You’ve heard of cannabis strains like “Chuck Norris” and “Peanut Butter Breath” and, of course, “Pineapple Express.” But have you ever wondered how they are made?
The process of making a cannabis strain is actually not as difficult as it sounds. Private growers are making cannabis strains all the time, and some of them have even gained a seed of fame doing so.
Hybrid strains are created by mixing the two predominant types of cannabis strains, cannabis Sativa and cannabis Indica, together in various ways. In the same way that designer dogs are popping up all over the country (think Poovanese and Cava-Tzu), designer strains are novel, relatively easy to create, and often lucrative. Perhaps most importantly, whipping up a signature strain automatically gives you bragging rights.
With the expertise required for the field, you might be able to breed your own strain, or replicate various hybrid strains already in existence. Here’s how:
1. Learn about cannabis reproduction
Cannabis is one of a small percentage of plants that are dioecious, meaning that they naturally flower into either male or female plants. This makes them much easier to cross-breed.
The biggest risk is hermaphroditism, which a cannabis plant can develop at any time. It’s a response to stress, though, so keeping the plants undisturbed and in healthy conditions should prevent this.
Also, keep in mind that male and female traits don’t show equally. While males often contribute more obvious traits, most plants will predominantly take after their mother.
2. Read up on cannabis strains
To create a new strain of cannabis, you’ll need to figure out what you want out of your strain, and whether something like it already exists. If it doesn’t exist, you’ll need to think about which strains might combine to create it.
Consider whether your strain is supposed to be medical or recreational. If you’re growing cannabis to help with anxiety, for instance, you’ll want to look into strains with a reputation for treating anxiety.
3. Get your plants a room
Cross-breeding cannabis is not as difficult as it sounds. But contrary to what you might imagine, you’ll need one male plant and any number of female plants. Marijuana reproduces via pollen spores, so one male plant can fertilize multiple females, in some cases hundreds.
Once you have your plants in place, think about how involved you want to be in this process to decide the best way to breed. For beginners, the simplest solution is to put the plants together in the same grow room, keep them isolated from outside elements, and wait.
While there are several cannabis breeding techniques to help more plants sprout and more cannabis to be created, we don’t recommend them if you’re just experimenting or haven’t figured out if the strain is likely to sell yet.
Now that you have the basic tools to create your perfect cannabis strain, all you need do is go out and try. And remember, if at first you don’t succeed, breed, breed again. Try different hybrid strains of various Sativa to Indica ratios to find out what you like. Or, if you use cannabis for medicinal purposes, consult a cannabis physician on which strains might work best for you.