By Therin Miller | April 23, 2022
The future of growing cannabis plants in space may be here sooner than we think! Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recently spoke to Futurism about how Cosmonauts could one day produce marijuana among the stars.
Hadfield who has spent time on the Russian Space Station and the ISS believes that someday medical marijuana may be a thing in space and he points out the obvious: people are always looking for ways to alter their state of mind.
“People have been chewing on mushrooms and various types of roots and berries forever. There’s always a role in society or human behavior for that,” he added.
Though it is not allowed for astronauts as they cannot be intoxicated or high while they are above the earth's crust, as space tourism grows we might see more recreational drug use among those who go on these trips- especially if they want an experience like no other!
“On the space station, if there’s an emergency, you are the fire department. You can’t have intoxicated yourself or inebriated yourself or whatever, just because if something goes wrong, then you’ll die,” Hadfield said.
“Once the population gets large enough, once you get to a stable enough situation, people are gonna want, you know, a drink. People are gonna want some pot,” he added.
Last year, Hadfield joined the board of advisers for BioHarvest. This is a biotech company that focuses on plant cell growth at an industrial scale via liquid bioreactors.
Futurism reported that former NASA astronaut Dr. Chris Hadfield told them the company has worked with cannabis plants for years, and is currently focusing on providing future astronauts zero gravity-enhanced nutrients.
BioHarvest, has found a way to grow trichomes using bioreactors, says Hadfield. The use of this novel method has allowed researchers to produce and grow just the reactive part.
“It’s actually replicating the natural growing process of the part that is of use to us but without the whole plant,” Hadfield explained.
Still, as BioHarvest’s cannabis is not yet regulated for the International Space Station (ISS), medical marijuana may have to wait a while. According to its CEO Ilan Sobel.
However, Sobel did note that “once cannabis becomes federally legal across the USA,” the company’s technology “may present a breakthrough from a biological science perspective”.
The strange and unique microgravity environment in space may even produce medical-grade cannabis that's more effective than what we grow on Earth.
“We see the potential ability for valuable minor cannabinoids to be grown at significantly higher quantities compared to its growth on Earth,” Sobel said.
“These unique compositions of full-spectrum cannabis could have significant value in providing more optimized treatment solutions for many palliative diseases where current pharma synthesized compounds are not delivering adequate solutions,” he added.