Cannabis cultivators know that preserving seeds is a vital part of making sure great strains are well-preserved. A seed bank stores different types of seeds to preserve its genetic diversity. Looking for the best marijuana seed bank that has the best storing process might not be a walk in the park but it can be done.
If you’re curious just like the other cannabis cultivators, you have come to the right place as we will tell you how major seed banks store their seeds. We’ll tell you everything you need to know so continue reading on.
How to Collect Seeds
Cannabis, for the most part, is considered dioecious, which means that the male and female reproductive organs exist on 2 separate plants. And since it is a wind-pollinated plant, the pollen must be transferred from a male stamen going to a female pistil via air. This process makes way for pollination and forms seeds.
Once a female cannabis plant received the pollen from a male plant, it will produce many seeds through the course of its maturation cycle. Once your cannabis female plant is fully mature and ready for harvest, the seeds will also be ready for stratification and collection.
However, it is very important to wait until the seeds are fully mature and ready for harvest before collecting them. Cannabis that produces seeds will take a longer time to mature than that cannabis that only produces flowers.
If you want to know if your seed is fully matured, you should take a look at its shape and color. The premature ones will be small and have a light color, which is mostly beige. While the fully matured cannabis seeds are more fully in shape and size, it also has a darker brown hue, others will also be accepted by black tiger stripes.
Deseeding your cannabis plant can be done by either a hand or machine. This process happens after the plant has been dried for one to two weeks after harvest. By doing this you are making sure that your seeds will reach their maximum maturity and plant material will be brittle enough to break it apart.
When you opt to collect the seeds by hand, you should use a fine screen to help catch the trichomes that will break off during the process. Trichomes are valuable and it would be a shame to waste them.
Simply break up the dried buds over a screen and they will fall out and release the seeds. You can release the seeds en masse by rubbing the flour between your fingers and lightly break it apart.
You can separate the seeds over the screen, this also removes any unwanted plant matter from the seeds. Then brush off the seeds, they should be free from other plant material such as leaves, stem, trichomes because they put the seeds at a higher risk for contamination and spoilage.
How to Collect Pollen
You will notice that the male cannabis plant will produce pollen at least several weeks into their flowering cycle. Once you see that their pollen sacs have opened up and release, you should expect your plant to die eventually. It’s very important that you start collecting the pollen as soon as the sacs are beginning to open up because this is the time that the pollens are still very fresh.
Make sure you remove an entire male flower cluster and place it in a sealed storage container for days. Once the cluster dries, you can put it over a micron screen with the use of parchment or wax paper underneath.
You need to make sure that your pollen will not get moist as this is harmful to its freshness. Most breeders will use flour into their pollen with a ration of 4:1 (flour to pollen) whenever their pollens are stored for a long time.
Best Marijuana Seed Banks’ Seed and Pollen Storage
The requirements for long term storage of both seeds and pollens used by the best marijuana seed banks are similar. Both processes will require a cool, dark, dry and oxygen-deprived area for optimum preservation.
When seed banks store their cannabis seeds, they place them in an air-sealed container that light will not be able to penetrate on. They will normally use film canisters, medicine bottles that are non-translucent and any sealable storage jar will do.
The goal is to make sure that the amount of oxygen present in the storage space. Another method that breeders employ is to add uncooked rice to the storage container, this absorbs any moisture content.
If you’re in a cool environment, you can store the seeds in the refrigerator or the freezer. The seeds will need the temperature to be consistent without fluctuation for it to be dormant for long-term storage.
For the long term storage of pollen, you can mix it with flour. It should also be kept in a sealed vial or freezer bag and place it inside your refrigerator or freezer for optimum long-storage.
The Expected Shelf Life of Seeds and Pollen
If your cannabis seeds have been properly sealed and stored, it can last up to several years or even longer. Although they are dormant in the activities, they are still alive but keep in mind that over enough time, it will still lose their viability.
When the pollen is out and lose in the open, it’s viability will only last for one to two weeks under normal conditions. But once it’s frozen and sealed it can last up to a year or even longer.
The pollen is much more unstable compared to the cannabis seeds, and even though it’s in a perfect storage environment, it’s not expected to have a very long shelf life.
It is important to take note that you should avoid defrosting the seeds and pollen of they are not going to be used. Once the seeds and pollens experience a change in the temperature, the moisture content will surely damage their viability.
When the time has come that you need to use your stored cannabis seeds, you should remove them from their container and let them sit out on a dry surface for several hours. By allowing the seeds to reach room temperature will also assure you of successful germination.