Everything you need to know about cannabis breeding and its evolution

What is cannabis breeding | SensorySeeds

Published on: 03/02/2023

Breeding: a brief guide to an effective cannabis growing technique

There are different cultivation techniques, and breeding is one of those that has attracted some interest lately.

But how does it work and why is it so popular with growers?

In this article we will try to delve into this issue.

Breeding cannabis | SensorySeeds

What is meant by ‘breeding’?

The term breeding refers to the sexual reproduction of cannabis which involves the cross-pollination of two plants. This activity can be performed both with pure strains and with two hybrid strains.

Breeding is usually done by experienced growers who want to create their own custom strain and who, in particular, may want to:

  1. experiment with new desired traits or characteristics of the plant;
  2. preserve a specific variety that he particularly likes.

To do this, hemp growers select flavours, terpenes, smell, yield, strength and potency.

Hence, this process is called breeding because it can produce an offspring that combines both mother plants and exhibits desirable characteristics from each of them.

Read also: Does CBD really fight THC? Let’s clarify

Cannabis breeding: how does it work?

Cannabis breeding is a delicate dance of genetic evolution. In other words, it is an art form that has been perfected over thousands of years and is rapidly evolving.

The first phase concerns the selection process: here the cannabis seeds that produce the best phenotype or cultivar are chosen.

Since marijuana is dioecious, male and female cannabis plants grow separately. Reproduction occurs in a different way than plants that reproduce sexually through self-fertilization or self-seeding. Cannabis reproduction occurs when pollen from a male plant comes into contact with the ovule of a female plant.

But that is not all.

Did you know that cannabis has a diploid genome?

This means that each cannabis plant has two copies of each chromosome, where the genes are located. Then these two copies can combine during reproduction to mix genes. Chromosomes come from sex cells produced by male flowers (pollen sacs) and female flowers (ovules). These sex cells combine to give each offspring a copy of each parent’s genes during reproduction.

Since each plant has two copies of each gene, it is also possible to acquire multiple versions of a particular gene by crossing two different plants. Using this method, growers can make new selections for specific traits and then cultivate those selections to produce offspring with more desirable traits than the parent plants.

Breeding is a scientific approach that can enhance specific characteristics of cannabis. Growers can select for specific traits such as yield, aroma, and resistance to disease or adverse environmental conditions through selection.

This process has resulted in the production of hundreds of unique cultivars (strains) over the past few decades, including some that are high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or other cannabinoids.

Breeding cannabis | SensorySeeds

What are the different types of selection?

The three main types of plant reproduction are:

  • inbreeding;
  • linebreeding;
  • outcrossing.

Let’s try to understand what it is.

Inbreeding is when you take two closely related plants and mate them. An example would be a brother with a sister, a father with a daughter, a mother with a son, or cousins. Inbreeding results in a uniform population that grows well and can develop a new trait (desirable or not).

Linebreeding is similar to inbreeding, but slightly less intense, therefore with a more distant degree of kinship, such as that between uncle and nephew. This type of cross results in a uniform population, with a better chance of developing a new trait that can be grown into the strain more quickly than a cross breed.

Outcrossing is the process of taking two unrelated plants and mating them. In this way an increase in hybrid vigor is obtained, but without uniformity and with a much higher risk of introducing unwanted traits. This can be useful for developing a new strain by incorporating desirable traits from another strain.

Read also: The terpene profile of cannabis: how does it affect aroma and taste?


In this article we have seen what the breeding cultivation technique consists of, why it is so important and what its various types are.

So, if you are looking for legally compliant seeds, visit sensoryseeds.com, the leading portal in the sector that offers a wide range of choices of the best quality.

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