Genetically Modified Marijuana : The Future of Medical Cannabis?

This past week yielded some exciting news in the field of “Cannabis science” with the announcement that the Cannabis Sativa genome (DNA) has been sequenced. Every organism, Cannabis and Human included, has a genome that contains all of the biological information needed to build and maintain a living example of that organism. Therefore, the sequencing of the Cannabis genome is significant in the research and better understanding of the Cannabis plant, but it will also allow scientists to grow genetically modified cannabis.

The raw sequence was posted on Amazon’s EC2 public cloud computing service by a start-up company called Medicinal Genomics, which aims to explore the genomes of therapeutic plants. According Medicinal Genomics founder, Kevin McKernan, one of the main reasons the company published the data publicly was due to anti-marijuana laws in most countries.

“A lot of people who want to contribute to this field can’t, but now that this information is available, a lot of research can get done without growing any plants,”

Cannabis Genome

McKernan, who has a lab in the Netherlands where he can legally study the plant, has spent most of his career studying tumors in humans. However, he became interested in Cannabis after several friends of his with cancer asked him whether medical marijuana could be of any help to them.

Most current research into Cannabis and cancer has been done on the two most commonly known compounds, THC and CBD. However, KcKernan hopes that the genome will allow scientists to explore other cannabis compounds for potential medical benefit, as well as starting a breeding program to create new, genetically modified, Cannabis strains.

Good intentions aside, the medical marijuana business is huge and is growing by over 50% a year. There is big money to be made, especially if pharmaceutical Cannabis products or genetically modified cannabis strains are the only legal form of the drug.

“It’s going to have to be a fairly regulated market,” McKernan says, “and regulation is going to come through genetics and fingerprinting of which strains are approved.”

“It may be possible through genome directed breeding to attenuate the psychoactive effects of cannabis, while enhancing the medicinal aspects.”

Taking the “marijuana” out of marijuana, whilst still retaining it’s medicinal qualities, might just be the thing that swings full-blown support for medical cannabis. Although, this is highly unlikely as the main compounds responsible for making us high and relaxed (THC and CBD) are the ones with all the medicinal qualities, as is the case with the legal cannabis based pharmaceutical drug, Sativex [read more]. But that’s not to say more compounds with medicinal qualities wont be identified.

Unlocking the Cannabis plant’s genetic code gives way to an array of possibilities, as well as a lot of potential money, but it’s all tied up in the medical field. For us as users and patients, we can be happy that this research will potentially help those living with diseases like cancer and glaucoma. On the flip side, however, “cannabis genetics” could lead to stricter regulations and controls when it comes to medical marijuana, therefore keeping it out of the hands of those patients who can’t afford to pay the exorbitant price-tags on patented medication, but need it none the less. After all, it’s just a plant.

Source:
Nature.com
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About the Author: Sticky Scissors

Co-founder and editor of Below The Lion. Hippie with a haircut. Appreciator of fine herbs and spices. Nature lover. Animal Lover. Skateboarding is not a crime. Proudly South African.


55 Responses so far

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  1. THC-Skaap says:

    Awsum news!!! This can really change the whole worlds view of Cannabis! Great articel! loving it!

  2. twitch says:

    I’m not happy about this. One of the greatest traits of marijuana is that it’s completely natural. There are no imperfections created induced by humans. I avoid medicines for that exact reason. No matter how “good” the medicine is, it’s still made by imperfect humans.

    Nature may not be perfect either, but i’d much rather take my chances toking a joint rolled from completely natural weed.

    I won’t be falling for this version of “legal weed”

    • cp says:

      when only scientists are free to experiment, this is what happens….they operate within the constructs of society, and the plant itself is outside society, so……?

  3. I’m with you on that one twitch. Even though this is a breakthrough and has the potential for lots of good, something inside keeps telling me it’s just for the money and just for the patents. I’ll stick to natural herb thanks. Although… Genetically modified super weed anyone?

  4. mant says:

    LOL, i think they just wana make new pharmaceutical versions of cannabis so it can be sold to make a profit and maybe they will throw in abit of propaganda to make their version seem like the only way forward! look at the price of a banki then look at the price of sativex?

  5. hippo for 20ing says:

    its not gmo foods but rather gmm (genetically modified marijuana) can see how many will oppose this but think of the benafits, if the gene that controles yeild can be isolated (as it has now) we can control that, or lets say we can add say the best genetic qualities into a single bud thinking maybe a 30% thc, decreased growth time ect. good example of this is woolworths,go see how perfect their cherry red their tomatos are or how HUGE those strawberries are (and they taste amazing). ask any farmer (agricultural) and they will tell you that its become almost impossibel to turn a profit with regular seeds as opposed to the gmo seeds when our grandparents were kids they had 1 maybe 2 corn cobs per plant now walk into a field and there are min 3 cobs on all the stalks. it’s def worth a try and at the end of the day any decent grower will tell you that the only limmiting factor to growing your own bud is the seed genetics plants can only use so many resourses, or can they!?!?!?

