But don’t give up on creating your own strains just yet. Even if this is a costly endeavor, but the results are worth it. You will have a strain that you can truly call your own AND a strain that has the characteristics you want.
Are you tired of the usual cannabis strains available from your local seed bank? Is there a lack of variety when it comes to cannabis strains that can grow in your area? Are you getting bored with the usual regular or feminized strain? If so, then why not buy a new strain, or how about creating a new one?
One of the disadvantages of creating your own cannabis variant is costing you more money as compared to just purchasing in a seed bank or on online sites. Apart from having to complete the resources needed to grow your plants like soil, fertilizer, pots, and seeds. You will also have to pay for electricity and water, and not to mention, dealing with any problems which may arise: pests, nutrient deficiencies/toxicities, molds, etc.
Some ways to save money when you create new strains
As there are some economic advantages to purchasing seeds, there are also some disadvantages as well. If you are located a distance away from a seed bank, or you cannot order online, then it might be harder for you to buy seeds. More than that, you might have to spend more money to travel far just to buy seeds. Also, seeds can be quite pricey when purchased online, however, you can expect well-tested and quality seeds. But despite these disadvantages, consider that this is a more economical way to get seeds than growing or breeding your own strains.
Creating one’s own strain is something that many growers long for. Yes, there is an awesome feeling of making a new strain. You feel very proud that you have contributed to the cannabis society and may have possibly created a very potent, and therapeutic strain. As amazing as it sounds, there are many things to consider [when creating your own strain.
When you buy new strains, you are confident that the seeds that you will be taking home to grow have been thoroughly tested. These seeds are viable, which means that they will be ready to sprout. Also, a strain that’s already in the market may have already been tested, cataloged, and rated for quality. Why be particular about all these? Because you wouldn’t want to waste your money on worthless seeds or non-viable seeds.
Let’s take a closer look at what entails purchasing vs growing your own strains. Let’s check the pros and cons of each activity, so you can easily gauge which one is the most economical way for you.
Selecting the ideal female cannabis plant is easier than selecting males. As you can truly judge the fruits before you put in the labor. To guarantee a stable plant, try growing her out of seeds and cultivate it from clone too. Thereafter, you can choose the characteristics you like to see in your own creation(s). Be sure to take aroma, structure, flowering time, esthetics, taste and effect into account – as those are the most important elements to look for in a good cannabis plant. Logically, only select the best of the best females to create your own weed seeds with.
Obviously, only select male cannabis plants with a nice structure and a healthy root system. If possible, cut off a few branches in search of hollow stems. As a hollow stem in weed plants is often an indicator for high THC-production in the plants.
Creating own cannabis varieties is pretty easy too and could potentially be a green goldmine. Even if you don’t create the next Super Silver Haze on your first try, it is still worth trying. Cross-breeding your own weed strains is very educative and results in a huge collection of cannabis genetics. Meaning you might hold seeds to strains that are no longer being produced – to cultivate or cross-breed with.
How To Collect Cannabis Pollen
About three hours after fertilization, it is time to deactivate the leftover pollen on the plant. You can do that by simply spraying your plant with water. Be sure to change your clothes and have a shower after this, before you place the fertilized female back in the room.
The trick to select the perfect male weed plant is to have good and above all trained senses. Because it’s up to you to see which male has the best growth and the most attractive (or present) aroma.
Now you’ve selected the right male, it’s time to collect its pollen. A pretty easy job considering the plant is eager to release its pollen to fertilize female plants. Simply shake a branch with open male flowers above a sheet of (black) paper or a plastic container. And the pollen will fall down from the flower onto the desired surface.
There is one thing you definitely need if you’re planning to breed your own weed strains: male cannabis plants. Unless your plan is to make feminized cannabis seeds, which is a different story we’ll dive into another time. To recognize and distinct male from female (and hermaphrodite) weed plants, have a look here.
The booming cannabis industry has seen a proliferation of high-quality hybrids. Seed banks around the world are equipped with dedicated breeders creating novel strains all the time. Home cultivation has also produced previously unimaginable cannabis creations. Particularly in places that have legalized home cultivation, the breeding of new strains is now a viable hobby. If you have ever imagined a strain with your ideal qualities, or even your name on it, it is possible to do it yourself.
A seasoned stoner will have their own preference for what qualities they seek in cannabis. Maybe you have a slight preference for the relaxing calm of a classic indica; maybe you prefer the energetic buzz of a sativa. Many cannabis strains are hybrids that combine these two properties—and numerous others. It may not be as simple as combining two of your favourite strains and seeing what happens. If you can think in terms of the traits you enjoy, you can find plants that will pass them on. Often, landraces will be reliable plants to breed for their resilience. Keep in mind, you should also consider terpenes and flavonoids, as these are what determine the flavour, smell, and colour of your specimen.
Since backcrossing is the most reliable approach to breeding hybrids, read up and be clear on what it involves. The simple explanation is that by breeding plants with genetics close to each other, there will be a more stable strain with customised characteristics. Throughout this process, one must keep the male and female plants separate. This is to avoid pollen from the male plant reaching the female plant too soon. You will know it’s time to collect pollen from the male plant when its pollen sacs open up.
HOW TO SELECT PLANTS FOR BREEDING
Many hybrids rely on a ruderalis plant thrown into the mix. This is because they have the endurance to grow in the wild, while also flowering much quicker than the usual plant. So if you want an autoflowering variety of your favourite strain, it often works to breed it with a ruderalis specimen. On the other hand, finding proper, pure landrace seeds can be difficult, unless you have the money for a strain-hunting vacation. It is also worth bearing in mind that breeding together just any two cannabis plants will have variable results. These are termed “polyhybrids” and are unlikely to produce a stable plant.
This is different however from breeding homozygous recessive plants. These can be identified after an additional round of sib-mating or open pollination. These plants can be segregated to form an F2 generation of plants. These plants are also bred with a recurrent parent following the same steps as before until you reach a BC3F2 plant. This can be grown out, sib-mated, and from there, another F2 population can be bred again. These can be bred as you wish, but now they contain 93.7% of genes from the recurrent parent.
This BC1 plant is then bred with the recurrent parent to form a BC2, which itself is bred with the recurrent parent once more to form BC3. This iteration of the plant should reinforce the dominant traits you sought.
Gathering the pollen requires skill and care. Secure a plastic freezer bag around the stem and shake it so that pollen lines the bag. This pollen is better used fresh, but can be frozen for up to a month if necessary. This pollen will be spread on the female plant, only when it reaches a delicate stage of the plant’s growth. Before buds start to develop on a female plant, there will first be distinctive white pistils. Seal your freezer bag around your female plant’s main cola. Gently shake and rotate so that the pollen is evenly distributed. Leave it sealed for two hours before shaking and rotating again. After another two hours, your female plant will be pollinated.