How to breed great marijuana seeds strains
How to create amazing new marijuana seeds strains with a discerning palate, careful selection and some hard work.
Perhaps the most important aspect to consider in the breeding of fine quality cannabis seeds is that of selection. Selective breeding is where all of today's varieties evolved from.
In the past, this chore was made easier by the fact that most of the commercially available herb was seeded and imported from outdoor plantations, usually near-equatorial in origin. These "land-race" Sativa varieties were the building blocks of the burgeoning domestic cannabis seeds productions of the times.
The Indica marijuana strains (Afghan, Kush, Skunk, etc.) genetics were specially imported by West Coast interests and available to the general public around 1978. It was shortly after this time that the variance of domestic cannabis increased exponentially, as people began experimenting with crossing these two different types of pot.
Beginning breeding of cannabis seeds
The typical way to begin a breeding program is to carefully select P1 parents of pure Sativa and pure Indica marijuana seeds strains, crossing them to produce an f1 hybrid that is uniform in its phenotypic growth patterns. The next step is the crossing of the f1 type with itself, which produces a very wide variation witnessed in the f2 growth patterns and expressions.
It is in this f2 second-generational cross and beyond that the art of selection really comes into play. There are a number of factors to consider at this point, such as what the male and female will each contribute; and most of all, what will the overall quality of the finished product be like?
Defining a goal and constructing a plan to accomplish it is called "top-down" programming, and this "top-down" approach applies well to cannabis seeds breeding. It helps considerably to have a specific goal in mind when attempting to selectively breed a variety of ganja. This simple fact I cannot emphasize enough.
One must at least have an idea of what one is aiming for before beginning. For me this has little to do with plant structure and much to do with the quality of the finished product, no matter what form it is in. Having an experienced and educated palate (both mentally aesthetic and physically discernable) is key in the art of breeding fine quality cannabis strains and producing the best marijuana seeds.
The "goal" at the center of most of my marijuana seeds breeding targets would be to replicate, as near as possible, the experiences produced by the great land-race varieties of old: Highland Oaxacan or Thai, Santa Marta or Acapulco Gold, Guerrero Green, Panama Red or Hawaiian Sativa or the hash from regions such as Lebanon, Afghanistan or Nepal.
The indoor grow environment is too generic to fully replicate the great old legends. Therefore, it was necessary to settle for the next best thing: happy Sativa/Indica crosses that would perform well indoors. (It is interesting to note here that most of the fine land-race Sativa were hermaphroditic, though sometimes only minimally.)
Obviously, you seek the parents that will produce the desired progeny. Paradoxically, this process requires selecting the best after they've been harvested. The solution is to keep samples from each plant of a test crop. This can be done via rooted clones from earlier cuttings, or re-greened mothers and fathers kept in a vegetative state and a high-nitrogen diet. Once you have chosen among the harvested plants, you can use the rooted cuttings for future consideration and possible breeding.
Pollen may also be gathered and immediately stored via vacuum sealing and deep-freezing. It is crucial to vacuum seal and freeze pollen immediately after it is collected and to use stored pollen immediately after it thaws. Dry cannabis seeds also store well over indefinite periods of time in an undisturbed deep-freeze, with some desiccant.
This process of post-harvest selection works fine for selecting desired female plants. But what about males? What is the best and most simple way to select males for breeding? Due to the fact that it is the female plants that we are ultimately familiar with, selecting males is a bit more involved.
The process is basically the same as it is with female plants, except with males the numbers are first limited down via a process of elimination, and selections made by comparing the remainder. Selecting males also takes a little more time initially as the quality of the male is not fully determined until after the cannabi seeds it produces are grown out and tested. As one becomes more familiar with a particular strain, the specific characteristics of the desirable males become apparent.
Ideally, the more marijuana seeds one starts with the better. This is, after all, a numbers game. I will assume that any basic breeding project starts with at least 20 different plants, from 20 viable marijuana seeds of high quality, professionally stabilized varieties. This would give a minimum of 10 male and 10 female plants hopefully sexed by two weeks into a flowering light cycle (short day/long night). Don't save on seeds, using quality marijuana seeds is essential.
Once sexed, the process of elimination may begin. All of the females are kept and regularly examined to prevent unwanted hermaphroditism. Unwanted males and all hermaphrodites must be eliminated before they begin to shed pollen usually by the third week in the flowering cycle. The female plants need to be checked for hermaphroditism until harvest. You are on your way to produce the best cannabis seeds.
(A quick word on "backward" hermaphrodites declared males that eventually sport female flowers as opposed to the usual female-to-male hermaphrodites. These are semi-rare occurrences, usually sterile but sometimes viable, that I have found at times to be valuable in their genetic contributions. Some of the most resinous and desirable males I have encountered exhibited this trait. This trait almost seems to guarantee against unwanted hermaphroditism in subsequent generations as it also increases the female to male ratio in its progeny.)
