A Highlight of two of the strongest strains and Information on the three species of Cannabis
Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja, Weed, Grass, Refer, Pot, and Hemp are just a handful of the many, many names we’ve come to call this plant. Having nearly as many uses as it has names, history is peppered with references of hemp fiber being used to make items ranging from paper to canvas sails from cloth to rope and even fiberboard. It can be cooked into many recipes. It can even be processed into biofuel, producing more energy per acre than any other bio-fuel crop, including corn.
The precious buds of the female plants have been harvested the world over for reasons spiritual, medicinal, and recreational. It’s quite possibly the most versatile gift given to us by planet earth. It has only been in the past hundred years that the Cannabis plant has become subject to persecution solely due to its intoxicating properties.
Speaking of its intoxicating properties, this article will highlight two strains boasting some of the highest THC content in the world. We will take a look at their parentage and then I’ll give you the basic grow facts of the three “species” of the cannabis plant. Maybe one day you will have the award-winning strain.
Cactus is a 1st place cup holder in the hybrid category in the Medical Cannabis Cup in Seattle with a staggering 20.15% THC content. This hybrid comes from the breeding of Dutch Treat and Northern Lights #5, as well as the encouragement of the growers at the Dockside Co-Op. Dutch Treat and Northern Lights have been around the block with multiple awards.
Dog is a newcomer from Breeder’s Boutique. This 75%/25% Indica heavy hybrid, OG Kush and Sour Diesel respectively, has a whopping 21.7% THC content. OG Kush and Sour Diesel are both west coast favorites also boasting awards on their shelves.
Do you remember back in high school learning about a guy named Mendel and his pea plants? Look him up real quick. This guy came up with the concepts we have used and built upon inbreeding today. Crossbreeding this strain with that one. Backcrossing for stability. It all came from Mendel. While it would take more space than I have to really explain breeding I can give you an overview of the three different subspecies of marijuana and explain how to inseminate a plant.
Types of Cannabis
Cannabis Sativa was, before indoor cultivation, found primarily around 30 degrees North or south latitude. The tallest of the three subspecies, Sativa can grow from five feet to thirty feet tall. With leaflets on the more narrow side and many long branches Sativa’s mature slowest. A Sativa high will be cerebral and energetic without giving you a “couch-lock” effect.
*Couch-Lock-the inability to leave the couch except in the most extreme cases of the munchies*
Cannabis Indica, again before indoor cultivation, was found around 30-50 degrees North or South latitude. The “middle child” of the Cannabis family, the Indica plant tends to be shorter and bushier than the Sativa with a shorter time needed to mature. An Indica high is likely to be felt more in the body than a Sativa and in some cases gives you that “couch-lock” effect we mentioned earlier.
Cannabis Ruderalis is the least known subspecies of the Cannabis family due to the fact that it doesn’t produce desirable enough quantities of THC. Found in nature past 50 degrees North latitude, Ruderalis is the shortest and least bushy of the three subspecies with the fastest rate of maturing of the three. Ruderalis is primarily bred with the intent of making a plant “auto-flowering” or to make a plant shorter and faster to mature.
Now within these three subspecies are strains. Hundreds of them at this point, some of them are pure Sativas, or Indicas, some of them are hybrids of the two or even three subspecies. The introduction of Indica into the grow room happened around the late ’70s after growers realized how difficult it was to get a Sativa variety plant to produce commercial amounts of buds indoors. In addition, many Sativa strains show hermaphroditic tendencies when cultivated indoors where Indica’s do not. Now toss in some Ruderalis genetics and you have short, quick flowering plants with Sativa and Indica traits like high THC content and dense colas.
The easiest way for you to start breeding is to pick a male and a female plant with the characteristics you desire, take the pollen from the male plant and use a small paintbrush to apply the pollen to the flowers, or buds, of the female plant. This will produce seeds. Harvest the seeds, germinate them, and start the growing process. Pick the plant(s) with the most desirable traits and cull the rest. Use cloning to keep the genetics you’ve created from deviating in future crops.
There you go, but remember this is the basest of knowledge to get you started. The internet has a ton of information if the breeding interests you so, as always, arm yourself with knowledge and remember to live well.