  6. lowrider says:

    genetically modified anything is the reason for all the increased number of medical issues. Limiting factor of growing buds is a few things, starting with your seeds, moving to your lights etc, i guess if everything was perfect….

  7. Buzz says:

    Always been averse to GM. Nature does the same thing and should not be manipulated.
    While there may be some interesting results, I would hate to see MJ become another coco plant.

  8. hippo for 20ing says:

    ja true we can make a optimum growth conditions available but that will only go so far the only limit is genetics. Imagine a big Buddha blue berry plant (great taste but known for having small yield def the connoisseur’s choice) with colas as big as watermelons. There is no evidence that shows any link between gmo and health problems. I think in that regard the blame should be placed squarely on radioactive fertilisers

  9. Genetic modification of Cannbis will alter cannabinoid expression and it could even be switched off by the malicious tampering by corporations who do not want to see cannabis compete with their own synthetic medicines. Remember that Cannabis is wind pollinated so one modification will go everywhere and spoil the unwque strains that have been developed. Standard selection and breeding techniques and the saving of local seeds will be much more effective in developing diversity in the Cannabis genome. We must figure out ways to protect the local cannabis genome from foreign tampering and patenting, and ownership.

    • Rush says:

      A bit paranoid there hey? I think you blowing it a little out of proportion. If there was so much potential for cannabis to cure everything people would have done it years ago. Just get high and stop worrying

  10. Jean says:

    Hi,

    I’m also not happy with the fact that they want to change something and make it “better” etc to make profits from it, as far as I’m aware Cannabis doesn’t need improvement, but the stupid medical industry does, in fact I don’t even donate to anti cancer charities and organisations as they want us to donate for cancer research but then they ban the one and only cure for cancer? so contradictory if you ask me.

    Basically what I’m saying is, let it be, its just a plant, its safer than sugar, if there’s anything that needs improvement, its alcohol and cigarettes where thousands of people are dying from each day, but let’s improve the only plant that never killed anyone, so that it too can be damaging to people.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE, THIS IS NOT GOOD NEWS AT ALL :(

  11. hippo for 20ing says:

    when genetic engeneers engeneer a plant they dnt just pick and choose ofcourse there are so many rules and regulations that ensure that the dnt make something dangerous or sumting like that. The pharmasutical companies arnt the only people who wil be engenering the plant but rather any1 who chooses to. Its possibel that we see another catagory in the high times cannabis cup (gmm) at the end of the day if you dnt want a gmm splif then its your choice to stick to the good old naurual mj. This i think will become another choice for all who apreciate mj just like organic nutrients or chemical its your choice just like free range its a choice

  12. von_zipper says:

    bong! bong bong bong bong hit the bong!

  13. lost G says:

    Whoop whoop! I think this is great! Cant wait to see what happens next!

  14. envee says:

    never sure what exactley is meant by ‘genetically modified’ but it sure as hell aint the same product as it was before. definately rather want to stick to the clean natural way in which weed can grow. stick a seed in the ground, make sure it gets sun light, make sure it gets water, done.
    all in all i think i am a touch more nervous about this than what i am excited.
    jus wanna go back to the 70′s :)

  15. twitch says:

    I won’t oppose this if we ever get to vote, I just won’t try it. Only way to go is the natural way. What’s the difference between sticking a heroine needle into your arm and sticking a morphine needle into your arm? The “legal” sticker which the government puts on one. They’re both terrible for you, but because one comes from a “controlled” environment, that doesn’t make it any safer.

    All I’m trying to say is that I won’t be participating.

  16. imo says:

    Haha what a load of BS. To quote McKemman, “it’s going to have to be a fairly regulated market”. That already tells you this is just another money-making scheme, because smoking, growing, and trading Cannabis is your human right (see democracydefined.org or cannabis.za.net). I don’t know about you but I never gave anyone the power to regulate my God-given rights. Yes the pantented GM versions can legally be regulated, but what sane person would choose to buy some GM bud when natural Cannabis can already be grown so well and easily? This is all just another money-motivated government sponsored scheme to get the naïve public to agree to letting their human rights be regulated so that they can profit, just like decriminalisation, legalisation of ‘medical marijuana’, ‘industrial hemp’ legalisation and the type of legalistion pushed by NORML and other quasi-promarijuania organisations. Let’s get the natural thing fully RELEGALISED first, without any controls and regulations, and then let’s let the people (where ultimate authority resides) decide if they want the best plant in the world to be made any better.

