On Friday, Canadian cannabis titan Canopy Growth Corp filed a patent that would give the company the sole right to print cannabinoids and terpenes. But the company isn’t developing some high-tech, 3D printer to make weed. In its U.S. Patent Office filing, Canopy Growth explains how it would print THC, CBD and hundreds of other cannabinoids and terpenes with nothing more than a basic office inkjet.
Canopy Growth Claims It Can Print Weed Using an Office Inkjet
Inkjet technology is ubiquitous today. You probably have one or use one at work. You probably print documents with them, essays, spreadsheets, concert tickets, boarding passes. But what if inkjet printing technology wasn’t limited to the the industry of, well, printing?
At a fundamental level, inkjet printers work by propelling droplets of ink onto a substrate—typically, paper. But, Canopy Growth Corp. says in its filing, “inkjet printers are capable of printing a number of different compositions on a number of different surfaces.”
And that’s exactly what Canopy Growth is up to. They’re developing “inks” that are really novel chemical compositions. And those chemical compositions will contain purified forms of the compounds the cannabis plant naturally produces: cannabinoids and terpenes. In its filing, the company provides “new printable compositions and ink compositions comprising a purified cannabinoid and/or purified terpene.”
Could Printable Cannabinoids and Terpenes Revolutionize the Medical Cannabis Industry?
Canopy Growth says printable, cannabinoid and terpene “inks” have multiple applications across the global cannabis industry. But the company’s filing emphasizes how printing purified cannabis compounds could allow patients to obtain ultra-precise doses of medical cannabinoids. Today, most medical marijuana products come in fixed dosages of 5 mg, 25 mg, 100 mg and so on. That makes prescribing products difficult, especially considering how differently people respond to cannabinoids.
The filing also explains how the ability to print very specific combinations of purified cannabinoids and terpenes could open up new therapeutic advancements.
But Canopy Growth says it will still source those cannabinoids and terpenes using conventional industry extraction methods. The extracted compounds would then be suspended in a solvent, made into an inkjet-compatible “ink,’ and printed on one of two different substrates. The patent document lists a substrate that would allow for inhaling the printed cannabis or for ingesting it.
In all, the method of producing printable cannabis would essentially use multiple inks to layer different cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids in any desired combination. And Canopy Growth truly means any combination. The company’s patent filing specifically claims virtually all of the cannabis plant’s 483 known chemical compounds.
Imagine a future where a basic office inkjet printer could spit out a smokable or ingestible version, a kind of fingerprint or signature, of any conceivable cannabis “plant”. Imagine walking into a dispensary and being able to dial in an absolutely unique, personally-tailored cannabinoid and terpene profile and just hitting Print.