Thanks to dedicated growers exploring different varieties to create the next best strain, there’s never a shortage of which to try next.
Over the last 60 years, breeders have been crossing strains from around the world to produce the hybrids we know and love today.
What helps ease this process are the loosened cannabis laws worldwide, especially in North America, as Canada was one of the first countries to federally legalize the plant.
If you’re planning to grow some green yourself, it’s normal to wonder where your seeds originated and what their lineage is.
According to High Times, modern strains are usually hybrids of hybrids, making it more complicated to know exactly where they came from.
Photo by RiverRock
The core components of many hybrid strains stem from a handful of landraces.
We’re not sharing this information just to talk about cannabis, but to help you become a more informed consumer and find strains that will target your specific needs like better sleep, pain relief, anti-inflammation, or reducing anxiety and depression.
Heirloom varieties are vital for creating remarkable hybrid strains. Heirloom varieties are made when farmers let natural pollination do its thing, gather their seeds, and plant them the next year.
After several years of repeating this process, the natural selection gets ahold of only the strongest plants, indicating these plants are ideal for crossbreeding.
Strains are heavily influenced by their surrounding environment. Based on the environmental pressure, the plants that survive and can cope under these conditions produce more pollen and seeds than weaker plants.
This means heirloom varieties will not only survive in their climate conditions but thrive.
Photo by Amanda Mac / Business Wire
But what do heirloom strains have to do with modern hybrids? Farmers often trade heirloom seeds to different regions while collecting others to create the next crop.
This process is what creates landrace strains, which are the foundation of all modern hybrids out there.
A few notable landraces responsible for most hybrids on the market include Afghani, Durban Poison, Jamaican, Colombian Gold, Panama Red, and Thai.
There’s one significant tale that might help you understand the process of breeding a bit better. Many of us have dabbled in one of the most popular hybrids on the planet, Skunk #1.
In the late 70s, cannabis advocates traveled to California with Afghani landrace strains. When they arrived, breeders realized this strain hybridized well with Sativas.
A Northern California collective called Sacred Seeds used inbreeding to create a unique hybrid of Afghani, Colombian Gold, and Acapulco Gold, resulting in the one and only Skunk #1, which was first made available to the public for growing in 1981.
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