Although globalization is relentless, there is a way to preserve these incredible local cultivars before it is too late. The answer is: “Open Pollination”.
Even if it is possible to store seeds for up to 10 years, viability inevitably decreases after a while. That is why to preserve landraces, it is paramount to refresh the seed stocks at least every couple of years.
An open-pollination is, as the name suggests, letting male plants freely pollinate female plants through naturally occurring means.
Usually, in the cannabis world, breeders only use one male to pollinate a female plant.
In order to preserve landraces, it’s important to use a large number of male plants so as to preserve genetic diversity. If we only use a small number of plants, the gene pool becomes narrower and narrower with each generation. Although it would make the strain more genetically stable, we would lose some of that precious genetic diversity.
The more plants a grower uses for the open-pollination the more the genetic diversity of a strain can be preserved.