A recent study surveyed twenty varieties of cannabis using a novel technique that they refer to as cannabinomics. This technique employs mass spectrometry of the entire metabolome along with statistical analysis as a means of differentiating varieties of cannabis sativa. The term metabolome refers to the ultimate product of gene, mRNA, and protein activities. According to the researchers, cannabinomics can be utilized as a correspondent tool for genotyping and phenotyping. Traditionally, only pharmacologically active compounds, namely THC and CBD, have been analyzed as a means to differentiate cannabis varieties.
In addition to the traditionally studied phytocannabinoid compounds, the cannabinomics approach that the team of researchers is spearheading aims to better understand terpenes, stilbenes, flavonoids, and other lesser known compounds that are found in cannabis. The hope is that through better understanding the entirety of compounds found in cannabis that the demands for its various applications will be more adequately met. For example, novel strains that are customized to suit the needs of patients seeking particular therapeutic benefits of cannabis might be developed. In sum, cannabinomics is a promising new approach that could lead to a more robust understanding of cannabis and its correlative effects, which could ultimately lead to the development of increasingly beneficial varieties of cannabis.