How to Crossbreed Marijuana to Create a New Strain

how to crossbreed marijuana to create a new strain

With the eventual approval and legalization of marijuana as a medicinal herb, more and more cannabis strains are coming out to offer something new each and every day. Thus, not surprisingly, various new cannabis varieties are now invading the market, appearing in different types and forms. This was made easier today through the process called “crossbreeding.” The simple steps on how to crossbreed marijuana to create a new strain shall be shared later on.

Even though there are already a lot of marijuana strains existing in the market nowadays, creating your own preferred type is still of high interest among cannabis enthusiasts. So, science provided an answer to that a long time ago back when technology is not yet that powerful and weeds are not yet legalized. 

What is Crossbreeding?

For humans, the term “implantation,” “conception,” and “pregnancy” are used to indicate giving birth to a new life, a new baby, for marijuana breeders, it is called crossbreeding. This process has been a breakthrough for most breeders who are growers themselves also of marijuana strains.

Being both a grower and a breeder is a great advantage when performing crossbreeding. Because they get exposed to many different varieties of marijuana almost all the time, growers can tell which strains shall be best to imitate and use as pairs of parent strains to produce another progeny, too. They know exactly what flavors, aroma, and effects a bud can bring without having to try smoking it because they’ve seen them grow lovely each day of its cultivation.

Crossbreeding is a process that involves two different marijuana strains that are used as parents of the newborn. Those two strains’ combined DNAs and their most loved traits are what come out in their offspring and which can be managed in the hands of an expert breeder. As the one to perform the crossing, breeders have the opportunity to decide which strains to use and unite for the kind of high, flavors, and aroma they’d like to have.

In order to know more about the bud, you are to develop, despite not having enough experience in cannabis breeding, learning about its genetics, and the potential effects that may help a bit. The major strains of weeds are indica, sativa, and ruderalis.

Major Types of Weeds: Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis

Genes are a powerful element that causes the offspring to become so much like their parents. It may not be clearly seen from the very first day you were born, but as offspring grow older and more mature, all that its parents possess from root to tip can possibly be imitated. Thus, marijuana breeders are extremely careful on identifying the genes to utilize for a whole new breed to conceive.

The three main strains of marijuana which appear in all cannabis strains people love are what delivers the important sedation for which it instantly became notorious at first and famous later on.

1. Indica Strains

Are mostly known to be short and bushy in a structure that originated mainly from some sub-tropical countries like Pakistan. Strains of this kind love the warm 30 to 50 degrees north and south climates. It is such a very special kind of weed which, upon reaching a certain height that’s ideal for it, automatically diverts all its energy to focus on other more important matters such as in developing more flowers and resins. 

Any cannabis strain with high indica level, too, is characterized with bigger fan-like leaves that catch as much sunlight it can for more photosynthesis to be performed. With such ability also, indica-rich marijuana strains also became faster in terms of flowering than some other sativa varieties. Because it is able to grow in limited space due to its short height and faster maturation, many commercial growers are using it to grow for more money to earn every season.

Apart from such adorable physical traits, smokers then need to know about its various deep-sitting effects. Indica strains are famous for delivering very high CBD content than the psychoactive element, which is THC. Once it’s inside your system, indica’s sedating powers shall be working on your body and mind to deliver some very satisfying effects, including the following:

  • Physical buzz
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-stress and anti-depression
  • Pain-killer
  • Mood-stimulant

2. Sativa Strains

Are higher in number compared to ruderalis and indica strains. They are the most popular as well due to their high THC content that is what most cannabis enthusiasts are after. Compared to the far away from equator origin of indica varieties, sativas come from the equatorial areas in 30/30 degrees north and south of the equator. Being born in such kind of location, sativa-leaning marijuana strains grew as airy and loose. Cultivating some of its various strains requires a longer flower period with an average yield still. Unlike indica-dominant ones, this type of marijuana strain produces finger-like leaves that have a long and spindly characteristic, which served as the image of marijuana in every part of the world.

