Whether you enjoy recreational use of cannabis or you need it for medicinal purposes, growing your own cannabis strains is a good idea. Given that there are hundreds of cannabis strains with different properties such as aroma, color, etc, you can combine them to breed your own unique cannabis strain.
You do not have to be a professional grower in order to successfully breed cannabis strains. All it takes is knowing the basics about marijuana genetics as well as a thing or two about plant cultivation.
Here is a basic overview of the process:Cover image by greencultured.co
If you are an amateur grower, you may not be aware that there are many varieties of the cannabis plant. But if you are a regular user, then you must have noticed that not all cannabis strains are the same or produce the same effects. They differ in both taste and smell, as well as the feeling of high they produce.
A lot of it depends on the environment and the conditions that plant was grown in. The plant’s genetics changes depending on the part of the world where it’s grown. It depends on the type of soil, the time of harvest, the amount of light the plant gets, and many other factors.
When it comes to types of cannabis strains, there are pure and hybrid varieties. Pure strains include Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Combinations of these three strains produce the hybrid varieties we know and love, and there can be an almost indefinite number of such combinations.
Pure Cannabis Strains
Here’s what you need to know about the pure types of cannabis:
It is the most common type of strain characterized by its sharp smell. Sativa originated in warm countries such as Thailand, Mexico, and Colombia. This particular type of strain is known to boost creativity which is why many artists use it. Some of its effects are reduced nausea, increased focus, pain relief, muscle relaxation, etc.
Unlike Sativa, Indica originated in the countries of the subcontinent such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, and its plants are significantly shorter. This makes it perfect for growing indoors. Indica usually contains a higher level of THC as well as CBD. Indica has plenty of similar effects like Sativa and it can be used to help with anxiety, nausea, appetite, insomnia, etc.
The least known type of cannabis strain, Ruderalis is known for its ability to grow in harsh environments. Because of that, it was considered to be a wild breed of marijuana until the autoflowering traits began to be used by growers began mixing it with other pure breeds indoors. It is found in parts of Asia, Europe, and Russia and it can reach 1 to 2.5 feet in height.
Hybrid Cannabis Strains
When you combine any of the above varieties, you can grow cannabis strains with encompassing may of the best traits. Recreational users generally prefer the combination of Sativa and Indica because they have better taste, aroma, and effects when compared to Ruderalis.
One of the hybrid varieties is the Inbreed Line, achieved by inbreeding in order to preserve a certain characteristic of the strain. Others are F1, F2, F3, and synthetic varieties.
Breeding Your Own Strains
Both male and female plants are important for the breeding process because you need one of each. If the strains are not different, then the result will not be creating a new strain but rather copying one.
The female plant needs to be fertilized. The pollinated female plant will grow seeds that contain the features of both the male and female plant, and you will then grow them separately to get your own unique cannabis strain.
Once you chose the male and female plant you want, you need to place them in an enclosed environment to grow pollen. The male plant will typically grow pollen within a couple of weeks.
Once the male plant produces pollen, it will release and move through the air. Finally, it will end up on the female plant and thus pollinate it.
Note: if you want to speed the process up, you can actually collect the pollen from the male plant and shake it over the female plant. The female plant will then flower and produce seeds which contain the features of both plants. You will harvest the seeds when they are mature after which you need to germinate them.
And that’s it, you have successfully grown your own cannabis strain.
Tips for Breeding Marijuana Strains
It is recommended that you take notes and record everything along the breeding process. Keep track of which plants you combined to breed your hybrid cannabis strain, as well as how long it takes them to get to the flowering stage, etc.
Once the female plant is pollinated, it is important that you care for it properly. That means making sure that the plant receives enough nutrients.