You may want to breed your own cannabis for a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s an interest in breeding, maybe it’s because of the desire to get a more stable strain with a larger yield. Cannabis breeding sounds like a complex affair involving genetics but in fact it can be very simple. How to breed cannabis?
Benefiting from the current liberalization of legality, you can also breed in your own home. In this article, we’ll teach you how to breed your own cannabis step by step the “traditional” way. If you’re interested in cloning, we wrote an article on that as well, so check it out!
Breeding preparation -How to breed cannabis?
Cannabis plants are divided into male and female (and hermaphrodite in special circumstances). We usually care about female plants because they produce the buds we need but male plants are also important since they pollinate the females.
When choosing to breed plants, you can choose some combination of plant strains. Choosing a female is relatively easy, as you can factor in growth rate, flower size and color, THC and CBD content, and more. But choosing men is different, you can only choose from their appearance.
Pollination -How to breed cannabis?
After selecting your two parent plants, we will collect the pollen from the females and the males separately. You can choose to store pollen in a bottle or plastic bag and keep it in a dry environment.
After collecting the pollen, we can start pollinating. The best practice is to pollinate when the pistils are white so that the plant has enough time for the seeds to fully mature, about 3-4 weeks after flowering has begun. One male can pollinate between 10-20 females. It is best to use one male per pollination so that there is no confusion.
1. Place one male and several females in the same breeding room. These rooms can be grow tents or other enclosed spaces, just make sure you have a contained environment. Males develop pollen sacs before flowering, which they use to sow pollen into the air, which lands on female plants for pollination. Therefore, this confined space is very necessary.
2. Let the plants grow for a few weeks under the 12/12 principle of grow light.
3. Shake the pollen sac to sprinkle the pollen on the female plant to help pollination, or use the pollen collected in advance directly on the female.
Phenotypes -How to breed cannabis?
After pollination we will get a batch of seeds. Just as you and your siblings won’t be exactly the same, these seeds also retain different genes and traits from their parent plants. We call these seed variations phenotypes.
Also, plants that give off seeds with multiple phenotypes are heterozygous, whereas we need seeds that are homozygous. These seeds will have the same genotype to ensure that they retain the same characteristics from generation to generation.
We need to choose the phenotypic seeds we like the most or need the most and put them into production as the seeds we intend to breed.
Backcrossing -How to breed cannabis?
Usually, we don’t do just one crossbreed. Because you can hardly get the best plant or type from one breeding, we will select a favorite phenotype to cross with the parental strain for a stronger and more stable genetic strain. Basically, we will inbreed them so that the resulting seeds are more homozygous. This also ensures that these genes can be passed on from generation to generation.
The seeds we buy from dispensary go through the whole process of growing, crossing, phenotyping, and backcrossing before they can be put on the shelf as an excellent consumable product. So, you have to be very patient to obtain a new strain that combines the strengths of the parent plant while still having stable genes.
Wrap-up How to Breed Cannabis
In the breeding process, you may fail, you may find that all the seeds that are not what you want—remember, you are looking for your swan among many ducklings. As long as you persevere, you will succeed eventually. Just measure, record, and try again. The process means you not only grow nice plants, but you also grow as a person.
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