Today we want to talk about the cannabis breeders who we think you should know about in 2021.
'But what's a breeder,' you ask, and 'I'm already bored!' Well, you shouldn't be.
You know where all those cool strains you're trying to collect like Pokemon cards came from? That's right, breeders. So what does a seed breeder do, exactly?
We shall impart our basic understanding of the magic these beings wield upon Nature and all her petty laws that were clearly intended for lesser minds.
A History of Cannabis Seed Breeders
In the beginning, there were landrace strains, the regional cannabis plants that won their Darwinian right to survival on the pyres of their peers.
Cannabis seed breeders took these different landraces and fused them together like Yu-gi-oh monsters by grafting the male plant's pollen on to the female's yearning...oh, what? You don't like that? Be glad, you could have gotten quivering.
Shall I go on or are you gonna interrupt me constantly?
So anyway, that's how the modern cannabis crosses came about, even the G13 that the CIA developed for their MK Ultra mind-control program. And if you don't believe me, that just means their neural inhibitors are working, man.
Right, then breeders crossed, reverse-crossed, interbred, began polyamorous collectives, everything you can think of, eventually giving rise to to the proliferation of strains we have in dispensaries today. Once the breeder has identified the perfect plant, a process called pheno-hunting, that plant becomes The Mother-Plant, duh duh duuuuh. Cuttings (aka clones) can be produced from mommy dearest in a matter of weeks or months, but stabilizing seed genetics for consistent grow results can take years. Years? I can barely wait until Friday to get my hands on some sticky icky, so let's leave all that breeding work to the professionals. Speaking of! Here's several breeders whose work the Gentleman is stoked to smoke:
Humboldt Seed Company Seed Breeders
Test results for every strain
What started in 2001 under California’s prop 215 has grown into a trailblazing model of commercial success that utilizes the latest technologies, including DNA sequencing of individual strains! Test results that include terpene content are posted for each variety, along with a short video that covers need-to-know info. In order to better suit the needs of commercial clients, Humboldt Seed Company has pivoted their large-scale organic greenhouses towards producing high THC offerings with sesquiterpene profiles that last on shelves longer than the fresher-smelling monoterpenes.
Going big isn’t all bad news, however, and what’s been sacrificed for commercial markets is made up in selection, availability, and price. Regular seeds are about $5 each with feminized and feminized autoflowering seeds available for $10. Slightly Stoopid fans will want to jump on the new band-selected strains Stoopid Fruit and Collie Man Kush, but their Blueberry Muffin has made a name on it’s uncanny replication of freshly baked pastries. For the heavy users, Garlic Budder yields up to 32% THC production.
Globally-sourced elite hybrids
Whether it be OGs or up-and-comers, home growers or commercial producers, Americans or Dutch, there’s not many breeders more universally esteemed than Bodhi Seeds.
Part of the reason is simple- they’ve traveled the world to experience it all, and their offerings bring together landrace, heirloom, and modern elites into a long list of unique strains. Their international presence and dedication to legacy culture means that operations remain somewhat mysterious and they only offer regular seeds, but they’ve always been committed to the use of organic methods.
Both the @bodhiseeds and @bodhiguide instagram accounts function as a strain catalog, and although it’s a little overwhelming at first, many of the choices are simply different siblings from their favorite parents. One can turn to their extremely colorful descriptions to sort out the differences, but availability can be sparse and in order to avoid disappointment (where do I get the psychedelic pineapple mind cheetos, dammit!?) the best bet might be to check what’s in stock first. Personally, I’d consider the Endor Score or the Wonder Wookie to get my hands on the Apollo 11 and William’s Wonder lineage, respectively. Both are currently available at Great Lakes Genetics alongside a large collection of other Bodhi gear.
Swamp Boys Seeds
Purveyors of Triangle Kush
Nothing can transform a docile room full of weed nerds into a saloon-style brawl faster than the details of a strain origin story, especially when it comes to the likes of OG Kush.
For decades, breeders in California banded together like gangs from The Warriors to tell their story and claim an immortal stake in the books of cannabis history. When Cornbread Ricky posted pictures of his Triangle Kush on the original weed grower’s forum, Overgrow, he was laughed off the site for claiming that California’s namesake actually arrived in Los Angeles by way of Miami.
Despite being shunned from the discussion, a close-knit group of friends formed Swamp Boys Seeds in 2006 and over the years, the California origin story has been laid to rest piece by piece such that these days, Triangle Kush is widely considered the definitive OG and it’s getting harder to find so-called west coast varieties. Who would have expected the first home of Ocean Grown Kush was actually a conventional indoor garden 2,500 miles from California?
Even though Triangle Kush is found almost everywhere you look (listed as TK), Swamp Boy Seeds isn’t offering seed of it or their other original, The White. New offerings don’t skimp on quality or exotic appeal, however, and options like Kriptiks and Piñata are thoroughbred OG strains sure to impress any OG fanatic. Find them at Seeds Here Now.
Freeborn Selections Cannabis Seed Breeders
Masters of rich, complex aroma and flavor
Mean Gene grew up in Mendocino County, California and started landscaping (that’s how locals refer to growing weed) with his parents at the age of six.
You’ll still find him there, shaded from the Mendocino sun by his organically grown 15+ foot plants, holding their fruits under his nose with intense scrutiny. He specializes in accenting the traditional aromatics with soda pop smells and flavors that dazzle the senses before sending mind and body into the stratosphere.
Some of Mean Gene’s work is released under Freeborn Selections, but in the end he’s a breeder’s breeder and flagship projects like his Root Beer aren’t publicly available, so you’ll have to settle for hybrid releases from the cannabis breeders he’s entrusted to showcase his work. Keep your eyes out for Black Lime, Grape Soda Skunk, Cherry Limeade, and Lime 1 crosses and we’ll let you know when Root Beer crosses are available in seed form.
For now, check out Speakeasy Seedbank’s new batch of the bestselling Sky Jaro x Ghost OG! They just came out and might not last much longer at that price!
Mandalorian Genetics Marijuana Breeders
Kings of boutique autoflowers
Who says autoflowers don’t yield fat, potent, boutique-quality buds? They’ve been around since 2003 but were only accepted in recent years due to the vision of breeders like Full Duplex, founder of Mandalorian Genetics and The AutoFlower Network.
He’s been working exclusively with autoflowering strains to improve their effects and aesthetics since 2009, and while his offerings are limited in number, they’ve all been stabilized and tested over an unusually high number of generations to ensure uniformity and resilience.
You can see the process at @Fullduplex_afn and @mandalorian_genetics on Instagram but you’ll find all the details, and an amazingly supportive community, at the AutoFlower Network. Trials are done indoors under LEDs and in small greenhouses using bagged soil and he’s finally started to produce feminized seeds which means home growers can enjoy premium, smokable buds with low plant counts and no light-leak blues!
His newest release of regular seeds is the uplifting Bobby’s Widow, but for the more adventurous or medicinally-oriented, JEM produces about 3% CBG (a first for autoflowers). His feminized offerings are the sedating Anvil and the more balanced Black Strap. You can find most of these in stock at Seed Cellar.