Cannabis pollen is vital to the cultivation process. As with other types of plants, pollen from cannabis plants is a really big part of the ‘circle of life.’
Male plants may not be desirable from a consumption standpoint, however, they are very important in the process of keeping a desirable strain going.
The pollen from male plants, when applied to a female plant at a certain time in the growth cycle, will result in the female plant producing seeds.
Those seeds can then be used to grow new female plants that do not have seeds and thus keep the strain going for consumers and patients to enjoy.
With that being said, how long does cannabis pollen last in storage?
Canadian Government-Funded Study Results are Encouraging
Researchers in Canada explored various ways to store cannabis pollen to see which method yielded the best results from a preservation standpoint.
The study was partially funded by the Candian government. Canada is one of only two countries that have legalized cannabis for adult use and is home to the most robust adult-use cannabis industry on earth.
According to the researchers, they “developed a long-term storage method which includes pollen combination with baked whole wheat flower and desiccation under vacuum for cryopreservation.”
After assessing the efficiency of the storage method, researchers concluded that, “By using this method, we were able to maintain germination viability in liquid nitrogen after 4 months, suggesting potentially indefinite preservation of cannabis pollen.”
During the course of the study researchers also “deciphered the bicellular nature of cannabis pollen using DAPI staining,” and “found pollen collected from different principal growth stages exhibits different longevity.”
A Game Changer for Cannabis Genetic Storage?
For some cannabis cultivators, storing cannabis pollen is not really necessary because they can perpetually cross-pollinate plants without interruption.
However, for other cannabis cultivators, it is necessary to store cannabis pollen for future use.
That could be due to a number of factors, including being part of a precautionary strategy should there be issues with a cultivation facility’s genetics. Once the genetics are lost, it can be nearly impossible to get them back.
Long-term storage of cannabis pollen is particularly important for the international cannabis industry, where pollen is needed from far away places for various reasons.
Being able to store cannabis long-term provides a great level of flexibility for cannabis cultivators around the world.
It is also good news for consumers that really like a particular cannabis genetic because long-term storage will help ensure that those genetics are around for years to come.