What are F1, F2, S1 cannabis seeds?

What are F1, F2, S1 cannabis seeds?

To many people cannabis seeds are simply cannabis seeds. But breeders and connoisseur growers also use different terms for cannabis seeds, such as F1, F2, S1 etc. In this review, we will explain what is meant by these terms and precisely what they tell you about the cannabis seeds which they describe.

Summary:
The basics of cannabis genetics for breeders
Different types of F1 cannabis seeds
The difference between F1 and F2 cannabis seeds
How does selfing produce S1 cannabis seeds?
Cannabis genetics hybridisation process case studies
Cannabis seeds quality: what to know before growing?

The basics of cannabis genetics for breeders

Most home growers tend not to worry too much about terms such as F1 cannabis seeds, F1 hybrid cannabis seeds etc. So long as the seeds contain reliably good quality genetics few people are too concerned about the terminology used. However, to many cannabis breeders it is vitally important to understand the sometimes subtle, but critical, differences.

What does f1 hybrid mean? Cannabis seeds are formed when pollen from the male pollinates a female plant. The male genetics cross with those from the female to create F1 cannabis seeds, meaning that the cross is a First generation cross. If the parents were from two different strains the result would be F1 hybrid cannabis seeds.

Note that male pollen spreads easily and will pollinate any nearby female plants. That’s why professional breeders have isolated, dedicated breeding rooms which prevent accidental pollen spread. Pollen may be applied with small brushes using e.g. paint brushes, allowing specific branches to be pollinated with pollen from different males if required. Or male and female plants may share the same room, pollen is spread simply using air circulation fans.

Anyone involved with breeding/pollen would normally shower and change clothes to prevent unintended cross contamination between different areas of their breeding facility. Once pollinated, the female plant focusses much of her energy into seed production (rather than bud production).

What are F1 hybrid cannabis seeds?

F1 cannabis seeds simply mean that they are a first generation of offspring from the parent strains. Hybrid vigour is a term often used when discussing cannabis seeds, along with the question ‘Can an F1 outbreed for hybrid vigor?’ Cannabis hybrid vigour is observed when different strains are hybridised in an F1 cross.

If the parent strains were quite different indica and sativa strains then the seeds would be called F1 hybrid cannabis seeds, these may show vigorous growth and display ‘hybrid vigour’ resulting in growth which is faster than usual. This extra growth vitality is seen when different cannabis genetics are hybridised to create an F1 cannabis cross.

F1-F2-F3-explained-dutch-passion-what-is-F1-cannabis

Different types of F1 cannabis seeds

F1 cannabis seeds explained! You can buy F1 autoflowering cannabis seeds or photoperiod F1 feminised cannabis seeds. Autoflower seeds tend to have a reputation for being faster and perhaps a little easier/more convenient than feminised seeds, but much depends on the preferences of the grower. F1 regular cannabis seeds are also popular with some old school growers or those conducting their own breeding experiments.

F1 fast cannabis strains are also available, with strains such as Think Fast. These strains have recessive autoflower genetics which cause the f1 fast cannabis strains to grow from seed to harvest a couple of weeks faster than traditional strains. For some outdoor growers this could be the difference between a harvest which ripens before the bad weather arrives and one which doesn’t.

Many connoisseur growers prefer to buy genuine F1 cannabis seeds in order to get the highest chance of the consistent quality results which are most similar to the parent strains. F1 White Widow cannabis seeds from Dutch Passion are a good example. The large numbers of repeat White Widow growers know that their best chances of producing original Grade-A White Widow buds is to use F1 White Widow cannabis seeds.

The difference between F1 and F2 cannabis seeds

F1 cannabis seeds are produced when two parents are crossed. When you see F1 cannabis seeds for sale you would normally expect them to show the closest qualities to the original strains. When the F1 cannabis seeds are grown and subsequently crossed the resulting seeds are known as F2 cannabis seeds.

The subject of F1 and F2 cannabis genetics can be a complicated subject, with questions such as ‘is F1 better than F2 cannabis?’ Whether you get better results with F1 vs F2 cannabis seeds will depend on the individual phenotypes being grown, as well your definition of the word ‘better’. It is perhaps safest to say that F1 cannabis seeds are more likely to show results closer to the original parents compared to F2 seeds.

