That’s it Gary
definitely 100% chance of weed lmao
@JaneQP i have gdp seeds from a friend, i can send ya some
Hope all is well Mr gary. Damn flu or something super close like had my house down a week and a half or more. Kicked us all hard. Lol. Finally over it I believe.
I thought that some of y’all might be interested in this article
Hydroponic Cannabis: The Pros, Cons, Setups, And More
Aeroponic system, Aeroponics, Deep water culture, Drip irrigation, Drip system, DWC, Ebb and flow, Hydroponic cannabis, Hydroponic substrate, Hydroponics, Hydroponics system, Kratky method, NFT, Nutrient film technique, Nutrients, Oxygen, Roots
- 1.What Is Hydroponics?
- 2.What Are The Benefits Of Hydroponic Cannabis?
- a.Cannabis Plants Mature Faster With Hydroponics
- b.You No Longer Need To Rely On Soil
- c.You Won’t Require A Lot Of Space
- d.You Control Every Aspect Of It
- e.You Can Customize The Feeding Regimen
- f.It’s Better For The Environment
- g.Lower Risk Of Pests And Other Common Ailments
- h.You Can Automate A Lot Of The Processes
- i.Noticeably Larger Yields
- 3.What Are The Drawbacks Of Growing Cannabis Hydroponically?
- a.It Can Be An Expensive Affair
- b.You Need Some Technical Knowledge Of Hydroponics
- c.It Can Consume A Lot Of Your Time
- d.Potential Loss Of Yield Due To Powercuts
- e.Risk Of Waterborne Diseases
- f.Most Hydroponic Setups Are Unforgiving
- g.Its Organic Nature Is Often Debated
- 4.What Are The Types Of Hydroponic Setups For Cannabis?
- a.Ebb And Flow
- b.Deep Water Culture
- d.Drip System
- e.Space Bucket Setup
- f.Nutrient Film Technique
- g.Kratky System
- 5.Summary: Hydroponic Cannabis: The Pros, Cons, Setups, And More
Hydroponics — sounds fancy, right? But should you grow cannabis using this method, or should you stick to conventional growing methods?
Tricky, we know.
Hydroponics can be the ideal option for many growers, but it is best avoided by others. It has a ton of benefits and quite a few drawbacks. Plus, it’s one of the most hyped techniques, what with reduced water consumption, space usage, and many other benefits.
But, is it really worth growing cannabis using hydroponics? Or, are traditional techniques better? After all, growing in soil is a natural way to grow not just cannabis but every crop you can imagine.
Learn all about the pros and cons of hydroponics in this article so that you can make a more informed decision. Read on to know more.
What is Hydroponics?
Etymologically, “hydro” refers to water, and “ponos” relates to labor. Put them together, and you get the word “hydroponics,” which means working water. But the concept is a little more complicated than that.
The practical definition of hydroponics is that it is a process of growing plants like cannabis using water rich in nutrients. Hydroponics is a way of growing plants without using soil or other traditional methods.
Instead, hydroponic plants are grown in sterile containers using a growing medium that supports the roots and water rich in nutrients that are naturally available in the soil.
To grow cannabis hydroponically, you need things like filtered water, a growing medium to support the roots, oxygen, nutrients, and light — these are the foundations of hydroponics. And with this method, you can grow plants faster with higher yields while retaining maximum control over their growth.
What are the Benefits of Hydroponic Cannabis?
There are many advantages to growing cannabis hydroponically. You can grow multiple plants much faster, the plants tend to produce better buds, and you can control every detail of the setup without relying on nature. But there’s a lot more to this. Let’s take a look at the benefits of growing cannabis hydroponically.
1. Cannabis Plants Mature Faster with Hydroponics
With hydroponics, you can massively speed up your cannabis cultivation since this form of growing allows you to precisely control the environment while supplying the nutrients directly to the roots. The plants grow a lot faster.
Thanks to this, you can harvest multiple batches of cannabis per year, resulting in a higher yield than traditional growing methods. This is especially advantageous for commercial growers who want to maximize their profits.
2. You No Longer Need to Rely on Soil
If you have ever grown cannabis in soil (or any other plant, for that matter), you already know how meticulous you have to be about the soil. The soil must be organic, high quality, and rich in nutrients for healthy plant growth.
Such healthy soil is difficult to maintain and, in some regions, tricky to get your hands on. For many growers, high-quality soil can also get expensive.
Fortunately, with hydroponics, you can overcome the problem of high-quality soil. As mentioned earlier, hydroponic plants do not use soil, so you don’t need to invest much time and energy in that aspect.
