from von Rainer Krüger und Dr. Lisann Eßer, J&K Consulting
The prescription of medicinal cannabis in Germany has been rising constantly in the last few years, which means that both the demand and the market are growing equally. However, medicinal cannabis is a drug whose active ingredient composition and concentration depend on the genetics of the plant and thus also achieve a different effect on the patient based on the genetics. By sequencing the genomes and comparing the sequences of different cannabis varieties, characteristic genes are to be identified and gene databases created in the future. Sequencing is a molecular biological procedure that can be used to decode the nucleotide sequence of the genetic code. With the help of this technique, producers of medicinal cannabis can decide before the beginning of cultivation which genetics and thus which combination and concentration of active ingredients of the cannabis plants to aim for. By sequencing the produced plants, manufacturers can clearly define their product and thus ensure unambiguous traceability. In addition, the expression of certain genes can be enhanced through targeted breeding, thereby optimising the yield. Sequencing generates large amounts of product-specific data, which can be successfully managed and accessed through blockchain technology.
This article explains the methods of sequencing plant genomes and the benefits that result for manufacturers and patients. It describes how large amounts of data from sequencing are managed by digital tools and how the resulting potential can be used by pharmaceutical companies.