Challenges and potentials of new breeding techniques in Cannabis sativa

Christina Rønn Ingvardsen*, Henrik Brinch-Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Cannabis sativa L. is an ancient crop used for fiber and seed production and not least for its content of cannabinoids used for medicine and as an intoxicant drug. Due to the psychedelic effect of one of the compounds, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), many countries had regulations or bands on Cannabis growing, also as fiber or seed crop. Recently, as many of these regulations are getting less tight, the interest for the many uses of this crop is increasing. Cannabis is dioecious and highly heterogenic, making traditional breeding costly and time consuming. Further, it might be difficult to introduce new traits without changing the cannabinoid profile. Genome editing using new breeding techniques might solve these problems. The successful use of genome editing requires sequence information on suitable target genes, a genome editing tool to be introduced into plant tissue and the ability to regenerate plants from transformed cells. This review summarizes the current status of Cannabis breeding, uncovers potentials and challenges of Cannabis in an era of new breeding techniques and finally suggests future focus areas that may help to improve our overall understanding of Cannabis and realize the potentials of the plant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1154332
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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