With a hydroponic setup, you only have to invest in a growing medium like perlite, rockwool, or vermiculite, which will support the roots. And your water will deliver all the essential nutrients straight to the roots.
3. You Won’t Require a Lot of Space
Some hydroponic setups can help you save a lot of space, which is beneficial if you want to grow many cannabis plants but don’t have the space for them. Hydroponics allows you to cram more plants in a smaller grow room without affecting your yield.
Plus, you don’t need a garden to grow plants. You can grow cannabis hydroponically anywhere — even in your cupboard or a small bucket — you need the correct hydroponic setup. So, even if you live in a small condo, hydroponics can help you grow plants quickly.
Another aspect of space optimization with cannabis is that, unlike soil-based cannabis, hydroponic cannabis does not expand its roots as much in the search for food and water. Since water and nutrients are supplied directly to the roots, they stay compact, so you don’t have to worry about having enough space between plants’ roots.
4. You Control Every Aspect of It
When you’re growing cannabis outdoors in soil, you don’t have much control over how your plant grows. Sure, you can modify a few things here and there, but ultimately, nature calls the shots on your plant regarding temperature, humidity, light conditions, air, etc.
Nature knows best, but it is also unforgiving, so if the weather turns bad, it can affect your plant in many ways. Additionally, if your local climate is unsuitable for your plant, it won’t grow as healthy as expected.
The solution? Hydroponics as it allows you to control every aspect of your plant’s growth, from the water supply, nutrients, and light to air conditions, humidity levels, pH, and much more. Thanks to this meticulous control, you can fine-tune your plant’s growth and grow it as you want.
5. You can Customize the Feeding Regimen
In a similar vein, you also get to control the feeding regimen of your plant to the T. Soil is already rich in some nutrients, which can influence your plant’s growth. The same cannot be said about hydroponic cannabis as you’re in the driver’s seat.
For a hydroponic setup, you have to use a nutrient solution containing the nutrients you want your plant to get. So, you can customize the nutrient regimen as per your goals. For example, you can give the exact nutrients to your cannabis that will make the plant grow tall and bushy with more bud sites.
Sure, this requires a lot of research and effort to formulate the correct ratios of nutrients, but the results are always worth it. If you’re growing cannabis for resinous buds, this process makes it a lot easier.
6. It’s Better for the Environment
Wait, how can growing plants be harmful to the environment? There’s one primary reason — cannabis is a thirsty plant. According to rough estimates, an outdoor cannabis plant can consume up to 3,000 liters of water per season!
However, some hydroponic setups use just 10% of the water compared to a conventionally grown cannabis plant since the water is reused and recycled constantly while growing hydroponic cannabis.
When you are growing cannabis hydroponically, the water is circulated to the roots, where some of it is absorbed, and the rest flows back into the reservoir. The same water is constantly recirculated until it is devoid of nutrients or too dirty.
Since water is already a crucial issue in many parts of the world, it is best to grow cannabis hydroponically. This will not only save water but also a lot of money in terms of water bills.
And, it’s not just about cannabis. Many farmers across the world are now understanding the benefits of hydroponics since it has the potential to save a lot of water. Along the same lines, cattle grazing is also a huge problem, where thousands of acres of land are set aside for cattle grazing. Eventually, it leads to soil degradation and the elimination of local vegetation. In many cases, the local vegetation is reduced to such an extent that it never regenerates. With so many problems in traditional agriculture, choosing hydroponics is not just good for yields but for the planet as well.
7. Lower Risk of Pests and Other Common Ailments
There are two ways your plants stay protected from pests and other common ailments when you grow cannabis hydroponically.
First, since your setup does not have soil, you don’t have to worry about soil-borne pests and diseases like gophers, groundhogs, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, etc. Your plants will be safe from such issues with a hydroponic setup.
Second, your plants will grow in a closed system, which is meticulously controlled, so the chances of foreign pathogens and insects making their way into your indoor garden are less. It can still occur, but the risk is much lower compared to outdoor cannabis growth.
8. You Can Automate a Lot of the Processes
Growing cannabis is labor intensive since you must monitor your plants and the environment, provide the proper nutrients, and keep everything in order. Fortunately, with a hydroponic setup, you can automate many of these processes.
For example, you can automate the feeding routine of your setup, install smart thermostats to keep the temperature and humidity in check, set up timers to control the light cycle, etc. And thanks to the advent of AI, you can also use various sensors and devices to keep a close eye on your plant’s growth and health easily.
Sure, this may take some time to set up (and money), but it is worth it if you want to grow cannabis on a larger scale. It can take the load off your back so you can focus on the essential duties of your cannabis cultivation.
