The rate at which breeders are introducing new strains is absolutely astounding. A significant relaxation of cannabis prohibition in many states has dramatically aided this cause. At the time of writing, practically two-thirds of American states have legalized MMJ. Up in Canada, weed is entirely legal for all adults (with caveats).
There are now at least three million MMJ patients in the United States. Add in the other millions of ‘customers’ around the world, and there is a thriving market. Next, consider modern society’s desire for the ‘new and shiny.’ Even though there are likely thousands of cannabis strains, people still want more. Breeders are complying with dozens of new strains popularized annually.
While it is common for us to look at five strains in-depth, we’re doing something different with this piece. We will briefly check out ten new cannabis strains for 2020. First, let’s take a quick look at how breeders find strains to crossbreed in the first place.
The Art of Crossbreeding Cannabis
In general, there are two types of crossbreeding:
- Inbreeding: Involves crossing females and males of the same strain. The goal is to create seeds that closely replicate the parent plants.
- Outbreeding: This process involves growing male and female plants of different strains. You place them in a room during the flowering stage to create seeds. It is a process that has hugely varied results!
When breeding, your first step is to buy seeds from reputable seed banks. Incidentally, you can read whether it is legal to purchase cannabis seeds online. In theory, you can cross practically any two cannabis strains. Indeed, you can try crossing three or more! However, the results are unpredictable in the main. For example, there is no guarantee that two top-shelf strains will create a masterpiece.
Cannabis Genetics: Dominant & Recessive Traits
After crossing your first batch of seeds, you end up with new seeds. Each one contains different genetics. Even though they come from the same parents, they develop unique phenotypes. Experienced breeders know how to find desirable traits in the next generation of seeds. They choose these characteristics and breed them over future generations. It is up to the individual to select the attributes they want. Examples include yield, aroma, color, taste, and pest resistance.
A ‘dominant’ trait is expressed often across your plants. A ‘recessive’ trait is not. Experts recommend using a ‘Punnett Square’ to track recessive and dominant traits when breeding. Please note that if a feature isn’t passed down from parents to the first generation, it doesn’t mean it has ‘vanished.’ It means it is a recessive characteristic that may show up occasionally in future generations.
The most desirable traits include:
- Yield: Who doesn’t want a massive amount of buds with every harvest!
- Potency: Likewise, many breeders want extremely high THC contents. It is becoming standard to see strains with 25+% THC.
- Short Flowering Period: These plants mature faster, so you can finish the process early. You can harvest strains with a flowering time of under eight weeks 3-4 times a year if you grow indoors.
- Size: In general, breeders want small plants because they are easy to manage in a tiny indoor grow.
- Durability: Certain strains excel in resisting pests and mold disease. These ‘tough’ plants require a lower level of maintenance than their fragile counterparts.
- Flavor: Check out our list of best-tasting cannabis strains for some delectable cannabis. You can grow sweet weed like Game Changer or something savory like Cheese.
It’s Time to Backcross!
When you find a suitable phenotype, the next step is to stabilize its genetics. One popular tactic is to use pollen from its parent to fertilize it. Next, grow the new batch of seeds and pick the phenotype you desire. Then you backcross it using its parent’s pollen. This process stabilizes the genetic traits. When you do it enough times, you end up with ‘homozygous’ seeds. At this stage, you will see minimal variations in genetics.
What Are the Best New Marijuana Strains of 2020?
There are a considerable number of great cannabis strains recently released. Picking just ten was a difficult task, and we’re sure to encounter disagreement. We have also divided the list into four ‘Feminized’, three ‘Regular,’ and three ‘Auto’ strains.
Best Feminized Strains
1 – Rare Hindu
Created by Rare Dankness, Rare Hindu is a cross between an OG#2 male, and a landrace Hindu Kush. It is an indica-dominant hybrid noted for its resinous buds. Those who have used it suggest Rare Hindu provides a feeling of calm and even enlightenment! The sweet, earthy smell is a treat, and the serene high is ideal for those in need of relaxation after a hard day. The buds are coated in frosty trichomes, and this strain offers a medium-high yield. If growing Rare Hindu, please note that the flowering time is 60-75 days.
2 – South Plant
This is a sativa-dominant hybrid that’s a cross of South India genetics with South African sativas. It is a good option for indoor growers because it is unlikely to exceed four feet in height. Please bear in mind that it has a dense central cola that requires staking. The Plant Organic Seeds bred this strain that also grows well in dry climates. At 56 days, its flowering time is on the short side. Indoors, its yield is up to 18 ounces per meter squared. Outdoors, you could get up to 22 ounces per plant. South Plant provides a happy, cerebral high.
