Tissue cultures are a game changer for cannabis, making old-school propagation methods like seeding or cuttings virtually obsolete. Plus, it means we can regenerate old favorites to their former glory. Here’s what the process involves, why it’s so vastly superior, and what it means for cannabis lovers.
The Cannabis Tissue Culture Process
Tissue cultures are, technically, minuscule cuttings from a cannabis sample that allows cultivators to preserve a living specimen just about perpetually. Even just a small number of cells from plant tissue can produce hundreds of clones. Samples are trimmed and sterilized to kill any viruses, bugs, mold or mildew before going into a nutrient culture that’s been precisely created. This dense gel mix contains nutrients, sugars, and hormones — it’s a hospitable little environment for the tissue culture where it can hang out indefinitely, until we’re ready for it. By adding more hormones and growing solutions, we can promote growth, root development, and multiplication. And by the time our plant has grown enough to multiply, it’s ready for trimming, which means we can create hundreds of new clones that will follow the same culture process. Once they’re big enough, we’ll plant them, and often that means we can create dozens or even hundreds of perfect clones with no risk of maternal contamination.
That’s a big differentiator from traditional propagation methodology. Searching for and planting elite strains is time consuming and tedious. Plants need to be monitored closely for negative traits such as gender instability or poor growth. Finding a winner is always a great feeling, and when these winners are grown for the purpose of cloning, also known as being a mom, we are able to continually harvest propogations off them to bring our flowers to market.
Maternal plant cuttings were an upgrade to seed searching that cut down on propagation time and gave us the ability to clone plants with desirable traits, but this approach isn’t without its own drawbacks. Clones are susceptible to all kinds of issues, including infections, disease, and pests. Plus, you need space, money, and a lot of patience.
In a side-by-side comparison, cannabis tissue cultures come out miles ahead. They’re faster, more resistant to disease if you follow best practices for clean workrooms, and offer cultivators precise control over a crop’s desired genetics. And while it may sound intimidatingly technical, it’s actually pretty user friendly.
Here at KYND, tissue cultures mean we can continually enjoy the best qualities of a particularly perfect plant essentially forever. It means higher quality and greater consistency — two things that we’ve been committed to since we started. This approach to propagation means better cannabis, period, and that’s something that benefits us all.