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Cannabis Seed Preservation

Preservation of cannabis seeds may be the only way to guarantee the continued survival of this valuable resource. As governments across the globe introduce measures to marginalise its advocates and attempt to implement eradication programmes worldwide private individuals can help to ensure the survival of this most utilitarian of plants by preserving cannabis seeds for the future.

Cannabis Sativa Resource Threatened with Extinction

Seed preservation has been much in the news recently in order to guarantee the survival of certain plant genetics. As climate change becomes an increasingly debated topic amongst not only the opinion formers in the media but also the general public it is worth recognising that an important concern is the potential for a reduction in bio-diversity. There looks certain to be a detrimental effect on many different life-forms, not only mammalian, reptilian and insect but also within the plant kingdom as well.

One plant in particular that has evolved to be an important human resource throughout history is now facing the possibility of extinction as it has become threatened by more direct human agency. The plant in question is cannabis sativa, a vital resource throughout thousands of years of human evolution. Its fibres have been used to make sailcloth, which enabled the colonisation of the "New World", paper, clothing material, plastics, natural medicines and whose seeds have supplied human populations' dietary requirements for centuries. In fact the cannabis or hemp seeds is the only plant source to provide all eight amino acids we need and hemp seed oil is one of the best sources of the two Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) we can't live without; Omega 3 Alpha-Linolenic Acid and Omega 6 Linoleic Acid.

Politics and Cannabis

The mixture of cannabis and politics seem to cause great problems for governments. With cannabis seeds already banned in the USA and with recentl attempts at changing legislation in Great Britain by a most illiberal Lib-Dem MP, the future of this valuable plant and its seeds hang in the balance. Traditional landrace strains are already under threat from eradication programmes upon which aid to the developing world is often contingent, and this, coupled with the intensive hybridisation of commercially available cannabis strains make the breeding and preservation of such cultivars essential in order that future generations may have these heritage genetics available for research purposes to benefit mankind.

The main protagonist in the British case would appear to be the reactions of the ultra-conservative media which have produced a glut of anti-cannabis "news" stories following the de-classification of cannabis from a class B drug to class C amid accusations of the Labour government being "soft" on drugs. The government's craving for positive coverage in the right wing press and on populist TV news shows has led to a proposal to reverse this earlier policy, once hailed as ground-breaking and which the government admits has seen a concomitant reduction in cannabis use. On the back of this, a not-so-liberal Lib-Dem MP, Tom Brake, has lodged a Private Member's Bill to ban the sale of cannabis seeds and the display of images of its leaves. Although thought by some commentators to have little chance of success, the political quagmire that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown finds himself in (22 points behind the main Tory opposition in the opinion polls) means there is no predicting quite how he will react in order to appear to the electorate to be "in charge" of the country. (Update: this debate was unsuccessful and we all know what the British public thought of Gordon Brown).

Thanks to reputable cannabis seeds suppliers such seeds are still available for preservation but for how much longer is anyone's guess.



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