How to Tissue Culture Cannabis
How to Tissue Culture Cannabis
Share this article:
Basics of Cannabis
Cannabis, belonging to the Cannabacea family, is historically popular in the Middle East and Asia for its medicinal properties. Cannabis is also an annual flowering herb that has its male and female reproductive organs separately present in different individuals (i.e dioecious) and involves open pollination. It’s a plant with several benefits. It’s used for fiber, oilseeds, food, and recreational and medicinal drugs. The culturing of Cannabis is highly controlled and regulated in countries because of its psychoactive effects.
This article discusses a brief history and procedure of tissue culture of Cannabis. But if you are looking for general information, culturing techniques, advantages, and disadvantages of tissue culture of cannabis. Then, you can refer to our previous article titled “tissue culture propagation of Cannabis”.
History of Cannabis tissue culture
The applications of Cannabis were neglected over years because of its use as a psychoactive drug. It was highly restricted in several countries including Canada and the US initially in 1912. The early small-scale investigations have shown its use to treat multiple diseases like autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, chronic pain, and seizures. But, the Cannabis culture restrictions slowed down (and completely stopped at some places) the progress of Cannabis research and its commercialization. It created several challenges in investigating the medicinal, agronomic, horticulture, and biotechnological aspects of the plant.
But in 2014 Cannabis was legalized again in several parts of the world for its medicinal and recreational values with some guidelines, regulations, and control.
Cannabis belongs to the family Cannabaceae. It’s a fast-growing plant that grows typically 6m in its native habitat. The plants show the difference in its height depending on the habitat in which it is being grown. For example, Cannabis plants grown in temperate regions are comparatively shorter in size than their native habitat.
Cannabis’s first two leaves are opposite when it starts growing but eventually, the arrangement of leaves becomes alternate with the plant’s growth. The leaves are digitate and range from 5-11 cm in size. They are dioecious but the sexuality of the plant can not be identified until the flowers begin to appear. The male Cannabis plants are generally not utilized as medicinal plants because of the low level of cannabinoids (a secondary compound used to manufacture medicine/drugs) present in them.
The procedure of tissue culture of Cannabis
The tissue culture of Cannabis is the clonal propagation of the plant under a controlled aseptic environment. The technique is used to obtain secondary compounds from the plants, which mainly include cannabinoids. The techniques that have been extensively studied in terms of Cannabis tissue culture include callus induction and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of hemp.
Here, the procedure of tissue culture of Cannabis is explained that is taken from the study of “Lata, H., Chandra, S., Khan, I. A., & ElSohly, M. A. (2016). In Vitro Propagation of Cannabis sativa L. and Evaluation of Regenerated Plants for Genetic Fidelity and Cannabinoids Content for Quality Assurance. Protocols for In Vitro Cultures and Secondary Metabolite Analysis of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants, Second Edition, 275–288”.
Want to learn more about protocols, materials, equipment, and procedures on how to Tissue Culture Cannabis? Join us this October 13 - 16, 2022 for our upcoming Tissue Culture Master Class: Cannabis with our resident expert, David Critzer from Onsite Microprop, LLC!
- Lata, H., Chandra, S., Khan, I. A., & ElSohly, M. A. (2016). In Vitro Propagation of Cannabis sativa L. and Evaluation of Regenerated Plants for Genetic Fidelity and Cannabinoids Content for Quality Assurance. Protocols for In Vitro Cultures and Secondary Metabolite Analysis of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants, Second Edition, 275–288.
- Monthony, A.S.; Page, S.R.; Hesami, M.; Jones, A.M.P. The Past, Present and Future of Cannabis sativa Tissue Culture. Plants 2021, 10, 185. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants 10010185