Note. Growing and crossing F2 cannabis seeds would produce F3 cannabis seeds.

What are inbred line cannabis seeds (IBL)?

Inbred line cannabis seeds, often known simply as IBL seeds, are the result of inbreeding the descendants of the F1 cannabis seeds. It is usual to breed for 5 or more generations (F5) in order to be regarded as inbred line cannabis seeds. At this point the IBL may often be considered as a distinct strain in its own right.

Remember that the cannabis seeds have been produced from plants with genetics which are practically identical over several generations. Although this type of breeding is arduous and may take several years, the resulting cannabis seeds are typically very consistent with highly predictable results for the grower.

The Skunk family of cannabis seeds is an example of in-breeding which has allowed the successful preservation of the distinctive skunk aroma and taste.

What are poly-hybrid cannabis seeds?

The most reputable cannabis seed suppliers work hard to identify the best genetics and then stabilise them, a process which sometimes takes several years. Stable consistent cannabis seeds give the grower the best chance of replicating premium quality genetics in their own grow room. However, if two (F1) hybrid strains are crossed the result is poly hybrid cannabis seeds.

When growing such seeds you can reasonably expect any of the genetics from the diverse parentage to be expressed. For some growers, variety is a good thing. For other growers seeking a tent full of consistent/uniform plants, poly-hybrid cannabis seeds are unwelcome guests.

Many of the less experienced seed suppliers intent on making a ‘fast buck’ simply cross male and female plants to create rapid seed production with absolutely no thought given to stabilisation or optimisation of the genetics. Be sure to do your research carefully before buying cannabis seeds and choose seed banks with a good track record of customer service, plenty of repeat customers and perhaps a few cannabis cups. Cannabis cups are usually a sure sign that your seed bank takes their profession seriously and is there for the long haul.

Related:
Dutch Passion cannabis cup winning strains

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How does selfing produce S1 cannabis seeds?

What does F1 and S1 mean? Female cannabis plants can produce S1 cannabis seeds through a process known as ‘selfing’. Usually this involves taking a cutting/clone from the female mother plant and turning it into a male by a process known as ‘reversion’.

This can be done by spraying the female with a chemical such as Silver Thiosulphate. The stress of this causes the female to become a male plant. Pollen is then collected from this plant and used to pollinate the original mother plant. This allows the original female to effectively be ‘self-pollinated’ or ‘selfed’. The cannabis seeds are known as S1 seeds and have the added stability benefit of using the ‘same’ genetics from the male and female.

Cannabis genetics backcrossing explained

When two parent strains are crossed the result is an F1 cannabis seed. If this seed is grown and crossed with one of the original parents, it is known as backcrossing. Backcrossing is a way of stabilising a cannabis strain since it allows parent genetics to be backcrossed with genetically similar offspring. As a result, greater genetic stability is conferred on the resulting cannabis seeds. This produces more consistent seeds with more predictably uniform results in your grow room.

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Cannabis genetics hybridisation process case studies

Often cannabis breeders will aim to combine two great qualities from different strains into a new hybrid. Often this will involve e.g. taking the cannabinoid content from one strains and augmenting it with XXL yields from another.

Orange Hill Special

Californian-Orange-Orange-Bud-Orange-Hill-Special-cannabis-seeds

Orange Hill Special is a Dutch Passion photoperiod feminised seed variety. She was in-bred over 6 generations after the initial crossing with genetics from Orange Bud and Californian Orange.

Orange Bud and Californian Orange are both members of the multi-cannabis cup winning Orange Family of cannabis seeds. These strains stand for premium quality harvests of beautifully citrus scented buds. Orange Bud and Californian Orange have slightly different but complementary terpene profiles. The aim of the hybridisation was to combine the best features of each variety into a new stable strain which would embody the best taste, THC levels and yields.

Orange Hill Special is a member of the most potent cannabis seed selection available, the High THC cannabis seed collection. This is where you can expect consistent 20-25% THC levels across all plants when grown in good conditions. Such stability and consistency don't arrive by accident, it’s the result of several years of careful selection, lab analysis, stabilisation and careful breeding. If you’re looking to grow heavy harvests of extremely THC rich citrus scented skunk buds then Orange Hill Special is a perfect choice. For best results, LED grow lights are recommended.

