How the Dutch Spread Cannabis Around the Globe
9 Jan 2023
The Netherlands is known for its liberal culture. But that’s not the only thing that makes it special. It’s home to some of the best tasting dutch cannabis in the world.
The Dutch have been cultivating cannabis since before they were a country. As well as their rich history as growers has led them to be considered one of the best places to get high on Earth. Here’s how they did it:
The Dutch Experiments with Cannabis in 19th Century
The Dutch have been breeding cannabis for over a century. The first experiments began in the 19th century and were based on artificial selection. In other words, they decide which characteristics were desirable and breed them out. Continuing on until they got the plant they want. They were also the first to crossbreed different strains and create a new subspecies with unique genetic traits.
In addition to being pioneers of modern cannabis breeding. The Dutch are responsible for popularizing internationally known strains like Skunk #1 (which I’m sure you’ve heard of). It was originally developed by Sensi Seeds at their Amsterdam headquarters in 1987. Following than it has since made its way around the world from Amsterdam cafes to dispensaries.
Foundation for Decades of Crossbreeding came out of Amsterdam
The first cannabis seed bank, the Dutch Seed Company (DSE), was created by a team of growers and breeders in Amsterdam during the early 1970s. They began collecting seeds from around the world and storing them in a secure location for future use.
The DSE’s collection grew quickly. At one point having over 1,000 different strains of cannabis with dozens more arriving each month from all over Europe and beyond.
The breeders at DSE were able to grow their strains in greenhouses or underground. Sometimes both, to test out new hybrids they created through crossbreeding between different types of weed.
These new lines were then tested on consumers before being made commercially available. In addition to creating unique new strains of plants. DSE also develop methods for storing marijuana seeds that remain viable for decades without any special care requirements.
The Dutch Seed Bank
The Dutch Passion is a non-profit organization that collects and stores cannabis seeds from around the world. Established in 1987, it’s now located in Amsterdam. Making it one of the only places where you can legally buy cannabis seeds. As well as other plant material including cuttings.
The bank’s mission is simple. To preserve biodiversity by collecting and storing seed samples from all over the world. This includes marijuana strains from everywhere from Afghanistan to Zambia. That would otherwise be lost forever if not for this organization’s efforts. They have more than 200 different types of cannabis plants so far!
The Dutch grow Cannabis in Greenhouses and Underground.
You might be familiar with the idea of a greenhouse, but not its usage or history. The Dutch are known for their expertise in greenhouses. Which they’ve been using for centuries. Greenhouses are a type of enclosed space to grow crops year-round in places where the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor cultivation.
They’re more expensive to build than outdoor growing operations. But their ability to control temperature, humidity and light make them the best for cultivating cannabis. Greenhouses can also grow other plants like tomatoes and peppers—even flowers!
The Dutch use greenhouses because they need a stable environment where they can control conditions. Like temperature and humidity without having to worry about the weather outside affecting their crop. The ideal climate for cannabis cultivation is between 20°C-25°C (68°F-77°F). This allows plants to grow at an optimum rate while also producing high yields of THC per plant. (typically once every 10 weeks).
The Netherlands Cannabis Cultivation.
The Dutch attitude towards cannabis has changed over time, becoming less permissive than it once was. In the past, you could openly purchase cannabis in coffee shops and grow your own plants at home.
However, in recent years the government has cracked down on non-residents growing their own plants. The reason? Some growers have been found to be producing more than they can consume themselves – leading to a black market trade in excess weed!
Nowadays, most growers keep their operations secret from prying eyes and rely on small rooms within larger properties to cultivate their crops away from public view. For example, this Dutch family has built a hidden grow room within a storage shed at the bottom of their garden.
The Dutch Attitude towards Cannabis
As you might expect, the Dutch attitude towards cannabis has changed over time. While it was still very permissive in the early 2000s, it’s become less so as a result of several factors. The most important one is that the Netherlands is now a member of the European Union. They are subject to EU laws on drug trafficking. Therefore they can no longer ignore its own obligations under international law.
The Dutch also have stricter regulations around growing. Selling and using cannabis than they did 30 years ago. For instance, in 2010 the country passes a law banning tourists from purchasing “coffee shops”. (the places where people buy weed) Which was open to anyone who wants some.
Another important factor is that while smoking marijuana. It may have once been seen as rebellious or countercultural in some ways. Today many people see smoking pot as just another form of art or relaxation. Not unlike drinking alcohol or watching TV shows on Netflix all day long!
This shift can be seen clearly by looking at how attitudes toward cannabis have changed since 1980. While 60 percent of Dutch said they smoke marijuana regularly then (compare with 40 percent today). Only 28 percent thought legalization was necessary (compare with 45 percent today).
Cannabis in the Netherlands is Legal
Cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands. But it’s only illegal for commercial use and smoking in public. Dutch citizens can legally grow cannabis at home. But they have to register with the government and keep their plants under a certain size (five plants).
In other words, if you’ve ever been to Amsterdam or read about someone who visit Amsterdam. Chances are you’ve heard stories about how high everyone seems to be there. As that’s because partaking in marijuana culture is one of the country’s most popular attractions.
So there you have it. A brief history of cannabis in the Netherlands. From its use as a medicine to its cultivation for recreational purposes. It’s fascinating to see how all these different strains came into existence. As well as how they spread around the world.
In some cases, this happens without much interference from anyone else. Sometimes it was because people have too by circumstances into doing so. Regardless of how it happens though, this is one plant we can all be grateful for!