Crop Science Education
November 29, 2009 8:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to school to become a weed scientist...

I'm at University, finishing undergrad, getting ready for grad school in Crop Science. I'm not positive what direction to go in but one possible future for myself would be working on Vertical Farms, which would be great and very exciting for me. Or, less realistically, I would like to look into working in a laboratory setting with marijuana, I've heard only vaguely of several Universities that do research and breading (I know Harvard at least does studies, (2007 article in Wired Magazine) and Michigan I've heard). Google, marijuana scientist and it only turns up a few old/unreliable articles and occasionally a scientist's name.
Ok, thanks everyone for any direction, take care.
posted by anonymous to Education (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's not clear to me what type of research you want to do, but you might find resources at Oaksterdam University. They have classes in history, legal status, politics, horticulture, methods of ingestion, etc. They have an excellent reputation.
posted by rtha at 8:36 AM on November 29, 2009


Not exactly designed for the researchers, from what I read, but the NyTimes just profiled this marijuana school yesterday.
posted by quodlibet at 8:39 AM on November 29, 2009


Are you looking for something on the agricultural/production end, the quality control/testing part, or the human subjects end?

There are not a lot of university-based researchers working on cannabis, largely because there is essentially no federal research funding for it. There are researchers working on aspects of cannabis production and use, of course, but they are privately funded. Oaksterdam is an excellent place to start, and if you have some idea of what part of this you want to work on I can try to come up with more references.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:49 AM on November 29, 2009


How about just finding an agriculture program that offers a specialization in hydroponics?
posted by mareli at 9:16 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Specializing in marijuana seems like a risky choice. Instead, consider the toolkit you need - probably a good understanding of biochemistry, genetics and cutting edge farming technology. Study the stuff you need to know so that you don't lock yourself in to a very range of career options.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:21 AM on November 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


There are lots of marijuana scientists, and while I reckon one might consider their work to be peer reviewed, you won't find them publishing in any journals I know of.

If you want to learn how to grow awesome weed, you need to get to know an awesome grower.

If you want to learn botany and horticulture, then you'll probably have to accept that you'll need to learn about more than just cannabis. If you get a solid grounding in the fundamentals of plant science, I imagine you'll be able to grow some insanely dank pot. However, most of the jobs currently in that field do not provide health insurance.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:26 AM on November 29, 2009


I met a gentleman a few years ago who was about to get his PhD in plant sciences with the idea of going into weed science. He mentioned several scientists in the UK and Netherlands who do this research and he was trying to get a post-doc with one of them.

Marijuana research is extremely restricted in the US. Only the University of Mississippi is authorized to grow it and they treat it like it is fucking anthrax.
posted by nestor_makhno at 10:17 AM on November 29, 2009


+1 b1tr0t

Just a quick idea: As a supplement / side-speciality, check out mycology - the science of fungi. Incredibly fascinating IMO. Fits well with hacking on plants in general, and I imagine that the mycologic aspect to growing plants and changing the world is ripe for exploration.
posted by krilli at 11:05 AM on November 29, 2009


Only the University of Mississippi is authorized to grow it and they treat it like it is fucking anthrax.

After having gone to school in Mississippi, let me just say that there are certain sources that would dispute this account. There also happen to be certain sources that strangely have access to all sorts of extremely high quality materials that would be otherwise unobtainable in rural swag country. I have no first hand knowledge of the veracity of the claims to the laxness of certain security procedures, but the second fact makes me suspect that there may be some seed of truth to security breech (pun intended).
posted by Pollomacho at 11:58 AM on November 29, 2009


I don't think this isn't exactly what you're looking for, but maybe this professor could point you in the right direction. Interesting, anyway.

Professor's 'fake weed' now a real pain

Huffman, who has taught at Clemson since 1960, said he never intended for anyone to smoke his research projects.

Huffman and his students create compounds - known as synthetic cannabinoids - that mimic the effects of marijuana. The creations, he said, are used by other scientists in the pharmaceutical research industry.

posted by ourroute at 1:20 PM on November 29, 2009




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