The Atlantic

A Cannabis High, No Plant Required

Scientists think they can re-create marijuana’s active ingredients with brewer’s yeast.
Source: Richard Vogel / AP

Fermentation-powered brewing has been getting people drunk for thousands of years. Soon, it could be getting them high, too.

In research announced on Wednesday by the University of California at Berkeley, a team of synthetic biologists modified brewer’s yeast to produce a range of cannabinoids, which are compounds in cannabis that affect the brain and body. The technique opens up the possibility of circumventing the need for large-scale plant cultivation, and the findings could conceivably make high-quality, reasonably priced cannabinoids much more accessible for pharmaceutical development and recreational consumer products.

For longtime cannabis advocates, though, this new

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