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What is a Cannabis Clone?

Discuss what cannabis clones are, how they’re made, and what they’re good for. 

What comes to mind when you hear the word clone? Maybe a science lab, genetics, or any story featuring a duplicate copy of one of the characters? Well, genetics are involved, duplicate copies are being made, but not in the science lab. Cannabis is being cloned in grow facilities all over the world, and those cannabis clones are being grown and manufactured into some of the medicine we see behind dispensary counters. 

The basics of cannabis cloning is very simple. A clone is started by taking a cutting from one plant, called the mother plant. The mother plant is usually a healthy plant, with a successfully proven growth and production record. The cutting is usually just a small branch, with leaves. Being cut from the mother plant, the clone carries the same genetics as the mother. This creates an exact duplicate copy of the mother plant. 

It will have the same immune system, cannabinoid content, terpene profile, and will respond to the process of cultivation in the same way the mother plant does. All of this makes it easier for growers to predict how the plant will grow, and what cannabinoid content and terpene profile they can expect the plant to produce. This is especially helpful when certain characteristics are in high demand from patients, like higher CBD content, certain terpenes, or a higher percentage of other cannabinoids, like CBG.

The cutting is then placed into a growing medium, like a  and fed some sort of nutrient solution to encourage root growth. Once the cutting forms roots, it then gets moved into another growing medium like pots of soil, or directly in the ground, so the roots can expand and the clone can grow into a full sized plant. It’s amazing how an entire plant can grow from just one clipping, into a fully functioning plant that produces such high quality medicine. 

Cloning cannabis plants does not change the medicinal benefits of the cannabis flower, so there’s no need to worry about wether or not your cannabis flower or cannabis product came from a clone. The major differences between cannabis grown from clones and cannabis grown from seeds, are ones mostly only growers are concerned with. Growing from seed has its own benefits, but a lot of cultivators like clones for many reasons. 

The consistency in favorable genetics being passed down from the mother plant to the clone makes growing clones more predictable. Being more predicable makes it easier for cultivators to  save time and money managing their crop. The only real downside to cloning is the chance of certain genetic characteristics, like lack of immunity to a specific plant disease for instance, can cause an entire crop to be destroyed. Even though this potential risk exists, many cultivators are choosing to cultivate using clones over seeds.

Unless you plan to cultivate your own cannabis, knowing the ins and outs of how cloning cannabis works is more for when you want to whip out some fun facts for your family and friends. 

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