I prefer to remove all of the males from the grow-room to a separate, isolated space shortly after they declare their sex and well before they begin to shed pollen. A small space lit with simple fluorescent light will suffice for the males for the next few weeks. During this time the female buds will fatten with more flowers while your collection of males is selected down. Separation is essential to avoid unwanted pollination and unwanted cannabis seeds on females.
I generally employ a simple process of elimination while selecting males. First, any auto-flowering or very early-declared males are eliminated. (Auto-flowering means that male flowers form regardless of light cycle timing.) This is mainly to insure against hermaphroditism or unwanted flowering traits, but also as a means to insure quality. The very early declared males have a tendency to be less desirable in terms of their contributions to the quality of the finished product. (If you are trying to specifically create an early-flowering marijuana seeds strain, then your priorities may be different.)
Next, any male plant that grows too tall or too fast is usually eliminated. The reason for this is that most plants which dedicate so much energy to fiber production generally are best for making fiber. The exception to this rule is when an over-productive plant also exhibits a number of the desirable characteristics mentioned later. You want to breed marijuana seeds for buds not fiber plants.
The next criteria for elimination is borrowed from Michael Starks' book, Marijuana Potency, and involves stem structure. Large, hollow main stems are sought while pith-filled stems are eliminated. Backed by years of observation, I agree that hollow stems do seem to facilitate THC production. You want that in your cannabis seeds.
Another consideration is the type of floral clusters that develop. Even on males, clusters which are tight, compact and yet very productive are desired over an airy, loose structure. Very important for potent marijuana seeds bred. These observations are most notable in the indoor environment. Outdoors, the differences in stem and floral structures are more difficult to discern.
The next and perhaps most important characteristic to examine for quality marijuana seeds production is that of odor, flavor and trichome development. Again, the females will prove themselves by their finished product, but the males are a bit trickier.
I usually begin with a Sativa female and an Indica male. It has been my observation that the females primarily contribute the type of flavor and aroma and the males contribute the amount of flavor and odor. The "Sativa/Indica" aspects of this formula are mainly apparent in the P1 or very early filial crosses (to about f3). Beyond the f3 marijuana seeds plant generation the apparent "Sativa/Indica" ratio in a given individual is less important than the odor/flavor and trichome development aspects it exhibits. Therefore, one of the main aspects to consider when selecting a male for cannabis seeds breeding is the depth of its aroma and flavor. (If you are seeking to develop a low-odor indoor cannabis seeds strain you might wish to begin with a low-odor Sativa male and an Indica female.)
With the remaining males I usually employ an odor/flavor test. Using males at least two or three weeks into the flowering cycle (and preferably beyond if a separate, isolated space is being used), a sort of "scratch-and-sniff" technique is first employed. With clean, odor-free fingers, gently rub one plant at a time, on the stem where it is well developed and pliable, above the woody part and below the developing top (approximately at the spot where a clone would be cut). The newer leaves at their halfway point of development may also be rubbed and sniffed.
These are the places that the earliest chemical signatures of a developing plant present themselves, and it is our intent to gently disturb these chemicals and inspire an odor/flavor reaction on the fingers and on the plant. By examining these various aromas in this way one may be able to determine certain desirable (and also undesirable) cannabis seeds characteristics. After clearing one's palate and refreshing one's fingers, another plant may be tested.
The finalists are best compared for at least a week and at different times of day, to determine who performs best over a period of time.
A few of the "good" aromas which I have found to be associated with both male and female high quality cannabis seeds strains are: sweet, floral, fruity, berry, wine/brandy, other savory spirits, skunky and spearmint. Some of the "bad" aromas associated with both male and female cannabis marijuana seeds plants are: grassy, chlorophyll (green), celery, parsley, carrots, cinnamon, pepper-mint or wintergreen, gear-oil and gasoline. Some of the aromas that are considered "good" from females but not necessarily from males are: woody, cedar, pine, citrus, tropical fruit, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, garlic and astringent.
It is sad that due to the Unfortunate State of Assholes in the world today we cannabis seeds breeders and herbalists are treated criminally. Sad because given saner times we would be able to produce vast amounts of fine quality herb by virtue of no more than the great outdoors, large numbered populations and trial and error.
Someday perhaps, but in the meantime I have few alternate suggestions. Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain and other parts of Europe are opening up more and more toward herbal tolerance. It is relatively easy in these places to score some high quality product.
It is advisable for the newbie to a scene to buy many small samples of herbals at first until one finds what one likes. Just like in any other travel situation, special surprises await those willing to venture out from the centralized tourist areas (except in Christiania where "one stop shopping" is greatly enjoyed).
