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The Cannabis Industry’s Major Problem - Genetic Instability


Unlike most agricultural crops, Cannabis (medical, recreational and to some extent CBD hemp) plants are propagated vegetatively through cutting/cloning. This is done in order to overcome issues of phenotypic inconsistency when propagating plants using genetically unstable seeds. 

While other agricultural crops have benefited from decades of breeding efforts that allowed development of stable parental lines that when crossed produce 100% uniform progeny via seeds, Cannabis breeding and cultivation are lagging behind. 

Medical and Recreational instability – Mother plants age with time, and are susceptible to both mutative changes and differentiating expression levels of genes. Relying on Mother Plants is the biggest hurdle in both Cannabis and Hemp production since just like in humans, whereby an adult has the same DNA from infancy but over time mutations and genetic expression levels change thus leading to different phenotypic profiles, so do Cannabis mother plant change over time. These differences are pronounced in:

  • Differentiating chemical profiles in clones originating from aging mother plants
  • Differentiating plant performances of clones in the same growing environment

Hemp-  The same problems indicated above for Medical and recreational cannabis apply in Hemp in addition to regulatory requirements of testing THC concentrations that cannot surpass a certain limit. The genetic instability of Hemp is creating a very big strain on grower’s capability to meet with these legal requirements as plants outdoor are also susceptible to external abiotic pressures such as temperature and light that influence and differentiate, unpredictably, the chemical concentrations of THC.  


Only stable and uniform seeds, with enhanced genetics, solve genetic instability