How to Create Your Own Cannabis Strain
In a world where there are over 700 cannabis strains, each with unique properties, effects, aromas, flavors, and characteristics, it has become easier than ever to find a strain that suits your preferences and needs.
But the best part is that it doesn’t end there. Anyone can create their very own cannabis strain! Whether you’re an amateur or a professional grower, you can create a brand new strain and name it. If you’ve always wondered how new strains are made, it all starts by breeding the male plant of a strain with a female plant of another.
Creating Stable Strains
It may take some time to get the exact results that you want, because you’ll need to repeat cross breeding until you have a stabilized version of your new strain; one that the world has never seen before. A stabilized strain is one wherein all its seeds display the exact same phenotype, and grow the same way. Stabilization is achieved through careful breeding to make sure that all seeds will carry only the genes for the phenotype you are looking for.
On the other hand, unstablized strains display over a single phenotype, and in some cases they have the characteristics of several phenotypes. This means that you can have two cannabis plants of the exact same strain, yet they have varying looks and grow differently from each other. Genes, and most especially the environment, play an important role in determining how stable (or not) your plants will grow.
It will require patients and a good understanding of plant genetics and basic botany to get there, but creating your own cannabis strain is one of the most rewarding jobs in cultivation – whether professionally or recreationally.
Step By Step Process Of Breeding New Cannabis Strains
If you’ve done your homework on plant genetics and botany, here’s what you need to know about the steps involved in growing your own cannabis strains.
- Choose a male and female plant: Make sure that you’re well versed in identifying male and female plants. The male plants are responsible for producing the pollen sacs, while the female plants give you the pistils.
- Separate male plants from females: Once you know which strains you want to cross creed, it’s time for you to plant several seeds from each of them. When a grower cultivates weed, they are only usually looking for female parts. But it’s different when you are breeding plants because some need to be male and others female in order for it to work. The males should especially be separated from females when the small pollen sacs start appearing, which are the male pre-flowers. Absolutely no pollen from the male plants should reach the females because this is a process you should be doing yourself as a grower. Otherwise, you’ll come up with seeds that display characteristics of genetics that you aren’t familiar with.
- Collect pollen from your male plants: Once the pollen sacs of your male plants have been well-developed, it’s time to collect them. An efficient trick to help you collect the pollen is to use a zip lock bag carefully wrapped around the stem. Gently shake your plant and it will release pollen into the zip lock bag. If you don’t plan to use the pollen immediately, save it in a zip lock bag and store it away in the freezer. However, keep in mind that fresh pollen is always best. Most growers know to throw away pollen after keeping them for a month maximum.
- Pollinate your females: Once the female cannabis plants have developed white pistils, this means that they are ready to be pollinated. There may still be some buds forming at this time, although the hairs or pistils will be white. To avoid making the mistake of pollinating the wrong plant, keep your other plants separated from the female plant. If you have any fans on, turn them off. Get the zip lock bag with pollen, place it over one stem which has several buds in development. Seal the bag at the base so that no pollen gets out. Then gently, slowly shake and rotate the bag to fill the buds with pollen. Leave the bag on for around two hours, and then repeat the process. This time, wait for two hours before removing the bag.
- Take care of your pregnant mother plants: Mother plants should be cared for well by giving them nutrients especially nitrogen. Most nutrient formulas in the market are sufficient but pregnant mother plants will need more nitrogen. It’s also advisable to use a vegetative nutrient schedule when seeds are being formed, which occurs a few weeks following pollination.
- Plant your seeds: Once you’ve gotten your seeds, germinate them and observe their growth. Keep a journal to take note of how your plants and buds are growing, how long it takes to reach the flowering stage, and any other relevant notes. Once you get to sample your creation, take note of how it smells and tastes like, and how strong it is. It is recommended to keep one clone of each plant so that in case you find the perfect strain you’re looking for, you can always use it for breeding in the future.
Keep in mind that to be a successful grower and breeder, it’s important to always take and keep records of everything. It will allow you to keep track of which plants you bred together and their offspring.