Here is a breakdown of 7 important things that you need to consider when choosing cannabis genetics. Once you grasp this, everything else will be much simpler. On the flip side if you get it wrong with genetics it will be difficult to redeem yourself later in the cultivation process. So let’s cut to the chase and dive right in.
Before making any assumptions, let’s first define genetics and why they matter in the first place.
What Are Cannabis Genetics?
Genetics are inherited characteristics that are passed on from the parents to their offspring. If we were referring to humans we would be talking about things such as eye color, hair texture, skin color, height, and other characteristics that are passed on from our parents. When it comes to cannabis, genetics will influence the concentration of cannabinoids, physical appearance, aroma, growth characteristics, and yield among others. These traits are passed on from the parents to their offspring.
Cannabis plants can be broadly grouped into four distinct categories:
Landrace strains: These strains are indigenous to an area occur naturally. They are usually hardy and will do well in a particular geographical location where they are native to. Examples of landrace strains include Acapulco Gold and Colombian Gold.
Hybrid strains: This is the opposite of landrace strains. These strains are created by crossing two or more strains. Cross- breeding help to adopt desirable traits from different strains by bringing them into one strain. Hybrid strains can be indica leaning or sativa leaning. They may also be evenly balanced strains with the same proportion of indica to sativa.
Indica strains: These strains have indica traits predominantly. Landrace strains can be either indica or sativa while hybrids are usually indica leaning or sativa leaning because they are a combination of different strains. For a better understanding of this, you can read our previous article by clicking this link.
Sativa strains: These strains have sativa traits. For a better understanding of this, you can read our previous article by clicking this link.
For example, indica strains are short, fast growing, and high yielders. Sativas on the other hand are usually tall and may take a longer time to mature.
1. Are you growing for commercial or personal use?
When you are growing cannabis commercially you will be looking for traits that offer higher yields and you need to consider plant genetics that favor high yields and enhanced profitability. But if you are growing cannabis for personal use the goals are different. A pleasant experience and your individual needs are the priority here.
2. Are you using regular or feminized seeds?
Feminized seeds are more resilient and will withstand fluctuating environmental conditions. Regular seeds on the other hand may lack such resilience. This is something to consider prior to selecting the ideal genetics.
3. How much are you willing to spend?
Cost is always a factor when you are cultivating cannabis for commercial purposes. However this does not mean that you merely settle for the cheapest strains available. The prices of cannabis seeds may vary based on the genetics or where you are purchasing the seeds from.
Where can I buy cannabis seeds from?
Find the genetics that you want and then compare prices without lowering the threshold for quality.
4. Is cannabis for medicinal or recreational use?
Medicinal cannabis is mostly derived from cannabis strains that are high in cannabidiol (CBD). Recreational cannabis on the other hand is derived from strains that are high in the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
5. What is your experience with growing cannabis?
If it is your first time to grow cannabis you should be looking for genetics that are beginner friendly. You want to be working with versatile plants that have hardy characteristics to better your odds of a successful harvest. Think strains like Afghan and Skunk hybrids and you will not be disappointed.
6. Indoor or Outdoor cultivation?
Some strains will do well indoors and some will do better in an outdoor setup. Other strains can thrive in both an indoor or outdoor setup. Consequently you need to first decide where to grow the marijuana plants and then go ahead to select genetics that suit your growing environment.
7. How long do you have?
This is the final question to ask yourself as it will guide you on which genetics to settle for. If you are running out of time you are better off avoiding sativa strains which take a longer time to mature. Some indica strains will mature in about eight weeks and still give high yields.
So What Next?
Take a piece of paper and jot down all these points. Once you have a clear picture of the kind of genetics that you are looking for, head out to the nearest cannabis seed bank and find a strain that suits those characteristics. Use our advice on the 7 things to consider when choosing cannabis genetics and you will not go wrong!