When you’re trying to find a strain that’s right for you, you’ll notice that new strains are popping up all the time. One can wonder, just how exactly are new weed strains made? While organic strains are often discovered, brand new weed strains are often referred to as hybrid strains.
The process involves taking a male and female plant and combining the genetic compounds to create a brand-new strain of weed.
Why Do People Crossbreed Strains?
The number one reason people like to cross-breed plants and strains is that they can purify the effects and strengthen the compounds that give you the psychoactive effects. There are a few different reasons that people cross-breed.
#1 – Potency
Creating a more potent strain of marijuana can give people a better euphoric feeling and can make that euphoric feeling last even longer.
#2 – The Aroma
Certain strains give off a certain aroma or a certain scent. If you cross-breed strains, you can enhance that aroma and if you over-do it, some strains can have a super strong scent that some people may not like. You have to be careful when trying to enhance the aroma of a certain strain because it can come out too strong.
#3 – The Yield
One thing people have discovered is that when they cross-breed, they can increase the overall yield that a plant produces. The more yield, the more product you have but you have to be careful with your yield because there are pretty strict laws in some states regarding how much product you can grow in your household.
The Different Hybrid Strains
There are four different types of strains available.
Indica X Sativa is an Indica dominant strain but there will be genetics present from both strains. Then, there’s the Sativa X Indica strain. While the Sativa X Indica strain has characteristics from both Indica and Sativa, it’s more dominant on the Sativa side. It’s the exact opposite of the Indica X Sativa strain.
Then, there’s the Indica X Indica strain, which is just two different Indica strains that are mixed together. Finally, there’s the Sativa X Sativa strain, which is simply just two Sativa strains that have been mixed together.
Indica & Sativa
There are some subtle and noticeable differences between Indica and Sativa. Indica is generally known to be short and their leaves stick out a bit more. People who use Indica plants to create a high feeling describe it as being heavy or being in a deeper and more relaxed state. Sativa, on the other hand, grows a lot taller and the high you get from Sativa plants is more of a celebration or more of an upper.
Breeding New Strains
Plants can be male or they can be female but if you’re breeding, you’re primarily going to be concerned with the female plant. The female plant is the bread and butter of the new strain you’re trying to create. Unlike male plants, female plants are plants that produce sticky buds. These are the essential compound of the strain that makes the new strain work. However, this doesn’t mean that the male plants are completely useless because the male plants are needed for pollination. How do you determine a male plant from a female plant?
To the untrained eye, this can almost seem impossible. After all, both the male and female look the exact same, so how exactly do you determine what a male and female are? All you have to do is look at the buds. You need to look at the nodes. A node is a connection or corner on where a branch grows out from the main stem or stalk.
There are tiny pre-flowers on the nodes of these plants and you will notice that some plants will have tiny hairs growing outward from the pre-flower and some of them will appear to be taking the shape of a round ball. The males will produce round balls on the nodes while the females will start growing hair outward.
However, there’s something that can actually cause cannabis plants to become hermaphrodites as well. This is when a plant has both male and female characteristics without actually being considered one or the other. This, however, is not a natural process and usually happens as the result of over-growing or stressing the plant out to the point of genetic confusion.
When a plant is badly damaged, the weather or growing area is poorly kept or even certain diseases can cause gender confusion in a plant.
To put the breeding process simply, you need to have one plant (the male), pollinate the female plant. Once the female is properly pollinated or a decent way to say pregnant in the plant world, the female will begin to produce seeds that contain certain genetic compounds from the male plant.
At the same time, the female’s genetics will be kept as well. It sort of works like humans. When humans reproduce, they generally produce an offspring that’s much like the father and the mother.
Breeding A New Strain is Rigorous
One of the key things about breeding a brand-new strain is that it’s a rigorous process and it takes many generations to get the strain you’re looking for. The potency has to be altered with different breeds and a lot of testing has to be done before you get the desired results.
Every cannabis plant will have its own distinct genetics and things that make them unique. Therefore, some people will have to try dozens of times if not more to finally get the genetic effects they’re looking for.
Some growers will then take this a step further and then inbreed the strain. Unlike in the animal kingdom and with humans, inbreeding actually helps strengthen the certain aromas, effects and the strain in general.
This is also known as backcrossing to growers and it’s a very involved process that doesn’t always produce the most desirable results. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of different strain testing.