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non altered cannabis seeds

The bioengineering of cannabis

Elie Dolgin is a science journalist in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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Researchers monitor cannabis propagated using plant tissue-culture techniques at Ebbu in Evergreen, Colorado. Credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty

Cannabis is the only plant known to produce tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but it remains an imperfect vessel for producing the chemical on an industrial scale. The psychoactive substance is normally found only in small outgrowths from the plant known as trichomes, which means that its stalk, stems and leaves are wasted biomass.

Genetic engineering could provide more efficient alternatives. Some researchers and biotechnology companies are aspiring to replace cannabis plants with microorganisms that have been genetically enhanced to spit out THC, the non–psychoactive compound cannabidiol (CBD) and myriad other cannabinoids of pharmaceutical interest. Others are aiming to modify chemical synthesis in the cannabis plant by genetically altering its cells to make the desired molecules from shoot to tip, thereby boosting yield.

Part of Nature Outlook: Cannabis

Either way, the goal is the same: to produce cannabinoids more cheaply, efficiently and reliably than by conventional plant cultivation in greenhouses or farmers’ fields. Further benefits of microbial synthesis include the ability to mass-produce rare cannabinoids that are usually present in plants in only trace amounts — or even molecules not found in nature. Transgenic plants can also be engineered for superior resistance to pests and environmental stresses.

Commercial interest in these strategies is picking up. In 2018, for example, Canopy Growth Corporation in Smiths Falls, Canada — the largest legal cannabis company in the world — paid more than US$300 million in cash and shares to acquire Ebbu, a small company in Evergreen, Colorado, that had developed one of the earliest platforms for manipulating the cannabis genome with the gene-editing system CRISPR–Cas9. And in April, Zenabis, a cannabis producer based in Vancouver, Canada, agreed to purchase 36 tonnes of almost-pure, bacterial-made CBD from medical-cannabis company Farmako in Frankfurt, Germany — the first deal of its kind for biosynthetic cannabinoids.

David Kideckel, a cannabis analyst with financial-services company AltaCorp Capital in Toronto, Canada, describes genetic engineering as a “disrupter” that promises to take a centuries-old agricultural practice into the biotechnology era, with the resulting ripples being felt throughout the cannabis sector worldwide. When it comes to producing cannabis extracts, plants could be supplanted by microbes, and a greater range of cannabinoids could become available for use in medical and recreational products.

If that happens, the iconic cannabis leaf would no longer accurately represent where the active ingredients come from. Instead, a stainless steel bioreactor might be more apt.

Cooking up cannabinoids

Part of the appeal of ditching greenhouses for bioreactors boils down to cost. Currently, 1 kilogram of high-quality CBD extracted from plants sells for a wholesale price of more than $5,000. A deal in 2018 between Ginkgo Bioworks, a synthetic-biology company in Boston, Massachusetts, and Cronos Group, a Toronto-based cannabis producer, outlines a plan to manufacture pure CBD and other cannabinoids for less than $1,000 per kg in yeast.

Biomanufacturing also offers a level of consistency that is impossible to replicate in plants, which, like most agricultural commodities, are subjected to the weather, pests and other environmental uncertainties. Laboratory-based production is also better for the environment because less energy is needed to run a bioreactor than to power the grow lights and ventilation fans of an indoor cannabis-growing operation. The water pollution and land destruction that is associated with outdoor cannabis cultivation can also be avoided.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of cooking up cannabinoids in fermenters, however, is the ability to brew copious amounts of lesser-known cannabinoids that are usually found only in trace amounts in cannabis plants.

“People are so focused on the big two — THC and CBD — that we’re sort of forgetting that there are potentially other really useful compounds in the plant,” says Tony Farina, chief scientific officer at synthetic biology company Librede in Carlsbad, California. “That’s the direction for which we should really be using this biosynthesis platform.”

Cronos has singled out a few molecules of particular interest. These include cannabichromene, a rare cannabinoid that is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, and cannabigerol (CBG) — a chemical precursor to THC and CBD with the potential to protect cannabis plants from damage-inducing molecules inside cells. High on the company’s list is also an appetite-suppressing variant of THC called tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). This cannabinoid has medical potential in people who are affected by compulsive overeating disorders, and THCV could appeal to recreational users of cannabis who enjoy the drug’s intoxicating effects but would rather avoid its hunger-inducing properties.