3 – Strawberry Cane
If it’s all about yield for you, then Strawberry Cane is a brilliant new option. It is a cross of Strawberry Stardawg and Slurricane. Created by Holy Smoke Seeds, this plant forms several long colas covered in resinous purple buds. It is an ideal strain if you like to use SCROG or super-cropping techniques. With a sweet taste and a high that could boost creativity, we foresee big things for this strain. Strawberry Cane’s flowering time is 63 days.
4 – Tropicanna Banana
Brought to you by Barney’s Farm Seeds, this sativa-dominant hybrid has a THC content of up to 25%. It is a cross of Banana Kush and Tropicanna genetics and offers an uplifting effect. It is a robust plant that strongly resists diseases and pests. Indoors, it could yield up to 25 ounces per square meter. Outdoors, it is a monster capable of producing an incredible 70 ounces per plant! Its flowering time is 65-70 days.
5 – God Lemon
Bred by Massive Creations, God Lemon is a cross of Lemon Versace and Adonai genetics. It is an indica-dominant strain and isn’t available in feminized seed form. It grows well indoors or outside and provides a medium to high yield. Its flowering time is 8-9 weeks. Users note that God Lemon offers a beautiful blend of lemons, flowers, and Kush.
6 – Tangie Cookies
Bred by BC Bud Depot, this sativa-dominant hybrid is a cross of Girl Scout Cookies and Tangie. The combination of two powerhouse strains results in a THC measured at over 28%! A glance at Tangie Cookies bud suggests potency due to its enormous level of resin and terpenes. The intense citrus flavor is appealing, and it is already gaining traction as an option for individuals with fatigue and stress. Its flowering time is 8-9 weeks, and it produces a high yield.
7 – New Order
Mosca Seeds has introduced New Order to the marketplace. It is a strongly indica-dominant hybrid that’s a cross of Fire Alien White and Triangle Kush/Wookies #15. This strain is reportedly one of the breeder’s favorites given its moderate to high yield and satisfying high. New Order has a flowering time of 60-65 days. User reviews to date suggest that this isn’t a strain for newbies to mess around with!
8 – Fro-Yo Auto
G13 Labs created this strain, which has immediately gained rave reviews. It is a cross of GSC and Sunset Sherbet mixed with a ruderalis. Fro-Yo produces dense, purple, and highly-resinous flowers. It grows well indoors and outside, and its cultivation time is 70-75 days from seed. If you grow outdoors, you will likely get no more than four ounces a plant. However, indoors, Fro-Yo can produce up to 18 ounces per square meter planted.
9 – Cosmic Bomb Auto
This is a strain created by Bomb Seeds. It is a cross of an African landrace sativa genetics and LSD that’s high in THCV. On average, you can expect up to 20% THC and perhaps 2-3% CBD. Cosmic Bomb is a useful strain for evening use due to its relaxing effects. Its grow time is around 65 days from seed. Outdoors, you will get around seven ounces per plant. Indoors, you could get 22 ounces per square meter.
10 – Purple Lemonade
Bred by FastBuds Seeds, Purple Lemonade is created using purple, and citrus Cali genetics mixed with ruderalis. It has an elevated THC content of up to 22% and provides an intriguing high that combines sativa energy with a feeling of relaxation in the body. It is a favorite amongst users with a sweet tooth, and it can yield up to 18 ounces per square meter indoors. Purple Lemonade also has a fast growing time; it is ready for harvest as little as 56 days from seed.
Final Thoughts on New Marijuana Strains for 2020
There is an inordinate number of new cannabis strains produced on an annual basis, it seems. Breeders, free from prohibition in many places, are free to experiment as they see fit. Add in the new equipment and access to information, and it is no surprise that we see this scenario.
The truth is, we all have different tastes. Look at the countless varieties of cereal. In reality, you could place them all in a handful of groups. It is much the same as cannabis. Nonetheless, crossbreeding leads to some exciting and fun outcomes! Realistically, breeders are ‘topping out’ with regards to THC content.
However, they still have a vast amount of options when it comes to flavors and experiences. Given the existing strains, one could say the potential for ‘new’ strains is almost limitless. How ‘different’ they really are is a debate for another day. If you are skeptical, here are five marijuana strains with completely different effects.