9. Noticeably Larger Yields
All the benefits listed above come together for perhaps the biggest benefit of growing cannabis hydroponically — improved yield. Thanks to the closely monitored and controlled setup, customized nutrient routine, lower risk of pests and ailments, et al., your plants will surely yield better.
This is why many commercial growers have switched their gardens to hydroponics. The yield and ease of growing cannabis are unmatchable.
What are the Drawbacks of Growing Cannabis Hydroponically?
The benefits sure sound inviting for a new grower, but there are some drawbacks to hydroponic cannabis as well. Knowing these drawbacks is crucial in helping you make an informed decision regarding your cannabis garden. Here are some of the biggest drawbacks of hydroponic cannabis.
1. It can be an Expensive Affair
Sure, hydroponic cannabis will give you a tremendous yield, but it comes at a cost, which is often too high. For an efficient hydroponic setup, you need to invest in a lot of equipment, which can burn a hole in your wallet.
For instance, you need water pumps, containers, lighting systems, oxygenators, an air circulation system including fans and air conditioning, climate control systems, nutrients, and much more.
For most new growers, such an elaborate hydroponic setup is not necessary. However, there’s a catch — you can make a hydroponic setup for a fraction of the cost if you choose the correct setup.
There are many hydroponic setups, but a few, like the space bucket method, are surprisingly cheap to set up for a new grower. Even DWC isn’t really expensive. And, you can reduce the cost if you build your own systems. So, to make sure this drawback does not get in your way, choose the proper hydroponic setup that suits your budget and preferences.
2. You Need Some Technical Knowledge of Hydroponics
Growing plants is easy, but the better you get at it, the more difficult it gets. However, growing cannabis hydroponically is a different ballgame altogether. This method of growing cannabis requires you to know technical details about your equipment, nutrients, lights, climate, etc.
So, even before you start germinating the seeds, you need to know a lot of literature on cannabis, so you know exactly what you are doing. Only then will your plant grow healthy and give a better yield.
3. It can Consume a Lot of Your Time
In a hydroponic setup, nature is not helping you with the light cycle, nutrients, and climatic conditions. Here, you have to manage all that, which can consume much of your time. This is not as simple as tossing a seed in your backyard and letting nature nourish your plant.
Additionally, since your plant is growing in such a controlled environment, you need to constantly monitor the plant for any signs of problems, especially nutrient issues, and ensure it meets its needs on time.
All of this can consume a lot of your time. So, unless you are okay with spending time every day tending to your indoor cannabis plant, you should not consider a hydroponic setup.
4. Potential Loss of Yield due to Powercuts
A hydroponic setup relies on electricity to run, and if your grow room loses electricity, your plant can suffer from stress, and in extreme scenarios, it may even die.
During a power cut, the plant may lose light, the climate control systems may fail, and the water supply may stop circulating — all of these are critical problems that should be avoided at all costs.
Of course, this does not mean a few hours of energy loss will kill your plant. Your plant can survive a few hours of power cuts, but if it happens too often or longer, your plant may suffer the consequences of it. This is why hydroponics isn’t the best option if your house experiences a lot of power cuts.
5. Risk of Waterborne Diseases
Remember how, with a hydroponic setup, your plant is not at risk of soil-borne ailments? There’s a flip side to it — your plant is at a higher risk of waterborne diseases since it entirely relies on water to grow.
In a hydroponic setup, your plants are at a much higher risk of suffering from root rot, fungus, or mold infestations, which may take hold of your plant quickly and are often difficult to overcome.
6. Most Hydroponic Setups are Unforgiving
If you are growing cannabis outdoors and forget to water your plant one day, your plant will likely survive. The soil already has some water retained within. But the same rules do not apply to hydroponic setups.
Since hydroponic setups are well-timed and closely controlled, even minor hiccups can cause significant damage to your plant’s growth quickly. For example, if you fail to turn off the lights at night, your plant may experience light stress and even turn into a hermaphrodite quickly.
This makes hydroponic setups a little challenging to manage, requiring an experienced hand. However, you can still grow cannabis hydroponically even if you’re a beginner. You just need to be a bit more careful and consistent with your approach.
7. Its Organic Nature is Often Debated
Most growers and cannabis users want their cannabis to be as organic as possible due to the safety concerns of artificial chemicals or methods. And in the past decade or two, this debate has grown significantly in the cannabis community.
Here, many users and growers often question the organic nature of hydroponics — is it even organic as it does not receive the microbiomes from the soil, for instance, or it grows in an artificial environment without soil?