“It offers the same euphoric effect as THC, but without the munchies,” says Cronos chief executive Mike Gorenstein.

At least 18 companies are racing to produce cannabinoids in yeast, bacteria or algae. Although each industry player has a proprietary approach, all are variations on the basic playbook described earlier this year by synthetic biologist Jay Keasling at the University of California, Berkeley (X. Luo et al. Nature 567, 123–126; 2019).

Crystals of purified cannabidiol oil. Credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty

Keasling and his colleagues introduced a series of genetic changes into the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. By tweaking some yeast genes, and inserting others from bacteria and the cannabis plant, the team created an organism capable of carrying out all the chemical reactions that are involved in cannabinoid production. Feeding the yeast a simple sugar generated low amounts of inactive THC or CBD, which can be converted into their active forms by heating.

Because the enzymes in the cannabinoid pathway are “a little sloppy”, as Keasling puts it, the team could also introduce fatty acids that the yeast would incorporate into cannabinoids. This spawned variants of THC and CBD that are not found in nature. “We created entirely new molecules that might be better therapeutics,” Keasling says.

At the yields reported, however, Keasling’s platform is not ready for prime time. Dramatic improvements in both the yeast’s efficiency and the fermentation protocol are needed for the biosynthetic approach to be cost-competitive with plant-extracted cannabinoids. Demetrix in Emeryville, California — a company co-founded by Keasling that has secured more than $60 million in funding, making it the best-financed start-up company devoted to lab-based cannabinoid production — is developing the technology further. Demetrix chief executive Jeff Ubersax says that his team has increased the cannabinoid yield by “several orders of magnitude”.

But many companies made similar claims to Nature that, without verifiable data, cannot be substantiated. Even if they are true, getting something to work in the lab does not guarantee success in a manufacturing plant, says Stephen Payne, chief executive of Maku Technologies, a start-up in Durham, North Carolina. Maku is focusing on making rare, natural cannabinoids in yeast. “Throughout my time in the synthetic-biology industry, I’ve seen things work on a small scale that have no chance of reaching industrial levels,” Payne says.

Catalysing success

Turning yeast into miniature cannabinoid factories poses considerable challenges. Although Keasling’s protocol involves 16 genetic modifications, the overall efficiency of the procedure came down to a single bottleneck.

The log-jam involved an enzyme that is needed for CBG production. Researchers characterized the enzyme, known as a prenyltransferase, around a decade ago in a strain of medical cannabis. Initially, Keasling tried to use that cannabis-derived enzyme in yeast, but it didn’t work: the yeast produced no CBG.

After rummaging through gene-expression databases, however, Keasling found an alternative prenyltransferase that was encoded by another variety of cannabis. He introduced this into the yeast and all the pieces fell into place to make CBG and its derivatives.

Some researchers faced the same enzymatic challenge in S. cerevisiae and elected to switch to alternative organisms. Bioengineer Oliver Kayser and his colleagues at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany turned to a species of yeast called Komagataella phaffii (B. Zirpel et al. J. Biotechnol. 259, 204–212; 2017).

Others have sworn off yeast completely. Vikramaditya Yadav, a chemical engineer at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, has moved to working in bacteria instead. He is collaborating with a Vancouver-based company called InMed Pharmaceuticals to produce cannabinoids in Escherichia coli.

One advantage of bacteria over other cell-based systems, says Yadav, is that they don’t attach sugars to the proteins that they produce in the same way as yeast and other organisms with an enclosed nucleus do. Those sugar adornments can limit the activity of enzymes that are crucial to the cannabinoid pathway — at least in K. phaffii, as Kayser’s team has shown (B. Zirpel et al. J. Biotechnol. 284, 17–26; 2018) — which leads to lower yields.

Bacteria also naturally secrete the cannabinoids that they produce into the surrounding medium, from which they can be extracted easily. This phenomenon provides speed and cost advantages because it enables continuous manufacturing, whereas organisms that retain their chemical bounty inside cells must be ‘cracked’ open as part of a batch-production system. Yeast do not typically secrete proteins, but researchers at Librede and elsewhere claim to have engineered this function into the organism.

