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It’s common that many growers of marijuana use the words genotype and phenotype incorrectly when discussing cannabis. Have you ever noticed that practically every single cannabis plant grown from a seed look slightly different when compared to another plant?

A marijuana plant’s genotype is the genetic code which carries all the genetic information regarding its growth, appearance, and all other characteristics. It should be noted that a plant’s genotype is not an absolute which is permanently set in stone but rather elucidates a certain range of its possibilities.

And naturally, this primarily depends upon the environment the plant lives in and what specific odds and ends of the genotype will be ultimately activated. Simply put, the interaction between genotype and the environment itself results in a phenotype, which means the physical expression of certain genes the environment has sparked.

Here is a simple example. You go to a reputable marijuana breeder and buy seeds to grow a plant which will yield a purple strain. But alternatively, you decide to grow your plants outdoor rather than inside your grow tent which you have set up in your home. And seeing as it’s a given that no two plants are exactly alike, special notice will be given that the outdoor plants have a richer, more intensely vibrant purple colour compared to your indoor plants.

And while the genotype transfers the information to produce purple shades and hues, it’s the outdoor environment, and in this specific case, the temperatures of the outdoor environment, that allow two completely different physical bearings from seemingly the same genetic code. Every single cannabis seed has its own unique genotype. Many growers make the assumption that seeds from the same cannabis strain share an identical genetic code and understandably expect homogeneous growth.

In going back to the seeds example, what was purchased were “family members” of that particular marijuana strain. And while this strain shares a large percentage of genetics with thousands of its inbred siblings, ultimately they are not identical twins.

Use of Term

The genotype of this particular strain of cannabis that I am growing contains a large number of appealing characteristics.

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