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Chemovars. How GW Pharmaceuticals grow cannabis for Sativex manufacture

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
GW Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Sativex, is licensed by the UK Home Office to cultivate cannabis plants and cultivation of GW's first cannabis varieties or “chemovars” began in August 1998. The initial crop was grown from seed but all subsequent chemovars have been grown from cuttings or “clones” so that they are genetically identical. This ensures that the ratio of plant constituents is fixed within narrow limits. Growing from clones does not involve genetic modification but does ensure that plants are selected according to their cannabinoid composition. GW's botanical research team continues to develop new chemovars expressing different cannabinoid contents which will form the basis of future research.

GW's cannabis plants are grown in highly secure computer-controlled glasshouses. All aspects of the growing climate, including temperature, humidity, air change and photoperiod, are computer-controlled. By very carefully controlling the growing environment, GW ensures plant material is grown to very strict pharmaceutical standards and that growth is phased to ensure continuity of supply throughout the year.

Cultivation capability has been increased to cater for commercial supply of our first product Sativex®. Pharmaceutical production has also been scaled up both in-house and through external contractors to provide sufficient capacity to manufacture product for tens of thousands of patients.

Laboratory analysis of selected chemovar lines demonstrates that the cannabinoid ratios are very consistent. Such high levels of consistency are unusual in plants and are very important in applications made to medical regulatory authorities.

Source: GW Pharmaceuticals
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