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What are genotypes and phenotypes?


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Genotypes and phenotypes can explain the variability between cannabis plants that are “born” with different genetics or grown in different environments. The genetic make-up of a plant is referred to as the genotype. Phenotype describes the physically properties expressed by a plant brought out by the environment. While we know that two different strains contain dissimilar genetics, less obvious is the fact that different seeds from the same plant also offer a slightly dissimilar genetic code, much like two siblings from the same human mother.


It’s understood that plants with identical genes (clones from the same mother plant) will display near-identical expression of their growth characteristics (such as growth pattern, shape, aroma, flavor, color and potency) when environmental conditions are kept the same. However, when genetically-identical plants are exposed to different growing conditions, they will display slightly different traits. Simply put, the genotype offers a blueprint for growth from which the phenotype can express itself.

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