The Cannabis breeding scene is fascinating, with new strains appearing on the market every year. Many are the just the result of crossing two previously well-known strains, in the hopes of getting the pros of both parents, but sometimes breeders come up with completely new flavours.
How do they do it?
If the breeder finds out a plant with a set of very unexpected and desirable traits, like a new and peculiar flavor, here’s the technique to isolate it, and to make it consistent over generations.
Backcrossing is the name of the game: the breeder crosses the plant showing the desired trait with a well-known strain that has to be the “right match” (i.e. high yield, or vigor), then crosses again the offspring with the parent plant. This process is called “backcrossing”, and it is repeated several times, in order to refine the desired traits, and to improve both stability and consistency.
Obviously, backcrossing has disadvantages too (general weakening of the plant), so expert breeders use also other techniques like outcrossing, hybridization, inbreeding and selection. Let’s praise these modern “Cannabis artists” for their great work, kudos!