A further challenge for using either yeast or E. coli is the toxicity of cannabinoids. Such molecules evolved in plants as a defence mechanism against insects, microorganisms and other biological threats. This means that the chemicals that researchers desire are often deadly to the organisms that have been engineered to make them.

At Farmako, which announced in July that its biosynthesis research team would be spun off to form a new biotechnology company, scientists therefore turned to Zymomonas mobilis, a bacterium used in tequila production. According to molecular biologist and Farmako co-founder Patrick Schmitt, who is expected to lead the spin-out company, this microorganism is immune to cannabinoid toxicity — although it’s not clear why. Meanwhile, researchers at Renew Biopharma in San Diego, California, are working in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a green alga that compartmentalizes its cannabinoid synthesis in chloroplasts. In so doing, the rest of the cell is shielded from the toxic molecules.

As well as the biological advantages, cannabinoid production in an unconventional organism such as an alga makes good business sense because the approach is proprietary, says Michael Mendez, founder and chief executive at Renew Biopharma. “Intellectual property will rule the day in this space,” he says. And as Jeremy de Beer, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who has studied cannabis patents, points out: “We’re in sort of an intellectual-property gold rush.”

Already, the US Patent and Trademark Office has protected Librede’s use of yeast to synthesize cannabinoids from sugars. Other patents have followed, including one that was granted to Teewinot Life Sciences in Tampa, Florida, for a bioreactor designed to grow cannabinoid-producing microorganisms. Legal battles might not be far behind (see ‘Pot’s patent predicament’). “It will not be a surprise at all, as revenues from cannabis sales pick up, that you see similar increases in patent-related enforcement,” says Stephen Hash, a patent attorney at Baker Botts in Austin, Texas. “It will go hand in hand.”

Pot’s patent predicament

Under federal law in the United States, the cultivation of cannabis is strictly prohibited. But that hasn’t stopped the growth of the country’s cannabis industry, which has been operating in a quasi-legal fashion since individual states began to allow the sale of cannabis for medical and recreational use more than 20 years ago. Nor has it stopped the US Patent and Trademark Office from granting intellectual-property licences for cannabis breeding and production.

One such patent sent shockwaves through the industry. Granted in 2015 to a company called Biotech Institute in Westlake Village, California, it covers a range of cannabis varieties with appreciable levels of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.

The sweeping nature of the patent’s claims concerned many cannabis breeders, who feared that it could stifle innovation and biological diversity in the fledgling cannabis sector. They also worried that artisanal marijuana production, which is driven by consumers’ needs and tastes, could be supplanted by an age of corporate cannabis.

Other broad patents have followed, as have legal disputes. In 2018, for example, two Colorado-based firms were embroiled in a lawsuit over whether one company’s liquid formulation of hemp-derived cannabidiol infringed on the patent claims of the other. It was the first high-profile patent challenge in the sector. The case is ongoing.

The issue in that lawsuit, and in others, is whether the patent is novel — and therefore worthy of protection — or an obvious development in light of prior art. Because of cannabis’s long history of hidden cultivation, breeders have not chronicled their varieties in the public sphere. Consequently, patent examiners had little information on which to base decisions on whether cannabis-related technologies are new and non-obvious. That lack of a paper trail also makes it hard to mount a proper challenge to a patent.

Beth Schechter hoped to change that. As executive director of the non-profit organization Open Cannabis Project (OCP), Schechter and her team built a public record of chemical and genetic profiles of hundreds of existing cannabis varieties that were submitted by members of the community. The goal was to provide evidence to show that some patents are obvious and therefore invalid, she says, and “if nothing else, to at least prevent similar patents like those going forward”.

But the project might end up having unintended consequences. Although touted as a way to protect the rights of small farmers, it folded in May after a video emerged of OCP co-founder Mowgli Holmes pitching to investors the idea of an in-house breeding programme at Phylos Bioscience, a cannabis-science company in Portland, Oregon, that he co-founded and now leads as chief executive. For many, it confirmed their fears: that OCP was a front for Phylos to amass cannabis data for financial gain.

According to Holmes, Phylos was only seeking to publish data through the OCP, and “None of the customer data had any value to a plant breeding program.” Yet the damage was already done.

“Making data public is good because it enlarges the public domain and it speeds up science,” Holmes maintains. But in the emergent cannabis industry, secrecy and intellectual property continue to define battle lines.

