Hey-hey-hey, welcome everyone. I’m going to share some cannabis breeding tips with you all today, that I think will help you to wrap your heads around the process as a whole, generally. This is arguably the first step in understanding how to breed successfully. Visit KOS for some sexually healthy, and deadly genetics.
There are basically 3 ways that peeps breed cannabis:
- Pure guesswork/luck
- Crossing successful varieties
- Understanding the odds to various degrees
I have been breeding cannabis for over 3 decades. My number one cannabis breeding tip is, just do it! You only absolutely need three things to be successful. Patience, and excellent growing skills; also, solid genetics. Without consistent good growing skills, your selection process will be highly flawed. Select strong males, at least 2, and only breed what you like. Indoors, within a year, you’ll be F3-ing your asses off. At f4 you have yourself an IBL, yay!
In my Letters to Rev series, I answer correspondence I have received via email or whatever. I think these answers today will help clear some of you up regarding the whole breeding way. Kind of a big picture perspective. Cannabis breeding is a lot like playing Black Jack for money. In the case of breeding, the money is the successful resulting varieties. The better you can gauge the odds… More about that below, let’s go!
Alright then earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…
Cannabis Breeding Tips, Question #1: Technology
FROM: Jacks, Redding, California
“Hello Rev. I have been breeding cannabis now for about 5 years indoors. I have had some great results and some that sucked badly. It all seems pretty random, and I can’t seem to go by what I am seeing to correctly breed to the offspring. I have been thinking about going to a lab to tell me what is and isn’t true breeding. With regards to the gene alleles. You don’t use any lab genetic work, as far as I know, so how do you manage these things? Thanks man.”
Rev’s Answer to Q #1:
Howdy Jacks, cool name. It’s like I have a crystal ball amigo, and while reading your question I could just see the ‘Poly Hybrids’ you are likely working with. First let me tell you, it don’t gotta be so random, heh heh. Since you are 5 years in bruddah, let me give you some advanced cannabis breeding tips.
Start working with more IBLs (inbred lines), especially as your males. This allows you to see more clearly how your male influences any cross. A true f1 hybrid male also works. True F1 = an F1 hybrid made from two different IBL lines of cannabis. Poly hybrids are hybrids, of hybrids, of hybrids. Ya follow?
Poly hybrids will have a lot of heterogenous genes (two different alleles) and sorting this out requires observing the offspring generations before you can have an idea of who (P1s) and what traits are true breeding, (homogenous). Tighten up your initial breeders’ genome, where your male and female represent no more than 3 or 4 IBLs that are blended. Once any hybrid (of a hybrid etc.) hits the mark of 5 IBLs, it becomes a poly hybrid, and harder to call when breeding. An F1 hybrid made with 4 total IBLs (2 true F1s) is called a 4-way hybrid, and can be awesome to breed with. Especially as well selected females.
Cannabis Breeding Tips, Question #2: Numbers to Start With
FROM: Dan the Man, Long Beach, CA
“Rev, I love breeding cannabis, I am just a tinkerer basically, but I wanted to get your input regarding the numbers. How many seeds do I need to sprout from any given variety of cannabis, in order to get a good chance at the true gems within?”
Rev’s Answer to Q #2:
High Dan. “Spotting” things that are good or bad (breeding-wise) in your cannabis plants, requires your ability to see expression pattern subtleties. Especially in your very close observations. It also helps a ton, if you are familiar with whatever it is you are breeding with. As in you have grown, and smoked these lines, before breeding with them. A huge advantage for you.
Okay then, that being said, let me give you some solid cannabis breeding tips. This assumes you are using solid, sexually healthy breeding stock. I would say with females, very generally speaking, you want 8 to 10 of them to choose from, to have decent odds of a standout gem. Males, I would say 4 to 6. More is always better, but not tons better in my experience. There are downfalls to high numbers, and your selection skills and familiarity, are what matter more.
If your space is small, you can grow them in waves of several at a time; saving/labeling clones. Just keep your growing style consistent throughout. Changing things with your growing routine while selecting for prime breeders is counterproductive in the extreme! Also, as a rule of thumb, the more questionable your breeding stock starts out, the more numbers you will need to grow to find the gems.
Rev’s Cannabis Breeding Tips
The more you know the better, so if you have access to a genetics lab that can give you more info, and it won’t break the bank, go for it! Most of us do not have this option for various reasons. If you use a lab to sex your plants for you, okay. But ya don’t need to, heh heh. Lemme ‘splain how you do this…
Sprout your plants on a 12/12 photoperiod, under intense lighting. At least T5s, but a 250w lamp minimum I would say. The more powerful the light the better, and a 400, or 1,000w would also work fine. Just no weak-ass fluorescents, or curly LED bulbs, etc.
After they sprout, keep them under that 12/12 photoperiod for 10 to 14 days, before graduating them up to your normal vegging photoperiod. Once they are at 30 days old from sprouting, you can easily sex them at this time. Killer cannabis breeding tip baybee. Check out this article for further reading: Cannabis Breeding Indoors – Male Selection. Okay-then, I’m gonna bounce now, but I’ll see ya all back here next week, L8r G8rs…
- REvski 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.