KZ Power Plant Has Higher THC Levels than Durban Poison
South Africa’s most potent landrace is probably the KwaZulu Power Plant. That’s the view of international cannabis seed supplier and pheno-hunter Jordyn Murcia, who told Cannabiz Africa in an exclusive interview on 4 October 2021 that the KZ Power Plant had natural levels of THC were around 18%, higher than Durban Poison which had THC levels of up to 16%.
He said local landraces usually had levels of between 12 and 16% but this could be raised by cross-breeding. He said he’d come across Durban Poison that had levels of over 20% of THC.
SA probably has 5 – 7 main landrace strains
He said there were probably about five to seven main southern African landraces, including, Swazi Gold, Rooibaard, Pondo Gold, Durban Poison and the KwaZulu Power Plant. “It can get complicated because they have all cross bred to some extent and in Swaziland for instance, there are three different regional phenotypes”
Murcia said local sativa landraces were resilient and adaptable and not as susceptible to cross-contamination by foreign strains as previously thought.
“We don’t like it when guys come in here and plant foreign strains. You don’t want your sativas turning into indicas, but over time we’ve noticed that the local landraces kick back and become dominant again”.
Mercia said even when indica varieties were planted outdoors in South Africa they would not dominate sativa in the wild. He warned, however, that low-THC hemp varietals should not be planted close to high-THC cannabis fields as cross-pollination would affect each negatively.
Cannabis reform way to slow from a seed-perspective
In a submission to Parliament last month, Murcia said that South African genetics needed to be urgently protected or the country would lose out on valuable intellectual property. He told Cannabiz Africa that from a seed perspective, cannabis reform was going “things are going w-a-a-y too slow”.
He said government departments did not appear to be communicating with each other and this was holding up legalisation.
The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill was absurd he said: “You’re allowed to grow your own at home but you’re not allowed to buy seeds. What are you supposed to do, go looking around in the wild for plants?”
Murcia’s company, Greensmokeroom.com is based in Gauteng but uses a European platform to supply cannabis seeds around the world. He has licensed cannabis business in California which he has turned into an “African seedbank”.
Murcier welcomed the news that the Agricultural Research Council is starting to collect data on the country’s landraces with a view to protecting them.
He says there is no international registration process yet for cannabis genetics, but “our worry is that there are private companies putting their own protocols into place and they could claim our IP”.
He said there were informal genetic banks, which were “basically a third party who holds your genetics or tissue culture and then issues you with what’s called an ‘Orange Certificate’ verifying the intellectual property is yours”