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​How Tissue Culture Technology Is Affecting The CBD Industry

6th May 2021

​How Tissue Culture Technology Is Affecting The CBD Industry

THE COLLISION OF TISSUE CULTURE AND CBD

Cultivators in the hemp industry have been familiar with the idea of using cloning to grow the plants for a long time now. They have cloned their plants for years before the hemp industry experienced a boom, especially in the Netherlands, where cultivators strive to preserve strain genetics. However, CBD manufacturers are substituting the prevalent cloning method with a new approach – tissue culture technology.

Are you wondering what tissue culture technology is and how it is impacting the CBD industry? Dive right in to know more about this unique method and how it is revolutionizing cannabis and the CBD market.

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WHAT IS TISSUE CULTURE TECHNOLOGY?

The unique tissue culture technology came to light in the orchid industry in the 1950s. Since then, it has been adopted for almost every agricultural crop, ranging from flowers to vegetables and even cannabis. Unlike traditional cloning, where cultivators needed rooted parts of the mother plant, growers only require a small portion of a plant, like a few cells, to grow new plants with tissue culture. It is a cultivation technique that uses a form of micropropagation, where plants are grown in a culture media.However, it may require strict protocol observations.

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In other words, tissue culture is the process of cultivating new plants in artificial mediums by using cells from living plant matter. Plant tissue culture is not merely one technique, but a term covering various techniques based on the same principles. The methods are harnessed to grow and maintain plant cells, tissues, and organs in culture media, a rich blend of ingredients that promote plant growth. The ingredients can be vitamins, agar, activated charcoal, micronutrients, and macronutrients.

HOW DOES TISSUE CULTURE IMPACT THE CBD INDUSTRY?

Tissue culture technology is emerging as a popular choice among leading companies involved in the cultivation of hemp and CBD production. They are adopting the innovative method owing to the many benefits it can offer. If you’re wondering how tissue culture technology is changing the CBD industry, here are some main ways:


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1. Increased productivity

The most prominent way tissue culture technology impacts the CBD industry is by helping cultivators increase productivity. Tissue culture typically involves 10-14 weeks. The process begins from clipping samples of leaf, stem, or even roots to obtain cells and then establishing them in a nutrient mix where they can multiply. These cells transform into stems and leaves without roots. After 6-8 weeks, the young plants are placed into another medium where they grow roots over 3-4 weeks more. The final step encompasses acclimation and plant hardening over the next two weeks.

In traditional cloning, 100 clone cuttings can yield around 5,500 clones in a month and 66,000 clones per year. On the contrary, by using 200 nutrient vessels and five plant clippings each, tissue culture technology can easily yield 2.4 million clones in a year. CBD companies, both large and small, can benefit significantly from the increased productivity of high quality marijuana flowers. While there are plenty of strains for CBD, rockstar marijuana is the most popular choice for both cultivators and manufacturers requiring a high THC level.

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2. Genetic preservation

Given the increase in popularity and demand of CBD, breeders are engaging in crossing strains to make new strains that offer an abundance of the cannabinoid. While it isn’t a damaging practice, it can pose a risk to the original strains. Due to the frequent crossing, strains lose their originality and get contaminated.

With tissue culture, there is much less genetic variation in plants than the plants that are clipped from mother plants. Manufacturers can produce high-grade CBD while preserving the genes for a long time without putting in too much work. It can also offer elite, disease-free plants abundant with cannabinoids like CBD.

3. Adaptability

Tissue culture technology is also helping cannabis cultivators to cut down the cost of space, making it adaptable for various business models. While the traditional cloning method requires 30,000 square feet to produce 2 million clones per year, you would only need 2,000-3,000 square feet when using tissue culture technology. It can help reduce the space cost by around 75%, enabling even small farmers to produce cannabis for CBD.

4. Need for skilled labor

Although tissue culture technology is emerging as a new trend, there is still a lack of skilled people who can carry it out. CBD businesses that are planning to utilize this method are looking for skilled labor and willing to pay competitive salaries. It paves the way for more job openings for entry-level employees, low-level technicians, and even lead managers in the CBD market.

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Final Thoughts

While tissue culture is a relatively new tool in the CBD industry, the high-tech and innovative technology can help take CBD production to new levels. Everyone from large-scale hemp producers to DIY growers is gradually realizing the benefits and improving their productivity and efficiency. Given the current situation, it is safe to say that tissue culture technology can significantly enhance the CBD industry in the coming years. To learn more about how to tissue culture cannabis, visit our blog.

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