Why We Need To Increase The Genetic Diversity Of Cannabis


The relationship between mankind and marijuana is one that spans thousands of years and just about every continent. Throughout this intimate affair, humans have continually tinkered with cannabis genetics in order to create cultivars that meet our various medical, spiritual and economic needs. Unfortunately, however, excessive genetic manipulation comes at a cost, and our intense efforts to selectively breed cannabis have resulted in a considerable narrowing of its gene pool. While this has allowed us to design cultivars that express a small number of highly desirable traits – such as high cannabinoid content – it has also led to a loss of other genes that enable the plant to adapt to different environments and resist pests. Unless these genes are bred back into the cannabis genome, the species will continue to weaken, with potentially dire consequences. Related Post Everything You Need To Know About Genetic Stability In Cannabis From Landraces To Sinsemilla: A History Of Marijuana’s Genetic Diversity Cannabis is believed to have originated in Asia, yet spread along human trading routes to all corners of the globe. In each new destination, the plant was forced to adapt to specific climatic conditions, which resulted in the emergence of numerous marijuana varieties in different locations around the world. Known as landraces, these early strains were allowed to grow wild, with large numbers of male and female plants existing side-by-side and breeding without human intervention. Because no one was controlling which plants were allowed to reproduce, genetic diversity was high among these cannabis landraces. Yet this began to change in the twentieth century, when breeders stepped up their efforts to domesticate cannabis in order to create highly homogenised strains. This involved the implementation of Mendelian breeding, whereby only those individuals that express certain desired characteristics are selected for reproduction. To prevent any…

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