Last updated: February 25, 2019

What Does Genetics Mean?

Genetics relates to either a field of study of the heritable traits, varieties of internal combinations of biological building blocks (genotypes), or the varieties of outwardly expressed traits (phenotypes) of a living organism. It can also refer to those same subjects themselves. For example, an organism’s unique set or arrangement of genotypes and phenotypes can be referred to as its “genetics”.

In cannabis cultivation, a plant's genetics are highly prized if the plant produces maximum yields of valuable compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes. In this case, the plant's genetics are often cloned by taking cuttings from a mother plant to produce plants with identical genetics.

Genetics of cannabis plants can also be crossed to produce even more desirable plants, known as strains.


Maximum Yield Explains Genetics

The myriad combinations of genes and all of the possible mutations thereof are the purview of a geneticist. Any selective breeding, hybridization, or any other intra-species or extra-species cross is only accomplished due to the characteristics and inter-workings of the genetics of the respective species.

Genetics as a human endeavor of understanding is a relatively “young” science with new discoveries occurring all of the time. Our current understanding of plant genetics is due in large part to the 19th century trials and research performed by Gregor Mendel, a monk that experimented with pea plants and transcribed what were probably the first “laws” of heritable traits in plant reproduction.

Mendel was not the first individual to experiment with and understand genetics of organisms. Humans have been manipulating animals and plants for thousands of years to achieve a variety of desired genotypes and phenotypes.

Plant genetics is behind every new cannabis strain discovery, whether a grower has intentionally aimed to create a new strain, or found a powerful new one by accident or experimentation.


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CloningPropagationPlant ScienceCannabisStrainsBreeding

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