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Cannabis breeding

Cannabis Breeding: A Guide to Breed your own Weed

Cannabis Breeding: A Guide to Breed your own Weed

Have you contemplated breeding marijuana at home, but you’re not sure where to start, or don’t think you can make it work? 

Most home-growers started out feeling precisely the same, so you’re in good company. The fantastic news is that although it all sounds highly scientific and challenging, it isn’t. Cannabis breeding is loads of fun once you have all the right tools and know-how.

With superb quality seeds and helpful online communities, cannabis breeding has become as easy as one, two, three.

An Introduction to Breeding Cannabis

If you’re contemplating breeding Cannabis but feel overwhelmed with all the technical jargon and terms, you’re on the right page to find all the answers. We’re going to break it down into plain English for you in our Cannabis breeding guide to help you on your exciting journey. Also, figuring out how to increase potency of weed may help with breeding as you will be able to control the strength and attributes of the parent strains easier.

After reading our recommendations of how to breed weed at home, you’ll have more confidence to start your marijuana breeding process.

Based on ecological constraints, Cannabis evolved somewhere in temperate latitudes of the northern hemisphere, and Eurasia is its primary region of origin (Clarke and Merlin, 2013). Seminal uses, early cultivation, worldwide dissemination, and eventual domestication of Cannabis all began within this natural biogeographical range.” Robert C. Clarke for Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

What Is Cannabis Breeding?

All Cannabis plants are dioecious. That means the plant has either male or female reproductive traits. It’s typically wind-pollinated unless you help the process manually. It’s precisely what Cannabis breeding is all about – you get to choose which male pollen to use with each female plant to create your desired strain.

Cannabis genetics

Due to the geographical and ecological constraints mentioned above by Robert C. Clarke, it’s become increasingly clear that successful Cannabis breeding is not a natural environmental occurrence in the Central US. 

The entire process of successful Cannabis breeding has become rather scientific, as you must recreate the plant’s naturally preferred habitat. The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. 

Following our easy guide, and using high-quality seeds, are the first steps for successfully breeding marijuana at home.

It’s vital to recognize the success of countless homegrown strains. Back-yard Cannabis breeders have more access to specialized data than ten years ago. With the legalization of Cannabis in most states, you can now share information on the Web without fear of prosecution or your farm going up in smoke when trying to burn evidence. 

You have access to all you need to know for successfully breeding Cannabis with the click of a button. Many home growers, just like you, have productively coupled new strains with THC levels of 20% or more in their Cannabis breed.

Cannabis Breeding Terminology – What Does it Mean?

  • Cannabis strains: The variety of pure or hybrid derivatives of the Cannabis species.
  • Cloning plants: Taking cannabis plant cuttings to preserve a great strain. 
  • Hybrids: New strains created from different combinations of parent plants.
  • Phenotype: It’s the Cannabis genetics you can observe in a strain.
  • Polyhybrids: New strains made from a variety of hybrid parent plants.
  • Backcrossing: Genetically passing on the best traits of one parent plant.
  • Parent strain: The plants used to create a new strain.

What Are the Results of Cannabis Breeding?

Cannabis breeding and the continuation of plant lineages aren’t just for the experts. Today’s home growers have more skills than ever, which has resulted in them creating strains with higher levels of beneficial cannabinoids. 

A home grower who has mastered the basics can easily create hybrids and F1 seeds. Breeders developed many of today’s most popular strains in backyard gardens, and some were happy accidents.

Though your home-grow tent may not yield enough seeds to start a seed bank, smaller-scale breeding is still a good option. Here, you don’t need a botany degree; plain old weed growing experience is enough. 

With time in the industry, you’ll develop the ability to uncover specific phenotypes. From there, you can use those skills to breed strains with particular cannabinoid profiles.

How to Breed Weed

Now, with all that tech-talk out of the way, we’re going to walk you through a literal step-by-step beginner’s guide to breeding your weed. Here’s how many seeds you need to grow a weed plant up to harvesting.

Choose the Two Strains You Want to Breed

You can breed new seeds from plants grown from seeds or clones

If you’re opting for seeds, ensure the breeder can give you a solid background and history. It’ll ensure you get closer to what you’re aiming for in your new strains. 

