Believe it or not, new weed strains are created every year. What is fascinating is that they are primarily a blend of the effects, flavor, and aroma of two or even more strains into one.
Just like everything else, cannabis also has tastes and trends that constantly change, and the cultivators who breed marijuana create innovative and new breeds to keep the cannabis community interested.
Just as with any plant, breeders possess the power to influence the growth of the plant, thereby affecting the characteristics of the plant to fulfill the needs and desires of its consumers.
But to understand how weed strains are created, let’s go back to the beginning.
Plant Gender 101
Yes, it might seem peculiar, but plants do have genders. Unlike most plants, they can be male or female. However, only the female cannabis plant produces the buds we consume. So, if you want to breed cannabis, the plant has to be a female.
On the other hand, the male cannabis plant grows pollen sacks and when they mature, the pollen sacs open up and release the pollen into the air, which can land on a female cannabis plant. With this, the female is pollinated and the plant’s reproductive cycle is completed.
But this is just the beginning. So, when the female matures, it grows seeds alongside the buds. Similar to humans, the buds consist of the genetics of both male and female plants. Thus, when the seeds mature into a new plant they will carry the characteristics of both parents and that’s how a new cannabis strain is born.
How about hybrid strains?
Since breeding can be natural – the pollen is carried by the wind and reaches a female plant, or artificial, there are many ways to control the breeding process.
So a hybrid weed strain is created when the breeder selects two different plants, one female and one male, let’s say Super Silver Haze and Lemon Skunk as an example, and creates conditions for them to pollinate. And that’s how Super Lemon Haze comes into being. It’s important to remember that even when you cross-breed a cannabis plant, its seeds can produce both male and female plants later on.
In this case, some of the seeds will exhibit the classic characteristics of Lemon Skunk whereas some will resemble Super Silver Haze more, and others will be a balanced mix of the two.
Usually, if a cannabis breeder wants to create a new strain of weed, they will ensure to pollinate several females that will, later on, result in hundreds of different seeds, also known as phenotypes.
Phenotypes are the seeds of the female plant. They are the “offspring” of the two plants. All seeds, or phenotypes, are siblings, and one female plant can produce hundreds of seeds.
Finally, it is essential to realize that all traits the new plants will possess can only be derived from their parent plants. Furthermore, each seed or phenotype will have a unique set of traits inherited from the parent strains.
So, now that you know how strains are created, maybe it’s time to visit one of the finest local coffeeshops in Amsterdam.