Eleanor Kuntz PhD Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis

Current State of Cannabis Genetics
Healing Power of Cannabis
with Eleanor Kuntz, PhD
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“If we cared as much about other medicinal plants as we do about cannabis we would all—not just humans but also our plant allies—be in a better place. That’s the core message for me with cannabis.” – Eleanor Kuntz, Ph.D.

Geneticist, Entrepreneur, Cannabis Advocate, Plantswoman
January 30, 1980 (38)

Eleanor Kuntz, PhD, has a B.A. degree in Biology with a focus in Botany from Smith College and a PhD in Genetics from the University of Georgia. Eleanor’s academic work focused on population diversity, gene flow, along with the evolutionary history and current genetic exchange between wild and cultivated plants. She has spent her post-graduate career working with plant genetics to design and implement Best Agricultural Practices for improving medicinal qualities, and implementing responsible raw ingredient choices to mitigate supply chain risk for natural product companies. She continues to do volunteer work with the US Forest Service researching plant population demographics and dispersal dynamics for use in developing guidelines for sustainable wild collection and permitting regulations in southeastern native plant populations. Devoted to honoring the benefits of plant based medicine, she is also a trained herbalist. As a graduate of the Sage Mountain School of Herbal Studies she studied under the mentorship of Rosemary Gladstar.

An entrepreneur bridging the gap between traditional herbalism and modern science, Eleanor has recently merged her two plant passions together by cofounding LeafWorks, a botanical verification company using genetics to improve medicinal quality, sustainability and transparency in the supply chain for the best possible plant experience. She is also Co-Founder of Canndor, the Peoples’ Herbarium. Canndor is the first herbarium committed to documenting and preserving Cannabis cultivars and varietals along with the collective knowledge gained through community engagement. Eleanor is committed to enhancing our connection to the wild world around us, and deepening our understanding of the relationship between plant, ecosystem and planet.

“Cannabis is in such a special position, because she intersects in so many different ways within our lives, both as individuals lives and as a society. She transects everything from health (as a powerful medicine) to political engagement, prompting discussions in diverse communities around social justice and how we move forward in mindful ways.” – Eleanor Kuntz, Ph.D.

“If we cared as much about other medicinal plants as we do about cannabis we would all—not just humans but also our plant allies—be in a better place. That’s the core message for me with cannabis.” – Eleanor Kuntz, Ph.D.

Canndor Herbarium: Why & How of Herbarium Establishment

Historic and modern uses of herbarium resources and how the Cannabis community can benefit from the establishment of such a resource. One of the major jobs an herbarium is to define “type specimens” and establish consistency of naming. The importance of name consistency and cultivar standard creation is a primary topic due to its critical function in setting standards that other types of medical and botanical research can rest. On the medical side, this allows for a deeper understanding of medicinal use and allows medical practitioners to deepen their understanding of how variation in plant material (and its underlying chemistry) affect positive or negative prognosis. On the botanical/farming side, the herbarium aids in appellations establishment and the development of best agricultural practices for the industry. And perhaps most fundamentally, the herbarium is one way to help contribute to the conservation and cataloguing of the immense amount of diversity seen across this group of plants.

Current State of Cannabis Genetics

How much do we know relative to other crops and medicinal plants? This talk strives to outline why we should care about the current state of genetics, and what is going on in the genetics community. A summary of what we know so far and what is on the horizon. Looking at the big picture with highlights of specific research.

September 2018