The Full Genetic Potential of Cannabis

The possible characteristics that can be expressed in cannabis are endless, and phenohunting for unusual traits—even mutations—could lead to the next big cultivar.

Photo Credit – Freakshow cultivar in flower. Photo by Erik Christiansen

A single apple seed has more than 5,000 possible genetic expressions, which means there are 5,000 variations or possibilities of how it looks and tastes, a phenomenon Michael Pollan wrote about in his book “Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.” These variations are broad and include size, flavor and color possibilities.

While a single cannabis seed may not contain the same wide range of genetic possibilities or variation, there is still a wide range of expressions within the Cannabis genus, be it from genetic makeup, mutation or environmental influences such as nutrient composition, lighting spectrum or temperature.

Many cannabis seeds available for commercial production today are fairly stabilized, and many chemotypes produce similar phenotypes. However, within the phenotypes, there are variations, some that are more desirable than others. That’s why growers regularly “phenohunt” to discover or find characteristics they desire.