Tissue Culture Cannabis Propagation Yields True Genetic Clones

As we’ve noted, medical and recreational cannabis suppliers who embrace tissue culture cannabis propagation methods enjoy some stunning operational advantages.  Easily the most significant of these: genetics.

Reliable Genetics with Tissue Culture Cannabis

Standard plant cloning techniques—while tried and true—are highly susceptible to mutation and genetic drift.  As such, each clone isn’t really necessarily genetically identical to its mother plant. This can be frustrating, especially in a business where strains are so vital to the therapeutic and commercial value of the finished product.

By shifting to tissue culture cannabis production, you don’t just massively boost production (and profits): You get true clones.

plant tissue culture cannabis
plant tissue cultures in the lab (photo credit: USDA, Lance Cheung)

Because tissue culture cannabis clones are grown from cells gathered under aseptic conditions, no pathogens can pass from mother to clone.  Similarly, propagating from a small sample size under controlled conditions (yielding a much larger number of starters) makes it possible to catch any abnormalities early on, before they’ve had an impact on your crop.  In short, this process gives producers an order of magnitude more control over their plants.

As Hope Jones, CEO of marijuana consulting firm Emergent Cannabis Sciences, told Marijuana Business Magazine in March 2019, “Most anyone who has the desire, the willingness and some funds to designate to this can do it.…If you’re a breeder and you’ve spent years developing a valuable strain, tissue culture is worth considering because you can use tissue culture as a way to better preserve your genetics.”

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