ABC is an Aussie invention. It was first “discovered” near Sydney in the 70’s. This strange anomaly grows more like an herb than a shrub. The leaves are not serrated; instead they’re smooth and shiny, growing no more than 5cm in length.
The mutation is extremely rare. It may only exist because of deliberate breeding to trigger this effect. While this trait is interesting, it is not advantageous to yield or cannabinoid concentration. No commercial strains currently incorporate this mutation.
AUSTRALIAN BASTARD CANNABIS
This is a hugely useful trait for significantly increasing THC production, as well as yield. Extra-large plants produce extra-large buds, of course. At this time, there are no true-breeding strains with this mutation that have been stabilised.
Creeper cannabis tends to exhibit itself in tropical strains. These strains are already large and grow in humid conditions. The plant’s lower branches bow down to touch the ground. Once they reach the floor, the branches continue to grow, even forming new root sites. This phenotype is super useful for disguising grows. However, creeper cannabis is a rare mutation and has not been developed commercially.
But what do these mutations look like? And what do they mean for the plant? If not your yield?
Another common mutation found in cannabis is polyembryonic seeds. Polyembryonic seeds contain more one seedling, and when germinated, will surprise their owners by putting out two taproots instead of one.
Although two seedlings are more common, some three-seedling polyembryonic seeds have also been observed. However, while this is an interesting mutation, it does not confer much advantage to the breeder, and apparently no effort has been made to develop a true-breeding polyembryonic strain.
When the plant was introduced to the rest of the world in the 1990s it was dubbed Australian Bastard Cannabis, or ABC for short.
Gene and chromosome mutations occur naturally, generally at a low frequency. Higher rates of mutation occur when the DNA is damaged by a mutagenic agent such as a chemical, like colchicine, caffeine or mustard gas, or by UV, X-ray or gamma ray radiation.
Young cannabis plants display opposite phyllotaxy, with alternate phyllotaxy becoming evident as the plant nears sexual maturity. Whorled phyllotaxy is a relatively common cannabis mutation, and causes three or more leaves to grow from each node rather than the usual two. Along with the extra leaf or leaves, an extra branch is also generated at each node, meaning that plants with whorled phyllotaxy often grow extra bushy!
Often these DNA alterations are detrimental to the plant and are not passed on to subsequent generations. But desirable or neutral traits sometimes arise through random mutations. Such traits can often be stabilised through selective breeding or natural selection. Exceptional strains can result from random, beneficial mutations.
Tetraploid plants (with four sets of chromosomes) have the potential to increase yield and potency. This has been investigated by Buddha Seeds and reported in the International Cannagraphic Magazine forums. Disappointingly, no compelling advantages of the tetraploid plants over the diploid versions were observed. This is not the only study to question the received wisdom that tetraploid plants are more potent than duploids: a study of polyploidism in hemp found that tetraploids had more protein, starch and flavonoids than diploids, but less THC.
This unusual case “hermed” which means the center bud is growing both male and female flowers (notice the yellow “bananas” in addition to the lovely female hairs). Unfortunately, like any herm plant, this should be removed from the grow room immediately or it will make all the rest of your buds seedy from pollination.
Normal cannabis seedling (2 leaves per set)
3.) Buds Growing From Center of Leaf
The “standard” number of points on a cannabis leaf is considered to be 7. It’s also common to see 9 points per leaf on a mature plant. But some plants have even more or less!
Could you be seeing signs of Tobacco Mosaic Virus? (probably not, but can’t hurt to check!)
But sometimes you see the opposite. This plant only grew single-point leaves from seed to harvest. It doesn’t even look that much like a cannabis plant from far away!