Every living thing here on earth always come from something else. Things do not just occur immediately. It takes a process to reach a major destination or goal. A human from an embryo, a language from a letter, and a seed to a plant.
Similarly, the cannabis industry has its own roots. It would not be become for what it is right now without the struggles and success of different people who are involved with it.
The growing industry and secularization of cannabis have provided more breeders and seed banks to be established. That is why it’s important to understand more with the cannabis seed banks.
If you’re ready, then let’s find out now.
The Main Purpose of the Seed Banks
With species getting extinct time after time, it’s essential that humanity should do something to prevent these species from dying out, permanently eliminating from the rest of the earth’s history.
It’s ironic how human industrialization and improvement of technology had been the catalyst for species extinction. As humans turn forests to commercial sites, different plant and animal species are displaced from their natural habitat.
In result, these species tend to adapt to these environmental changes. Some could survive while there are those who can’t thrive. Thus, resulting in the endangerment and the worst, extinction.
To address this dilemma, science and technology have found its way to at least mediate the consequences of industrialization in the environment. Botanists and biologists introduced a process of seed conservation through seed banks.
What is a Seed Bank?
A seed bank is a type of gene depository house that stores and preserves a certain plant’s genetic material through seeds. Unlike other types of gene banks, the seed bank exclusively uses seeds as its primary genetic source on a particular species.
Apart from to prevent species extinction that most of the government and environmental-based organization promotes, there are a lot of reasons why different institutions make a seed bank. This includes the following;
- Improvement of Genetic Quality
Seeds are the gateway to study a certain plant species genetic makeup. Studying a particular strain’s genetic identity will help us know how to enhance and alter its identity for disease and drought tolerance.
Moreover, seed banks are a great medium for plant breeding. Two or three seed species are intertwined or crossbred to make a hybrid of these seed species. As a result, hybrids often have a different taste, yield content, and nutritional value as compared to its parent material.
- Historical and Cultural Value
Not all plant species are being desired to be grown. There are those who are left out from natural disasters, war, or for no other evident reason. These plant species are often stored at a low temperature and moisture in a seed library to prevent the loss of its genetic material.
How do seeds get stored?
No matter how we say it, things get degrade through time. However, seed banks provide at least extend the seed’s viability for a hundred years upon proper treatment of it.
It’s important to understand that moisture content and room temperature is a valid indication of the seed’s stability and longevity. A rule established by James Harrington in 1950s and 1960s known as the ‘Thumbs Rule’ indicating that the sum of the room temperature and humidity should be less than 100 to ensure its survival for the next five or ten years.
Nevertheless, there’s no basis for this guideline. Though, it’s found that the temperature should be about 10 degrees Fahrenheit and 1% water content to double its life span.
Certain research conducted by the Food and Agriculture Division of the United Nations stating that the seeds should be about 20% relative humidity and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions are most favorable to agricultural types such as corn, wheat, rice, and tomato.
However, not all seeds could be stored in a typical way of storage. Seed species such as coffee, avocado, papaya, and oak are stored cryogenically. This process involves application and exposure of these species at extremely cold temperatures (-150 deg. Celsius).
History and Development of Cannabis Seed Banks
There’s really no concrete details as to the origins of cannabis seed banks. Cultivation of this plant is strongly banned from the 1960s to 1980s. Thus, no written work or direct evidence as to the conception of cannabis seed banks.
However, it is assumed that cannabis seed banks had also developed the same manner as most seed banks were popularized in early of the 1980s. It has become a trend and most cannabis breeders have adapted to this worldwide sensation.
The earliest seed bank that was printed in public by High Times magazine is the ‘Seed Bank of Holland’ that was founded by Nevil Martin Schoenmakers in 1984. This seed bank was said to be able to produce Californian strains such as ‘Original Haze’, ‘Skunk #1’, ‘Early Girl’, and the ‘California Orange’. Respectively, these strains are among the pioneering hybrids in cannabis history.
With his accomplishment, Schoenmaker was dubbed as the ‘King of Cannabis’ in 1985. However, he was then arrested for criminal charges while having a vacation in Australia. After then, he sold in 1991 his seed bank to another company and started a collaboration with a breeder named Arjan Roskam.
By further secularization of cannabis in the mid-1990s, cannabis seed banks have further introduced in liberating countries like the Netherlands, Spain, and the USA.
The development of cannabis seed bank industry has thoroughly increased as the digital and internet age has ascended.
As of now, there are more than hundreds of seed banks established in the world.
With the legalization of cannabis in countries like Canada and Uruguay, the future on cannabis seed bank industry is promising. Cannabis seed banks are erected from one place to another in various places in the world. As more countries put consideration on medical cannabis, there’s a great future on the development of the industry.
Also, the rise of online selling business provided more outfit for the advancement and progression of the cannabis seed bank industry.