Dr. Grinspoon is not a high yielding strain and has a 14-week flowering period, making it an unpopular strain among commercial growers. But novelty-seeking cultivators raising this potent sativa will be rewarded with a truly unique product.
Albinism is a rare genetic mutation that occurs in humans, animals, and plants such as cannabis. An albino plant is one that grows with the complete or partial absence of chlorophyll pigmentation, causing the plant to appear lighter or white in color. The plants must contain some chlorophyll to perform photosynthesis (the process by which plants covert light energy into food), so albino plants may never make it to maturity before dying.
This strain is a pure sativa heirloom that typically invites creativity, energy, and cerebral activity. Bred by Barneys Farm in Amsterdam, it grows with a bizarre stature: Instead of developing bud sites at the nodes of the branches, Dr. Grinspoon grows small buds that decorate the plant like berries on a holly plant. Because of its unconventional appearance, this strain is also a solid choice for growers seeking subtlety in their garden.
The spindly strain called Dr. Grinspoon was dedicated to the longtime cannabis advocate and professor at Harvard, Dr. Lester Grinspoon. In the early 60s, Dr. Grinspoon condemned the use of cannabis as its popularity grew, but came to endorse it after studying the plant. He found that the information that was being shared to the public was not supported by his research and felt that the public was being strongly misled.
Like all plants, cannabis comes in all shapes and sizes. Generally speaking, strains will exhibit differences in resin production, coloration, stature, and shape. Other times, cannabis will express itself with features you’ve probably never seen firsthand.
Below are five of the most unique and unusual genetic traits found in cannabis plants from all around the world. Whether by genetic mutation, environment, or factors unknown, these cannabis oddities are sure to stand out in any cannabis garden.
Polyploidy occurs in plants that contain more than two sets of chromosomes in their genetic makeup. While most cannabis plants are simply diploid (two sets of chromosomes), many growers find that polyploid cannabis plants produce larger flowers with resilience to disease and pests. While this mutation in animals is often destructive, it is generally successful in plants. Many flowering plants have picked up extra chromosomes, and this mutation has often helped them become adaptive and resilient.
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Tetraploid plants (with four sets of chromosomes) have the potential to increase yield and potency. This has been investigated by Buddha Seeds and reported in the International Cannagraphic Magazine forums. Disappointingly, no compelling advantages of the tetraploid plants over the diploid versions were observed. This is not the only study to question the received wisdom that tetraploid plants are more potent than duploids: a study of polyploidism in hemp found that tetraploids had more protein, starch and flavonoids than diploids, but less THC.
Typically, flower sites on cannabis plants occur at the nodes, at the same point that the petioles (stalks of leaves) originate from. However, a relatively common mutation can cause buds to form at the other end of the petiole, at the base of the leaves themselves. This is sometimes called a piggyback mutation.
10) Albinism & variegation
The ‘Ducksfoot’ is a variety of cannabis that has extremely wide, webbed leaves reminiscent of the webs between the toes of a duck’s foot, hence its delightfully descriptive name! During the vegetative period, Ducksfoot (as well as the many crosses it has spawned) looks practically nothing like a cannabis plant, and even in full flower, its appearance and smell are highly deceptive.
Whorled phyllotaxy is pretty and may lead to somewhat greater yields, but is generally considered relatively useless to breeders as the trait usually disappears with any efforts to develop true-breeding strains.
This mutation is unusual and interesting in appearance, and is often thought to be advantageous due to the extra bud sites. However, in reality it is probably better to remove these leaves as soon as they are observed, as buds yielded from these sites are usually tiny, and take up nutrients that could be put towards developing your main flower sites.
When the plant was introduced to the rest of the world in the 1990s it was dubbed Australian Bastard Cannabis, or ABC for short.
Deep Chunk #10 by Tom Hill
ABC, Australian bastard cannabis (Cannabisculture.com)
Catch them if you can: 11 rare cannabis strains you might never come across
Spectacular Frisian Duck plant by Dutch Passion
Ducksfoot is an unusual specimen in every sense since the aroma is a mixture of pepper and incense notes which resembles an aromatic plant rather than a commercial cannabis strain. Last but not least, it must be said that it has a wonderful, relaxing effect.
This unusual structure ensures a high resistance to cold and moulds, as well as total discretion, which is the reason why some breeders have tried to cross it with other strains in order to enhance its cannabinoid levels (its average THC content is around 5%) and thus make it more attractive for the commercial market.