Marijuana growing and tendering is undisputedly on the rise. Well, as you check out the various strains available, you could be wondering what hybrid they are. Well, all strains are as a result of plant breeding. Essentially, it involves crossing male and female cannabis plants with different genetics to form a new hybrid or strain.
Why breed? You may ask. Well, cannabis breeders often breed hemp buds to strengthen, purify, combine strain traits and enhance specific characteristics of the breed such as aromas, potency and yield. Before breeding, it is vital to know where the seeds came from, and their specific genetics. This process is very technical and done on a commercial scale.
Basics of Breeding
For starters, cannabis plants are either male or female. Consumers are mostly concerned with female plants for the obvious reason – they produce sticky buds that everyone loves. However, male cannabis are very essential for breeding, as they are essential in pollinating female buds.
A strain like super lemon haze for instance, is a cross between a lemon skunk and super silver haze. Once pollinated the female plant produces seeds that have genes of both male and female plants. The seeds will then be harvested and grown separately – thus the hybrid.
A common question is how do you get to know if it is a male or female you are crossing? Well, in most cannabis, female has more seeds than males. Therefore, if you need some traits from the male, find one that will complement the missing traits of the female.
How Breeding Occurs
After selecting the two parent strains, the male and female plants are put in a chamber to control the spread of pollen. The breeding chamber doesn’t have to be something complicated. You can simply use plastic sheets or specially designed sterile environment for large-scale cannabis breeding.
One male cannabis plant can pollinate several females. Therefore, it is wise to have only one male per group. This also helps in restricting the genes of the selected male plant. Once you have the plants in the breeding chamber, grow them vegetatively for some time. Have them in a flowering light cycle with 12 hours of light alternated by 12 hours of dark. Mature male sacs will grow within the first few weeks of the flowering phase.
Pollen released will move through air and land on female plants pollinating them. This is where the importance of having them in an enclosed space is important. You can as well help with breeding by shaking the male plant or collecting the pollen and applying it directly to the female plant. The female plant grows, develop seeds/buds which express genes of both male and female plants.
Once the seeds are mature, they are harvested and dried. Some bud tenders may opt to offer for buy weed online. The secondary maturation process occurs after the plant has died.
To get high-quality strains, breeding doesn’t end in one round. Backcrossing is when the new strain is cross-pollinated with itself, otherwise known as inbreeding, to make the strain more homozygous and strengthen its desirable genetic characteristics. It also ensures that the genes are passed from one generation to another.
Probably, buy weed online from cannabis distributors California or from a dispensary has undergone months of breeding and inbreeding and tough selection process to find the best phenotype of the strain.
As you can see, marijuana breeding is more of patience and time. To succeed as a breeder, begin by accepting that you can’t get uniformity in the final product. To get the seeds that truly reflect what you anticipate, it takes more time and more than one crossing.