Today there are two ways to grow cannabis, from seeds or from cuttings (‘clones’). But as cannabis gets closer to global legality there is a new technology - cannabis clone seeds. Clone seeds contain a small amount of living plant material suspended in a nutritious gel and wrapped in an artificial seed case. Unlike a traditional cannabis seed, a clone seed grows into a genetically identical copy of the mother plant. Because clone seeds contain living plant material they are currently considered illegal in most countries. But when cannabis is legalized clone seeds will become a viable way for home growers to grow their own copies of some of the best cannabis mother plants ever grown. And it may not be too far away.
What are clone seeds?
A clone seed takes living plant tissue from an elite mother plant. The mother plant may be an exceptional medical or recreational specimen which combines all the desired characteristics regarding potency, cannabinoid profile, yield, grow speed, aroma, taste and effect. The plant tissue is inserted into an artificial seed casing and filled with a nutritious gel which will allow the plant tissue to grow roots and feed. The artificial seed casing will swell and split when it is wet, allowing the young plant to start growing.
What are the disadvantages of clone seeds?
One disadvantage of clone seeds is that they will start to grow at room temperature. That means clone seeds would have to be stored in a fridge until required. But many people already do that with traditional cannabis seeds. Another disadvantage of clone seeds is that the grower would not see the usual plant variations that seed-grown crops produce, so perhaps growers would only want to plant individual clone seeds rather than have a grow-room full of the same ones.
What are the advantages of clone seeds?
A home grower could plant a seed knowing that it would grow into a guaranteed winner. It could be the frostiest White Widow ever seen, the fruitiest Blueberry, the strongest Mazar or the most citrus Orange Bud ever grown. A clone seed guarantees a genetically identical copy of the mother plant, all the seed company has to do is identify the very best mother plants which are worthwhile making into clone seeds.
Are clone seeds a natural way to grow cannabis?
Growing cannabis indoors under an ‘artificial sun’ in a grow tent with nutrients may not seem particularly natural but no-one worries about doing it. Nor do people worry about growing from feminized seeds any more than they worry about the ethics of growing cannabis indoors. Those home growers that have an ethical objection to clone seeds can comfort themselves with the knowledge that they can grow traditional cannabis seeds, no-one is forcing them to change their own growing techniques if they don't want to.
Are clone seeds a genuine possibility and who would want them?
Yes, clone seeds will be out there one day, but its most likely that the investment required to make it happen will happen when the cannabis laws have relaxed further. Cannabis seeds are legal in many places, but clone seeds contain living plant tissue and are illegal under our current laws. Clone seeds may well happen in the coming few years. Not everyone will be interested in them, some people already grow from clones supplied by friends. But not all cannabis growers have friendly cannabis networks to rely on, and many growers would prefer to select their clone seeds on the internet.
Clone seeds are not here yet, but they may not be too far away.March 25th 2016