Shape And Size Of Cannabis Seeds May Indicate Cannabinoid Levels, Study Suggests

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Many growers speculate about the relationship between cannabis seed appearance and the quality of the plants that they produce. Yet, most cultivators agree that little – if any – useful information can be gleaned simply by eyeballing seeds. However, a new study in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggests that the shape and size of cannabis seeds may, in fact, provide some clues as to the levels of THC and CBD in the resulting flowers[i]. Related Post The Best Cannabis Seed Breeders Cannabis Seed Morphology And Cannabinoid Content When we talk about cannabis seeds, we are actually referring to achenes. Achenes are a type of non-fleshy fruit, each containing a single seed surrounded by a durable layer called a pericarp. Within this outer wall lies the embryo, which, if germinated, will produce a seedling. To conduct their research, the authors of this latest study examined achenes from five different cannabis varieties. Two contained only THC, one contained only CBD, and the remaining two produced both cannabinoids. After examining the seeds from each of these cultivars, the researchers noted the “the achenes from the different chemotypes were clearly distinguishable.” More specifically, they found that THC-only varieties tend to be larger and more rounded, with increasing CBD levels associated with smaller size and a more slender shape. Based on this analysis, they conclude that “achene shape variation is a potential biomarker of cannabinoid content in the plant flowers.” Very little research into the significance of cannabis seed morphology was conducted before this study, with the only notable paper written way back in 1974. Appearing in the Canadian Journal of Botany, the study found that the achenes of domesticated weed plants are typically larger than those of wild varieties[ii]. The author even went as far as to speculate that ancient cultivators may…

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