Advanced Marijuana Seed Storage is Proper Marijuana Seed Storage
Before storing your marijuana seeds, make sure your grew them with the proper amount of zinc in your soil or hydro set-up. If your soil is zinc deficient, the quality of your cannabis seeds will be adversely affected. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzyme reactions in the life of the seed.
The biodiversity of the world’s most ancient plants is now under serious threat. In the current climate the extremely valuable native landrace species of cannabis are in real threat of extinction and genetic dilution and should be preserved for the future.
Many cannabis plants and strains are going extinct from the human sprawl, rain forest being cut down, acid rain, pollution and the DEA using the Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP), which is a nationwide law enforcement program that exclusively targets cannabis cultivation.
In many areas of North America, Marijuana Growers have been forced to abandon large outdoor cannabis plots. For security, growers favor a smaller concealed garden(s), further depleting the size of their operation and therefore a smaller seed harvest.
It is more important today than ever, to properly store your precious Marijuana Seeds Properly so they can last for many thousands of generations to come.
Now we will share the details and the procedures for long-term storage of your cannabis seeds.
Cannabis Marijuana Seed Preservation
There are basically two types of seeds growing on this planet that you need to be made aware. They are:
- Orthodox Seeds
- Recalcitrant Seeds
What we need to know all about is Orthodox seeds, which are cannabis seeds.
They should be stored with reduced moisture in order to maintain viability of the cannabis seed. The process of reducing moisture, or desiccation as it is technically known, can be completed on Orthodox seeds down to relative moisture content of 4 to 7% and even ultra-desiccated (ultra-Dried) down to a moisture content of 1 to 3%.
Seed Storage Viability Variables
There are several factors that relate to seed viability over time, they are:
• Moisture Level
• Ethylene concentration
• Oxygen concentration
Ethylene is a hydrocarbon with the formula C2H4 or H2C=CH2. It is a colorless flammable gas with a slight sweet and musky odor when pure. It is an important natural plant hormone, used in agriculture to force the ripening of seeds and induce seed germination.
A few interrelations also exist.
Low moisture and low temperature have been the traditional factors when attempting long-term cannabis seed storage, however, low temperature has been most widely employed as a long-term seed storage solution, leaving low moisture fairly neglected. In order to ensure long-term preservation of cannabis seeds all these considerations should be taken seriously, to ensure long-term viability.
You need a storage container with the following:
• Air tightness: preventing water/vapor humidity transfer.
• Regulating moisture content inside the container
• Regulating Ethylene concentration inside the container
• Regulating Oxygen concentration inside the container
If the container is not perfectly air tight, the seeds will tend to absorb moisture from the external air and will eventually level out at the relative humidity of the room. This is what we must avoid. So if you if try to do a good thing to increase the life of your marijuana seeds, like store them in a cool place like the refrigerator, you could be doing more damage if your container is not 100% air tight. The relative humidity of your fridge and freezer is very high, and your seeds will eventually absorb all this high humidity if its container is not air tight and made from the right material. The use of inadequate containers spells disaster for cold seed storage.
Choice of containers
Do not use plastic containers for long-term storage. All plastic containers allow moisture inside. The water molecule is small enough to get through the pores of the plastic containers, plastic is for short-term storage only.
Containers that have lids and bodies made of different materials are useless as well. Many glass containers have a plastic top, or glass jars that have a metal lid. All these different materials expand or contract with changes in temperature. This allows humidity to get inside your seed storage container.
Aluminium foil bags are in widespread use in seed banks, but they are inefficient against humidity being absorbed.
Plastic Baggies are not to be used at all!
The most suitable and accessible containers for long-term storage are:
1. Glass jar with a glass lid, often used in kitchens for food and grain storage and easily available. They fasten with a rubber seal, a metallic joint and fastening device (like on a Grolsch Beer Bottle).
2. Glass Chemical Bottles: glass bottles used for lab chemicals, well designed caps, polyethylene seals. Glass bottles of the type used for laboratory chemicals are well constructed. These have well designed caps with very efficient plastic seals. Cap sizes and shapes are generally standardized for bottles of different volumes, so you can find the size that is just right for storing your cannabis seeds.
Generally speaking the storage of cannabis seeds is completed with a moisture content of between 5 and 10%. In this condition the seed can be long-term stored in a cold environment when using the appropriate container.
There is another fairly unknown technique however: Ultra-drying.
Ultra-drying cannabis seeds down to a moisture content of 1-3% has been shown to preserve viability for 40+ years with 98% of the ultra-dried cannabis seeds germinating.
Ultra-Drying provides savings in your electricity bill because you can avoid the use of too low temperatures refrigerators/freezers for cold storage.
Temperature plays an important role in the long-term storage of non-ultra-dried seeds. But if you Ultra-Dried your seeds, then cold storage does not matter now.
But ultra-dried seeds are sensitive to oxygen, so you can’t store them with air (oxygen) in the containers. Before you seal your container of cannabis seeds, you fill it with CO2.
Ultra-Drying is Easy!
Ultra-dry your seeds in the appropriate container with a relative amount of dehydrated silica gel.
Silica gel, SiO2, is a very effective desiccant. It is granular and a highly porous form of silica made synthetically from sodium silicate and, despite its name, silica gel is a solid.
Silica gel is readily available from florists and is widely used in the production of dried flowers. It is also found in Humid countries in the production of packaged foods and sold at retail outlets to control humidity when storing your clothes.
Silica gel can also be purchased that has a coloured moisture level indicator. This is really sweet, because you can check the humidity levels of your seeds in storage, without having to open the container. I really recommend Coloured Silica Gel.
Advantages of Silica Gel
1.It provides a practical method to ultra-dry seed samples.
2. It reaches moisture levels of 2-3%, lower than those obtained by other methods.
3. It keeps these levels indefinitely when employing air-tight containers.
4. It warns over possible anomalies (i.e. moisture intake) in the container – when used in combination with colour indicating silica-gel.
5. You can re-use Silica Gel by simply placing the used silica (silica that already was used and has inside of it, trapped humidity) in a standard oven at 220 degrees Celcius. This will dry out your Silica Gel so it can be used again, just like new. A real cost-saver!
6. It further delays ageing by absorbing toxic gases such as Ethylene produced during the aging process.
Preparation of storage containers
1. Since long-term preservation is our intention, it is wise to place a label inside the container so it can be viewed from the outside. Any external label is likely to be lost over time.
2. The container is filled to with silica gel to a weight ratio equal to that of the seed content.
3. A layer of Cotton wool is placed over the Silica gel to create a physical boundary between the Silica gel and the seeds. This boundary material should be dry.
4. Add pre-dried seeds
5. Before moving on to the next step, it is advisable to seal the container and wait for 15-20 days. If the seed is not properly dry, this will be shown in the indicating Silica gel and simply changing this gel could be enough to take the sample to the desired moisture balance.
6. Before sealing for long term storage, ideally the container should be filled with C02 to expel the oxygen within. A container can be placed unsealed for 24 hours within a box which is filled with CO2. Any other inert gas could do the job but CO2 being heavier than air may be managed more easily. Cylinders with dry CO2 are easily obtained from the market.
There are various DIY CO2 generation methods (eg. baking soda + vinegar) that you could use for smaller production and cost savings.