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svalbard global seed vault is there weed seeds

Common Wheat. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Any genebank in the world may utilize the vault so long as they sign on to the general principles set up by the Norwegian government. The process works like this:

The main types of seeds in the vault

The withdrawal involved dozens of species including multiple varieties of wheat, peas, and clover. To date, 25 million seeds from 53 different species have been re-deposited.

Table of Contents

Relative number of seeds in the vault by country. Darker represents more.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has already proved its use. During Syria’s civil war in 2015, a unique type of grain was lost in the destruction of Aleppo. However, this grain had already been deposited into the vault so researchers were able to obtain duplicates.

The average temperature inside the seed vaults are -18 Celsius. The seed samples are sealed in foil packets and are then placed into a sealed box before sitting on a designated shelf. This method keeps the seeds viable for decades, centuries and in some cases thousands of years. If the electric supply ever ran into any issues the permafrost and naturally cold temperatures of Svalbard will help keep the seeds viable. Learn more about how to store seeds here.

No many people like to think about what a nuclear fallout or natural catastrophic event would bring about. However, for some people it is their full time job. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has been dubbed both ‘The Doomsday Vault’ and ‘Noah’s Ark’. It is a man-made tunnel located in the frozen Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, around 812 miles (1,306.79 km) away from the North Pole.

Why is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault needed?

There are actually more weed seeds in the global vault than blueberries, raspberries and asparagus. Another interesting fact is that over 500 of these cannabis seeds are from North Korea!

The vault was designed to withstand any type of catastrophic event. The tunnel was dug 120 meters into a sandstone mountain and features 1 meter thick walls constructed from steel reinforced concrete. The tunnel features not just one, but two blast-proof doors. The estimated construction cost for building this seed bank is $5 Million and was funded by the Norwegian government. But the costs do not stop there. Every year the “Food and Agricultural Organization’s Global Crop Diversity Trust” forks out $125,000 to keep it running!

Three organizations have deposited over 20,000 cannabis seeds through 39 separate deposits into the vault. So you can rest assured that a post apocalyptic world will potentially have plenty of high grade marijuana. All of a sudden the future doesn’t sound quite so bad, right? The three companies to thank are ‘Nordic Genetic Resource Center’, ‘Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics’ and ‘Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety’.

These 20,000 marijuana seeds come from at least 17 different countries, but we are unable to identify what exact strains are being stored. But we do know that both high THC and high CBD varieties are tucked away safely in the vault.