Hemp hybrids and varieties
Many inexperienced people may think that grower terminology is the same as botany. Indeed, there are many terms that seem complicated and incomprehensible to an unfamiliar person: phenotypes, genotypes, strains, medical marijuana card ny and so on.
In fact, there is nothing particularly complicated about it, and at least the basic terms a grower should definitely know. So, in this article we will deal with the key concepts, which are common among the growers and breeders.
Terms and concepts: the basics
Talking about terminology in the world of cannabis, the first thing to do is to define the term “breeding”. It is a science that deals with methods of creating varieties and hybrids of plants, strains of various microorganisms that have the traits people need. In the definition of breeding itself, the concepts of hybrid, variety, and strain already appear. Therefore, a more detailed consideration is required.
A cannabis variety or marijuana strain is a collection of plants belonging to the same species. Varieties are artificially bred by man to provide them with better qualities than the original varieties. Varieties generally have hereditary traits that are passed on to the new plant from “ancestors” or “parents”. Any variety can also be used to create a new one. There are very few cannabis strains today which are 100% Indica or Sativa. One of the rare representatives of such genes is the famous Power Plant by Dutch Passion which is a pure Sativa with a characteristic energy and a pleasant taste and aroma.
Cannabis hybrid is a plant organism which is obtained by crossing varieties and species which are genetically different from each other. The main challenge in creating a marijuana hybrid is to use the positive characteristics of the parent varieties to produce a different, new trait. When it comes to cannabis, hybrids are obtained by crossing different species. A distinctive feature of working with hybrids is the great freedom of action. Today they combine Sativa and Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis, Indica and Ruderalis. Or all three “components” at once. The percentage ratio in the genetic code can be very different, depending on what result the breeders want to get.
Important information: the properties of hybrids, unfortunately, are more and more lost with each generation. This is why hybrids of the first generation (F1) are most appreciated. These are the purest hybrids. Already in further ones, other characteristics may appear. And they tend to be somewhat worse. Although many of them even in the second, third and later generations have excellent effect and vitality. It all depends on the hybrid itself and the correct care on the part of the grower.
You can also consider the concept of “autoflowers.” This is the result of hybridization, which can significantly reduce the time from seed germination to harvest. Cannabis autoflowers start blooming on their own without the need for photoperiod changes as early as 10-11 weeks later. Perfect for northern regions with short summers.
The cannabis strain is a pure crop with no mixing of several species and the characteristics are fully studied. A strain can be isolated either naturally or by some mutations. Often the concepts of “strain” and “variety” are put under one category. This is not a mistake and it happens in practice. Breeding cannabis strains is often practiced in medicine in order to study the distinctive properties of a particular strain and to use this in further practice.
Phenotype and genotype
These two concepts are also often used by growers and breeders. This is why they cannot be left aside.
The cannabis genotype is the sum total of all the genes in an organism. The genotype is characterized by high stability and immutability. A kind of symbiosis of a number of hereditary characteristics and traits of parent plants, as well as possible mutations. And this is the main difference between genotype and phenotype, since the latter has a high variability and is formed under the influence of genotype.
Phenotype is first and foremost the physical features of the plant, its properties. For example, tall bushes have one phenotype, low bushes have another. Similarly, bushes with large and small cones differ in phenotype.
So, generally speaking, the genotype is a set of genes that are necessarily passed on to the next generations, and the phenotype is their traits and properties (but for each individual).
And perhaps the last term to consider is landrace. It is actually a local variation of cannabis that is maximally adapted to the environmental conditions of a certain geographical area. In the course of adaptation, genetic changes occur in local varieties, in the course of which new hybrid plants emerge. Remarkably, the names of landraces make it easy to identify which region they come from: Afghani cannabis seeds, Sativa Thai or the mighty Hawaiian Snow. Landraces are often used in the creation of new varieties to give them certain characteristics. The percentage of landrace genes is usually small because the finishing variety must also be adapted to growing in other regions.
Is it possible to do without all this terminology and be a good grower? Hardly. All the same, in various articles, descriptions and other sources of information they are actively operated. It means that there should be at least a minimum, elementary understanding. Many growers and breeders go even deeper into the study of these terms, but for the majority of specialists the superficial knowledge is enough.