by Harry Resin
I had the pleasure of being introduced to the world of cannabis through my Happy Brother.
This gave me a unique insight into Cannabis breeding.
To begin with I learnt that it is a long process wrought with trial and error. To make a stabilised seed that will grow true each time, could take up to three years.
It is a really long process to sift through different phenotypes as you try to get closer and closer to what you want.
When I started out I did an experiment and I found that it really gave me a unique insight into the process. I decided to see what it would be like to grow out a small room of males so using a test chamber i grew out four different males in order to see how they grew. Firstly what is their structure? Will one look different from the other? How tall do they grow? Indeed all of my questions were answered. They were all different and unique and quite special. As we are normally used to grow-ing from clones and only growing females, it was amazing to see this other side of the Cannabis plant. I also tried smoking the males just to
As a result of my breeding experience I have remained fasci-nated by other breeders and the philosophy that they have. A fellow breeder and friend of mine, Karma from Karma Genetics, just recently won 3rd prize in the Cannabis Cup this past year and I thought I would sit down and have a chat with him about his breeding philosophy. He is also planning on entering the Treating Yourself cup and hopeful-ly will also have a booth so you could all meet him. I’ve known Karma for about six years now having first met online and than at several 420 cups, of which he has won 3.
To begin with I was always impressed
with Karma’s bud. Whenever he would show up at a cup it would be like
Christmas, always many different types of flavours and always finished to
perfection. He’s a Dutch breeder but comes from the south of the Netherlands.
This also meant that he had access to different types of genetics which were
not common in Amsterdam. One of the early plants that he started working with was
something called Happy Brother. This is a really potent Indica, that grows
short and bushy. It is a really powerful stone, a deeply sedating strain,
definite-ly a must for those seeking pain relief. From the Happy Brother to his
cup winning White OG, Karma stands on the forefront of modern breeding.
For me a modern breeder is someone who combined with his passion has a certain artistic flair for creating strains. At the moment there are two breeders like this Karma is one and Subcool is another. They are sort of the maverick’s, breeders who work within their own unique styles creating phenomenal and unique new strains.
Karma being a connoisseur smoker is interested in many dif-ferent aspects that the plant has to offer. He is also keenly aware of the plant’s health benefits working closely with a small groups of dutch medical patients who often test out his finished fruit.
Karma began breeding in 1999 and turned to breeding in order to diversify the clones he was limited to. He said, “not many people are used to growing from seeds in holland so after I was gifted a pack I was hit by the need to further that adventure. Once I saw how much diversity there was amongst just the phenotypes of a single pack I was hooked. It made me want to explore more, from that point on I start-ed to build up my seed collection and started growing out a bunch of new things. This inspired me to start picking out the best of what I was growing and to start combining them, sculpting new strains as a result. It was a great process and now I’m happy to offer that work to other people to try.”
I wanted to know what he looks for when he makes a selection.
His approach is governed first by smell and flavour. He said that although yield and structure are important for him. If it doesn’t taste and smell divine than he’s largely not interested, there is always the exception but for him taste is really important. His preference does lie in the Indica dominant world but he also likes his Sativa’s. This was evident in his other cup entry this year, The Dominator, which was a unique haze due to it’s candy like flavour.
I was also curious about mediums as when I was making seeds we solely used soil and organic nuts, Karma does the same but I often wondered what the differences were when seeds where made hydroponically. According to Karma’s research he has found that seeds made hydroponically tend to have a smaller shelf life. Also he said, “I grow my weed in soil and organically why would I change my system in order to make seeds, which are the building blocks from which I grow.”
When asked about the medical scene, Karma had this to say,”it’s strange that 20 years ago the policy in holland led to many Americans coming over and bringing these great genetics. It really paved the way for the Dutch scene to explode, but now when more and more research needs to be done Holland is actually shift-ing away from the now more liberal US. In Holland it is still hard to get a prescription and your only choice is the Cannabis sold in pharmacies or the really expensive coffee shop weed. It is impor-tant for Holland to implement a system that also allows patients to grow there own medicine alongside the government grown buds.
I asked Karma what he felt about all of the Internet boards out there devoted to Cannabis as that was how we came together. I was curious what he thought about it’s role in bringing people together and sharing genetics. His belief was that for Cannabis people the internet makes the world smaller, it gives things a glob-al context. He also feels that it really sped things up with regards to spreading new genetics and breeding. Now you could have peo-ple from all over the world growing and testing yourself out. If they find a good phenotype you can usually ask for it back and they’ll send it to you. It has also allowed for us to send European strains over and to have our North American friends reciprocate by sending us stuff.
As far as his company Karma Genetics the Internet really made things go quick, as he established himself as part of this new breed of seed company, that made use of the internet to inter-act with growers while spreading new genetics.
One thing that Karma was pretty adamant about was the destruction feminization has on the gene pool. I have to say based on countless stories i’ve heard and research i’ve done I have to agree with Karma and do not see feminization as a good thing. His feeling is that it allows for inferior genetics to be widely spread. There are few breeders out there really taking their time to breed out any hermaphroditic tendencies in their female seeds.
As far as all of these new companies springing up in Spain and other countries around the world Karma feels that breeding involves time and patience, you cannot rush things. New companies that suddenly have all of these new crosses are simply making fast hybrids that largely go untested. Karma says this is another reason why the Internet is so powerful as it acts as a sort of proving ground for new genetics. The people will always speak up Karma says.
Karma is currently working on a line of Kushes that range from his new cup winning White OG to the Lucifer OG, which is an HA OG cut crossed with an SFV male. Another one of his new ones is the deadly TK, or Triple Kush, this is a blend of Sour Diesel and SFV OG. At the moment his seeds are available online at thcfarmer.com and some of the other forums. Check him out.
Peace and love