by Dr Michael Winlo, Emyria CEO
CBD is showing great promise as a medical treatment globally for conditions such as chronic pain, psychological distress, gut health conditions and autism.
But the growing interest in CBD as a therapeutic treatment means consideration must be given to the environmental impact of growing and manufacturing it.
That’s where Ultra-Pure CBD comes in. Ultra-Pure CBD is identical to plant-based CBD but made in a lab rather than developed from plants grown outdoors or in greenhouses.
In fact, plant-grown CBD requires 44 times as much CO2 emissions and 333 times more water to produce, according to a study from the Journal of Cannabis Research.
Why is Plant-Based CBD so demanding on the Environment?
As a crop, cannabis requires lots of water and nutrients. According to the JCR study, cannabis during a growing season needs twice as much water as maize or wheat.
In addition, the average water consumed by each cannabis plant is estimated to be 22.7 litres per day.
Cannabis can be cultivated indoors (via a greenhouse) or in the traditional outdoor method. Both have environmental drawbacks: outdoor cultivation is affected by weather conditions and pest control and may even impact the surrounding air and water quality. In contrast, indoor cultivation requires a much higher demand for energy sources.
The energy use required for the indoor production of cannabis plants is intensive and relies predominantly on fossil fuels known to cause environmental damage.
An analysis published in Nature Sustainability found that ‘the resulting life cycle greenhouse gas emissions range, based on location, from 2283 to 5184 kg CO2 equivalent per kg of dried flower’.
Those figures were predominantly the result of electricity production and natural gas consumption from indoor environmental controls, high-intensity grow lights and the supply of carbon dioxide for accelerated plant growth.
In addition, the cannabinoids obtained and used from the plants can make up a very minor amount of the plant itself, which means as much as 90% of the plant ends up as waste.
How is Ultra-Pure CBD produced?
One option is biosynthesis, which essentially uses renewable sources to produce medicines (as well as many other products) rather than fossil fuels, allowing for a much more sustainable approach.
Biosynthesis involves techniques such as microbial fermentation, molecular biology and genetic engineering.
These synthetic chemistry techniques create microorganisms that, once transferred to scientific experts who place them into the correct physical environments, grow into the organism that will become, in this case, the basis for medical treatment and can be tested under real-world conditions.
This technology, while developing at a rapid pace, is still new – but how it is being harnessed is remarkable.
And one of those ways is the development of Ultra-Pure CBD, which is ‘grown’ in a lab with huge potential for medical treatments and a dramatically reduced cost to the Environment.
By ensuring we manufacture these treatments in the most environmentally friendly way possible, we also help preserve our precious Environment and the plants with medicinal benefits to share.