The Role of Biotechnology in Cannabissativa Propagation for the Production of Phytocannabinoids

  • Suman ChandraEmail author
  • Hemant Lata
  • Ikhlas A. Khan
  • Mahmoud A. ElSohly


Cannabissativa L. (Cannabaceae) is an important medicinal plant that serves as a source of Cannabinoids, a unique class of terpenophenolic compounds which accumulates mainly in the glandular trichomes of the plant. Currently, about 110 phytocannabinoids have been isolated from C. sativa, the major biologically active compound being Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC. Besides its psychoactivity, THC possesses analgesic, antiinflammatory, appetite stimulant, and antiemetic properties making it a very promising therapeutic agent especially for cancer and AIDS patients. Cannabidiol, Cannabichromene, Cannabigerol, Cannabinol, and Tetrahydrocannabivarin are other major bioactive phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Through a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), The University of Mississippi has been carrying out a variety of research activities dealing with cannabis, including growing, harvesting, and processing the cannabis biomass for research purposes making it available for licensed researchers across the country through NIDA. This chapter describes the role of biotechnology and our efforts to propagate C. sativa for the production of phytocannabinoids. This includes, screening of high yielding genotypes based on their chemical profile, propagation of these genotypes using biotechnological tools, comparison of micropropagated plants with the mother plants for consistency of chemical and genetic profiles and the utility of micropropagation in the conservation of elite clones for future use.


Inter Simple Sequence Repeat Mother Plant Nodal Segment Synthetic Seed Micropropagated Plant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services, USA, Contract No. N01DA-10-7773.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suman Chandra
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hemant Lata
    • 1
  • Ikhlas A. Khan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mahmoud A. ElSohly
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.National Center for Natural Product Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of PharmacyUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacognosy, School of PharmacyUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmaceutics, School of PharmacyUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA

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