    • BigBowler says:

      What do you mean by the type of legalization pushed by NORML? Full legalization won’t happen first, that’s just unrealistic. It happens in steps, the first being decriminilisation, hemp and medical. The rest will follow. It’s stupid to shoot these ideas down and think that full legalisation or relegalisation will happen all at once.

      • imo says:

        The type of legalisation NORML pushes is a regulated Cannabis market which allows only adults to use Cannabis. By common law, international law and by the articles of the U.N constitution this is illegal and completely disregards all the exonerative emprical evidence regarding Cannabis. Full relegalisation, without any controls and regulations on our human right to grow, smoke and trade this plant, is only unrealistic at this moment because not many people are aware of their lioberties and human rights and the almost two centuries long worth of studies exonerating Cannabis from ALL allegations of harm. Also, those with vested interests are doing a good job at selling all these schemes to the naïve and obscuring all this information, so you’re probably right in that full relegalisation won’t happen first. Nevertheless, I’ll always keep pushing for full relegalisation because settling for any less would mean I would have to give up a bit of my human rights.

  17. hippo for 20ing says:

    You guys are talking human rights and what being said is all true and good (preaching to the choir). All I’m saying is there are places in the world that we can learn from that have legalized marijuana on some level or completely. When (note I say ‘when’) South Africa follows we will be able to capitalise on the hemp industry. I can promise that farmers (who should be at the forefront of the legalization debate) are going to insist that hemp be modified to carry the best characteristics possible. We are currently using selective breading methods to get the best possible strains and gm is just the next step in the process of evolution. Marijuana has come a very long way since the 70′s and like I said before why should the pharmaceutical companies be the only ones that can modify the plant. the EU has very strict rules when it comes to labelling of their foods the produce has to be labelled as gmo if its gmo so why not apply the same principal to cannabis, the only thing we need to fear is the criminalisation of cannabis if it’s decimalised then we can label our bankies and know what we paying for, because there isn’t any company or farmer that we as consumers can hold responsible we should fear what we are buying. The only way that gmm (genetically modified marijuana) should be sold is in a state that respects the consumer to make their own decisions i.e. legalise

  18. envee says:

    god i love when people know their shit

  19. twitch says:

    What’s wrong with the weed we can currently get? Has it not treated you well in the past? There’s no need to modify an already perfect plant.

    Money, money, money. That’s all anyone ever cares about! We live in such a fucked up world.

  20. hippo for 20ing says:

    @ twitch what is your favrioute strain in the world you have ever tasted? I bet its a strain that someone has put alot of effort into breeding choosing the strongest patents out of a field of hundreds. then breeding the pair and finding the best offspring and so on and so forth. this can go on forever back crossing a offspring with its parent all to get the best collection of genetics possibel. gm is just a faster way to do exactly this, they instead of selecting the qualities from the crop they select the qualities from a list on a computer this is just another way that breading has evolved.

    • twitch says:

      You make a really good point. Kush is my favourite, but i’ve only bought it once. Otherwise i just stick to what’s local to my area (no need to drive far for blaze).

      But i concede to your point.

  21. Ula8 says:

    hippo is right. Take this from someone who actually studies genetics and biotechnology. Selective breeding is called first generation biotechnology. Coz it involves the selection of a particular trait. These traits are linked to the genome of the plant/(any organism) because its a product formed the genes already within the plant/organism. 2nd generation biotech involves the creation of a product from pure cell cultures / tissues of an organism that has already been bred 1gen biotech style, without adding foreign genes/ changing the natural genomic make up of the organism. AND now we get to 3rd generation biotech which involves altering the genetic make up of an organism by introducing foreign dna or even by adding additional natural genes in the genome so that the organism may overproduce the desired product/s.
    Dont get me wrong Im all for being natural and for full legalisation, what im just saying is get the facts straight first. If we fail to do this then we are no beter than our ignorant enemy who made us outlaws for reasons they themselves cant substanciate.

    So my opinion is free weed, legalise it completely, keep it natural and treat it like any othes comodity in our country like sugar or milk or beef.

  22. phototropism says:

    And if a GM male pollinated one of your females…would those seeds(plants), when planted have GM traits?
    Next we’ll have ‘the GM ganja police’ checking our buds for ‘their’ genetic composition…prob have to pay royalties etc…not cool. similar to the whole Monsanto round up immune crop seed thing.

    follow the light-phototropism

  23. hippo for 20ing says:

    I’m not sure on the specifics as I learned this stuff back in martic, think ula8 might be able to shed some more light on that but they do put safeguards in place for exactly that reason if a gm species was to reproduce in the wild they would completely unbalance the natural ecosystem as they would have a “unfair advantage” they do put safeguards into place to prevent the plant from reproducing, always wondered about this can any1 maybe shed some light on this? I completely agree with ula8 it should be something that is controlled and treated like any other commodity, but maybe a bit stricter that milk or beef I’m thinking more like alcohol or tobacco , age restriction should be imposed.

