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Pioneering ‘Cannabis Blueprint’ Project to Grow Cannabis From Seed to Harvest

What does the perfect cannabis plant look like? We have seen a few at Paradise over the years which have looked pretty darn good up close!! A new medical cannabis cultivation project seeks to answer that question, looking at how to grow cannabis from seed to harvest.

Paradise Seeds is one of the partners involved in a five year project, which is based in the Netherlands, which seeks to develop a ‘blueprint’ for growing medical grade cannabis. The project is led by Delphy, which provides consultation around the world to traditional crop growers.

How to grow cannabis from seed is the first step in finding a blueprint

This month, the Medical Cannabis Platform for Innovation and Research (MCPIR) starts work as it begins to grow cannabis in a purpose built research facility in order to research the most efficient and effective way to grow medical cannabis. It intends to do this by studying the plant at every stage of its growth , from how to grow cannabis from seed in the best way all the way up to how it is harvested and extracted. 

Medical Cannabis Platform for Information and Research logo

Over the next five years Delphy will conduct 35 trials focusing on each stage of the cannabis cultivation process and the many variables involved, such as the use of C0², temperature and climate control, lighting and fertilization.

As this project begins with the question of how to grow cannabis from seed first, and then to clone selected phenotypes, Delphy turned to Paradise Seeds to provide the genetics and provide the knowledge which comes from 30 years of breeding.  

Medical Cannabis Platform for Innovation and Research Partners

Delphy was first established early last century by the Dutch government. At that time there was fear about food security (an issue which is actually back in focus now) and Delphy’s role was to work out how to optimize arable crops to make sure the population remained well fed.

Fast forward 100 years and Delphy is now an independent company, providing consultancy in the agricultural sector across the world and advising growers how to optimize crops, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and fruits.

It has been working with commercial cannabis producers, in countries where cultivation is legal, for the past 11 years, researching ways to grow it more efficiently. 

Looking for the perfect cannabis plant
Searching for the cannabis plant at the MCPIR facility.

Other founding partners in the MCPIR project, alongside Delphy and Paradise Products, are:

  • Mills, the award winning Dutch nutrient manufacturer which has been innovating for over 20 years. 
  • Philips, a global leader in horticultural lighting, which has brought its expertise to cannabis crops in recent years.
  • Priva, an expert in the field of climate control, energy efficiency and water reuse technology.
  • Koppert, a pioneer in sustainable growing methods and a supplier of integrated natural solutions.

Growing cannabis knowledge 

Delphy’s consultancy and education manager, Jeroen Buren, says, ”If you think about the tomato plant, we have over 100 years of researching how best to grow it, so our knowledge about how to achieve this is around 95%. 

With growing cannabis, that knowledge is perhaps 70%. From our research into cannabis so far we have a number of questions and theories about how to optimize this crop and that’s why we want to test them out with this project.”

One of the reasons why cannabis is so different from any other crop is because it has spent most of the past 100 years being grown under the veil of secrecy. Government prohibition in almost every country, and the atmosphere surrounding the global The War on Drugs, meant that growing cannabis was an underground activity. 

However, is there anything we don’t know about how to grow cannabis from seed in the most efficient way? As cannabis is increasingly seen as just another agricultural crop science is plugging the gaps in growing knowledge.

Paradise Seeds has been providing genetics to licensed producers since 2011 – first in Canada – and has seen the progression towards more professional cultivation in countries and regions where legalization has already taken place.

How will the MCPIR find a cannabis blueprint?

Many of us think we know how to grow cannabis from seed and cultivate a perfect plant, but where does our knowledge come from?

The internet is a source for answering most growing questions and that knowledge has been accumulated over time by many master growers, but often through trial and error in their own grows, or by tapping into the collective growers’ knowledge base.

Therefore, theories and practices will be tested at each stage of the growing process in the MCPIR setup, which includes two climate cells (1 test room & 1 control room).

How to grow cannabis from seed MCPIR climate chambers
Preparing the purpose built climate chambers at the MCPIR facility.

As Jeroen says, “It starts with how to grow cannabis from seed, with Paradise Seeds genetics, and ends with trimming and extraction. Each stage of the process will be monitored and tested. The aim is that after five years we will have a blueprint for the best cannabis cultivation practice.”

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