Top Most Common Cannabis Plant Mutations
Cannabis is a species of plant that can produce amazing results if grown correctly, with some varieties boasting vibrant greens, purple hues, and strong aromas. However, ultimately cannabis will be predictable in terms of its growth structure, coloration, and yields.
But from time to time a plant may exhibit what is known as a “mutant” trait––in which the growth or appearance differs significantly from the norm.
While these random mutations are rare, they can lead to breeds with unique colors such as yellow or pinkish-red foliage. Other common mutations might include unusual leaf structures such as having seven lobes rather than five or even an irregularly shaped bud.
Cannabis plants can also mutate in terms of their height, root system and flowering period, the most commonly seen varieties being autoflowering mutants that mature much faster than photoperiod feminized seeds.
Twin Cannabis Seedlings
Twin cannabis seedlings are relatively common in the world of growing cannabis, and experienced growers may find themselves with two seedlings emerging from a single seed. This mutation can be more prevalent in certain strains such as Autoflowers but is seen in most.
Separating the two carefully so as not to damage the roots can be done by experienced growers, though many simply leave them together and will often get good results. To improve productivity when using two twin cannabis seedlings, training may be needed to optimize light spread and penetration.
Also, it could be beneficial to use a larger container than usual to accommodate both root balls if they have been left together, in order to provide sufficient space and nutrition for growth.
Tri-Leaf Cannabis Seedlings
Tri-leaf cannabis seedlings are a rare but fascinating mutation that can arise in cannabis plants. Instead of the typical two leaves, these seedlings produce three. This phenomenon, also known as whorled phyllotaxy, causes the plant to grow bushier than its usual relatives. Though this mutation doesn’t generally affect how well the plant will mature or produce THC/CBD content, it’s still a sight to see nonetheless.
Unfortunately for growers, this mutation is random and has nothing to do with their efforts while tending to the cannabis crop. Regardless, it’s inevitable that almost any grower will likely come across such a phenomenon at some point in time and it may set apart those special few plants from the rest of the cannabis crop.
Tri-leaf cannabis is just one of the many quirks of planting cannabis and further adds to its mysterious allure whether you’re an experienced veteran or just starting with your carefully cultivated plants.
Ducksfoot or Webbed Cannabis Leaves
Ducksfoot or webbed cannabis leaves are a fascinating mutation of the traditional cannabis plant. This mutation causes the normally separated fingers on cannabis plants to melt together, forming a unique leaf shape that resembles the shape of a duck footprint.
Without the iconic cannabis leaf shape, you can walk straight past a ‘Duck’ cannabis plant and never realize it’s a weed, especially during vegetative growth. Such an unusual cannabis look is particularly sought-after by outdoor growers who want to blend into nature without being detected, due to its low-profile appearance.
Albinism And Cannabis Variegation
Due to cannabis variegation, the leaves of certain plants can possess a unique beauty with unique green and white streaks. In some cases, the plant may even have a green and a bronze combination. Despite their aesthetic impact, this single plant mutation affects more than just how cannabis looks.
The lack of chlorophyll, which is the green pigment that helps to facilitate photosynthesis, will mean lower yields as a result.
Albinism is an especially interesting mutation where no chlorophyll is present at all in the seedlings. This can be identified shortly after germination and usually results in death a few days afterward since there is no way for the photosynthesis process without chlorophyll.
Scientists are still researching further into understanding why this occurs and what implications it has on yields and cultivation in general, but so far any evidence proving useful information remains scarce.
Creeper cannabis is a mutation of sativa strains that tend to grow in tropical climates. The distinctive feature of creeper cannabis is its tendency to form branches that reach down and spread across the ground, even forming root sites at the points of contact.
This trait was likely not favored by commercial cannabis breeders, as it has limited application when it comes to growing indoors or in other enclosed environments. Outdoor growers, however, are likely familiar with this unique variation of cannabis seeds and may benefit from its slightly increased potency compared to non-mutated plants.
Creeper cannabis should not be confused with seedlings that have been overwatered, as these often take on a similar lanky structure but will begin sprouting leaves shortly afterward. It’s always important for growers to pay attention to their plants and look for any signs of mutation as this can have drastic effects on the harvest.
