Cannabis Basics – Genetics Terminology

Cannabis Basics – Genetics Terminology

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The cannabis world is absolutely full of jargon that newbies may not understand, so much so that it is also true that experts may fall behind if they don’t keep up to date. This is why it’s very important to keep informed about the linguistics of weed, since the language, like all languages, is rapidly evolving. Here’s a short guide on a few of the basic terms used in the realm of cannabis genetics, so that you don’t get caught out not knowing what something means:


Poly-hybrids are a variety of cannabis that are created by mixing entirely different hybrids together. For example, if White Widow and AK-47 are crossed to create a strain called F1(B), and Durban Poison is combined with Master Kush to make F1(A), and those two newly created strains are bred, that offspring would be a poly-hybrid. Simple, right?


This is the term given to the process by which a mother plant pollinates itself. People who breed cannabis utilize certain chemicals on female plants in order to induce stress, which results in them producing male flowers, which, in turn, make pollen. When this pollen is given to the female buds of the same plant, or a clone from that same mother, the resultant seeds are said to be ‘selfed.’ This is often done in order to preserve the genetics of a particular strain, and to feminize the seeds.


This word is used to refer to strains which derive from certain regions, places where marijuana has been growing for a long time, maybe even centuries. When a plant has been growing in the same area for this long, organically stable genetics are produced. An example of a landrace would be Hindu Kush.


This little abbreviation simply means ‘first generation hybrid.’ They are created when two cannabis strains that have totally distinct genotypes are bred. If this hybrid is bred with another F1 hybrid, this will result an F2 hybrid – and so on and so forth.


The process of backcrossing simply refers to breeding a hybrid strain with one of its original parents. The genetics of the original female strain are able to be preserved by ensuring the plant is kept in a vegetative state as a mother.

Hopefully some of these definitions stick in your brain so that you may bring them up in conversation! I promise you’ll sound as if you know what you’re talking about, even if you don’t.

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