"To ensure consistent genetics in F1 hybrid seeds, we developed an internal genetic marker tool that guarantees the same genetics every time," explains Yarden Dloomy, Head of Sales and Business Development at BetterSeeds. Recognizing the demand for standardization and consistency in plant genetics within the cannabis industry, CanBreed, the cannabis unit of BetterSeeds, has recently introduced the Smudge & Send kit. This user-friendly genetic test kit enables individuals to differentiate between different cannabis genetics and determine the origin of clones, flowers, or mother plants. "By addressing the gaps in standardization and providing a reliable and uniform experience, the release of this kit meets the needs of growers and consumers who value consistent quality."
In 2017, CanBreed was founded after identifying standardization gaps in the cannabis industry. The industry heavily relied on clones and unstable genetics, lacking established practices for seeds, Yarden explains. By introducing hybrid seeds to the market, CanBreed aims to bridge these gaps and achieve consistency. Consistency plays a crucial role as consumers expect a reliable experience, both in terms of uniformity of the plants and the expression of cannabinoids.
How does it work?
So how does the Smudge & Send kit work? The process is simple and efficient, according to Yarden. Growers collect a DNA sample from a leaf or bud by smudging the leaf or bud onto a paper kit provided by CanBreed. The test is sensitive enough that only a minute sample of DNA is needed. The kit is sent to CanBreed's laboratories for analysis, and within 48 hours, the client receives a clear and concise answer via email indicating the identity of the samples. This streamlined approach eliminates the need for the physical transportation of plants, making it possible to send DNA samples worldwide.
Nurseries and growers dealing with a wide range of cultivars particularly benefit from this genetic testing kit, Yarden says. "With numerous cultivars and flowers dispatched to different clients regularly, there is a high potential for confusion and mixing between mother plants and clones, as well as flower harvesting when manual handling is involved. The Smudge & Send kit enables nurseries and growers to avoid such complications and maintain accurate identification and separation of plant varieties."
Thus the QA kit provided by CanBreed serves multiple purposes in ensuring consistency and validating the source of plant material as well as helping growers prevent flower mix-ups during harvest and allowing extractors and dispensaries to scientifically confirm the origin of the supplied material. "By utilizing this QA tool, nurseries can assure their clients of clone identicality, empowering them to make informed decisions when purchasing genetics. Moreover, dispensaries and distributors can use the kit to ensure they consistently receive the same flowers, as variations can impact quality and extraction processes. The affordability of the Smudge & Send kit offers an effective solution to avoid potential problems in the future, providing peace of mind to the industry stakeholders. Sending samples as early as possible is recommended for optimal results."
While CanBreed's client base primarily resides in the US, the company has aspirations to expand into other markets, such as Europe and Asia, recognizing the rapid growth of the industry and the potential for errors in propagation and cultivation processes. Recently, CanBreed completed a series of open days for growers to test their latest batch of uniform and stable seeds, emphasizing the importance of consistency and standardization in the cannabis industry. The company's main goals for the near future include the global distribution of stable and uniform seeds and expanding the utilization of their innovative kit. "By providing much-needed standardization to the entire supply chain through their stable seeds and unique QA kit, we aim to meet the challenge of maintaining consistency. In a competitive market, industry players should seize any competitive advantage available to bring value to their customers."