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Orange Hill Special®

Orange Bud X Californian Orange

Flowering

Feminised

Environment

Indoor

Family

Orange family

Flowering time

8 weeks

Indica/Sativa

Hybrid

Yield

XXL

THC

Extremely High

Cup Winner

Cup winner

Order Now

Orange Hill Special®

Orange Bud X Californian Orange

Flowering

Feminised

Environment

Indoor

Family

Orange family

Flowering time

8 weeks

Indica/Sativa

Hybrid

Yield

XXL

THC

Extremely High

Cup Winner

Cup winner

Order Now

Orange Hill Special®

Orange Bud X Californian Orange

Flowering

Feminised

Environment

Indoor

Family

Orange family

Flowering time

8 weeks

Indica/Sativa

Hybrid

Yield

XXL

THC

Extremely High

Cup Winner

Cup winner

Order Now

Auto Cinderella Jack

Auto-Cinderella-Jack-autoflower-thc-extreme-cannabis-seeds

Auto Cinderella Jack is another extremely high THC strain which was arrived at very much by design rather than by accident. She is one of the highest THC autoflower seeds currently available with several independently verified examples of 25%+ THC levels.

These extreme THC levels are only produced thanks to the careful parent selection, making extensive use of laboratory analysis to only select the highest THC individuals for use in the breeding process.

In order to achieve this, a stable high THC ‘Cinderella 99’ mother was chosen and crossed with an equally potent Jack Herer. In order to improve the yields, genetics from the heavy yielding Magnum strain were used. Finally, the genetics were stabilised over several generations with back crossing. This ‘locks in’ the genetics and ensures the finest results and highest THC levels.

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Auto Cinderella Jack®

(Cinderella 99 X Jack Herer) X Magnum

Flowering

Autoflower

Environment

Indoor/Outdoor

Family

Classics

Seed to harvest

10-11 weeks

Indica/Sativa

Hybrid

Yield

XL

THC

Extremely high

Cup Winner

Cup winner

Order Now

Auto Cinderella Jack®

(Cinderella 99 X Jack Herer) X Magnum

Flowering

Autoflower

Environment

Indoor/Outdoor

Family

Classics

Seed to harvest

10-11 weeks

Indica/Sativa

Hybrid

Yield

XL

THC

Extremely high

Cup Winner

Cup winner

Order Now

Auto Cinderella Jack®

(Cinderella 99 X Jack Herer) X Magnum

Flowering

Autoflower

Environment

Indoor/Outdoor

Family

Classics

Seed to harvest

10-11 weeks

Indica/Sativa

Hybrid

Yield

XL

THC

Extremely high

Cup Winner

Cup winner

Order Now

Cannabis seeds quality: what to know before growing?

The most important thing to know before you start growing is what are you hoping to produce? The most powerful THC rich buds? A powerful medical harvest with balanced THC and CBD? If you want to produce the fastest harvest possible you should check out Dutch Passion’s Top 5 fastest cannabis strains.

Or perhaps you’re a SCROG grower looking for the best SCROG strains?

If you are unsure which cannabis seeds to grow then check out the Dutch Passion Seed Finder. This will ask a few questions on your grow style, objectives and approach before recommending the best cannabis seeds for you.

The best two pieces of advice to any prospective grower is to buy the best cannabis seeds from a supplier you can trust AND to optimise your grow conditions. Dutch Passion have remained in business since the 1980’s thanks to the loyalty of many repeat buyers who trust them to supply the most state and finest quality cannabis seeds.

Related:
How to optimise your grow room conditions

Cannabis growing can seem complicated, with a bewildering area of seed options and grow methods. But with some good advice you can narrow down your seed choice to a limited number of strains. The less experienced are advised to keep things as simple as possible to begin with and choose some cannabis seeds that are easy to grow in a range of conditions. But remember, even the world’s best growers can’t produce fine quality harvests from poor quality seeds. Buy the best cannabis seeds you can from a supplier you can trust and enjoy the grow!

What are F1, F2, S1 cannabis seeds?
November 12th 2021
Categories : Cannabis Plant

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