Firmly planted

Rather than trying to force the production of cannabinoids in microorganisms, some companies are sticking with cannabis plants, but using biotechnology tools to give the crop a boost.

Trait Biosciences in Toronto has genetically engineered cannabis to enable it to produce cannabinoids throughout the plant, not just in the trichomes, to increase the yield that each plant provides. The company also added enzymes that made the cannabinoids less toxic and made the usually oily molecules soluble in water.

“That was a side benefit that we soon realized was perhaps as important, if not more important, than the yield boost,” says Richard Sayre, Trait’s chief science officer. “Now that they’re water soluble, we can essentially press the plant just like they do with sugar cane to squeeze the juice out and recover the cannabinoids.”

Water solubility also opens up the possibility of creating new kinds of cannabis-infused beverages or edible products. “It’s tasteless and odourless, so it can be blended in a variety of applications,” Sayre explains.

More from Nature Outlooks

At Ebbu, director of genetic research Robert Roscow has filed patents that cover methods for manipulating cannabinoid synthesis in plants. He uses CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing to delete certain enzymes in the cannabinoid-synthesis pathway that are involved in THC production. This has enabled him to generate cannabis plants that produce only CBD. And by targeting enzymes that are involved in both THC and CBD synthesis, he has produced plants that secrete only CBG.

Some skilled cannabis growers have created plants rich in minor cannabinoids such as CBG or THCV through selective breeding alone, but that can be a laborious and difficult process. “Modification through genetic engineering is probably the most straightforward way to get a desired phenotype,” says Igor Kovalchuk, a plant biotechnologist at the University of Lethbridge, Canada, and co-founder of cannabis-genomics company InPlanta Biotechnology, also in Lethbridge.

Genetic engineering is also a powerful tool for probing the function of cannabis genes — information that can then be fed back into a more conventional breeding programme. But beyond the lab, Kovalchuk says, “I don’t believe that genetically engineered cannabis has a future for years to come.”

One obstacle remains consumers’ skittishness about genetically modified crops, which could carry over to a distrust of microorganism-based biosynthesis. “People like their weed, and they will care if their cannabinoids are coming from a genetically modified yeast or a field-grown plant,” says Jordan Zager, co-founder and chief executive of Dewey Scientific, a cannabis biotechnology company in Pullman, Washington.

The technological provenance of cannabinoids might not matter as much to the pharmaceutical sector, where consumers tend to be less averse to genetic engineering. But according to Ethan Russo, director of research and development at the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in Prague, biochemically derived cannabinoids, even when mixed and matched into therapeutic formulations, will probably never equal the botanical synergy of the hundreds of molecules that are found in cannabis.

The existence of this ‘entourage’ effect is not universally accepted. But to Russo, “The plant is nature’s design for this panoply of chemicals”.

Nature 572, S5-S7 (2019)

This article is part of Nature Outlook: Cannabis, an editorially independent supplement produced with the financial support of third parties. About this content.

Marijuana plants: What you need to know

By Jevan Soyer. Let me get this out of the way first. All of the activities mentioned in this article are for adults only. That means 18 or 21 years and older which is determined by the laws of your country. If you are reading this from a location where the cultivation of marijuana is illegal then don’t do it. If you the reader is fortunate to be living in a jurisdiction where recreational marijuana is legal and you are allowed to grow the herb for personal use, then this is the article for you. By the way, happy 420!

Marijuana Day – celebrating home grown

April 20th, also known as 420, has become the unofficial “Weed Day” around the world. It is basically Christmas for connoisseurs of marijuana. I am a supporter of home grown and home made as you have control over what you put into your body. This is especially important if you are using the marijuana for medicinal reasons. You would have to make sure that no toxic chemicals were used on the plant, either during cultivation or the shipping process.

We want people to hear my name, and see my face to know that I stand behind every single bottle of Tommy Chong’s Nano CBD.

Growing marijuana not like other food crops

Anyone who has tried gardening knows that every plant has its own requirements. Marijuana is no different. If you are limited by the number of plants that you can cultivate, it is in your interest to get the best possible yield from your miniature marijuana plantation.

In researching this article, I went into it thinking that it would be no different from growing any other food crop with which I have a great deal of experience. As it turns out, I was very wrong. Not only does marijuana require a lot of attention, there are limitless options from which to choose, each with pros and cons. This starts from the seed selection.