It’ll be easier to select the female plant and slightly more complicated to choose your male line. The former plants, unlike their human counterparts, show all their traits upfront. Important aspects like color, smell, quantity, and size are easily recognizable. 

A huge benefit is that you can also quickly spot its potential for producing CBD or THC.

Males in this plant species are not so forthcoming and easy to decipher. The only aspects of a male plant you can spot are its development and growth traits. It hides everything else within its genetic makeup. 

That’s why it’s essential to only purchase from trusted seed wholesalers such as i49, and knowing what you’re buying is indeed what you need. Factors that are important when selecting your male plant is:

  • Pollen sac size 
  • Density

You can either opt for high THC or high CBD level strains, depending on your requirements for cannabis usage. If you’re planning medicinal oils, you’ll go for those that’ll produce higher CBD levels. You can eventually start breeding other specific strains with unique attributes and effects.

Buy Your Seeds

Breed Weed Seeds

The best way to get started with your home-grown project is to buy seeds from a trusted marijuana seed bank. You can choose from feminized, regular, or auto flower seeds. Each has unique properties.

Decide Whether to Breed Regular, Feminized or Autoflower Seeds

Buy Feminized Seeds to Guarantee a Female Plant

Feminized seeds get cultivated to carry only the female plant’s genetics. You’ll have a 100% success rate in growing just a female plant from it, where regular seeds only give you a 50/50 chance.

Buy Regular Seeds to Be Able to Grow a Male Plant

Regular seeds are 100% natural without any genetic modification. It’s a pure way of breeding, and you’ll have a 50/50 chance of male or female offspring plants from it.

Buy Auto Flower Seeds to Breed Auto Seeds

If you’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to change light settings and other scientific processes, then autoflower seeds will serve you well. They flower within two to four weeks and have a high success rate without too much interference.

Create a Breeding Chamber

It would be best if you had an isolated propagation chamber. It can be a sealed grow tent or something similar. Many newbies start their homegrown cycle in an empty closet; the best way to start is by getting a grow tent. 

A grow tent will allow you to create the exact environment needed for your seeds and is an economical way to start your cannabis breeding program.

Another vital tip to keep in mind right off the bat is to keep your male and female plants separated at all times to avoid cross-pollination of strains. It would be best to sterilize your breeding chamber and all other tools you use in the breeding process.

Grow Your Plants to the Flowering Stage

Leave your male and female plants to grow to the flowering stage. If you choose auto-flowering seeds, they’ll start flowering in three to four weeks. If you opt for regular and feminized seeds, you could extend the vegetative state for another eight to nine weeks. 

Flowering cannabis before breeding

You can decide when to trigger the flowering stage when you’re ready. Most home-growers leave the plants in a vegetative state for a few months to allow the plant to grow larger. The bigger your plant grows, the more buds it can produce, and you should have a higher yield.

Place the Two Plants You Want to Breed in the Chamber

Once you’ve chosen your flowering male and female plants you want to breed with, you separate them from the others and place them in the breeding chamber. 

Marijuana breeding chamber

The actual pollination gets done in various ways. You can collect pollen from the male plant into a cup or plastic bag by gently shaking it; shortly, you’ll see the yellow powder collect. Remember that you won’t use all the pollen in one go; you can successfully freeze it for future use.

Once you’re ready to pollinate your female plant, you can either lightly shake the collected pollen over the entire plant or target each flower individually. If you opt for individual flowers, you can use a small paintbrush or your finger to distribute the pollen onto the stigmas

Once you’ve pollinated a flower, you can gently seal it off from the others by putting a plastic bag over it.

Switch to a 12/12 Light Cycle

Now that your pollinated mother plant is ready, separate her from all the others in the chamber. Switch your light cycle to 12/12 for optimal development of the seeds. If you keep your plant under weak CFL grow lights, you’ll end up with a smaller plant and yield. 

Wait for the Female Plant to Develop Seeds

Depending on your strain, it can take a few weeks to develop seeds. Here’s a breakdown of the entire cycle you can expect. Always remember that each strain is unique and will have individual growth patterns.