Yo, what’s good? It’s your boy Dan, and today we’re talking about how DNA sequencing is changing the game when it comes to breeding cannabis. You already know that mapping genetics has led to better yields, disease resistance, and stress tolerance in other crops, but now we’re applying this technology to that sticky icky.
Check it, advances in cannabis genetic sequencing are making strain classification way more accurate than just looking at plant height and leaf shape or relying on seed bank names. Soon, growers will have access to a strain’s cannabis genetic fingerprint (CGF). This is huge for the industry ‘cause it’ll improve scientific research, secure breeders’ rights, and help out both medical and recreational users.
We gotta give a shoutout to Israel for being a hub of cannabis innovation – they first discovered THC, unveiled key components of the endocannabinoid system, and now researchers at Tikun Olam Cannbit, with support from the Plant Metabolism Laboratory at MIGAL Galilee Research Institute, have developed an in-house system that utilises this dope technology. Geneticist Asaf Salmon said that “determination of the plant’s identity based on its typical DNA enables an independent, reliable and statistically valid identification, more so than any other biological parameter we have had so far.”
Nowadays, there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to strain names – reports show that they don’t necessarily reflect the constituents within a given cultivar. This is where CGF comes in handy. Sequencing the genetics of each “strain” will restore meaning and function to this key centrepiece of the cannabis lexicon. Breeders and growers will soon be able to acquire seeds with a CGF that promises specific traits instead of hoping thousands of seeds labelled “Hindu Kush” actually belong to the lineage, produce thick-fingered leaves, and impart a stoning effect.
It’s not just about THC values though – breeders can select for genetics that code for the creation of novel cannabinoids such as CBC or develop elite cultivars boasting high yields, resistance to pests and tolerance to environmental stress. CGF technology will also enable researchers to study samples identical to those available to the public which will allow us to amass relevant data on the effects of different strains on different populations.
Peep this – some people in the industry think that all the strains we’re currently producing will disappear into irrelevance within a few years to be replaced with unprecedented varieties born out of this new genetic selection process. Big changes are on the horizon, y’all.