With its very high THC level, stoners may expect to achieve an extreme flight from smoking this bud. This is one reason why more cannabis smokers are turning to sativa buds, aiming for a wonderful recreational high along with other desirable effects such as the following:

  • Strong cerebral buzz
  • Motivating, focused, uplifting
  • Anti-depressant
  • Appetite-stimulating
  • Inspiring, creative, and alert

3. Ruderalis

Is considered as worthless for breeders to produce in pure form, aside from taking part in some hybrid’s DNAs. It has very low levels of THC and CBD, which could have made it as a celebrity in the cannabis world. One good thing about this marijuana strain is that it offers autoflowering genetics that is maintained even when a bud is crossed with indica and sativa-rich strains. With such genetic makeup, any strain can be allowed to survive and grow in any type of area, both cold and warm, whether it is grown indoors or outdoors. Also, this kind of bud does not really have a direct effect on stoners but only depends on the indica and sativa genes that a bud possesses.

Crossbreeding Versus Backcrossing 

Now that you are all equipped with knowledgeable information regarding the meaning of crossbreeding and some basic facts on how to choose the best parents for your future products, maybe it is now time for you to discover the difference between crossbreeding and another breeding procedure which is called as backcrossing or inbreeding.

If crossbreeding involves the use of two distinct cannabis strains, in backcrossing, what breeders use is one same bud variety that needs stabilization and consistency. Unstabilized marijuana strains refer to those crops o the same genetic origin but do not exhibit all similar phenotypes or traits. That’s not good news.

So, in order to achieve that stability in all of the crops, they will produce, breeders do the process of backcrossing. This process makes use of a plant to cross with one of its parents’ clones or a very close family member of its parents, too. Once done, caring for the progeny shall be the same as the things done for the original parent strains.

How to Crossbreed to Produce New Marijuana Strain

So, if you are really after learning how to crossbreed marijuana to create a new strain, this article is what you need to read. Here’s is a complete guide for beginning breeders to use in this agenda. Check it out to begin crossbreeding soon.

First Step

Choose the desired parents that are male and female. In order to select the best female bud parent, simply grow it normally and observe its bud if it grows fat, then this means it is healthy, too. Keep that plant safely for the process.

Checking on the male’s suitability for the matching is a bit more complicated and difficult. It requires multiple trial and error processes, planting, and crossing with different females just to observe how it will turn out. This is for those who do not want to be wasting time and effort, growing some very unpleasant strains.

After choosing the male and female parents, separate them from the rest of the crops and make sure that no contamination shall happen. Do this during the entire procedure.

Second Step

Collect the pollen from the male sacs with a Ziploc bag when they are ready. See if the female parent already developed the white pistils that indicate it is already ripe and ready for conception.

To begin pollination, place the Ziploc bag over one of the plant’s stem to spread some of its pollens. Shake the bag gently and then remove it after two hours.

Third Step

Nurture the female parent with nutrients and fertilizers. Now that it is ‘pregnant’ with the pollen and is now a ‘mother,’ it shall require some additional nutrients like nitrogen especially. After just a couple of weeks, too, the seeds shall be seen starting to grow. For storage, seeds must only be kept within a cool, dark area and not inside a freezer. That’s a real no-no.

Fourth Step

Plant the seeds that will be collected. Firstly, germinate the seeds and make a record of how it grows. If the result turns out to be successful and you are confident about it, keep clones of the crops that you liked for you to use in your next cultivation activity.

Final Words

In this case, whoever is patient, and hardworking shall reap the best results. The knowledge of how to crossbreed marijuana to create a new strain should no longer be considered hard for growers now. In truth, this process is not as easy as that four steps mentioned and instead takes years and hundreds of seeds before it is perfected. Achieving that ‘ideal’ progeny is really difficult. Whatever results you get, it should still give you a reason to feel proud of yourself that you are able to finish the process without mistakes and had produced a strain that you really wanted.

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About The Author:

James Carico

James Carico

James is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger whose expertise is in the medical marijuana realm. His goal is to break the stigma towards marijuana and share knowledge and information about its brilliant characteristics that offer recreational benefits and boast medical benefits. He is an advocate of marijuana legalization worldwide as he believes everyone should have access to nature’s wonder herb. James enjoys a pot of Super Silver Haze marijuana in his free time as it not only brings him in a good mood but also relieves his body from pain and tension. He writes mainly on medical marijuana’s history, uses and benefits, and cultivation.