Cannabis sativa is a diploid species much like us, where one chromosome set comes from each parent. As a means for unlocking new potential from crops, researchers have been creating polyploidy plants, plants having more than two complete chromosome sets, from previously diploid ones using chemical treatments. Introducing extra sets of chromosomes to plants can achieve new or enhanced phenotypic properties. Previously, this information and technology has been used on industrial hemp varieties, but is now being tested in cannabis intended for use as a drug by the major cannabis corporation Canopy Growth. Canopy recently had an application (2019/0289804) published for a process in which polyploid cannabis plants could be achieved through chemical treatments. This comes several months after their research publication discussing this technology and its results was released in Frontiers in Plant Science. The tetraploid cannabis plants that were studied had an increase in trichome composition by about 40% and a 9% increase in CBD composition. THC composition and dried bud mass yields did not vary from the control cannabis plants. Canopy has set their sight on innovation in the cannabis industry and to achieve this have strategically acquired companies with IP that they can build upon such as ebbu, whose assets apply to Canopy’s R&D efforts tremendously.
Cannabis is now legally being used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, including chronic pain, alcoholism, anxiety, nausea (from chemotherapy) and epilepsy.