  24. Aegenroth says:

    I say no to this. Sure they can work on extraction and refinement, but actually altering its genes? That would take all the fun out of cross-breeding and cultivation.
    Medically, yeah, it might help, but so does extracting the active compounds. This ,for me, rules out the need to genetically modify it.

  25. hippo for 20ing says:

    what if you want to increase the yield of a strain? Gm would be pretty usefull then?

  26. Ula8 says:

    in terms of the safeguards put in place, majority if not all gm plants are induced to be sterile. This protects the natural population from crossing with the gm plants and keeps the patented traits safely in the hands of the company that made the gm plants. The full answer on how the sterilise the plants is long and boring but in short they deactivate the genes responsible for creating reproductive structures. They do this either by breeding plants with defective reproductive genes or by creating a defective dna coding enzyme or by adding more genes that codes for a signal molecule that deactivates these enzymes. Meaning the genes cant produce their producs either bcos of defective/inactivated dna enzymes or defective genes.
    I agree with u guys on the age restriction, but the law must include exceptions for under aged kids in need of the benefitial medicinal properties of weed.
    In terms of regulation I think one must be free to grow as much weed as u want for personal use but as soon as it is being sold it should be taxed coz the any comercial sale falls under the income tax laws.
    In my opinion we must b able to grow as much as we want so that we can just give eachother free weed with no strings attached.

  27. Ula8 says:

    in terms of the safeguards put in place, majority if not all gm plants are induced to be sterile. This protects the natural population from crossing with the gm plants and keeps the patented traits safely in the hands of the company that made the gm plants. The full answer on how the sterilise the plants is long and boring but in short they deactivate the genes responsible for creating reproductive structures. They do this either by breeding plants with defective reproductive genes or by creating a defective dna coding enzyme or by adding more genes that codes for a signal molecule that deactivates these enzymes. Meaning the reproductive genes cant produce their producs either bcos of defective/inactivated dna enzymes or defective genes.
    I agree with u guys on the age restriction, but the law must include exceptions for under aged kids in need of the benefitial medicinal properties of weed.
    In terms of regulation I think one must be free to grow as much weed as u want for personal use but as soon as it is being sold it should be taxed coz the any comercial sale falls under the income tax laws.
    In my opinion we must b able to grow as much as we want so that we can just give eachother free weed with no strings attached.

  28. Aegenroth says:

    hippo for 20ing said:
    what if you want to increase the yield of a strain? Gm would be pretty usefull then?

    I guess that would be okay, but you never know what side effects that might have on the crop

  29. Mmstickybuds says:

    I don’t think breeding and GM are the same, or even comparable personally. Just my opinion but the way I see it, they will create, and control the cannabis that they allow people to use. No growing, just buying from them…I say they can do what they want in Babylon, but in SA I will always be growing as organic and natural as I can, of all kinds of plants. I also believe breeding is a good enough method to fine tune our bud, I think it’s the respectful way to do it, in terms of the plant..I find it way less invasive.

  30. kdstanhope says:

    GM crops generally focus on pest resistance, increased yield and other favourable traits. I don’t understand why everyone has a little weep about GM crops. Essentially the process is a lab driven form of selective breeding. Take corn for instance, Zea mays, this crop was selectively bred and essentially created from the domestication of Teosinte, also Zea species. Avo is another example of man-made plants. Let us not forget the pepperdew either…
    I feel the whole organic issue is a bit fouled and GM crops get labelled as evil for all the wrong reasons. The true focus should be on what is used in growing the crops, and not because stuff like liquid fertilizer is bad for us (bollocks) but because of the collateral damage it does to the immediate environment.
    Just my opinion anyway… lets not get too worked up by corporate conspiracies and mutated, maliciously bred plant life ;-) You dig natural, stay natural. You prefer Genetically Bred, go for it. I reckon humans don’t have the awesome power to transform and mould nature that we think we do, natural life will always find a way to survive beyond us.

