The ABC of cannabis genetics

SUMO Cannabis

Most cannabis users enjoy the product and its effects but know very little about the genetic aspects of the plant. And yet, this is a fascinating aspect!

First of all, let’s define what genetics is: genetics is what determines the development and growth of plants. In other words, it is genetics that gives the desired properties to seeds and plants. It is through genetics that growers like SUMO Cannabis can develop new varieties of cannabis.

There are different families of genetics, the two main ones being1 :


This variety is mainly known for having a physically sedating effect on the body. It is native to India, although emerging research has suggested it may have actually originated in Afghanistan. They are short, stocky plants with broad leaves.


Native to regions near the equator (Colombia, Mexico, Thailand), this variety is mostly known for its cerebral effects. They are tall, lanky plants with skinny leaves.

Many other varieties also exist, as there is a wide range of varieties that fall into the “hybrid” category. Hybrids can inherit traits from both parent varieties. They can be dominantly Indica or Sativa in their genetic composition and their effects. Each element can add something different to the overall experience.

The goal of cannabis growers is to create unique varieties that will appeal to consumers. How so? By crossing different strains according to the desired characteristics, either at the level of terpenes (which generate odors and tastes), cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD levels for example) or in terms of characteristics related to cultivation (duration of flowering, height of the plant, resistance to predators and diseases, etc.)

The people behind SUMO Cannabis compare their work to that of a microbrewery that wants to develop a good, unique beer with its own flavor and aroma.

The process

It all begins with the search for phenotypes. Then, after the reproduction of the plants, when they reach maturity, research and analysis begins. The idea is to do tests in order to find the best combination to offer the best final product.

SUMO Cannabis already has several thousand seeds in order to eventually do research and development in the field of genetics. Overall, SUMO Cannabis is committed to developing and maintaining a large gene base that covers a wide inventory of different characteristics.

It is in the mothers’ room, also known as the “guardian of genetics”, that we find the results of these steps related to the development of genetics. At SUMO Cannabis, this space can host between 50 and 60 mother plants. But it is expected that during the first phase of expansion, the space will be doubled to accommodate more cultivars.

To learn more about the anatomy of the cannabis plant, click here to read our article on the subject.