So, for some growers, hydroponics isn’t the most organic way of growing cannabis. Still, it is essential to know that it is possible to grow hydroponic cannabis without relying on any harmful chemicals or compounds. Even the nutrients you use in your hydroponic setup can be organic.
Is hydroponics organic? That’s up for debate and depends on your semantic approach to defining what organic means. But with the suitable methods and use of nutrients, you can grow your hydroponic cannabis as organically as possible.
What are the Types of Hydroponic Setups for Cannabis?
Regarding the benefits and drawbacks discussed above, it is crucial to note that some depend on the type of hydroponic setup you use. For example, some hydroponic setups are expensive and require a lot of equipment — but this does not apply to all hydroponic setups.
To make sure you get to enjoy the benefits you desire while minimizing the drawbacks, it is crucial that you choose the correct hydroponic setup for growing cannabis. Here are some of the most common hydroponic setups.
1. Ebb and Flow
One of the most common hydroponic setups used to grow cannabis is the ebb and flow method, which uses a plant bed that is repeatedly flooded (and drained) with nutrient solution. The roots sit in the plant bed.
The flooding and drainage of the setup depend on the strain you grow, your preferences, and other factors like the number of plants, climate, root size, etc. But this is a relatively easy hydroponic setup that can be used to grow cannabis.
2. Deep Water Culture
Also known as DWC, deep water culture is an ideal hydroponic setup for larger cannabis plants that have bigger root balls. Here, your plant would sit above a large water basin, and the roots’ lower half will be submerged in water, whereas the remaining roots will be exposed to air.
This supply ensures a constant supply of both nutrients and oxygen to your plant’s roots, which leads to the roots not growing so big while also supporting terrific bud development. Plus, this system is also quite simple to set up and maintain for a new grower.
The two systems mentioned above are simple, but not this one. Aeroponics is complex and only suitable for experienced hydroponic growers. In this setup, your plants sit above the water, but the roots are not submerged in water. Periodically, the roots are misted with water.
The benefit of this method is that it allows you the most control over the nutrient routine of your plant while allowing the highest levels of oxygenation for the roots — the result is often a massive yield.
The downside? You need to invest in an elaborate system that includes automated timers, misters, and a few other peripherals that are difficult to operate and expensive to procure.
4. Drip System
While this system is a little expensive to set up, it is fairly straightforward to maintain for a novice cannabis grower. In a drip system, the plant sits above the reservoir containing aerated nutrient solution, and the water is constantly cycled to the roots via drip lines.
5. Space Bucket Setup
Perhaps the cheapest hydroponic setup is the space bucket one — it uses a container with holes cut into the sides, a small computer fan, an air filter, and a grow light. It is cheap and enough to grow one cannabis plant discreetly.
6. Nutrient Film Technique
The Nutrient Film Technique or NFT utilizes a very thin film of water rich in nutrients flowing over the plant’s roots. The roots are supported by a sloping tube or shallow channel. Like aeroponics, NFT also doesn’t have the roots submerged in water completely. Instead, they are suspended in the air and frequently receive the nutrient solution.
A reservoir is used to pump the nutrient solution to the tube or channel. The water flows back into the reservoir, allowing for better water usage and reducing wastage. As the nutrient solution flows constantly, the roots also receive oxygen and nutrients while eliminating waste products.
NFT, like many other hydroponic techniques, is very popular for growing cannabis as it has several advantages, including efficient water and nutrient usage, reduced pest problems, and the ability to grow several cannabis plants in a small space. However, it also requires careful monitoring and maintenance to ensure that the plants receive the right amount of nutrients and water.
7. Kratky System
The Kratky System is slightly different from other types of hydroponic setups as it doesn’t require, pumps, electricity, or aeration. In this system, you can grow the plants in containers filled with a nutrient solution while the roots are suspended in them.
As the plants grow, they absorb the nutrient solution. Naturally, the water level decreases. However, the roots will continue to absorb oxygen from the air space above the nutrient solution. Note that there has to be a small reservoir of nutrient solution at the bottom and sufficient larger air space above it, for this system to work. This allows the roots to access both water and oxygen as they need without the usage of pumps.
That said, many cannabis growers have pointed out that Kratky may not be a great method to grow cannabis as the plants need varying nutrient solutions during the vegetative and flowering stages of growth. Also, since this system is all about still water, the plants will be prone to diseases including root rot. Other systems use an air pump to solve this issue, but Kratky doesn’t do that, it can be slightly challenging.
