When growing cannabis, a strain’s genetics are arguably one of the most important factors in deciding whether or not you’ll end up with some Grade-A chronic or some mids that you couldn’t pay anyone to smoke. Equally important when smoking, understanding genetics helps you better decide which strain will produce the affects you are looking for. There still remains pure heirloom strains which have survived for decades for sure. Most strains we know now have been strategically hybridized to create new variety and improve past strains with their most desirable traits. What are the basics of genetics, and why are they important to growing and smoking?
Genetic Manipulation How and Why
For growing, genetics will greatly contribute to determining a plant’s size, color, vigor, resistance to pests and mold, smell, taste, yield, and overall cannabinoid and terpene production. These qualities all vary from strain to strain based on its genotype, or genetic code which provides the framework for a strain’s attributes. This code is then expressed through a strain’s phenotype, or physical manifestation of a strains genotype (paired with contributing environmental factors). Like siblings who share DNA, different phenotypes are similar yet vary in how they are expressed. As a hypothetical example, pheno 1 may produce a shorter growing plant with the citrus smells from the mother plant, while pheno 2 may taste earthier, with heavy sedative affects from the father.
As the number of cultivators has increased, so too has strain hybridization. Strains that are unique and high yielding in cannabinoid content, terpene, and over all quantity production are the holy grail for growers. Hybridization helps accomplish this by creating new strains that potentially have the best traits of both parent strains. Growers embark on what’s known as a “phenotype hunt”. This is a large induction of hundreds to thousands of seeds in a search for a new perfect combination of traits from both parents. These traits include growing habits which can make filling a large room a headache. This is due to sporadic growth patterns or a walk in the park due to a strain’s uniformity. Single strains can be bred back into themselves to create more stable and predictable traits.
Consumption Junction Whats The Function?
From a smoking perspective, knowing the genetics of what you’re consuming helps you predict what you will feel and the potential quality of that flower. Genetic consistencies are displayed through strain names that help signify what type of affects you are going to feel. Jack Herer is a popular euphoric and soaring sativa that is crossed with many other strains. Thus, when you see Jack the Ripper or Candy Jack, you can expect similar effects to its notorious parent strain.
The tricky part is memorizing all of the cannabis strain trigger words. Haze, purple, blue, OG, kush, dream, jack, lemon, cookies, etc. These are all common prefixes and suffixes in strain names. Researching what these words genetic lineages are will help you better decipher what strain to pick up off the flower wall at Mankind.
Knowledge Is Power
Knowing which strain to grow and smoke can be a daunting task if you are new to cannabis. Even veterans of the industry are exposed to newly developed genetics, phenotypes and cannabis experiences every day. Taking the time to speak with a knowledgeable Mankind Dispensary consultant will help provide insight on strains you love and even help you find new favorite cannabis genetics in San Diego. Stop by today to find out which genetics are right for you!
About the author: Zac is a cannabis devotee and one of our lead cannabis consultants at Mankind Dispensary. He is San Diego county born and raised (Carlsbad) and has been a professional in the cannabis industry for 8 years. You can find him on instagram at zabadaba.sd .