Cannabis Strain Guide
In this article we’re going to write very briefly about Cannabis strains, a Cannabis strain guide if you will. If you’re only just entering the world of Cannabis and require a bit more info on the subject, our hope is that this Cannabis strain guide can at least point you in the right direction.
Back to basics
There’s estimated to be around two to three thousand current strains of Cannabis as it stands, with new ones appearing daily.
Most can be classed as either pure or hybrid strains of the plant genus Cannabis, with three main species commonly recognized:
- Cannabis Sativa
- Cannabis Indica
- Cannabis Ruderalis
Strains are often developed to intensify certain characteristics of the plant but to also differentiate it from the multitude of strains already on the market.
It’s common for the new strain to be named by its cultivator, they will often go with something catchy and which reflects the properties of the strain itself such as taste, color, smell, or the origin of the strain.
The two species most commonly cultivated for their medicinal and psychoactive effects are Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.
The third species, Cannabis Ruderalis, produces only trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and is the preferred choice grown for commercial use.
Sativa, with its long internodes, branches, and large narrow-bladed leaves are the tallest of the three, some growing more than two to three meters high.
Indica in comparison is generally shorter and more bushier, with wider leaflets. These are often favoured by indoor cultivators for their size.
The Sativa will often bloom later than Indica, and can also take up to a month or two longer to reach maturity.
The effects of both species can differ, but the ratio of THC to CBD in most varieties are very similar.
There’s an ongoing debate whether the existing paradigm of differences between species adequately represents the varied strains found within the genus, Cannabis.
In total, five types can often be found:
- The first having high levels of THC
- The second, that is fibrous and has higher levels of CBD
- Another that is between the two
- One with higher levels of CBG
- Lastly, one with almost no trace of Cannabinoids
Cannabis can be cultivated for its many properties, more often than not the male plants will be separated from females. This prevents the fertilization of the female plants. The Pollen produced by the male plant is then caught and stored until it is needed.
When a male cannabis plant pollinates a female plant, the seeds will be F1 hybrids of both the male and female.
The Cannabis plants offspring will often not be identical and will instead have characteristics of both parents.
A hermaphrodite may create female seeds and hermaphrodite seeds. But the female seeds may sometimes only carry the hermaphrodite trait.
Cultivators looking for specific traits will sometimes use a technique called back-crossing. Whereby they breed the plants desired characteristics with a parent plant.
Cultivators often cross progeny to the mother plant, this parent is known as the recurrent parent. The non-recurrent parent is called the donor parent. The same traits are then looked for in the new offspring. When the traits are detected, the process will then be repeated with the original parent plant. This technique will then be repeated across multiple generations until it is believed the strain’s genetics are at a stable enough level.
Back-crossing is best used when your only adding simple inherited dominant traits, that can easily be identified in the progeny of each generation
Cultivators often give their strains distinct names in order to help differentiate them from their competitors’ strains, but in some cases, they may be very similar.
Popular strains can sometimes be incorporated into new hybrids strains, the hybrids will often have a similar name to their parent plant. This phenomenon has occurred with various strains in the market today.