  31. Mmstickybuds says:

    kdstanhope said:
    GM crops generally focus on pest resistance, increased yield and other favourable traits. I don’t understand why everyone has a little weep about GM crops. Essentially the process is a lab driven form of selective breeding. Take corn for instance, Zea mays, this crop was selectively bred and essentially created from the domestication of Teosinte, also Zea species. Avo is another example of man-made plants. Let us not forget the pepperdew either…
    I feel the whole organic issue is a bit fouled and GM crops get labelled as evil for all the wrong reasons. The true focus should be on what is used in growing the crops, and not because stuff like liquid fertilizer is bad for us (bollocks) but because of the collateral damage it does to the immediate environment.
    Just my opinion anyway… lets not get too worked up by corporate conspiracies and mutated, maliciously bred plant life ;-) You dig natural, stay natural. You prefer Genetically Bred, go for it. I reckon humans don’t have the awesome power to transform and mould nature that we think we do, natural life will always find a way to survive beyond us.

    I think you got a point, but for me the issue with GM is when a company like Monsanto modifies corn. We’re now at a stage where almost all corn worldwide has Monsanto genetics, and one thing they did was to stop the seeds from growing a new plant so people have to buy food…not grow it.
    To me that’s a massive problem.

  32. Buzz says:

    Don’t see why shortcuts should be taken with GM. Such a double edged sword.
    The most lives saved in the world was by GM’ed rice (I think it was rice, may have been wheat). It brought growable food to millions of struggling communities where normal crops would not survive.
    Then again, it puts crop viability and seed access into corporate hands. Less than ideal.

    Where do we draw the line with GM’ing? Surely we can get the same or very similar results with selective breeding?

  33. kdstanhope says:

    I seem to think it was rice as well; golden rice, modified to produce carotene.
    This sort of advancement is kinda only possible through genetic modification, unless a carotene producing mutation of rice were to naturally occur which growers could then breed with.
    But Buzz, you make a fair point: “Where do we draw the line with GM’ing? Surely we can get the same or very similar results with selective breeding?” We can, but the time and cost is higher than doing all the work in a lab. The problem is that everyone is always in a big rush to do everything!
    Companies like Monsanto are big names, yes, but the advantages of GM crops only really effect the big growers, to whom maximum use of the available land is a priority. The average subsistence farmer can only use as much land that he can physically farm, using regular seed or GM seed is really up to the requirements of the grower.
    And what about cannabis? We are already at the point where brand name strains reign supreme. And at the cost per seed, the companies that design these seeds print money.
    Eisha! There are just so many angles to look at the GM issue from, its maddening! But the proof is in the pudding; GM crops have done a lot more good than bad.

  34. kdstanhope says:

    PS: the cannabis strain they sequenced was Chemdawg. The entire sequence is available at request, its like 1TB!

  35. Mmstickybuds says:

    kdstanhope said:
    I seem to think it was rice as well; golden rice, modified to produce carotene.
    This sort of advancement is kinda only possible through genetic modification, unless a carotene producing mutation of rice were to naturally occur which growers could then breed with.
    But Buzz, you make a fair point: “Where do we draw the line with GM’ing? Surely we can get the same or very similar results with selective breeding?” We can, but the time and cost is higher than doing all the work in a lab. The problem is that everyone is always in a big rush to do everything!
    Companies like Monsanto are big names, yes, but the advantages of GM crops only really effect the big growers, to whom maximum use of the available land is a priority. The average subsistence farmer can only use as much land that he can physically farm, using regular seed or GM seed is really up to the requirements of the grower.
    And what about cannabis? We are already at the point where brand name strains reign supreme. And at the cost per seed, the companies that design these seeds print money.
    Eisha! There are just so many angles to look at the GM issue from, its maddening! But the proof is in the pudding; GM crops have done a lot more good than bad.

    Hey KD
    I totally see where you are coming from. The thing I generally feel is, that in terms of mainstream news that is generally the kind of thing that is told or promoted. My main concern, for myself is eating foods (and meat) that haven’t been fully tested for long-term effects, and that have already had negative health effects. Check this article out…

    http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/GeneticRoulette/HealthRisksofGMFoodsSummaryDebate/index.cfm

    I agree with you as far as helping communities that were unable to grow certain things before..but let’s be honest I feel that should be the very last resort until the full effects of these things are known. GM foods are already known to have less nutritional value in them than totally natural foods. After living in London for 2 years I could see the difference in GM foods from normal supermarkets and then very expensive fruit or veg from organic stores. I don’t mind if other people are fine with eating it, but I know I personally will never grow veg or fruit that aren’t totally natural. Maybe I am just way too untrusting of massive multinational corporations that have nothing to gain from helping the little man or feeding people what’s best for them, rather what turns a quick buck.
    Here is another really good natural food news resource…it’s not some dumb conspiracy site either…

    http://www.naturalnews.com/gmos.html

    Even just the headlines on this link indicate reason for further investigation.

