Culture & Grow

Jamaican scientist tries to recreate original smoked strain by Bob Marley

Dr. Machel A. Emanuel holds potted cannabis plants in a greenhouse at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. Credit:

The variety used by Bob Marley in the 1970 years is cloned again by a Rasta expert

During the 50 years at 70, Jamaica was well known for his grass with unique characteristics based on its flower, growth, smell, taste and euphoria. A Jamaican scientist of 35 years, Dr. Machel Emanuel, managed to clone the smoked strain by Bob Marley in the 70 years.

The species has been endangered since the prohibition of 1980. One of the unique features of this landrace was its extreme height. As the international war on drugs intensified, ganja farmers realized that the height of the local plants allowed the authorities to easily discover their farms. Over time, this variety has been replaced by shorter, more concealable varieties. In a few years, the local plant had almost disappeared.

In order to revive this unique plant form, Dr. Emanuel spent his last years crossing the Caribbean in search of local varieties of seed in Jamaica's history. His research led him to Guadeloupe, Trinidad and Dominica in search of Rastas living in the countryside and still growing what remains of these plants. Some of these seeds would come from a Rasta man living on a mountain, disconnected from modern civilization for more than 40 years.

In his laboratory at the Biology Department of the University of the West Indies in Kingston, there is a cannabis field on several tens of square meters. The biologist cultivates cannabis since 2001 and moved to Jamaica in 2007 to continue his studies.

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According to his Rastafarian beliefs, Dr. Emanuel wants more equitable conditions for producers in developing countries.

He said that big companies were already fighting for intellectual property rights over indigenous cannabis, but he hoped that these companies would adopt "fair trade" practices in their dealings with small countries. He wants to ensure that the university and the farmers who have saved the seeds receive credit for their foresight and hard work.

The reputation of Jamaica is essentially based on these plants ... The cultivation of these plants could present an economic advantage. They are more resistant and develop more easily.

His research was made by love for horticulture but the scientist has also developed a comprehensive marketing plan. It refers to a "pure" and ancient herb, used by Bob Marley, a seductive presentation for cannabis lovers in countries and regions that have legalized its use.

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Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailers have consumed this landrace, says Dr. Emanuel. The ganja of legends of reggae, would not have been as strong as the modern cannabis, created artificially and which contains higher levels of THC.

Dr. Emanuel believes that the cultivation of this specific breed of origin could open up new economic prospects for Jamaica, which could eventually make the island a destination as famous for its cannabis as France for its champagne.

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Tags : Bob MarleyJamaicaRastaR&DStrain