To say that the cannabis industry is booming would be somewhat of an understatement. In 2018, consumer spending in the US market was more than $10 billion. By 2022, spending is expected to hit the $23 billion mark.
With legalisation perpetually taking place across the globe, this presents a very unique opportunity for wholesalers, distributors and dropshippers.
Legal global sales of CBD, for example, a very popular cannabinoid consumed all around the globe for its therapeutic properties – skyrocketed between 2014 and 2018, generating $11 billion during this period. With one in seven US consumers being a CBD user, this cannabinoid alone is just one example of the potential there is for wholesalers, shippers and distributors to embark on a profitable venture.
A Financial Post report from late 2018 revealed that ‘new participants’ are entering the legal Canadian cannabis market in the form of wholesale distributors, packaging and shipping companies, and transportation companies, among others.
Consider the fact that Europe is home to over 740 million people – a population that’s more than double the approximately 360 million people residing in the US and Canada – two of the most major cannabis markets today;
Legal cannabis in sales in the US alone may reach $75 billion by 2030 – and with Europe’s significantly larger population, it’s easy to see why established cannabis companies and wholesale distributors alike are shifting their attention to EU countries as well.
Wholesalers, dropshippers and distributors that manage to secure a major share of the European market, once it opens up and is fully operational, that is, will most likely be among the most major profiteers in this sector.
Suffice it to say, with continued legalisation across the globe, there’s plenty of opportunity for cannabis wholesale and distribution companies to cash in and capitalise on the ongoing buying trends. One of the best products to wholesale and distribute happen to be cannabis seeds.
The biological makeup of a cannabis plant can either be male or female, which is why it is referred to as a dioecious plant.
The cannabis plant’s male and female reproductive organs are contained within separate plants. For example, in order to grow females, they must be placed away from the males, otherwise the males can easily pollinate the females, and adversely affect their ability to produce good quality cannabis.
In order for the flower of the female plant to reproduce, it has to be pollinated by a male plant. And when this happens, the female flower produces seeds. However, whether a female plant self-pollinates or is pollinated by a male, seeds are produced regardless. Once these seeds are mature enough, the plant drops them and they can be used to produce more cannabis plants – or harvested for hemp oil production.
Feminised seeds can be produced by inducing the hermaphrodite or monoecious condition (male and female on the same plant) in the female plant. The seeds produced as a result are almost identical to the self-pollinated female parent because they carry only one set of genes.
This is also referred to as ‘cloning by seed’, which is a way of producing female plants only. This is something which can be achieved by spraying gibberellic acid over the cannabis plant or a colloidal silver solution, or through Rodelisation. Male pollen from the hermaphrodite plant is used to fertilise a female flower. In the end, plants are produced which are either females or hermaphrodites (male and female), but never males only.
It’s quite possible for feminised cannabis strains (when grown under the right conditions) to build tolerance against becoming hermaphrodites. So in other words, the seeds will most definitely grow into female plants – something which can save commercial growers plenty of time and money.
A large amount of feminised seeds will become hermaphrodites, which does produce seeds within the cannabis flowers, but providing a generally lower yield overall. Therefore, for breeding purposes, feminised seeds aren’t ideal. However, on the up side, they are ideal for novice growers who don’t want to deal with the ‘headache’ of quickly eliminating male plants before they have a chance to ruin the entire harvest.
Any learned grower would know that, at times, the light cycle of a marijuana plant must be changed in order for it to successfully transition from a vegetative state to a flowering state. Photoperiod or the length of time a cannabis plant is subjected to light can vary between 16-20 hours each day during the vegetative state.
Most plants will begin flowering when this amount of light is cut down to about 12 hours each day, which actually mimics the sun setting as the season starts to transition to autumn.
Autoflowering seeds, however, are quite distinct. They are based on the Cannabis ruderalis species, which was originally grown in extreme northern conditions where sunlight was scarce. These plants begin flowering once the plant has reached a certain age, irrespective of the amount of light they are exposed to – which is where the term ‘autoflower’ is derived from.
It is quite possible to crossbreed the low-THC ruderalis variety with other more potent varieties, in order to create autoflower strains that have the ability to bloom as soon as they come of age. These are easy to maintain in climates where the summer season is short and relatively cold, and where wet weather arrives much earlier in the autumn season.
Although plants grown from autoflowering seeds do not require a specific lifecycle, they do require a consistent lighting conditions to provide the highest yields – which is why growers typically take advantage of the long summer days to benefit from the highest quality lighting conditions available.
Due to the nature of autoflowering seeds, however, they cannot be kept in a vegetative state.
These type of cannabis seeds have the ability to produce both male and female plants, with one drawback being that the grower has no control over the plants’ sex. This would mean manually differentiating both sexes and possibly getting rid of the male plants so that the female plants’ production does not get affected.