Chemical, strain and seed of Marijuana

Cannabis, weed, Mary Jane… so many names… it cannot be counted. It is just like the amount of chemicals that have been documented in marijuana, 483 based on my research. This is important because you would need to know what chemical suits your needs. This tells you which strain of marijuana you would be growing and the seeds with which you would need to start.

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Choosing the right Cannabinoid

The 2 most noteworthy chemicals or cannabinoids in marijuana are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Each has its own qualities. THC is the chemical that gets you high giving you feelings or euphoria, and where you lose track of time and could escape reality, even if it is just temporarily. It also has a few medicinal uses:

CBD on the other hand has a reputation of being a miracle cure for a myriad of diseases. The list keeps growing but here are the most common uses of CBD:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Inflammation
  • Anti-seizure ( Epilepsy )
  • Psychosis or mental disorders
  • Neuroprotective ( Alzheimer’s disease , Multiple sclerosis , Parkinson’s disease , Stroke )
  • Pain relief ( Arthritis , Chronic pain , Multiple Sclerosis pain , Muscle pain , Spinal cord injuries )
  • Anti-acne
  • Cancer treatment

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Side effects of THC and CBD

Like all drugs both THC and CBD has side effects, some of them are serious depending on your family history and state of mind. I am no doctor, so I would recommend that you consult a physician before you begin self medicating. If you are already using marijuana and suffer from any of these side effects, consult your doctor.

THC causes temporary side effects, such as:

  • increased heart rate
  • coordination problems
  • dry mouth
  • red eyes
  • slower reaction times
  • memory loss
  • anxiety

CBD’s side effects may include:

  • appetite changes
  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea

Due to the side effects of THC in most countries if you drive a vehicle after using it, you may face the same consequences as drinking alcohol and driving. Do not use marijuana and drive, there are breathalyzers configured to detect marijuana use. If stopped by the police for suspicion of driving under the influence, you may be subjected to same or similar sobriety test that is done for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Recent research into the positive medicinal benefits of cannabis has led to overwhelming demand for strains that contain holistic medical properties. Scientific discovery has suggested that over 50 various ailments can be arrested, abetted and even cured with the right cannabis treatment.

Right seeds mean right plants

Feminised Seeds

These popular strains are developed to flower as female plants only and because of this, you can expect feminised cannabis seeds to be 99.99% female. This is most popular in situations where you have limited space to risk cultivating male plants. Read more here .

Auto-Flowering Seeds

These popular strains are bred so they flower based on time instead of light exposure. As one of the more recent additions to the world of cannabis seed cultivation, feminised auto-flowering strains automatically switch from vegetative growth to the flowering stage with age, as opposed to the ratio of light to dark hours. Read more here

Regular Seeds

These strains are not altered or genetically modified. Regular cannabis seeds are totally natural marijuana seeds that have not been chemically altered or genetically modified in any way. They are pure genetics, bred from male and female parents and produce approximately 50% male and 50% female offspring. Male plants are generally culled as they tend to not produce buds and negatively affect the females production of buds.

Despite the popularity of feminized marijuana seeds, regular seeds are still offered by many breeders. Regular cannabis seeds offer the same genetics at a lower price than their feminized versions and often do a better job of retaining the best features of each parent plant. Read more here .

Sativa Seeds

Classified by Carl Linnaeus in the year 1753, Cannabis Sativa varieties have been cultivated for centuries for its hemp fibre and for its psychoactive resins, among the other benefits which the plant has been known to offer, for those who consume it. Originating from equatorial countries in Central America and South East Asia, including the likes of Thailand, India, Mexico and Colombia, Sativa varieties are better suited for warmer climates and hence thrive if grown in the outdoors.

Moreover, the plant’s structure is constructed in such a way whereby it can reach heights up to twenty feet, and thrives in humid atmospheres and tropical climates. The leaves and flowers will also look different, with Sativa strains featuring long, thin foliage and long, cylindrical buds in comparison to stocky, dense Indica varieties. Sativa requires a slightly longer time to grow, taking between ten to sixteen weeks to mature and hence ensuring a higher yield. Want to learn more about Sativa Cannabis. Reda more here .