Summary: Hydroponic Cannabis: The Pros, Cons, Setups, And More
Hydroponics may seem like a new invention in gardening, but it is much older than you’d think. Experts have traced the origins of hydroponics thousands of years ago — as far back as 600 BCE in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
From Babylon to the 11th century Aztec, along with ancient Egypt, you can find traces of hydroponics throughout history. And since then, gardeners and farmers have gradually perfected the method of cultivating plants hydroponically.
Thanks to its long history, nowadays, hydroponics has become a reliable way to grow cannabis even in the most unusual places — even NASA scientists plan to use hydroponics to grow plants in space!
And for a cannabis grower, hydroponics offers various benefits like better yields, precise control, customization, lower risk of pests and other ailments, and much more. Despite the drawbacks, hydroponics can help you become a better grower and improve the quality of your plants.
So, what are you waiting for? Choose a hydroponic setup that suits you and start growing!
Here’s another one for y’all
What are Cannabis Genotype, Phenotype, and Chemotype?
Cannabis chemotype, Cannabis chemovars, Cannabis genotype, Cannabis phenotype, Cannabis strains, Genetics, Pheno hunting
- 1.Cannabis Genotype And Phenotype
- a.Cannabis Genotype
- b.Cannabis Phenotype
- c.The Phenotype Formula
- 2.What Is Pheno-hunting?
- a.Step-by-step Guide On Pheno-hunting
- 3.What Is Cannabis Chemotype?
- a.Type 1: Thc Dominant
- b.Type 2: Balanced Ratio
- c.Type 3: Cbd Dominant
- d.Type 4: Cbg Dominant
- e.Type 5: No Cannabinoids
- f.The Problems With The Chemotype Approach
- 4.What Are Cannabis Chemovars?
- 5.How Does Chemovar Relate To Genotype And Phenotype?
- 6.Summary: What Are Cannabis Genotype, Phenotype, And Chemotype?
Before growers figured out how to grow cannabis, the species grew out in the open without any human intervention. The plant naturally adapted to specific conditions during that time, depending on its location.
For example, Indica varieties of cannabis grew to possess better cold resistance and high vigor, whereas Sativa varieties evolved to grow well in tropical conditions with high humidity levels.
But when growers figured out how to use this evolutionary aspect of cannabis, they started breeding cannabis to possess specific traits they desired the most. We have come far in the last couple of decades.
Nowadays, even a hobby grower can easily invent a new strain by breeding two different strains — the new strain will possess the traits the grower desires the most. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
If you want to go down the path of breeding cannabis, you will come across three terms: genotype, phenotype, and chemotype. Genotype is the genetic boundary of the plant, phenotype refers to the traits a specific plant exhibits, and chemotype indicates the plant’s cannabinoid properties.
This guide takes you deeper into the three terms, how they relate to each other, and how you can use them to grow your favorite cannabis strains. Who knows, maybe you can invest in the next best cannabis strain.
Read on to learn everything about cannabis genotype, phenotype, and chemotype.
Cannabis Genotype and Phenotype
When growing cannabis, two factors influence how your plant grows — its potency, shape, color, and other traits — namely genetics and environment. This is where genotype and phenotype come into play.
Cannabis genotype and phenotype are closely related, so we will look at the two concepts together.
Genotype is essentially the genetic composition of your cannabis plant, which is responsible for defining how the plant grows. It allows your plant to exhibit a range of possibilities in terms of growth, potency, color, shape, etc.
This genetic code is stored in the DNA of all living beings, including the cannabis plant, and it carries crucial information or instructions for the plant. However, the genotype is never rigid — it merely defines a range of how the plant can grow — but the plant can never go out of this range.
Genotype defines the boundaries of the plant, but another factor that influences its growth is the environment. When you get involved in the genetics of the cannabis plant, genotype comes in handy to understand the limitations of the cannabis plant and not how it will actually grow, since the environment plays a significant role as well. This brings us to phenotype.
As mentioned earlier, the growth environment of the plant affects how the plant grows. Even if you grow two cannabis plants of identical genotypes, both plants will grow entirely differently in different environments. This is the plant’s phenotype.
A phenotype can be defined as a genotype that is expressed by the plant based on the growth environment. When the plant grows, the environment influences the growth by pulling out specific phenotypes.
Simply put, a phenotype is the plant’s genotype being expressed in its appearance.
The Phenotype Formula
A Blueberry cannabis plant generally grows purple buds outdoors, but the buds may not turn purple when you grow the same strain indoors. This is caused by the difference in temperature of both grow setups. In an outdoor garden, the low temperature can hamper chlorophyll production, and the anthocyanins in the buds produce the purple hue.
