There is so much happening in the hemp industry already, you may have stopped wondering what could possibly come next. Those of us in the field though haven’t stopped thinking about it.
What could the future of hemp be? Triploids.
What is a triploid?
Triploids are a unique type of cannabis plant — the parent of both hemp and marijuana — that’s bred into being. Instead of only having two chromosomes, to get male and female plants, a triploid has three.
The extra chromosome serves a very specific purpose. It keeps the plant sterile, which means no seeds. It also can mean higher yields and aromas.
Why are seeds bad?
If there’s one primary enemy for a hemp crop, it’s the seeds. Hemp farmers plant female plants since they’re the ones who produce that beautiful, sticky, aroma-filled flower that houses so much of the good stuff that comes from hemp.
When male plants invade a hemp crop, the female plants shift gears. They stop working toward the flower, and instead begin thinking about seeds. When female plants produce seeds, they’re only good for one thing, making more hemp plants. That means farmers lose the ability to extract those lucrative cannabinoids. The crop is lost.
What’s even more interesting is that, even if you have an entire batch of female seeds, there’s always a chance a male can sneak in. One male plant, undetected in your fields, can do plenty of damage.
The moral, seeds are only good before your plants go into the ground for most hemp farmers.
Triploids keep seeds away
With triploids, you never have to worry about seeds. Since the plants are sterile, they’re never trying to propagate. They’ll only want to flower.
Even tempting them with pollen doesn’t alter the state of the plant. You may see a seed or two, if you blast your crop with an excessive amount of pollen, but that doesn’t often happen naturally. You may end up with a small amount of pollination occurring, but it won’t give you seeds. Your plants will stay safe and on task.
With this safety net in place, you no longer have to worry about a male plant infiltrating your crop. If one does pop up, it’s safe to leave it growing.
Triploids let you vary your crop
Another benefit to having a field full of triploids is your ability to vary the hemp strains in a single crop. Traditionally, there is one strain of hemp per crop. It’s the easiest way to avoid cross-pollination. And, if you’re working with clones, you’ve lowered the risk even more.
Using triploids though eliminates the cross-pollination worry. For that reason, farmers can plant more than one strain at a time. This enables them to hit different segments of the market within a single crop’s yield.
Triploids are better producers
When compared to their diploid siblings, having that third chromosome seems to make hemp plants better producers. We’re talking about between 20-40 percent more production and vigor.
Triploids also often have a higher terpene count, somewhere between 30-50 percent more. Their aromas are often stronger too.
These increases come from the genetic combinations of the plants. Triploids often get the best genes from their parent plants. This leads to results like higher amounts of biomass and plants perfectly created for extracting cannabinoid oils.
Are triploids the future?
They do present a very strong argument for themselves, so maybe triploids are at least part of hemp’s future. No matter what happens, there’s always something new to learn about in the hemp industry. Staying on top of what’s going on is key.
At Arbor Vita8, our seasoned team does just that. We share our knowledge with you to not only keep you in the ‘know’ but to also make sure you’re getting the best returns on your hemp crop. To learn more about what’s new, as well as how to make what’s new work for you, contact us today.