  36. kdstanhope says:

    Mmstickybuds, the Natural News site was great, definitely not as one sided as Seeds of Deception, which even the name suggests is a little sensational… But anyway…
    There is no denying the fact that Western society has some unique health issues which have been largely attributed to diet. I know Multiple Sclerosis is far more prevalent in Western Society, and I do believe the processed lifestyles over there don’t help much.
    Good point about unstable RNA in that article on Seeds of Deception by the way, but I don’t think transgenic breeding should be labelled GM; that shit is real science-fair when it comes to lab-induced alterations. Now we’re talking whole new species!

    The first article I read on natural news was the one about the Kenyan farmers. You know, reading this, I think a lot of the time GM and Organic are used almost interchangeably. This of course is incorrect. I’m with you on the organic side – veg honestly does taste way better when you use manure as fertilizer, I put that down to all the subtleties in the aroma, texture and chemical cocktails present in a nice hot steaming pile, fresh from the “factory”… Liquid fertilizer is clinical, its like the difference between indoor hydro and outdoor soil bud (whole other issue too :-) ) The trade off with most of these things is usually quality vs quantity.

    I’d say that you are right in saying that we need to wait until the “full effects of these things are known”. We can only assume that a gene which expresses pest resistance will have no effect on our well-being. We can’t really be certain.

    But the definition of GM is also always different depending on who you talk to. For instance, I would look at hybrid cannabis – indica, sativa crosses – as Genetically modified, it is a far more “Natural” genetic cross, sure. And what about Autos? I’d definitely say those are GM; crossing ruderalis to cancel out normal photoperiods.

    So yeah, I agree on the dangers of taking it too far too quickly, especially when no one actually checks that the plants can support or are even naturally capable of such changes to its genetic expression as we have begun seeing in the agricultural sector.
    I am of the opinion that the GM issue revolves around the corporates who stand to make millions by offering something that could have been naturally available but they just sped the whole thing up in a lab. The health issue belongs largely to the Organic debate; artificial ripeners, flowering hormones and harsh chemical insecticides have become standard practice and irresponsible use is dangerous and sadly rather prevalent.

    Either way, arguments over natural and unnatural things have been around forever and will always be around – I can’t be certain if my cellphone still gives me brain cancer or if its my microwave ;-) – its pretty much down to the person to make the choice. Like McDonalds vs Steers, Beer vs Wine, Naartjie vs Orange, Sarah Jessica Parker films or Christopher Walken films… :-)

  37. Sprigg says:

    Mmmmm…

    McDonalds
    Wine
    Neither
    Christopher Walken films

    :P

  38. kdstanhope says:

    mmmmm… oranges. Yummy! Even my kitty likes oranges, he licks them as soon as I bring them home. Odd little dude.
    …obviously only organic oranges though ;-)

  39. Sprigg says:

    Lol :P

    Not much a fruit person myself, and I really need to get a cat!

  40. ScrOGger says:

    kdstanhope said:

    But the definition of GM is also always different depending on who you talk to. For instance, I would look at hybrid cannabis – indica, sativa crosses – as Genetically modified, it is a far more “Natural” genetic cross, sure. And what about Autos? I’d definitely say those are GM; crossing ruderalis to cancel out normal photoperiods.

    Surely this is just selective cross breeding rather than being genetically modified..?
    Well, the way I see it, is if that’s what you think genetically modified is, then anyone with parents of mixed race will also be genetically modified..?
    In essence it may be a form of genetic modification, but then surely every strain of cannabis is already genetically modified, as is every human being..?

  41. Mmstickybuds says:

    ScrOGger said:
    Surely this is just selective cross breeding rather than being genetically modified..?
    Well, the way I see it, is if that’s what you think genetically modified is, then anyone with parents of mixed race will also be genetically modified..?
    In essence it may be a form of genetic modification, but then surely every strain of cannabis is already genetically modified, as is every human being..?

    That’s what I was thinking…to me crossing cannabis strains is a natural process, that could happen from birds dropping seeds when migrating? Lol bit of a stretch but still… When you genetically modify seeds in laboratories to have certain traits it can lead to instabilities in the foods that can affect you in negative ways. Autoflowering seeds worried me at first, as I thought my only option was LST or Scrogging, but when I realised, as you say it’s just crossing breeds..like people do, it’s in no way cruel. Feminizing seeds is a bit more of a dodgy process from what I know but still not the same as what Monsanto is actually doing, imagine the government was selling ‘Legal’ seeds that we had to buy from them, and would never generate seeds we could grow from, only ONE plant per seed, no cloning…that’s what they have done to corn.