Just a quick word on anthocyanins:
Anthocyanins are nothing but water-soluble pigments responsible for the colors of many plants including cannabis. So, the purple, blue, red, and green hues on cannabis plants you see? That’s due to anthocyanins. Belonging to the class of flavonoids, they are natural compounds that also offer many therapeutic properties.
The cannabis plant’s trichomes produce anthocyanins. Trichomes are small resinous glands found in the buds, stems, and leaves of the plant. Although trichomes are present in every cannabis plant if it’s grown well, they are found in large quantities in strains exhibiting blue or purple hues.
Anthocyanins do much more than just make the cannabis plant look pretty — they protect the plant from environmental stresses and UV rays. Plus, they serve as antioxidants and protect the plant’s cells from oxidative damage.
Apart from their protection, they offer a number of health benefits to humans including their ability to relieve inflammation and pain. However, we still need a lot of research to be done on the role of anthocyanins and how they can help humankind.
So, coming back to phenotypes…the Blueberry strain carries a genotype or genetic information that can produce purple buds; the environment influences the color, too. So, the phenotype of an outdoor Blueberry plant is purple buds, while the same for an indoor Blueberry is green buds.
This means that while the Blueberry strain has a genotype that can grow buds that can turn blue, only an outdoor environment influences the expression. For the outdoor plant, purple buds are the phenotype.
You can consider the phenotype of your cannabis and how it expresses itself using this formula:
Generally, the environmental factors that affect the phenotype expression of your cannabis plant include:
- Temperature and relative humidity
- Lighting conditions
- Growing medium
- Nutrient routine and any use of fertilizers
As a result, an experienced grower can easily manipulate the factors mentioned above to bring out a specific phenotype in their cannabis plant.
What is Pheno-Hunting?
To grow the best plants based on your preferences, you must look into pheno-hunting. What is it? Pheno-hunting is nothing but the process of looking for the best cannabis phenotypes, so you can narrow down the most desirable traits.
Pheno-hunting usually involves planting multiple seeds from a single mother plant and eliminating any plant that expresses undesirable phenotypes. Once you have narrowed down on plants with the most desired traits, you then clone them to lock in the traits.
This practice is also beneficial if you want to breed a new strain of cannabis. Here, you can select two different cannabis plants with desirable traits, breed them, and backcross them to create a stabilized line. The resulting hybrid will contain desirable phenotypes of both parent plants.
Note that pheno-hunting is complex and meticulous, and you need to be committed to the process. Generally, the entire process can take up to at least nine months when you grow multiple plants at the same time.
Once you grow a few generations of clones, you then switch the plants to bloom, where you will start noticing the desirable phenotypes.
Step-by-Step Guide on Pheno-Hunting
Pheno-hunting allows you to personalize your cannabis plant unlike you’ve ever done before, but before you even begin, you need to get a few things sorted. Start with the growing space — ensure there is enough room to grow multiple plants, and then move on to pots or containers, lighting systems, air circulation, nutrients, or other peripherals as needed.
Next, schedule the entire process. You will be growing several generations of plants until you get the desired phenotype. You need at least nine months. Then, follow these steps.
1. Germinate the Seeds
Select the strain you want to grow and sow the seeds. Make sure you label your plants, so you know exactly what is in your garden. If you’re growing multiple strains, use their names or initials and desired phenotypes on the label along with the generation number.
For example, if you are growing Girl Scout Cookies, you can label the plants as GSC1a, GSC2a, GSC3a, and so on. For the clones, you can switch the letter “a” to “b,” like GSC1b — this will help you keep track of the clones’ mother plants.
Once the seeds germinate, grow the plants as usual, and within a month or so, they will have grown big enough with true leaves — a sign that they are ready to be cloned.
2. Clone the Plants
The next step is to clean each plant in your garden to create genetic copies of them, and you can use any method that suits you to clone them.
But wait, isn’t it too soon to clone?
Nope. Cloning at this time will ensure the clones are direct copies of their mother plants. As long as the environmental conditions are similar, the clones will grow identically to the mothers and exhibit the same phenotypes.
Use a separate area to grow your first generation of clones, and meanwhile, let the mother plants also grow. During this time, you can even manipulate the environmental factors for the clones to check for any new phenotypes that may occur.
3. Switch the Mother Plants to Flowering
Soon enough, the mother plants will be ready to flower — switch the light cycle to 12/12 and wait for the buds to develop. Once they are ready for harvest after 8 to 12 weeks, you can take out the buds and start testing them.
