Have you ever thought of how to make a new marijuana strain? Whether you are a cannabis grower, a recreational or medicinal smoker, or both, there are a lot of marijuana strains in the market today to select from. With a lot of hybrids and wonderful characteristics, it is indeed hard to choose a single one with, so we tend to line up a couple of them to compare their taste, aroma, structure, size, growing methods, and effects.
New Strains are Bred Through Five Different Ways
- Crossing – This is the most common breeding technique that we know of. One male and one female with the best traits are pollinated with each other. Phenotypes are also created.
- Inbreeding – This is more of an incest relationship, as it involves crossing the children of the crossed male and female with each other. It is done to stabilize the best characteristics.
- Backcrossing- Once a strain is stabilized, it is crossed back to either of the male or female parent strain.
- Recurrent backcrossing – This is repeated backcrossing using the same strains to eliminate undesirable traits.
- Self-crossing – It is the process of pollinating a plant with itself to retain its best traits while stabilizing it at the same time.
There might be times that we like a strain’s taste and aroma, but not the effects, or we might like the recreational and medicinal effects, but the plant’s height is too much for our available growing area. Wouldn’t it be nice to customize a strain that exactly fits what we were looking for? In fact, you can actually create your own. Below are factors to be considered and tips on how to make a new marijuana strain in the comforts of your own home.
Choose Which Strains will be Used to Create Your New Strain
You should think carefully about the strain that you would like to create. Are you looking for a tall, medium, or short plant in height? Longer and gangly, or shorter and bushy? Do you prefer a plant that produces a higher yield for commercial purposes? You have to select two parent strains that possess the traits you would like your new strain to have. Below are the characteristics that should be taken into consideration.
- Vigor – This is the level of dynamism or energy a strain has which largely contributes to the amount of harvest
- Adaptability – This is the durability of the strain against the harshest weather conditions, temperature, and humidity levels.
- Resistance – This is the susceptibility of the strain to pests and plant diseases
- Maturity – The duration of growing the strain until harvest
- The ratio of calyxes and leaves production – This is related to vigor and plays a big role in terms of production and harvest
- Flower characteristics – This includes shape, size, color hues, amount of THC and CBD, terpene profile, flavor, scent, trichome production, resin production, bud quality, and persistence, and how long drying and curing will take. It is also related to vigor and ratio of calyxes and leaves the production
- Shapes of leaves – This contributes to adaptability and resistance, as well as to good ratio with calyxes.
- Size and height – This is related to adaptability and resistance. It also determines if a strain is good for indoor and outdoor growing.
Make Sure Female and Male Plants are Separated
So you were finally able to narrow down your options for parent strains. The next step is to separate the male plants from the female ones, or vice versa. You should be able to discern which one is the male and female. This is crucial in the breeding steps for the pollination to happen smoothly.
Pollination is the process wherein the male’s pollen lands on the female plant. Thus, it is ideal to have separate grow areas for male and female plants to avoid pollinating by accident unless placing the male and female plants together was intended. You can help the males by shaking the sacs to land on the females. Having an enclosed breeding area is recommended, so no pollen is wasted.
Start Pollinating the Parent Strains
You may put a piece of foil, plastic cup, or a ziplock bag underneath the male’s pollen sacs to collect the pollen and sprinkle it directly on the female plants. You may also use a fine brush or pen cap. Putting labels is highly recommended, especially if you are breeding different males and females with each other. The pollinated female plant should be separated from the other plants unless the other female plants were pollinated by the same male plant.
Observe the Female Plants
A feeding schedule must be followed to ensure the female plants are receiving the right amount of nutrients. Nitrogen is highly required during this stage. The best feeding schedule is like how you do it during the vegetative phase. The ideal light exposure is 12 hours of light and also 12 hours of darkness.
A few weeks after pollination, the seeds of your new strain are developed. These start to appear in the calyxes. It is advisable to keep a clone in case a mistake was made in the growing process. This also makes it easier to think of a strain name according to its growth pattern.
Germinate and Plant the New Seeds
The new strain seeds may now be germinated until maturity. Start with light feeding and watering as you gradually increase the amounts. It is important to take notes as you observe the seed’s development. Remove yellow leaves and other pushbacks, as you adjust the growing conditions according to your observation. Keeping tabs on your new strain’s growth pattern will make it easier for you for your next breeding adventure. It helps you take note of the do’s and dont’s, which traits manifested, and which did not. The mistakes recorded can be avoided In the future. If some of your favorite traits were not projected by your new strain, you have a record for the stabilization. It is a big help in terms of inbreeding, backcrossing, recurrent backcrossing, and self-crossing. This will also help your other grower friends in case they became inspired by your end result and wanted to give it a try.
Growing marijuana strains is fulfilling on its own, so imagine the fulfillment you’ll have by growing your own marijuana strain. By simply following the instructions above by heart, combined with patience and effort, you’ll surely be able to grow your own marijuana strain successfully. Best of luck!