Portland company changing way marijuana industry understands can - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland company changing way marijuana industry understands cannabis with 3D map

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A Portland company is changing the way the marijuana industry understands cannabis, by mapping the plant's evolution in 3D.

Researchers say what they've uncovered is surprising even growers across the country.

The Phylos Galaxy is a 3D visualization of the cannabis world that's been two years in the making. It's essentially a consumer buying guide of the future that is changing the way many in the industry think of the plant.

Cannabis DNA has largely been in the dark until now, sold to consumers with flashy labels that are nearly always misleading.

Staff at Phylos Bioscience is bringing cannabis into the light, with the launch of the galaxy. 

"A lot in the industry, their minds blown to some degree," said CEO Nishan Karassik.

The galaxy is a 3D visualization of the cannabis world.  It uses DNA sequencing data to map relationships between cannabis varieties from across the world, bringing unparalleled clarity to the marijuana industry from the grow, to the dispensary.

"We used research tools from the normal scientific community and imported them over for cannabis," said Karassik.

Phylos Bioscience CEO Nishan Karassik said the project is the culmination of years of rigorous scientific research at the Portland lab, which is housed by OHSU. Because marijuana wasn't always legal during that time, Karassik says they've avoided trouble by not handling the marijuana itself, just its DNA.

"The DNA was legal to send in the mail, it's just data that's the beauty of it, and then we just sequenced that and developed the 3D visualization," said Karassik.

Each node or star in the galaxy represents a single cannabis plant they've tested. The distances between each node show how similar they are. The lines show how related they are and so on, according to staff.

Their research clearly demonstrates there's no shortage of variety in the cannabis world, but Karassik says it also shows some strains that boast as being rare, are instead quite similar to other strains.

"People have known for long time that the products are the same thing, just sold under different names," said Karassik. "It's a way for sellers to differentiate it, instead of actually coming up with new product."

Beyond trying to identify which popular strain of Sour Diesel, or Girl Scout Cookie is the real one, Karassik says the goal of the galaxy is to help consumers and medical patients with specific needs understand what they're truly buying.

And that's important, because different weed has different side effects and benefits.

"If you want a consistent experience you'll want to get that over and over, and if you don't like it, you'll want to stay away from it."

The galaxy continues to grow every day. So much so, the company says they'll soon be adding hundreds of new samples every month. Samples they say that will continue to shape the evolution of cannabis.

"It's an interesting problem that people knew existed, and it's nice to see that the science proves that point," said Karassik. "It's exciting to be a part of moving the conversation forward."

Karassik says sometime in the near future, home growers will be able to submit their own samples to the lab to have them take a place in the galaxy.

For more information visit: www.phylosbioscience.com/the-phylos-galaxy/

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