Indica Seeds

In 1783, French Naturalist, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck came across a new type of cannabis that was distinct and different from the already discovered sativa species. He named it Cannabis indica. This species had adapted to its harsh growing environment in countries like Afghanistan, India, Turkey and Morocco and developed some unique characteristics than other cannabis species. Want to learn more about Indica Cannabis. Read more here .

Indica / Sativa Hybrid Seeds

Indica, Sativa and Hybrid represent the three main categories of Cannabis which are predominantly known across the region with hybrid seeds providing users with benefits from both Indica and Sativa. One of the first known hybrid’s of an Indica and Sativa was known as ‘Skunk’ which was first bred by a group of cannabis growers based in California, USA, Sacred Seed Co., led by David Watson. The resulting strain was revolutionary, producing high yields in relatively short periods of time along with having the innate ability to withstand an array of climatic conditions hence enabling it to be grown indoors, outdoors, and in greenhouses. The latter has been especially helpful to growers since hybrids can be selected for their size, bushiness and other features, catering to specifically to the grower’s requirement. Read more here .

High THC Seeds

Tetrahydrocannabidiol or THC is essentially one of the compounds/cannabinoids which makes up the cannabis plant and is known to be the primary intoxicant found within the plant. Certain cannabis plants have been known to provide high THC content however with the growing aid of technology, breeders have been able to identify ways to increase THC content in plants, via cross-breeding. Breeders have opted for cross-breeding in order to combine the genetics from high THC plants in order to produce the resultant strains, which have the highest THC ratio. Since strains with a high THC content generally provide the user with an intense and stronger cerebral ‘high’ in comparison to any other strain, therefore regular uses tend to opt for the aforementioned to incur the said cerebral ‘high’, which may not be possible with its counterparts. Read more here .

Low THC Seeds

Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, said to be the most popular and the most abundant cannabinoid found within the Cannabis plant, is strongly psychoactive allowing it to produce a euphoric effect. THC is found within the varieties of the cannabis pants in either a high quantity, usually associated with Indica; moderate to low amounts, usually found within Sativa or near to zero, within Ruderalis. Read more here .

High CBD Seeds

Cannabidiol also referred to as CBD, is one of a number of cannabinoids which makes up the cannabis plant, and is known to be the non-intoxicating compound found within the plant. Accounting for around forty percent of the cannabis plant’s extract, CBD has become the focal point of various researches looking to identify the benefits of the compound, since its non-psychoactive properties do away from the adverse effect of impairing the consumer’s cognitive ability, unlike THC. High-CBD strains allow consumers to remain clear-headed and functional without having to deal with the ‘euphoric high’ which is generally associated with high THC strains. Read more here .

Strain Type Characteristics

Skunk Strains – Skunk strains are strong-smelling and have been likened to the smell of the spray from a skunk. They are believed to have originated in the United States before development by Dutch growers. Skunk is hybrid of Sativa and Indica, dominating both varieties in different strains. This iconic strain first hit the market in the 1970s and has since gone on to give rise to multiple other strains that most cannabis connoisseurs are familiar with.

Blueberry Strains – Blueberry is a popular, flavour-forward Indica-dominant hybrid with a strong genetic backbone. It is a three-way cross between an Indica Afghani, sativa Thai and Purple Thai variant parents. Consists of Indica 80% and sativa 20% of ratio. It first emerged in the late 1970s in the Netherlands by DJ Short, a mysterious but prolific breeder. Blueberry is distinguished by an unmistakable fresh blueberry smell and taste that have made it an enduring favourite. Blueberry is famous worldwide due to its high palatability and flavour.

Cheese Strains – Named for its sharply sour aroma, Cheese is an Indica-dominant hybrid from the U.K. comprises of 80% Indica and 20% Sativa that has achieved widespread popularity for its unique flavour and consistent potency. Cheese is a great strain that originated in the United Kingdom back to 1980s. The strain is a rare female phenotype of Skunk #1 a cross between Afghanistan (Indica), Mexico (Sativa) and Columbia (Sativa). It first appeared between 1988 and 1989 and was quickly cloned and passed on. As a female phenotype, the original strain is only available as a clone, but other breeders have imitated it in seed form by crossing a female Cheese with different Indica strains.

