Cannapedia Encyclopedia of cannabis strains


The structure of cannabis plants is given by two factors: genetics and environment. The genetic makeup of a plant, genotype, represents a plan of growth. It allows the development of a wide range of physical abilities, but inducing certain attributes is the work of the environment. Physical expression of genotype is called phenotype. Simply put, phenotype is the realization of characteristics given by the genetic code of a plant. And this realization is affected by physical factors of outer world: the soil (quality and composition), sunlight (strength and length) and other natural phenomena. The environment can thus affect, for example, plant’s colour, shape, smell and – probably the most importantly – a degree of resin production.


Infinite possibilities

Phenotypical form of a plant is highly variable: characteristics of a plant are affected by the amount of nutrients, temperature, the amount and angle of light, soil type, the photoperiod length, time of harvest and the distance between the plant and a light source. Certain conditions can induce characteristics attributed to sativa strains, some conditions to indica strains - this means that, although we like to distinguish between the strains, we have to admit their realizations of characteristics aren’t always firmly set.

If we place Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica on the opposite sides of a genetic spectre, we can imagine how much a phenotype display can vary. A good example is the Blue Dream strain. It is a hybrid of an indica-dominant strain Blueberry and sativa-dominant strain Haze. Blue Dream can show characteristics from anywhere on the spectre between his two parents, depending on the way of cultivation etc.

That is why we sometimes expect a phenotype with a typical sativa characteristics and we get an indica instead. It doesn’t mean, though, that strains are completely random when it comes to genetics. But the fact that a certain strain doesn’t fit under all of the labels shouldn’t be surprising.