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the-importance-of-genetics

The Importance of Genetics: What You Need to Know Before Buying Marijuana Seeds!

By: Kannabia Seed Company Grow

Obtaining new cannabis varieties is a complex task that requires years of hard work and thorough knowledge of the plant. It is an exciting but daunting field for many aspiring growers, as the genetic terminology can be overwhelming. But, if you’re intrigued by the art of growing cannabis, don’t let that stop you!

When growing cannabis, the genetics of a variety are undoubtedly one of the most important factors determining whether you will end up with an exceptional plant or a useless herb. Equally important when cultivating is understanding that genetics will help you better decide which strain will produce the effects you are looking for.

There are still totally traditional varieties that have surely survived for decades. Most of the strains we now know, however, have been strategically hybridized to create new varieties and improve the previous ones by integrating the most desirable traits. This selective breeding technique is often repeated over several generations, allow skilled breeders to push cannabis genetics to the limit.

And, when properly stabilized, top-notch cannabis genetics provide the foundation for the best marijuana seeds. So, what are the basics of cannabis genetics and why are they important to cultivation?

Basic Genetic Foundations

Chromosomes and DNA: Chromosomes are packages of genetic material that influence the traits of living organisms. Cannabis plants have 20 chromosomes, and the genetic information encoded in them plays a crucial role in determining the plant’s characteristics.

Genes and alleles: Genes are specific sections of DNA that encode a particular trait, such as the plant’s height, flower color, and cannabinoid content. Alleles are the different versions of a gene that may exist. For example, a gene that controls leaf color may have several alleles, each of which encodes a different color.

Dominant and recessive traits: Dominant traits are expressed when at least one dominant allele is present, whereas recessive traits only appear when two recessive alleles are present. In cannabis cultivation, understanding dominant and recessive traits is vital to producing plants with specific characteristics.

The Role of Genes in Cannabis Cultivation: Genotype and Phenotype

In cultivation, genetics go a long way to determining a plant’s size, color, vigor, resistance to pests and overall cannabinoid production. All these qualities vary from one variety to another according to its genotype, the genetic code that provides the framework for the attributes of that plant and that describes a given cannabis variety’s full range of possibilities.

Subsequently, this code is expressed through the phenotype, which is the physical expression of the genes that are “activated” by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and nutrients. Like siblings who share DNA, the different phenotypes are similar, but vary in the way they are expressed. As a hypothetical example, phenotype 1 may produce a shorter plant with citrus odors from the “mother” plant, while phenotype 2 may have a more earthy taste, with strong sedative effects from the “father”.

scientist-extracting-dna
Scientist extracting a gene from a strand of DNA

Growing Cannabis for Specific Traits

Selective breeding: Selective breeding involves choosing plants with desirable traits and crossing them to produce offspring that inherit those traits. This technique has been used for centuries to develop plants with higher yields, potency, and resistance to pests and diseases.

Stabilizing a strain: To stabilize a strain, breeders repeatedly cross offspring with similar traits to ensure that desired characteristics are consistently transmitted. This process can take several generations and requires careful selection by breeders to maintain desired traits.

Backcrossing and inbreeding: Backcrossing involves breeding offspring with one of the mother plants, while inbreeding involves breeding closely-related ones. These techniques are used to reinforce specific traits and stabilize a strain. However, inbreeding can also result in reduced genetic diversity and in plants that are more susceptible to disease and pests.

Creating hybrids: Hybrids are created by crossing plants of different strains to produce unique “offspring.” This process allows breeders to combine the best characteristics of different strains, resulting in plants with enhanced potency, flavor, and growth characteristics.

How Are Cannabis Seeds Produced? F1, F2, F3 seeds…

When the first cannabis seed banks began to focus on breeding, they started with the purest varieties: the autochthonous ones, plants that had evolved over thousands of years and adapted to the climates of their respective regions, which gave rise to dominant genes for traits that helped them survive. These local strains represented the original P1 (“parental” P) generation.

Crossing these P1 “parents” – for example Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica to create varieties such as Skunk #1 – we obtain hybrids called F1 (F means “filial” or “a descendant of two parents”) that inherited the most prominent genes from their P1 parents due to a genetic phenomenon known as heterosis, or hybrid vigor. This results in a stronger, more resilient plant, with a greater potency and yield compared to its parents. This first generation, F1, is quite consistent in terms of its traits.

By crossing a male and a female of an F1 hybrid, one obtains an F2 generation. However, when you grow these seeds, you will notice that the plants look very different. With these F2 seeds, genetic diversity explodes, as all the traits passed down from the P1 generation recombine in different ways to create new and unique phenotypes.

The next step in breeding involves selecting the male and female richest in THC to create F3 seeds. As the generations go by, the traits stabilize, leading to more uniform harvests. With each subsequent generation, such as F4 and F5, seed stability continues to increase. Creating a stable strain can take several generations, but the results are worth it.

Preserving Cannabis Genetics

Maintaining a diverse gene pool is vital to cannabis plants’ long-term health and adaptability. Genetic diversity allows for a wider range of traits and characteristics, making it possible to develop new strains that are better suited to specific growing conditions and consumer preferences.

By preserving seeds of different varieties, seed banks help safeguard the future of cannabis cultivation. Thus, finding a reliable seed bank like Kannabia Seed Company is a great way to acquire quality seeds.

We pride ourselves on our stabilization capabilities and ensure that growers receive exactly what is advertised. So, if your goal is to grow the very best cannabis plants, look no further than Kannabia! We offer an exceptional catalogue of high-quality seeds, carefully selected to give you the best growing experience and top-notch results. Your journey to a great cannabis harvest starts with Kannabia!

Kannabia Seeds Company sells to its customers a product collection, a souvenir. We cannot and we shall not give growing advice since our product is not intended for this purpose.

Kannabia accept no responsibility for any illegal use made by third parties of information published. The cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption is an activity subject to legal restrictions that vary from state to state. We recommend consultation of the legislation in force in your country of residence to avoid participation in any illegal activity.

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