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Endogenous synthesis of pyrethrins by cannabis

Pyrethrins are a class of natural terpenoid pesticides produced by Tanacetum cinerariifolium,
commonly known as chrysanthemum. Here we present evidence that cannabis may be able to
produce pyrethrins endogenously. Flower from a cannabis plant grown in a closed hydroponic
environment contained 2.48 parts per million pyrethrin I by weight. A comparison of the
genetics of T. cinerariifolium and Cannabis demonstrates Cannabis homologues of the genes
that contribute to pyrethrins production in T. cinerariifolium. This provides a plausible pathway
for the biosynthesis of pyrethrins in cannabis. Although preliminary, these data indicate a
potentially significant confounding variable in both cannabis research and regulations on
allowable pyrethrins residues in cannabis products.

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