Guide to crossbreeding: different varieties on one plant
A traditional farming method grows several different strains of cannabis on a single plant. How complex is it, who is it best for, what other benefits does it have, and can it be used to grow other plants that will contain THC.
Home cannabis growers who wish to use several varieties are often forced to make a selection and abandon certain varieties due to lack of space in their growing space. Using the technique known as “grafting”, it is possible to grow several varieties of cannabis on the same plant. Additionally, it can also be a help in the event of a rooting problem or disease coming from the soil.
Grafting is an ancient practice, commonly used for fruit trees and other crops. In fact, today, there are few or no citrus plants that are not grafted.
Blends can save growers and horticulturists a lot of time: “Tomatoes, for example, are often grown to improve fruit size, shelf life, fruit sugar content, etc. This process is done by blending, that is, growing a tomato plant that produces poor, unattractive fruit, but is resistant to root diseases such as poserium or phytium, and the same plant is composed of another tomato plant, which you grow for characteristics such as fruit size or taste, etc.
One plant for five different varieties
Besides the ability to use different properties such as resistance to soil diseases or various pests, some farmers use the blending technique to grow a plant with a variety of different varieties.
Today you can go to a nursery and buy a citrus tree that has two orange branches, two branches that will produce tangerine and another branch that will produce grapefruit but when it comes to land the question of assembling several varieties on a cannabis plant, it puzzles us. Grafting is more common on trees and perennials, but on annuals we hear less about it.
In theory, it is possible to graft several varieties of cannabis on the same plant. It's nice, but not practical, mainly because cannabis is an annual plant with a short growth cycle and the assembly operation requires time and energy from the plant.
However, there are several examples of growers claiming that they were able to assemble multiple cannabis strains on one plant, and even complete a full crop cycle, so that in fact they shortened from one plant of cannabis several different cannabinoid profiles.
It is a more complicated practice than the cuttings, but which does not require specific equipment or scientific knowledge, anyone can try the experiment. Assembling strains with different flowering times will inevitably lead to problems, especially when it comes to feeding the plant. The finished product will not always be the same compared to a conventionally grown plant.
How to assemble a cannabis plant?
The term "plant assemblage" generally describes a method of vegetative propagation (propagation that does not occur by the act of fertilization or the transfer of inherited seed from one organism to another, similar to cuttings for example). This is an ancient farming method that has been documented since the times of China and Mesopotamia, especially in fruit trees.
The essence of the technique is an action that connects a branch cut from a plant (the graft) and its transplantation onto another plant (called “host”). Over time, the two plants will merge into one plant, the graft can keep some of its original properties and characteristics, mainly those relating to taste and its chemical profile, and at the same time acquire new traits which are often linked to rooting or otherwise.
- Blade / sharp knife / scissors
- Parafilm (“grafting tape”)
- Plastic bags (preferably with a sealer)
- Sprayer containing an irrigation solution (with a little fertilizer)
- Galvanized wire / some metal wires
- Glass of water
- clean cutting board
How to do a cannabis transplant?
1. Choose a healthy cannabis plant from which you will cut a branch that will serve as a scion. At the same time, find a healthy area on another healthy plant that will serve you to receive your graft. Make sure that the graft branch and your grafting area are about the same diameter.
2. Remove most of the leaves from the scion, making sure to leave a few leaves at the top of your branch.
3. Cut your graft using scissors and quickly transfer it to your “host” plant. Using a knife, make a diagonal along the base of your graft, the idea is to create as much space as possible to allow your graft and “hostess” plant to merge correctly.
4. After the cut, put your graft in a glass of water and in the meantime proceed to the next step. Using the scissors, make a slash on your joint area, make a diagonal cut that will be most similar to your graft.
5. Spray your graft and the area to be used liberally with a little rooting solution. Remove your graft from the glass of water and gently connect it to your recipient limb, pay close attention to the internal tissues. The more accurate and compatible the connection, the greater the chances of the process being successful. In case the cuts do not match enough, your graft may be put back in the glass of water to make the improvements.
6. Once the jumper and prep are matched and connected, tighten them tightly and wrap them both in the train film (“parafilm”).
7. Then place a galvanized wire crosswise around your assembly to strengthen the connection between your “host” plant and your graft.
Finally, put some rooting solution in a small bag and “dress” your rooting area with it. Be sure to leave a small space between the bag and your plant, this will allow the area to breathe.
After a few days, the formed sores merge into a single plant. During the process, all growth maneuvers should be avoided.
- It is recommended to properly adjust your branches to be connected.
- Water thoroughly about an hour before performing your operation.
- The graft will look withered for the first three days. The process should take about two weeks until full recovery.
- A female plant can be grafted onto a male plant and vice versa.
Hops with THC: Blending cannabis with other plants and vice versa
During the 1940s, a pair of American researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science published a paper claiming that they had succeeded in assembling a jumper from a hop plant (known to be considered a relative of cannabis) to be honesty of the cannabis plant, and even reported that cannabis imparted some of its psychoactive effects to hops (it should be noted that at that time no advanced tools were used today to test the active ingredients of the plant).
Naturally, many cannabis growers have found interest in this post, as it implies that various plants can be assembled on cannabis and cannabinoids extracted from it. Many growers are likely to fantasize about when they will roll dry leaves of THC-rich hops, and the many possibilities inherent in such a process.
Thirty years later (1974), however, two British researchers from the University of Nottingham also sought to test this claim. They conducted an experiment in which they assembled a cannabis plant on a hop plant and vice versa:
The conclusions of the study were that it is indeed possible to pair these two plants, but contrary to what had been published a few decades earlier, the researchers found that the cannabinoids in cannabis did not transfer to the hop plant. .
The idea of producing cannabinoids from non-cannabis plants has fascinated plant lovers (and also quite a few brewers) for many years, and despite these discoveries (which proved that this is not possible by simple blending) , quite a few cases can be found online where amateur producers are toying with this idea.
In 2019, researchers from the University of California announced that they were able to produce cannabis components (THC and CBD) in the laboratory using yeast (which are known to be fungi and not plants), but there are still scientists who say it will be a long time before cannabis cannabinoids can be produced commercially.
Thus, it is possible that the closest chance of producing cannabinoids on another plant is always through the use of advanced technologies that allow the genetic manipulation such as “CRISPR” (CRISPR – Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)