Note: when you switch to flowering, take out any plants that show male sex organs — you don’t want them to pollinate your female plants at all. To avoid this, you can start with feminized seeds.
4. Check for Desired Traits in Your Clones
During this time, your clones should reach their vegetative stage. It’s time to observe them and look for any traits you want in the future. You need to check the following characteristics in your clones:
- Morphology — symmetry, the distance between the nodes, number of bud sites, height, shape, etc.
- Training — how well do the clones fare with training methods?
- Growing speed or vigor — do they grow fast or slow?
- Resistance to factors like heat, humidity, pests
- Nutrient demands
5. Look for Desired Phenotypes
Yay! It’s time to smoke a lot of doobies. While you do that, ensure you track every trait of the buds, including their flavor and aroma profiles, potency, terpene, and cannabinoid content, et al.
6. Eliminate the Plants with Undesirable Phenotypes
Once you have tested both the mother plants’ buds and clones, you must purge any plants with undesirable phenotypes. Yes, this is a difficult task — who wants to toss good cannabis plants — but it’s necessary.
That doesn’t mean you have to toss them in the trash, though. You can simply move the plants to a different grow space or give them to your friends!
7. Sow, Grow, Repeat
By now, you must have narrowed down your desired phenotype. What’s next? You can create a new set of clones from the first generation clones — the second generation will be identical to the first one. Don’t forget to label them!
You can also switch your first-generation clones to flowering and harvest their buds.
If you want to further expand your scope, you can subject some clones from the first generation to different environmental conditions to check how they turn out.
You have found the traits you desire most in a clone plant. If you want an endless supply of it, you need to keep cloning the same plant. On the other hand, if you’re going to experiment with breeding, you can use the same steps mentioned above to find the desired traits in another strain.
Once you have two clones of different strains with desired phenotypes, you can breed them. You’d have to follow these steps:
- Create an inbred line for each parent plant to create a line of homozygote plants — you can do this by self-pollinating the plants. This inbred line is also known as IBL.
- Choose plants that perform the best and keep self-pollinating them until the plants in one generation turn out to be identical to one another. Here, you will create multiple generations of self-pollinated plants, which are referred to as S1, S2, S3, and so on. Over time, after multiple generations, the plants’ traits will be locked in.
- Once you have two pure lines with locked-in traits, you can cross-breed them to create a heterozygote offspring — this is your F1 hybrid.
Do note that creating F1 hybrids is a long and meticulous process. The steps listed above only give you a rough idea of the process. If you want to create your own strain, you need to do a lot of research and take up the project only if you’re willing to spend a lot of time, effort, and money on it.
The results will be worth it. Using this technique, you can invent a new strain that is stable and will not lose the desired traits when reproduced. Imagine having a strain that tastes like your favorite variety while having the desired THC levels of another strain!
What is Cannabis Chemotype?
While learning more about cannabis, you will come across not only genotypes and phenotypes but also chemotypes. What is a chemotype exactly?
Chemotype refers to the phytochemical composition of the cannabis plant (or any other living organism). For cannabis, the term is used to define the THC: CBD ratio of the plant.
This approach was first introduced by the Canadian botanist Ernest Small, who suggested three chemotypes. But during his time, cannabis wasn’t as potent as it is now, so the study didn’t go anywhere.
But in the 70s, when cannabis was potent enough for scientists to study, they applied Small’s approach and solidified his suggested three chemotypes.
Nowadays, cannabis is categorized mainly in the following chemotypes:
Type 1: THC Dominant
Type 1 chemotype is ideal for recreational users who want to get high — this chemotype is dominant in its THC content but lacks other cannabinoids like CBD. But this can often be misleading for users who choose strains with only high THC content.
THC tends to work better with other cannabinoids and terpenes, thereby producing the entourage effect.
Type 2: Balanced Ratio
The next chemotype has a balanced ratio of THC and CBD, which can work for both recreational users as well as medicinal users. Generally, Type 2 cannabis contains a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD.
Type 3: CBD Dominant
This is a chemotype that is dominant in CBD, not in THC. Due to low THC levels, this chemotype cannabis is not psychoactive, making it perfect for medicinal users who want to reap the benefits of cannabis without getting high.
While there are three significant chemotypes for cannabis plants, researchers have also developed other chemotypes for the lesser-known cannabinoids. Here are the new chemotypes:
Type 4: CBG Dominant
As the name suggests, this chemotype contains high levels of cannabigerol (CBG), often referred to as the mother of cannabinoids. The acid form of CBG, CBGA, is a precursor to CBD and THC, but experts are studying this cannabinoid for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Type 5: No Cannabinoids
The latest chemotype is Type 5, which does not contain any cannabinoids at all. While it may be a disappointment for most users, cannabis with zero cannabinoid content can serve a different purpose — research and new product development.
