The relationship between breeders and seed banks forms an important foundation within the marijuana world. Conscious creation of new strains, the maintenance of existing strain genetics, and the professional storage and distribution of a wide variety of seeds helps us maintain important genetic stock in case catastrophe strikes. Crop infections and infestation, natural disasters, widespread war or famine—all of these can result in a need for safe seed reserves. This is why it is so important that breeders create high quality genetic stock, and that seed banks are able to curate diverse collections of seeds.
Even when highly sophisticated technology and practices are at our disposal, at the end, it is still the simple act of collecting genetic material from reputable sources that has kept cannabis evolving through a century of prohibition.
For decades, California has lead the United States’ marijuana breeding. Even before the state legalized medical marijuana in 1996, the Emerald Triangle—the three northern counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity—was ground-zero for vigorous marijuana breeding and cultivation.
In this pocket of cannabis preservation, for the last twenty years, people have been walking the fine line of being legal on the state level, but federally illegal. In that difficult balancing act, some of the best cannabis genetics have thrived through community collaboration and with the help of more lenient seed laws in other countries, such as Spain and the Netherlands.
Skilled breeding and research have been paired with an ethical model in the Humboldt Seed Organization. The Humboldt Seed Organization is a collective of growers and breeders who are based in the Emerald Triangle. The Humboldt Seed Organization helps share California cannabis genetics with the rest of the world though operations based in Spain. Ironically, though they are focused on promoting American strains, Humboldt Seed Organization itself does not ship seeds to the United States, due to local law. One usually must turn to a larger seed bank to get HSO seeds in the States.
There are a few things that are worth mentioning about the Humboldt Seed Organization. They are focused on all organic and environmentally sustainable cultivation. A community-based philosophy underpins the organization, meaning they attempt to buy green and buy locally, give back to the community, and engage in sustainable economic choices. The HSO’s own website states that this very California ethical model is part of what they want to share with the world.
Strong hybrids thrive in Northern California, the original locale where indicas took root in America. Humboldt Seed Organization is the home of a few West Coast darlings including Blue Dream, Trainwreck, and Chemdawg just to name a few. Humboldt Seed Organization’s Blue Dream is a beautiful example of the marriage of a creative sativa head-high, and the smooth body relaxation of an indica. This experience is the quintessential California smoke.
Humboldt Seed Organization, an established network of breeders and experts is driven not only by deep passion for the work, but also by a unique regional culture of marijuana breeding that stretches back forty years. Their focus on sustainable and ethical practices adds something interesting to their roster of distinctive strains.
by Kristin Cerda