Creating your very own first generation hybrid cannabis plant is taking your growing skills to the next level. This is artistry in the area of breeding to bring your creative potential to the cannabis garden. This article is a crash course in plant heredity, and how to begin with creating your very own strain of cannabis.
So you want to create your very own strain of cannabis and play God in your garden! Growing your own strain of weed is far more advanced than growing from seeds you already have, and this is not recommended for people who are only beginner growers. This process is about good breeding, and in order to breed successfully one must first be a good grower. Breeding is also all about your creation – this is an opportunity to make a strain that doesn’t exist already out of your two favourite strains of weed.
So be careful which plants you choose, and pay attention to the traits that they have that you would like to be in your gene pool. This is going to be a beginner’s guide to breeding, but the best advice is to do your research before attempting this so that you don’t go wasting weed. And if you haven’t grown anything before, master the art of growing weed before attempting to breed your own strain.
Cannabis plant reproduction and plant heredity basics
It’s necessary to have some understanding about plant reproduction and plant heredity before going ahead with breeding your own cannabis strain. The first thing to understand about plant reproduction is how it is that traits get passed on from parent plants to the subsequent plant. Each cannabis plant contains ten pairs of chromosomes, each pair being made up of a female gene and a male gene. There are, then, 20 chromosomes in each cannabis plant. These chromosomes are what make up the characteristics of the plant itself, including taste, colour, smell, and potency. Each cell contains two genes, which make up one chromosome for each characteristic.
It is recommended that you familiarise yourself with how heredity works in plants to give yourself a better understanding of how it is that plants attain their characteristics from their parents. It is not essential, as you will soon gain an understanding after experimenting with your mother and father and observing the offspring.
In order to understand how your breeding is going to take place, it is also necessary to understand the difference between the types of breeding. For example, inbreeding creates what is called a pure breed. This kind of plant has quite consistent traits with little variation between the plants. This is because the chromosomes in the plant are consistent. When you are choosing which plants you are going to be outbreeding, make sure you are choosing purebred plants. This ensures that their characteristics are strong and consistent, and this produces less variability in the offspring of your hybrid.
Outbreeding is the process of creating hybrid seeds using two purebred plants. Naturally, the two purebred plants you choose are going to have a different makeup of traits and characteristics, and breeding the two will create a whole new set of characteristics. You will be using the pollen from a male plant to fertilise the seeds of a female plant, and at the point of fertilisation, the seed will take on one characteristic from the male chromosome and one characteristic from the female chromosome. With that seed, you will then plant what will be the hybrid offspring of your very own cannabsi strain.
The trick is going to be obtaining as may seeds as possible to observe all the different characteristic variations that are present in the offspring plants. Then, depending on how many are displaying the desired characteristics, they may be inbred to produce purebred plants of this strain. However, having a large amount of seeds to allow for a large volume of offspring plants gives a greater chance for success than just a few seed selections.
The other important factor in breeding your own cannabis strain is the environmental factor. As with growing any other plant, cannabis requires a stable environment for optimum growth. Once you decide on your growing method, make sure it remains consistent, because plants that have been stressed begin to produce abnormal flowers. So the first rule is to make sure that your environmental situation is consistent throughout the growth period.
Sexual deviation or sexual reversal are the kinds of things that can happen to plants that have been stressed, often causing female flowers with male parts or the other way around. Don’t confuse these for a wonderful new cannabis strain, as what has happened is it has become a hermaphrodite plant. Be wary to keep the environment consistent if it is outdoors, or to maintain the light and dark periods impeccably if you are growing indoors.
How to create a hybrid strain
The process by which you are going to make your own first generation hybrid cannabis plant involves time and requires patience.
Firstly, you will need to choose a male plant with the characteristics that you would like to have in your gene pool. You are going to grow this plant almost to maturity. All the pollen you are going to need from this male plant will be enough coming from one single branch, so strip away all of the other branches to avoid any accidental pollination.
Once the flowers begin to grow, isolate the male from the female ones, and sacks of pollen will begin to form on your plant. Using your favourite way to collect the pollen from plants, do so. It is recommended that you use a paper sack that you can secure with a string or a wire over the branches and leave it there for a few days to collect as much pollen as possible. You can collect the pollen and store it in the freezer and it will stay good for a few months. Any moisture or high temperatures will surely damage your pollen, so store it in the freezer or somewhere cold and dry if you plan to use it later on.
With your female plant, during the fertilisation process, pistils will begin to grow. Three to four weeks after the first pistils have appeared, there will appear more pistils that are fuzzy and white on the outside. Put the bag that you have used to collect the pollen over the branches of the female plant to allow for fertilisation. Secure it over the branch for a few days to ensure that the pistils fertilise. After this is done, it will only be a few weeks before the seed pods of the female plant open and the seeds are ready. Harvest the seeds, and the plant as well if you wish. You can harvest the flowers and allow them to dry before collecting the seeds.
The seeds are ready for planting right away. The more you plant, the more you will be able to choose from the offspring for the desired characteristics that you are looking for. If you manage to find two that contain all the characteristics that you are looking for, you can pure breed them. Having a lot of plants will also allow you to observe all the different kinds of variations that occur as offspring from these two purebred plants that you have used.
This is just a guide for those who have never tried this method before, but by no means is it a complete guide to plant breeding. So, repeat this process as many times as you can with your purebred male and female plants to produce as many offspring as possible. This will allow you to choose the ones with the best characteristics for future breeding, also.