By Andrew GillumAssociated PressAUSTRALIA—A marijuana plant used in an alleged US war against terrorism may have also been used to produce synthetic marijuana, according to an analysis of the plant’s DNA.
Key points:The US banned the use of marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids in 2002, but some cannabis seeds and buds have been found in Australian soilA team from Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry says they were looking into a potential use for the cannabis plant, known as “hash”.
The plant’s genetic material is the same as that of cannabis, and could be used to make the drugs that are currently banned in Australia, a department spokesman said.
But he said the plant was not currently being grown in Australia and did not have any known use.
“There’s not much we can do at the moment to get the plants out of the ground and we’re not going to do that at the present time,” he said.
“It’s certainly something that we’re going to be working on.”
Mr Gillum, the chief scientist for the Australian Cannabis Research Program at the University of New South Wales, said the team had found genetic material from the plant.
“This has a lot of similarities with cannabis, it’s about 80 per cent the same size,” he told The Australian.
“I’ve looked at the genetic material and it’s similar to cannabis.”
We think there’s some potential for making a new type of synthetic drug.
“A similar plant known as Burdickia was found in the same soil in Australia as the hash and produced synthetic cannabinoids.
Burdickias were produced by crossing the plant with a different strain of cannabis known as Cannabidiol, which is found in cannabis.
However, the new DNA found from the Burdicas plant did not match that found in hash or the synthetic cannabinoids that have been banned in the country.”
They’re probably not a good candidate for making synthetic cannabis,” Mr Gillum said.
The Department of Agricultural, Fisheries & Forestry said it had been working with scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) and the University Of New South, and was awaiting results from the ANU lab.”
The ANU’s work is ongoing and the ANTU is working with the ANF to identify a potential source of the DNA for the Burdenichia gene,” the department said.
Topics:drug-use,science-and-technology,science,human-interest,science—research,crime,drugs-and/or-substance-abuse,horticulture,sustainable-agriculture,australiaFirst posted March 17, 2020 19:38:50Contact Adam HargreavesMore stories from New South Welsh