I am willing to bet that some of the many herbal "sweet spots" around the globe may once again be producing their specialties and quality marijuana seeds strains. I am eager to verify any rumor of such possibilities. These sweet spots would include many equatorial and near equatorial regions such as Colombia, Highland Mexico, parts of Thailand, Burma and Bhutan to name a few. Places such as Nepal and Jamaica have been ideal for herbal expeditions as well. These are some of the places one could venture in search of educating one's herbal palate and expanding one's experience.
After selections are made, it is also necessary to remember to test for these qualities across a number of clone and cannabis seeds generations. Do the desirable characteristics present in a new plant (from marijuana seed) persist through the following clone generations of that plant? Does the plant from clones of the original carry the same odor/flavor quality? The same potency? Overall desirability? The answers most definitely need to be "yes" if that individual is to be considered for future breeding of desired quality cannabis seeds strain.
With much practice and years of experience it becomes apparent to those with a sensitive palate which individuals possess the most desirable characteristics from a given sample. I suggest that your taste and smell be augmented with the use of an illuminated magnifier, either 30X, 60X or 100X power will do.
Look at the same aforementioned spot on the stem or developing leaves any time after the second week in the bud cycle and look for the greatest abundance of developing trichomes or secretory hairs (hairs that secrete fluid obvious at 30X and above magnification). More fully developed trichomes with very clear heads are generally the most desirable for potent marijuana seeds breeding.
These observations need to be done over a period of time (that is, not just a one-time look) and at different times of the day to determine which individuals perform best. Many various phenomena become apparent to those who are able to pay close attention over a period of time. To that effect I suggest you compile and composite detailed notes on one's observations, and to compare those notes over time. Detailed, comprehensive notes are the hallmark of any successful cannabis seeds breeding program.
It is possible to test males by smoking or otherwise consuming them. This practice may be somewhat beneficial to beginners as it does involve a sort of obvious discretion. I suggest using only fresh tips, properly cured and rolled into a joint. Also, make sure that this test smoke is the first smoke one consumes in a day in order to best discern its qualities, or lack thereof.
Some other aspects to consider
There are a number of aesthetic considerations to consider regarding fine quality cannabis seeds breeding, such as color, overall structure, growth patterns and various bouquets. My primary goal involves finding the finished product with the most desirable and pleasant effects. So I focus on those aspects and stabilize them first. Once stabilized, a backcross or a cross to another variety may be utilized to further improve the line and/or increase vigor of the marijuana seeds strain, if necessary.
On the experimental level the finished product is expected to be either pleasant or powerful, depending on the individual, also marijuana seeds should be easy to germinate. I prefer an herb that is pleasantly powerful or powerfully pleasant! So that is the sought-after goal. The range of experiences elicited by cannabis can vary from bliss to panic to stupefying. I much prefer the bliss aspects.
The best descriptive dichotomy in this case would be comfort vs. discomfort. I also suppose some personality types may enjoy a more exciting experience perhaps only once in awhile a feeling somewhat akin to the entertainment of a roller coaster ride or a horror movie.
Cannabis is unusual in its varying effects on our vascular-circulatory system. Some cannabis seeds strains seem to act as a vasodilator and others as a vasoconstrictor. A vasoconstrictor is a substance that constricts blood vessels. It tends to elicit tension, excitement, anxiety, and even panic. A vasodilator is a substance that dilates blood vessels and tends to relax a person more easily into a blissful state. Therefore, I tend to prefer cannabis seed strains that seems to act as a vasodilator, simply not to the point of couch lock sedation.
I have nothing against powerfully stony herb marijuana seeds strains. It is just that as long as my breeding space is limited, I will choose to work with the more pleasant cannabis seeds varieties those that elicit a generally happy experience. Someday I look forward to working at stabilizing many different varieties of herb. After all, to each their own.
Tinnitus and dyskinesia are common symptoms of a vasoconstrictor reaction. Tinnitus is ringing in the ears, and dyskinesia, in this instance, is usually felt as a tingling in the extremities, especially the little fingers, toes and ears. Another bad sign would be any form of tension headache or unwanted body load. If these symptoms occur regularly after indulging in a particular herb, the herb may be contributing to the sensation.
Good Luck and may your work produce the best cannabis seeds to spread all over the world!
Super Nova Marijuana Seeds
10 SEEDS - EUR 90.00
Brighter shining THC crystals than any other cannabis seeds variety. A very bright new star shining in your garden. If you use marijuana for medical purposes such as painkiller or just in order to get rid of the stress than this is the right choice.
Azura Marijuana Seeds
10 SEEDS - EUR 70.00
One of the most yielding marijuana strains, perfect for experienced breeders and growers. If chosen as a motherplant, can produce high amounts of hardy marijuana seeds.
Strawberry Ice Feminized Marijuana Seeds
10 SEEDS - EUR 110.00
The Strawberry Ice feminized seeds are of North American origin and partly clearly European. Strawberry Ice is a hybrid between an Indica and Sativa marijuana strain.
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