Breeding Medical Marijuana To Get The Best Aromas
Posted by Mark Stone | August 28 2012 | 10913 views | Comments ↓
The scents found in well-bred MMJ can be practically endless.
(Click to enlarge)
To a cannabis smoker, nothing can beat the sensation of sniffing a freshly cracked bud. The nuances of cannabis aroma can seemingly go on forever. And more breeders than ever are trying to unlock magical smells. Techniques vary, but no matter the methods used in achieving amazing aromas, breeders should have a vision for what flavor they're looking for. Here's some of the many ways growers can learn to achieve scent success.
Breeding For A Single Smell Type
Let's say a novice breeder is given a cutting that smells just like oranges. Our breeder decides to share this orange smell with the world by making it available in seed form. He wants to make sure when people grow out the seeds the bud smells as much like the original cutting as possible. In this case, the best way to proceed would be to create an In-Bred Line or IBL.
To begin an IBL, the cutting is crossed to a male of the same strain, or failing that, hybridized once. Using the seeds created, the breeder then selects a male which smells like oranges and crosses it back to the original mom. This process is repeated until a high frequency of offspring smell like the mother. Keep in mind, breeding for any single trait can "bottleneck" the genetic diversity of cannabis.
Breeding For A Two Smell Combination
What if our breeder wants to add their other favorite smell, maybe mint, to the mix. The breeder would then take their favorite mint smelling female and create an IBL for her as outlined above. The next step is to find the best male and female from each strain. Using those four plants, the breeder crosses the male mint to the female orange, and the orange male to the mint female.
If our breeder is lucky, the project will end right there with one of the two parallel breeds yielding plants with a beautiful spectrum of orange/mint aromas. If our breeder isn't so lucky, both crosses will produce unintended smells and they will need to grow large numbers to find the right smell combination, which they could then use to create a new orange/mint IBL.
Breeding For Multiple Smell Types
Sometimes a breeder might want to preserve the genetic diversity of cannabis for future generations rather than focusing on their favorite. This is a complicated task that requires a different kind of breeding. A breeder should start with landrace varieties or just plain old school cuttings with complicated aromas. He should identify a single plant that produces many different types of smells. Let's say we find a female that has five smells: pepper, sweetness, fruit, mint and skunk.
Next we want to out-cross, rather than IBL or back-cross, to a male from a totally different strain. This male also has five smells: black licorice, nutmeg, grapes, hash and mango. The resulting offspring will have all sorts of smells, including ones not present in the parents. The trick is to make sure the offspring you use to breed the next generation have more smells per plant than the last generation. So any plant we use from the seeds produced need to exhibit at least six smells to be useful in future breeding. Continuing to up the number of smells will ensure that no genetic "bottlenecking" is occurring. Future cannabis enthusiasts will select their favorites from a large, rich palette, because of breeding like this.
Bonus: The Secret To Detecting Marijuana Scents The Scientific Way
Some people have noses like a bloodhound while other can't tell Pino Noir from grape juice. But there is a more scientific way to sniff out exactly what chemicals are in your herb. Using the internet and a vaporizer with very accurate temperature control, any breeder can accurately tell what terpenoids are present. Each terpenoid has a specific vaporization temperature. Say a grower has a strain which smells like "citrus," but no specific one like pineapple, lemon or orange. By slowly increasing temperature on the vaporizer and tasting or measuring how much smoke comes off, you'll be able to tell approximately how much of each smell your plant has.
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Monday, 20 August 2012
Article by Mark Stone, on Aug. 28th 2012