Feminized cannabis seeds are in demand because you can be sure that you are growing only female plants. When you’re growing cannabis plants for weed, you want to separate the male plants from the female so your females won’t be pollinated.
Aside from ibl strain, remember the following terms that are mostly used by breeders and growers when they talk about cultivating marijuana plants.
When the offspring of the two combinations (A) and (B) combine, you’ll get a poly hybrid. Do you know that most of the strains we know and enjoy today are poly hybrids? This practice has resulted in strains with a combination of smells, flavors and marijuana with a combination of effects as well.
This process may be induced by using chemicals like colloidal silver. This chemical is applied to plants during the flowering stage. After a short while, the female plants will grow male parts which will contain female pollen. Harvest pollen when the sacs have opened and apply this pollen to female flowers. And just like naturally inducing stress, your female flowers will grow feminized seeds.
A thing called selfing may happen when a female plant tries to pollinate itself. This can happen naturally or by using chemicals. When a female cannabis plant senses that the days are getting shorter and the nights are colder, it will soon grow flowers in the hope of being pollinated by a male and producing seeds which will be the start of a new generation of plants.
However, when the flowers are not pollinated and it’s getting too late to grow seeds, the female plant will develop male parts out of stress. These male parts will have female pollen which will pollinate their own flowers. When the seeds develop, these seeds will be feminized.
Because of very little to no human interaction, landrace strains have retained their appearance, characteristics and their effects. Landrace strains have developed stable and consistent genetics that have produced a homogenous young plant.
Tropimango by Philosopher Seeds
If we make a cross between two different landrace or IBL lines (parental A and B) with different genotypes, the resulting offspring will be the F1 hybrid, the first filial generation from the cross of the phenotype #1 (Parent A) with the phenotype #2 (Parent B). Commonly in this kind of crosses we will observe a very uniform offspring, depending on how stable the parents are, of course. The F1 hybrid between two pure varieties or IBL’s will show the so-called hybrid vigour – also known as heterosis or outbreeding enhancement – introducing new genes that will produce “better” specimens.
Many of the seeds that we can find in shops are polyhybrids, crosses between different hybrids. The offspring of such crosses are in many cases quite unstable, producing plants with very different traits. Keep in mind that in these cases, the genetic mix is very varied, so we can not expect polyhybrid offspring to be as homogenous as an F1 hybrid. It’s easy to imagine how complex it can be to stabilise a cross, since we are mixing different genes from different varieties, which makes the selection and stabilisation process of the different traits a very hard work. The vast majority of hybrids on the market are in fact polyhybrids, like the White Russian (Serious Seeds) or Fruity Jack / Jack el Frutero (Philosopher Seeds).
BX or Backcross
This technique is also used to replicate clones in seed form. It is done by choosing a male parent to cross with the clone only, backcrossing it as many times as needed to get an offspring as similar as possible to the original clone. The Apollo 13Bx (TGA Subcool) is an excellent example of this technique.
Backcrossing is a common technique used by breeders to fix certain traits. This is done by crossing one of the progeny (F1, F2…) with one of the original parents (recurrent parent) which has the desired trait. To have an even more stable expression of the desirable trait, you can cross the BX1 again with the recurrent parent to have a BX2 (squaring) and so on with BX3 (cubing), BX4, BX5.
When we cross two F1 individuals (whether landraces, hybrid or polyhybrid varieties), we obtain the second filial generation or F2, and so on with next generations, F3, F4, etc. The second filial generation often gives a more heterogeneous offspring than the F1; we can expect 25% to resemble parent A, 25% to resemble parent B and 50% will be a mixed expression of traits from both parents. As a consequence the stabilisation work must continue generation after generation ( F3, F4, F5…) until we find the generation that gives a uniform offspring with the traits that we are seeking.
The IBL acronym (in-bred line), means that the cross was made using plants with almost identical genotype (inbreeding). On the contray, outbreeding is employed to introduce new genes into the variety. Although it happens naturally, self-pollination is a common technique used by breeders to fix desirable traits and thus stabilise the genetic line, either with landraces or hybrids. In cannabis genetics IBL seeds should present a highly uniform growth. Classic IBL examples are Skunk and Northern Lights (Sensi Seeds) or White Widow (Greenhouse). There is a lot of work behind IBL’s like these, as a large population of pure specimens had to be used to select the correct parents. In addition, the breeder must fight against inbreeding depression, the result of crossing parents with very similar genetic information. The reward for this job made properly is a highly stable seed variety.