Regular seeds are ideal for outdoor grows as they consistently yield annual plants as a result. For instance, if 10-20 regular cannabis seeds are ordered, it’s difficult to determine how many of those will be male or female. Fortunately, if cultivated under the right circumstances, there’s a good chance that most of the plants will be female.
The effects of THC and CBD – How to choose the right strains for customers
With the basics of cannabis seeds out of the way, it’s also important to know the role THC and CBD play in each strain produced.
The cannabis plant comprises of well over 100 different cannabinoids or chemical compounds which scientists have discovered so far. As research continues towards discovering more of these compounds as well as their effects, two cannabinoids in particular have received most of the limelight in the past few years.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that gives the herb its psychoactive properties. If a seed, strain or cannabis product is high in THC, users will feel the euphoric effects after consuming it – e.g. ‘feeling high’.
Due to the legal limit that is currently allowed in cannabis products, many states in the US have yet to fully legalise cannabis, with employers carrying out regular drug tests to find traces of THC.
Another common cannabinoid often talked about when it comes to medical cannabis use, in particular, is Cannabidiol (CBD). The key distinction between CBD and THC is that the former is not psychoactive – as in, users will not feel high.
CBD is known for its health and therapeutic benefits – with the majority of people taking them for medicinal purposes.
Choosing the right strains for your customers largely depends on their objectives or ‘goals’ for consuming the plant. For example, if someone merely wants to smoke cannabis or consume it in any other form just to find relief from stress and perhaps ‘live a little’ – then a strain with both THC and CBD might suffice.
However, if the main idea is to enjoy a euphoric high or experience something known as ‘couch lock’, then you may be inclined to point your customers towards strains high in THC. With that said, strains that offer THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio may negate the euphoric, high-inducing effects of THC, with the result that users might feel more of a therapeutic relief than the ‘recreational high’ they are after.
For users that are purely in it for the euphoric high, high-THC strains with little to no CBD are best.
Here’s a quick top ten list we’ve put together on the best breeders to stock for wholesale distribution:
Seedsman is one of the top all-around sources of buying cannabis seeds – offering only the best quality genetics from more than 80 breeders worldwide, to be exact.
Barney’s Farm has been a proud winner of multiple Cannabis Cups over the years, offering some of the best tried and tested cannabis genetics available online today.
Offering highly refined autoflowering genetics, among other things, FastBud Seeds has been consistently producing some of the highest quality, award-winning genetics currently known.
Unsurpassed cannabis production experience in feminised cannabis seeds combined with the latest genetics brings the finest quality seeds to consumers in almost every major country across the globe.
Royal Queen Seeds
“RQS” is always at the forefront of the latest cannabis research and development, pushing the envelope with ground-breaking strains that can be easily cultivated by any home grower.
Humboldt Seed Organisation
From feminised and autoflowering cannabis seeds to CBD seeds and fast seeds, Humboldt is a great source for high-quality seeds.
Sweet Seeds offers a massive online catalogue, with several varieties sorted according to year – from 2006 to 2020, all with unique and insightful descriptions to help users buy their favourite strain.
Quite possibly the best selection of Indica and Sativa cannabis seeds on the market, Dinafem’s seeds are well-researched in order to offer consumers a product which is widely appreciated in every way.
Greenhouse Seed Co.
From top-quality feminised cannabis seeds and CBD oil to smoking accessories and clothing, Greenhouse Seed Co. produces top-quality seeds that are free from fungicidal treatment and genetic modification.
A brand that consumers have grown to trust and fondly recommend to other, DNA Genetics offers some of the best quality medical cannabis products currently available.
In addition, we also recommend that you stock the following niche breeders due to not only their unique cannabis genetics but also their winning potential when it comes to selling to other breeders:
Grand Daddy Purple
Best described as a “beautiful, high-THC strain”, Grand Daddy Purple is predominantly an Indica F1 strain ideal for both indoor and outdoor grows, and famous for producing very high THC levels.
A member of The Cannabis Breeders Association, ACE offers one of the most comprehensive range of cannabis strains – from landrace and regular seeds to a broad selection of autoflowering and feminised ones as well.
Real Seed Company
The Real Seed Company is synonymous with landrace cannabis strains – a group of dedicated collectors who focus on the purest, most authentic and diverse types of landrace strains from Asia.
The market for wholesalers, dropshippers and distributors is indeed rife and the time to enter it is now. And when it comes to future trends, CBG is all set to become the next big thing in the world of cannabinoids.
CBG is from the same family of hundreds of pthytocannabinoids, such as CBD, that are known to have therapeutic effects. Therefore, the potential for wholesale and distributions businesses gaining new revenue streams with CBG remains a very high possibility – providing farmers and retailers a better ability to deliver the medical cannabis solutions consumers desire.