New Breeding and Cultivation Techniques

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New Breeding and Cultivation Techniques


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It is often claimed by growers and breeders of herbal cannabis that advances in breeding and cultivation techniques have increased the potency of cannabis since the late 1960s and early '70s. However, potent seedless marijuana such as "Thai sticks" were already available at that time. In fact, the sinsemilla technique of producing high potency ganja (marijuana) has been practiced in India for centuries. Sinsemilla (Spanish for without seed), is the dried, seedless inflorescences of female cannabis plants. Because THC production drops off once pollination occurs, the male plants (which produce little THC themselves) are eliminated before they shed pollen to prevent pollination. Advanced cultivation techniques such as hydroponics, cloning, high-intensity artificial lighting, and the sea of green method are frequently employed as a response (in part) to prohibition enforcement efforts that make outdoor cultivation more risky. These intensive horticultural techniques have led to fewer seeds being present in cannabis and a general increase in potency over the past 20 years.

Many opponents of cannabis use, both in and out of government, have exaggerated the increases in potency and ramifications thereof. In the United States, government advertisements encourage parents to disregard their own experiences with cannabis when speaking to their children, on the premise that the "pot" of today is significantly stronger, and thus more dangerous, than that which they used in the past. In proposed revisions to cannabis rescheduling in the U.K., the government is considering scheduling the more potent cannabis material as a separate, more restricted substance. Many cannabis proponents are vehemently opposed, reasoning that if one can smoke less cannabis to achieve the same effect, then it is safer in the long run than smoking a less potent product.

There are two recognized types of herbal cannabis, "sativa" and "indica". So-called "sativa" strains are reputed to induce a noticeably more "cerebral" high, while "indica" strains induce more of a body high. These two drug types are often hybridized or crossed with early-maturing (but low in THC) "ruderalis" strains to increase the range in desirable characteristics.

Cannabis
Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illegal drugs. This article looks at the health risks related to cannabis use.

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