Farmwork Friday – Genetics

Before you can get to the fun bits of cannabis, a lot of work has to go into the cultivation of the plant. Or, maybe you consider that the fun bit? Either way, we’re here to outline what the team at Elyon does to give you the best bud, from choosing the soil to harvesting the plants. Let’s get to (farm)work. 

First comes soil. Then come the clones. But where does the cannabis come from? We need to visit the nursery for that. Let’s take a quick field trip away from the farm to learn about cannabis genetics and breeding.


Every Strain Has a Story

OG Kush… Sour Diesel… Mimosa… King Louie… we could go on and on…and on. There are now thousands of individual cannabis strains, each one genetically unique. Traditionally cannabis plants have been classified in three categories: indica, sativa and hybrid.  Indica plants are shorter, have broader leaves and typically have a shorter flowering season. Sativa plants, on the other hand, are taller, have lankier leaves and a longer flowering season. Hybrids are formed when sativa and indica plants are crossbred. People have also claimed that sativa plants produce more energizing effects while indica buds are more sedative. But it’s way more complicated than that.



Like all living organisms, the genotype and phenotype of the cannabis plant is important for breeding and classification. The genotype, or genetic makeup, of the plant helps determine the phenotype, or observable traits of the plant, but so does the environment it’s grown in. Also important for cannabis is the chemotype of the plant – the unique mix of chemical compounds, such as THC and CBD, in each strain.

Cannabis plants are diploid. They inherit two copies of each gene, one from their “mom” and one from their “dad.” So just like you, they inherit traits from both. These unique genes express themselves as the phenotype of the plant – the color, height, leaf shape, bud appearance, etc. The phenotype can also change based on how the plant is grown – indoor vs. outdoor, soil type, temperature and humidity all play a role. So some plants, even though they are the same strain, may look different. 

Although those big buds are important, cultivators are now starting to pay more attention to the plant’s chemotype, specifically the cannabinoid potency and the terpene profile. These are what affect your high. Chemotype might sound like a scary word, but really it’s just the unique expression of the most fun bits of cannabis.


On the Hunt

With so many factors playing a role in the plant’s cultivation, how do growers keep consistency in the strain and get you the highest high every time? The answer is pheno-hunting. This ensures the best genes are passed down from generation to generation. Cultivators will start with a certain amount of seeds and then narrow down the plants based on ideal traits (appearance, terpene profile, growth makers). The best, most beautiful plants will live on to pass on their traits. 

At Elyon, we work with trusted nurseries to ensure we are getting the plants with the best traits. Working with CLTVTD Genetics, Coastal Star Farm, Humboldt Sacred Roots, and more, we get the best clones to get you the most high.

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