Industry Snapshot: Cannabis Plant Patents


Published at JD Supra A plant patent is granted to an inventor who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. For more information about plant patents, click here. In this Industry Snapshot, we review the cannabis plant patents issued by the U.S. Patent Office between December 20, 2016 and June 29, 2021. Contents What is Cannabis? Cannabis Patents Takeaways Endnotes What is Cannabis? Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants within the family Cannabaceae—a family having about 11 genera. Cannabis and Humulus (hops) are the only genera within the family that contain economically significant species. There are three species in the Cannabis genera: Cannabis sativa (C. sativa), Cannabis indica (C. indica), and Cannabis ruderalis (C. ruderalis), although there is some debate whether C. ruderalis is a distinct species from or a subspecies of C. sativa. Classification of a plant into a species is based on the plant phenotypes and secondary metabolite profiles. [i] At least 545 distinct compounds have been isolated from cannabis plants. Those compounds encompass 20 different classes of chemical compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, terpenoids, amino acids, nitrogenous compounds, simple alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, esters, lactones, acids, fatty acids, steroids, non-cannabinoid phenols, pigments, flavonoids, vitamins, proteins, enzymes, glycoproteins, and hydrocarbons. [ii] A variety of the compounds in found in cannabis are biologically active chemicals, called phytochemicals, which are concentrated in a resin found in the glandular trichomes of the plant. Phytochemicals can affect the human body in various ways and, in some cases, treat diseases. The key classes of phytochemicals in a cannabis plant are cannabinoids and terpenes. [iii] At least 113 different cannabinoids have been isolated from cannabis. [iv] Some of the most studied cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), and CBN (cannabinol). Some others include CBG (cannabigerol), THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBGA (cannabigerolic acid), CBC (cannabichromene), CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), and THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin). Most cannabinoids exist in two forms: as…

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Source : Industry Snapshot: Cannabis Plant Patents

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