Pure Breed or Hybrid
New strains of cannabis are developed to have specific characteristics and produce the different effects that cannabis smokers enjoy the most. Of course all smokers, as with anything, are different and have different favourite types of ‘highs’ hence why so many different varieties of strains of cannabis have been created. Different strains of cannabis are either pure breed strains or hybrid strains. Some might consider their favourite strains of cannabis the strains with the highest cannabinoid content. The higher the cannabinoid content the more of an effect the smoke has on the user. Two main active cannabinoids in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD). The strength and pleasurable effects of a new strain of cannabis are usually measured by the amounts of these cannaboids in the plant.
Cannabis Sativa plants are usually the tallest cannabis plants, growing as high as 4.5 metres. Cannabis sativa has a higher level of THC compared to CBD. The cannabis Sativa plant is preferred by outdoor cannabis growers as it grows much higher and can produce more flowering cannabis as a result.
Cannabis Indica plants are usually much shorter and bushier than Sativa plants. These These plants are usually preferred by indoor growers, mostly because they don’t grow as high as the Sativa plants and as such are more discrete and don’t need as much space to grow. Cannabis Indica has a higher level of CBD compared to THC giving a different effect than the cannabis sativa smoke.
The third species of cannabis is Cannabis Ruderalis. This species differs from the other two species in that it is a much shorter plant and it grows flowers no matter what age the plant and no matter the photoperiod. This third form of cannabis does not produce much THC and so is usually not the favourite of many smokers, but can be the favourite for some medical uses as it has a larger CBD to THC ratio which can be helping in treating disorders such as insomnia.
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So how does a breeder create new strains?
New strains of cannabis can be created by anyone – experienced breeders or amateurs. However when the amateur breeder creates a new strain it is usually less stable than that created by experienced breeders. The way in which a new strain is created can be simplified by saying that a breeder takes a male plant of one variety and breeds it with a female plant of another variety. An amateur breeder would then have a new strain that may produce the effect that he is looking for, but an experienced breeder will repeat the process of cross breeding until he has a stable version of the new strain that he can then name and distribute. It is quite complicated to create a new strain of cannabis, but once the process is understood it can be done by almost any amateur breeder. It is the job of the experienced breeder however to create stable versions of new strains that can then be named and marketing for consumption by the millions of cannabis smokers all over the world.
For more info see Cannabis Seeds and Basic Breeding