David Scharf

Who are you and what milestones did you come across during your academic career?

I am studying Horticultural Science (M. Sc.) in the third semester at Humboldt University of Berlin. Additionally, I am working as a research assistant in the department of Urban Ecophysiology. Prior, I completed two bachelor degrees in Agricultural Sciences (B. Sc.) and Retail Management (B. A.). I spent one semester abroad in Singapore at the James Cook University and an Erasmus program in Vienne at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences.

What is your next academic/vocational goal?

By this year I will finish my master’s degree with my thesis about Cannabis sativa. I established and propagated different genotypes of hemp under in vitro conditions and I will analyse them for influencing effects on the synthesis of cannabinoids and terpenoids. After finishing my Master studies, I would like to continue my scientific research on plant physiology, secondary metabolites, and plant biotechnological methods.

What Research topic did you focus on during the Research Class?

In the Cannabis Research Class I was working in a team together with psychology students to evaluate the medicinal use of cannabis and the dietary properties of hemp. I focused my research primarily on the nutrition value of hemp in the human diet. The fact that hemp is a regional, fast growing, and frugal culture, which is rich in various essential and health promoting metabolites, made it so interesting to me as a research topic.

What outcome resulted on your Research about Cannabis sativa?

My research revealed a high potential of hemp in the human diet. Especially the seeds showed high concentrations of protein, with a similar amino acid profile and concentration compared to common protein sources like soybean and egg white. In addition, we identified high amounts of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (linolic acid), which are known to have health promoting properties and make hemp seed oil attractive as an alternative kitchen oil. Moreover, hemp seeds are rich in Vitamin E (Tocopherol), which has high antioxidant potential and is essential in the human diet. The high protein content of the seeds, the production of gluten-free flour, and the high concentrations of micronutrients, like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and calcium, make hemp a perfect nutritious source for alternative diets. There is also a high potential usage in animal feed, as a locally produced alternative for soybean, due to their high nutrition value. Nevertheless, further research will be necessary to suppress psychoactive cannabinoids, like THC, to ensure food safety.