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Cannabis cultivation: Methodological issues for obtaining medical-grade product

  • Suman Chandra
    Affiliations
    National Center for Natural Product Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, MS 38677, USA
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  • Hemant Lata
    Affiliations
    National Center for Natural Product Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, MS 38677, USA
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  • Mahmoud A. ElSohly
    Affiliations
    National Center for Natural Product Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, MS 38677, USA

    Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, MS 38677, USA
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  • Larry A. Walker
    Affiliations
    National Center for Natural Product Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, MS 38677, USA

    Department of Biomolecular Sciences, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, MS 38677, USA
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  • David Potter
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    GW Pharmaceuticals plc, Sovereign House, Vision Park, Histon, Cambridge, CB24 9BZ, United Kingdom
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Published:February 12, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.11.029

      Highlights

      • Best practices for large-scale phytopharmaceutical production of Cannabis are needed.
      • Success of GW Pharm and University of Mississippi with Cannabis crops is described.
      • GW Pharmaceuticals has chemotypes dominant in any one of eight cannabinoids.
      • UM has had success with direct organogenesis-regenerated Cannabis plants.
      • These protocols can be used in phytopharmaceutical Cannabis research and propagation.

      Abstract

      As studies continue to reveal favorable findings for the use of cannabidiol in the management of childhood epilepsy syndromes and other disorders, best practices for the large-scale production of Cannabis are needed for timely product development and research purposes. The processes of two institutions with extensive experience in producing large-scale cannabidiol chemotype Cannabis crops—GW Pharmaceuticals and the University of Mississippi—are described, including breeding, indoor and outdoor growing, harvesting, and extraction methods. Such practices have yielded desirable outcomes in Cannabis breeding and production: GW Pharmaceuticals has a collection of chemotypes dominant in any one of eight cannabinoids, two of which—cannabidiol and cannabidivarin—are supporting epilepsy clinical trial research, whereas in addition to a germplasm bank of high-THC, high-CBD, and intermediate type cannabis varieties, the team at University of Mississippi has established an in vitro propagation protocol for cannabis with no detectable variations in morphologic, physiologic, biochemical, and genetic profiles as compared to the mother plants. Improvements in phytocannabinoid yields and growing efficiency are expected as research continues at these institutions.
      This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Cannabinoids and Epilepsy”.

      Keywords

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