Australian Bastard Cannabis
Australian bastard cannabis, often referred to simply as ‘ABC’, is a unique strain of cannabis that originated in Australia during the 70s. Unlike other cannabis strains, ABC has a natural mutation that causes its leaves to have a glossy, shrub-like appearance and no serrations.
This helps the plant blend in with its native environment. Despite some interest from breeders, ABC genetics have yet to form stabilized, high-THC marijuana seeds.
ABC may not be the most potent strain on the market but it does have potential health benefits due to its high levels of myrcene which acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent. It also gives off a lemon-like aroma which can provide calming effects for those who inhale it.
All in all, although this variant of cannabis might not have skyrocketed in popularity or potency just yet, Australian Bastard Cannabis still stands out among other marijuana strains thanks to its unique characteristics and qualities.
Vine cannabis is a mysterious mutation of the cannabis plant that has recently gained attention due to its elongated physical characteristics. Its origins are unknown, but some speculate it may be the result of cross-breeding with Australian bastard cannabis.
This variation stands out from your traditional cannabis plants, as it grows in an elongated fashion but unfortunately lacks potency in cannabinoids. For this reason, there has been limited interest or research resulting from seed companies, who have not been interested in developing or stabilizing vine-like cannabis strains thus far.
Due to its low cannabinoid content and unusual shape, vine-like cannabis may be used for decorative purposes instead of smoking. It may also be used as a source of hemp fiber and oil, given its strong fiber and low THC content respectively.
Cannabis Leaf Buds
Leaf buds are a fascinating mutation that you can find in cannabis plants. They form at the base of the leaves, where the leaf and its stalk meet, instead of forming on the main blooms like most buds.
They are a fascinating sight for home growers to observe but usually don’t do much for yield. Some choose to remove the leaf buds from their plants to allow them to maintain more normal patterns of biochemistry and growth.
Others see no need to remove these interesting changes and enjoy seeing them whenever they view their plants. Cannabis fans have even been known to show them off proudly, telling friends about this rare mutation when it spontaneously appears on their plants! Although leaf buds may not help with yield, they sure do make growing cannabis a more exciting experience!
The topic of polyploidism in cannabis has generated a lot of intrigue among cannabis growers and breeders alike due to the potential advantages it could bring. Normally, single cannabis plants have two copies of each chromosome, one from the male parent and another from the female.
However, with polyploidy, instead of pairs, there are three or more sets of chromosomes. For example, triploid cannabis will have three sets while tetraploid species will have four sets.
In other plants such as bananas, polyploidy has had beneficial effects such as higher yield and consistency in growth since triploid bananas cannot form seed resulting in more fruits. This is further compounded by the fact that these entire plants are propagated only through cuttings and not seeds.
While polyploidy appears to be common among plants, it is far less so among animals which makes its potential outside value even greater when it comes to cannabis.
Foxtailed cannabis is one of the more unique and eye-catching marijuana plants. It gets its name from the thin protrusions often just a calyx or two wide that resemble a fox’s tail. When the buds have a nice layer of sparkling trichomes, it can make it even more captivating to look at.
Unfortunately, foxtailed cannabis doesn’t do much to increase yields, which makes it an ideal choice for small-scale cultivators looking for something for ornamental value.
It’s also popular among large-scale growers who want something different but without sacrificing yield in the process. By combining foxtailing techniques with traditional methods such as topping, FIMing, and pruning, growers can achieve better yields while still maintaining a plant that looks like one from outer space.
Plus, the pretty little tails are a bonus when it comes to trimming. Not only does this add beauty to your product but it also looks great in close-up photographs for promotional use.
Final Thoughts On Genetic Mutations In Cannabis
Genetic mutations in cannabis plants occur, but they are much rarer than you may think. Most of the time growers will find a set of consistent and predictable plants, with minimal variety. This is because many cannabis seed companies put a lot of effort into stabilizing and backcrossing their genetics to ensure quality consistency.
Though cannabis mutations are not common, they can produce an interesting result if some do appear during a growth cycle. A grower may find themselves with colors and leaf shapes that weren’t expected or planned for which can add some unexpected excitement!
It’s worth noting that it pays to be extra careful when working with genetic mutations as they often can create unstable plants that require extra checking to make sure they are healthy and viable. Regardless, while mutations aren’t typically sought after, it may be nice to appreciate them when encountered as a sign of nature’s variability and unpredictability.