Expect many more chemotypes to come up in the future as experts delve further into the various lesser-known cannabinoids of cannabis.
The Problems with the Chemotype Approach
Chemotypes are simple ways to categorize cannabis, and it only focuses on the dominant cannabinoid within a specimen. For cannabis users, this categorization is a terrific way to understand cannabis products without getting into the nitty-gritty of it.
However, this method does not give the users any insight into the specific cannabinoid profile. A plant with 15% THC and 5% CBD and another with 5% THC and 1% CBD will be classified as Type 1 cannabis. This approach also ignores other aspects of cannabis, like the flavor profile, smoothness, aroma, etc.
Another drawback of the chemotype approach is that it does not account for the fact that the plants may exhibit different chemical profiles even in a single strain.
What is the solution to this problem? Chemovars.
What are Cannabis Chemovars?
Cannabis chemotypes are based on cannabinoid ratios, but chemovars are something entirely different. In this approach, the classification of cannabis is a lot more detailed — it describes the dominant cannabinoids and terpenes in a cannabis specimen.
For example, a single strain like Girl Scout Cookies can have multiple chemovars, depending on the plant’s genotype and environmental conditions.
Sounds familiar? Because the “strains” we know now are based on the chemovar approach!
This approach is much more reliable for experts studying cannabis and consumers as it gives a much better insight into the cannabis varieties and their potential effects.
For a long time, cannabis researchers have been facing a significant challenge where they could only study a single compound at a time instead of the interactions between various combinations. The chemovar approach can help experts study the varieties in more detail.
At the same time, instead of relying merely on cannabinoid ratios, cannabis users can now use chemovars to understand cannabis products better. With this approach, they can better understand cannabis, its flavor and aroma profile, and a lot more, including the entourage effect.
But does it help a cannabis grower or a breeder? Read on to know more.
How Does Chemovar Relate to Genotype and Phenotype?
Chemovar and chemotype may seem out of place when discussing the genotype and phenotype of the cannabis plant, but there is more to this relationship than meets the eye. And it gets complex.
Each cannabis variety has a distinct genotype, which sets the boundaries for phenotypes. The expression of these phenotypes further depends on various environmental factors like temperature, relative humidity, nutrients, and light.
So, when you grow cannabis plants, even if you have plants of the same genotype, they can express different phenotypes if grown in varying conditions and possess unique chemovars.
Breeders can selectively breed cannabis plants to produce desired phenotypes as well as chemovars. Here, you need to select plants with the desired phenotypes and chemotypes and cross-breed them — the resulting offspring will have the desired traits.
While this approach is relatively new, it is crucial for growers and breeders who want to breed new varieties of cannabis to produce the desired results.
Summary: What are Cannabis Genotype, Phenotype, and Chemotype?
To summarize, as a cannabis grower, you must know all you can about cannabis genotype, phenotype, and chemotype.
Cannabis genotype helps you understand the limits of cannabis varieties — a cannabis plant will never produce 25% THC if its genotype dictates it to produce only up to 20% THC.
On the other hand, a phenotype is the expression of various traits based on environmental conditions. Two cannabis plants with identical genotypes can still produce varying phenotypes if they are grown in different environmental conditions. Pheno-hunting and cross-breeding can help you find and breed a new line of cannabis plants with the most desired traits.
In all this, chemotype comes into play when understanding the plant’s chemical makeup and potential effects. But chemotype isn’t enough — you need to focus on chemovar. Chemovar helps you know the cannabinoid and terpenoid content of the varieties, helping you narrow down your search for the best plant.
Using phenotypes and chemotypes, you can grow cannabis plants that have the desired physical traits and produce the desired effects, whether you want them to get you super high or super sleepy, depending on what you are going for.
Knowledge is something they can’t take away from you.
The only time to stop learning is when you stop living. Great information Gary.
I am hitting Crazy 8 monkey fruit in the dry herb vaporizer right now, taste exactly like carnations smell. Very Floral. It’s been curing since July 20th.
Happy Cannaversary @fast-grow
A good read Gary
Happy Cannaversary Grow Bro
Happy Cannaversary @fast-grow
morning Gary…some good articles
@OGIncognito @kaptain3d @BudzMS
Thanks guys, I appreciate the shout out. Been a quick 2 years here.
Time flies when you’re having fun Brother
And a good morning to you too Sir
I hope you have a great Fryday Gary!