa or True Indica
Currently, there are no true Sativas or indicas on the planet. For decades, cultivators cross-bred without keeping proper records of the strains. Everything is a hybrid on the market. The “Sativa” and “Indica” label helps us understand whether the high is “uplifting” or “couch-lockey”, however it’s not telling us whether it’s truly a Sativa or an Indica.
With Genetic Research underway, we could be discovering true Sativas and indicas in the future. We might never get to 100% pure, but we’ll definitely be able to get close. Perhaps the names of these phenotypes might change as well, however it is definitely reasonable to assume that this will be an avenue of research in the near future.
Another change we could expect is the discovery of new phenotypes within the cannabis family. Perhaps Indica and Sativa is too broad within the cannabis spectrum. As we take a closer look at the relationship between cannabinoids, it’s reasonable to suspect that we might be looking at extremes and ignoring the nuances within these polar opposites.
As our knowledge on the plant grows, we will definitely need to create new categories to classify our research. Someone with enough balls and insight will start coining new phenotypes in the future…mark my words.
High Yielding plants
Finally, one of the things we’ll expect to see is the design of high yielding plants. These plants will be created for industrial applications and possible mostly be hemp. However, for medical purposes, high yielding cannabis plants also provide significant value.
Currently we do have plants that can deliver between 5-8 pounds per plant, but I imagine with technology and science thrown at it…we’ll soon be seeing plants that will yield much higher than that.
The world is ready for cannabis and realistically it will still be roughly a decade before we truly have a fully functional cannabis industry on an international scale; the future of cannabis is bright indeed.