Have you ever wondered where your cannabis seeds actually come from, how they are made? This is where cannabis seed breeders come into the picture! Cannabis seed breeders work to grow and create new cannabis strains for the market. When you buy regular cannabis seeds, you buy these seeds in a pack of 3, 5 or 10 cannabis seeds they were bred by a cannabis breeder.
What do Cannabis Seed Breeders Do?
Cannabis seed breeders work to create new cannabis strains, and stabilize cannabis strains for the commercial and hobby growers. They will typically grow many different cannabis plants, and use these to select traits (way the plant looks, potency, yield, size) of the cannabis plant. In nature this will happen naturally with thousands of seeds being produced from a single plant each fall. Only the strongest and hardest plant will survive each and every year to pass on their cannabis plant genetics to the next generation of seeds.
How Do Cannabis Breeders Create New Strains?
All cannabis has two types of plants, male and female cannabis. The male cannabis plant will grow pollen sacs that will pollinate female cannabis plants that have female cannabis flowers. Once the pollen comes in contact with the female pistols on the female cannabis plant calyxes (female cannabis flowering) they will start to create cannabis seeds for the next spring time season. They will drop to the group and start the growing process over again after winter.
Breeders do much of the same thing however instead of nature controlling the selection of the genetics that will get passed onto the next generation, it is the cannabis breeder that will do this. The breeder will select plants that have the qualities that he or she would like to see in the seed offspring in their cannabis plants. Because customers are normally only concerned with female cannabis flowers, otherwise known as buds, it is up to the breeder to select not only the best female cannabis plants for breeding. A cannabis breeder must also become very good at selecting male cannabis plants as well.
When the breeder finds two strains that they would like to breed, they will use the male selection to pollinate the female cannabis plant selection.
How are new Cannabis Strains Created?
Once these two cannabis plants are crossed as discussed above the breeder will grow these seeds from the offspring of the two parent plants. They will once again select two new plants that once again show the traits that the breeder would once again create in their cannabis plant offspring. The cannabis seed breeders will repeat this process until they see the traits that are being selected start showing more and more constantly in all the seeds. Once the cannabis seed breeder sees that the plants are all showing the traits that are being selected for, they will have created a homozygous cannabis strain. This means that the plant will breed true for the physical attributes or traits that were selected generation after generation.
Customers generally want plants that have the same genetics or in other words, yield, smell, taste and most importantly potency when growing. This mostly comes down to the fact that home growers can only grow a limited amount of plants at once. This can be due to space, or most of the time laws that are in place where the person lives. For example when growing the customer doesn’t want one plant that will grow three times taller than all the other plants, and have far less potency.
What are Phenotypes?
Phenotypes are the physical, visual difference that will appear in cannabis plants from the same parent plants. Just like children can look different from each other, even from the same parents, the same can happen in cannabis seed offspring. Breeders are working to create consistency and predictability in the seeds that they are breeding. They want their seeds to be as close as possible to the phenotypes they are selecting for their seeds.
Why are they Important to Cannabis Seed Breeders?
Phenotypes are what cannabis seed breeders use to measure the uniformity in their seed stock that is sold to their customers. Sometimes it can take years and hundreds if not thousands of plants to select from. Phenotypes are the most important thing to many breeders when creating homozygous cannabis seed strains, so when the customer pays for a strain it will breed true for the phenotypes the breeder has said they would.
Types of Seeds that Cannabis Breeders Grow
Cannabis seed breeders grow many types of cannabis seeds. The most common type of cannabis seeds that breeders grow are regular photoperiod seeds. These seeds will grow both male and female cannabis plants that will flowering when placed under 12 hours of darkness each day. The other types of regular cannabis seeds are autoflowering cannabis seeds and feminized cannabis seeds. Cannabis seed breeders will also work with these types of cannabis seeds as well.
How to tell if your seeds were bred by a Cannabis Seed Breeder?
Some seeds that you will find that are very unstable and not homozygous for phenotypes were not bred by a real cannabis seed breeder. Some growers will only pollinate a female plant with whatever male plant they have grown without any selection process. This can create stable cannabis plants depending on the genetics of the plants. If a grower crosses two unrelated cannabis strains together they will create what is called an F1 generation of cannabis. These seeds can actually be stable due to their hybrid nature.
What creates unstable strains of cannabis, is due to inbreeding without any breeder selection. When a growers doesn’t know the genetics of their plants it can cause problems with growing stable seed stock. For example if a true breeder creates a strain, using two unrelated cannabis strains this will create an F1 hybrid. However if another grower takes this strain it crosses it again without knowing the original parent cannabis plants it will create an F2 generation of seed stock.
When this happens the traits that were selected to create the F1 generation of the strain will not breed true for these traits. These seeds will end up with a very wide variety of phenotypes in the resulting F2 generation of cannabis seeds.
If the grower is selecting for their own strain this will not be an issue and will give them many phenotypes to choose from for selection. When the grower is growing for a certain phenotype such as potency, then F2 seeds are not desirable.
Who is a reputable Cannabis Seed Breeder?
If you are looking to purchase cannabis seeds from a very knowledgeable cannabis breeder, we recommend Breeder Brent of Green Avenger Seeds. Brent has been growing and breeding cannabis for the last few decades and has a great selection of stable feminized cannabis seed strains for customers to select. If you would like to look at the Green Avenger Seeds catalog of seeds you can visit their website.