  42. Mmstickybuds says:

    Mmstickybuds said:
    That’s what I was thinking…to me crossing cannabis strains is a natural process, that could happen from birds dropping seeds when migrating? Lol bit of a stretch but still… When you genetically modify seeds in laboratories to have certain traits it can lead to instabilities in the foods that can affect you in negative ways. Autoflowering seeds worried me at first, as I thought my only option was LST or Scrogging, but when I realised, as you say it’s just crossing breeds..like people do, it’s in no way cruel. Feminizing seeds is a bit more of a dodgy process from what I know but still not the same as what Monsanto is actually doing, imagine the government was selling ‘Legal’ seeds that we had to buy from them, and would never generate seeds we could grow from, only ONE plant per seed, no cloning…that’s what they have done to corn.

    Sorry not sure why I wrote ‘Cruel’ about Autos, I just had a 30 minute vaping session.

  43. OscarMilde says:

    Sorry not sure why I wrote ‘Cruel’ about Autos, I just had a 30 minute vaping session.

    In amongst all the seriousness, this really cracked me up :D

  44. Mmstickybuds says:

    kdstanhope said:
    Mmstickybuds, the Natural News site was great, definitely not as one sided as Seeds of Deception, which even the name suggests is a little sensational… But anyway…
    There is no denying the fact that Western society has some unique health issues which have been largely attributed to diet. I know Multiple Sclerosis is far more prevalent in Western Society, and I do believe the processed lifestyles over there don’t help much.
    Good point about unstable RNA in that article on Seeds of Deception by the way, but I don’t think transgenic breeding should be labelled GM; that shit is real science-fair when it comes to lab-induced alterations. Now we’re talking whole new species!

    The first article I read on natural news was the one about the Kenyan farmers. You know, reading this, I think a lot of the time GM and Organic are used almost interchangeably. This of course is incorrect. I’m with you on the organic side – veg honestly does taste way better when you use manure as fertilizer, I put that down to all the subtleties in the aroma, texture and chemical cocktails present in a nice hot steaming pile, fresh from the “factory”… Liquid fertilizer is clinical, its like the difference between indoor hydro and outdoor soil bud (whole other issue too :-) ) The trade off with most of these things is usually quality vs quantity.

    I’d say that you are right in saying that we need to wait until the “full effects of these things are known”. We can only assume that a gene which expresses pest resistance will have no effect on our well-being. We can’t really be certain.

    But the definition of GM is also always different depending on who you talk to. For instance, I would look at hybrid cannabis – indica, sativa crosses – as Genetically modified, it is a far more “Natural” genetic cross, sure. And what about Autos? I’d definitely say those are GM; crossing ruderalis to cancel out normal photoperiods.

    So yeah, I agree on the dangers of taking it too far too quickly, especially when no one actually checks that the plants can support or are even naturally capable of such changes to its genetic expression as we have begun seeing in the agricultural sector.
    I am of the opinion that the GM issue revolves around the corporates who stand to make millions by offering something that could have been naturally available but they just sped the whole thing up in a lab. The health issue belongs largely to the Organic debate; artificial ripeners, flowering hormones and harsh chemical insecticides have become standard practice and irresponsible use is dangerous and sadly rather prevalent.

    Either way, arguments over natural and unnatural things have been around forever and will always be around – I can’t be certain if my cellphone still gives me brain cancer or if its my microwave ;-) – its pretty much down to the person to make the choice. Like McDonalds vs Steers, Beer vs Wine, Naartjie vs Orange, Sarah Jessica Parker films or Christopher Walken films… :-)

    You’re right about the definition being different which helps to confuse people. Therefore you could say I am all for people, themselves, crossing breeds of cannabis or strains of tomatoes or whatever. When the government starts telling me I am not allowed to grow organic food (like a lot of cases in the USA over the last couple of years) and I have to grow seeds designated to me that have been engineered for specific results and reasons(like those poor folks in Kenya, there is a massive difference there between organic and Monsanto of their GM kak, the latter being seeds referred to as terminator seeds because they are useless after one plantation, and as it says in the article Monsanto also makes through the LAWS of the country, people buy the seeds and pesticides they supply, also natural pesticides could be used instead.)
    What should also concern you, me and everybody is in the USA the MD of Monsanto has become the head of the FDA. That is an indication we have big problems in the world because when the person who tells the nation if what they are eating is safe, has the biggest interest financially in GM..(the bad kind) we can imagine that we are going to be given many, many justifications and propaganda telling us how benefitial GM is, the same thing as if you listen to what Bill Gates calls ‘Population Control’, otherwise known as eugenics. This also takes me to a whole different topic, but it’s the same as the Global Warming issue…when you look at what the result of all that propaganda will be..it’s called Carbon Tax, paid by YOU to the same people that really kill this planet.

