Pheno Hunting refers to the process of growing a multitude of seeds that are specific to a variety in order to find a certain phenotype with the dominant traits that are sought out by the grower. Some of the desired traits that are focused on are smell, color, cannabinoid profiles, growth characteristics, plant height, pest resistance, yields, and flowering time. A phenotype refers to the traits of a cannabis plant. It is what makes the plant what it is.
Any successful cannabis grower knows that pheno-hunting is a necessary process that they have to go through to ensure that the best genes of any plant are passed down to the next generations. It is known as hunting because it literally does seem like a treasure hunt sometimes having to sift through many seeds to find just the right traits that the grower wants to cultivate.
But patience is required, because to be able to distinguish the difference between each seed, they must be grown before the grower can start the process of elimination on what seeds, plants, and traits made the cut. A cultivator will label each seed that is to be grown so they can be identified easily when it begins to mature.
The cultivator will make notes throughout the growth cycle about each seed that is being grown. Once they get to a certain point, the grower can recognize and isolate the female plants from the males. If they are looking for a particular gender of plant, this will help narrow things down smoothly. The grower then simply just takes clones of the chosen gender to keep its genetics preserved. When it comes time to harvest and cure the marijuana plants, the grower will further examine each plant and elect a few of their favorite ones to begin the next batches.