SpaceX has sent a capsule with over 3 tons of weed to space and astronauts may be producing top-shelf medical cannabis in space in the near future as a retired Canadian astronaut recently spoke about the future of cannabis plants in space and believes that medical cannabis may become a thing in space as the cannabis industry continues to grow. Want to know more? Read along!
Dispensaries in Space?
The Canadian astronaut who has spent time at the ISS (International Space Station) and MIR believe that despite the use of psychoactive substances being prohibited for astronauts, mind-altering substances are part of human nature and there’s a high chance that we’ll eventually see recreational drug use in space as space tourism grows.
Now, obviously, astronauts in charge will not be allowed to consume drugs while on duty and it’s vital to stay alert because in space if something goes wrong, you’ll basically die. But as he affirms, people will definitely want a drink and a join, and this will be possible once space tourism gets big enough.
Grow Trichomes using Bioreactors
Astronaut Hadfield mentioned that for a year now, he’s been working as an advisor at BioHarvest, working on plant cell growth via liquid bioreactors. Hadfield says that they have found a way to grow trichomes (the part of the cannabis plant that produces and stores cannabinoids and terpenes) using bioreactors.
For those of you who don’t know what bioreactors are, they are vessels designed to provide an effective environment for enzymes or cells to transform biochemicals into products.
Using this technology, researchers have been able to focus on producing and growing only trichomes, which means, they are able to replicate the natural growing process of cannabis but without growing the whole plant.
It may still take a while…
Despite the huge advances in technology, cannabis may not be grown in space for a long time due to the current legal status and also because cannabis has not been regulated by the ISS yet, but the company mentions that once cannabis becomes legal at the federal level, they will present breakthrough technology.
This, in combination with the unique microgravity environment in space, will most likely produce top-shelf cannabis more efficiently than on earth. Adding that they see a huge potential for cannabinoids to be grown at higher quantities than compared on Earth.
These unique chemicals in full-spectrum cannabis (found in both photoperiod and autoflowering seeds) and cannabis products could provide optimized treatment for palliative diseases where current synthetic compounds are not providing good enough solutions.
This is definitely good news, as it shows a good future not only for the legality of cannabis in space but for what awaits cannabis consumers in terms of recreational and medical cannabis use.
SpaceX Delivering Weed to Space
Last Tuesday, Front Range Biosciences announced plans to send weed to the ISS, but no, astronauts won’t be getting high. For the first mission, they will send hemp cultures (the legal cannabis strain) that contain extremely low levels of THC. These tissue cultures will remain in an incubator for around 1 month while BioServe Space technologies monitor them. After that period of time, the hemp cultures will go back to Earth so we can study how plants in space experience mutations and see if these mutations could have commercial applications back on Earth.
Included in the experiment, researchers are eager to see what effect, if any, the cannabis plants will express and how microgravity and space radiation will affect their gene expression.