  45. kdstanhope says:

    I guess the point I was trying to get at was that if we look at a genetically modified crop, say something such as drought tolerant maize, that trait is introduced by selective breeding, albeit in a lab, and targeted as one of a few genes which would give the plant more desirable characteristics. Does that count as GM? I’d say yes. Even techniques such as selective breeding and somaclonal variation fall into the broad definition of GM.
    By that definition, I’d say autos are GM too, minus the lab and dudes in white suits, in that the specific trait was selectively targeted and intentionally isolated by whatever form of breeding took place, be it tissue culture or regular crossing. I can almost be certain that breeders of autos would most likely have had to use plant embryogenesis or at least some form of tissue culture in isolating and stabilizing the auto gene; they modified the genetic expression of the offspring.
    By calling something GM you are saying I started out with the plan of creating a drought tolerant plant, I isolated individual plants that exhibited this trait from a large cross section and I made it so that the gene which expressed a tolerance to drought would appear in all subsequent offspring etc etc.
    Someone who has parents of mixed race is not genetically modified by this definition, but rather expresses certain genes differently to his or her parents, if the parents for some reason attempted to create a drought tolerant kid then I’d say he’s GM. :-)
    Not all plants labelled GM were created using something as science fiction as the bt gene technique (a soil bacteria used as an ‘insert’ carrying foreign genes.), and some that aren’t labelled GM were created using techniques just as science-show.
    #EDIT:
    Also, sorry, I tend to stay away from the political side of things. People should make a country, not the government.
    I honestly wasn’t aware that the USA had laws forcing GM seed to be used. That does change the ball game. I also don’t like that the corporates have such a pull in a country.
    But objectively, from a scientific stand point, GM crops, minus the cash grabbers and corruption involved, stand to really benefit a lot of people. And they currently do.

  46. Mmstickybuds says:

    kdstanhope said:
    I guess the point I was trying to get at was that if we look at a genetically modified crop, say something such as drought tolerant maize, that trait is introduced by selective breeding, albeit in a lab, and targeted as one of a few genes which would give the plant more desirable characteristics. Does that count as GM? I’d say yes. Even techniques such as selective breeding and somaclonal variation fall into the broad definition of GM.
    By that definition, I’d say autos are GM too, minus the lab and dudes in white suits, in that the specific trait was selectively targeted and intentionally isolated by whatever form of breeding took place, be it tissue culture or regular crossing. I can almost be certain that breeders of autos would most likely have had to use plant embryogenesis or at least some form of tissue culture in isolating and stabilizing the auto gene; they modified the genetic expression of the offspring.
    By calling something GM you are saying I started out with the plan of creating a drought tolerant plant, I isolated individual plants that exhibited this trait from a large cross section and I made it so that the gene which expressed a tolerance to drought would appear in all subsequent offspring etc etc.
    Someone who has parents of mixed race is not genetically modified by this definition, but rather expresses certain genes differently to his or her parents, if the parents for some reason attempted to create a drought tolerant kid then I’d say he’s GM. :-)
    Not all plants labelled GM were created using something as science fiction as the bt gene technique (a soil bacteria used as an ‘insert’ carrying foreign genes.), and some that aren’t labelled GM were created using techniques just as science-show.

    #EDIT:
    Also, sorry, I tend to stay away from the political side of things. People should make a country, not the government.
    I honestly wasn’t aware that the USA had laws forcing GM seed to be used. That does change the ball game. I also don’t like that the corporates have such a pull in a country.
    But objectively, from a scientific stand point, GM crops, minus the cash grabbers and corruption involved, stand to really benefit a lot of people. And they currently do.

    Yeah I can imagine, they could be an amazing advancement in technology. However, those behind the curtain don’t have our best interests at heart. I think the same thing applies in SA, these days if it’s not an organic mielie it’s a Monsanto piece of corn.

  47. GA says:

    man we try and get a nartural plant legalized because its natural and good and mr dr fankenfuk here goes and screws it up…leave it alone. we dont want your crap chemical modified death weed. and yes there are many proofs its harmfull dummy. if you didnt breath all that crap in you might think better

  48. Patrick Monk.RN. says:

    Ooops, forgot to include my chant.
    NO GMO IN MY RSO

  49. Psyfer says:

    People like this needs to be shut down!
    As soon as they start to modify the genetics of weed I can guarantee that the strain they create won’t work anymore even if it does it’ll only spread the abomination strain to other strains and contaminate cannabis forever.
    For great examples why NOT to GM anything just look at all previous GMO crops -Not a single one of those gm projects has brought anything but misery, death, infertility, brain damage and don’t forget billions and billions for of blood money.

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