Haze Strains – Haze is a Sativa-dominant cannabis strain with a rich history that dates back to 1960s from California. Because of the long growing seasons and long flowering times, Santa Cruz was the perfect backdrop for this strain. After 2-3 decades, its popularity outgrew and haze became the parent strain to many hybrids worldwide. The genetics have crossed crossing many diverse landraces and oceans, leading to strains that originate in Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and India, eventually resulted in what we know today as the original Haze hybrid strains. THC: the average THC content in Sativa-dominant strains is around 14%. However, haze stands out with THC ranging from 18% to 27%, Haze is a staple in the cannabis industry for decades. The aromatic buds are well worth the wait of a long.

Kush Strains – Cannabis is mainly categorised as Sativa, Hybrid, or Indica, based on the morphology of the plant. But it can be further classified such as; Kush, Haze, and Purple. These terms refer to types of cannabis characterised by distinct smells, flavours, effects or geographic regions. Kush is a specific variety of cannabis that descends from the Hindu Kush Mountains and is one of the few geographic regions where the cannabis plant grows natively.

Northern Lights Strains – Northern Lights is an indica marijuana strain made by crossing Afghani with Thai. Northern Lights produces euphoric effects that settle in firmly throughout the body, relaxing muscles and easing the mind. Consumers say this strain has a pungently sweet and spicy flavor profile that is smooth on the exhale. Medical marijuana patients choose Northern Lights to help relieve symptoms associated with depression, stress, pain and insomnia. Growers say this strain features purple and crystal-coated buds and grows best indoors with a flowering time of 45-50 days.

White Widow Strains – White Widow is a hybrid, with a slight Indica dominance. It has a genetic ratio of 60% Indica, 40% sativa. White Widow is upbeat, mesmerising and will relax the body, but won’t cause the mind to want to fall asleep. Originally descending from a breed between South American (sativa) and South Indian Indica in the Netherlands in 1990’s. With both parents being categorized as landrace strains, it seems obvious that White Widow would turn out to become one potent and pure strain, whose effects can be felt in the exact same manner; with strength and clarity.

Sour Diesel Strains – Sour Diesel is a Sativa-dominant marijuana strain, with minimal Indica-like elements. Having a 90% Sativa and 10% Indica ratio. Although Sour Diesel’s genetic lineage is technically not 100% known, it was developed in the ’90s and is thought to have the parent plants of Chem-dawg 91 and Super Skunk; both considered extremely potent and heady strains.

Where to grow your marijuana

Now that you are aware of the options available concerning seeds, you would now have to consider where exactly to plant these seeds. Some varieties do not do well indoors, and other require little maintenance when plated outdoors. If you are stuck with only being able to grow your marijuana indoors, there are solutions.

Cash Crop 6.0-2 Plant LED Hydroponics Grow Box

  • Grow from seed to harvest effortlessly.
  • Dimensions: 35″ tall x 16″ wide x 11.0″ deep / Weight: 42 pounds
  • Comes with everything you need except for the seeds.
  • 10 years of grow box building experience.
  • Lifetime warranty, free shipping & free tech support included.

If you do not have access to a backyard where you would be able to plant your seeds either directly in the ground or in plant pots, then indoor grow boxes would be the solution for you. The size of grow box obviously would be determined by the space that you have available. By extension the size of your grow box is going to determine which seeds you should purchase.

The nice thing about indoor cultivation is that you can take control of the process, instead of leaving it to blind luck. You can pamper your prized seeds from germination with the Grobo Start kit .

The Grobo Start kit comes with everything you need to make your seeds pop. The kit comes with 3x Peat Pods, 3x Humidity Domes, 1x Tweezers, 2x Seed Covers, 10x Micro Nutrients and 10x Macro Nutrients.

As your plants start to grow they can be transferred to Grobo Solid or Grobo Premium . These grow boxes don’t only provide a safe environment for your plants, but let them grow discretely. No one sees the plants unless you want them to, and it eliminates all odours using carbon filters.

If you are handy with tools, you obviously could build these for yourself and scale them up or down to the size that you want. Here are a few ideas for discreet indoor grow boxes.


Now that you are armed with all the knowledge to select the right seeds to suit your needs, you can celebrate this year’s 420 by starting your very own marijuana garden. Remember to check your local laws to see firstly if it is legal and what are the limits if it is legal.

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