Strains & products

Bizarre Cannabis Strains With Unusual Growth Characteristics

Published on January 31, 2018 · Last updated February 22, 2021

Like all plants, cannabis comes in all shapes and sizes. Generally speaking, strains will exhibit differences in resin production, coloration, stature, and shape. Other times, cannabis will express itself with features you’ve probably never seen firsthand.

Below are five of the most unique and unusual genetic traits found in cannabis plants from all around the world. Whether by genetic mutation, environment, or factors unknown, these cannabis oddities are sure to stand out in any cannabis garden.

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Albino Cannabis

Albinism is a rare genetic mutation that occurs in humans, animals, and plants such as cannabis. An albino plant is one that grows with the complete or partial absence of chlorophyll pigmentation, causing the plant to appear lighter or white in color. The plants must contain some chlorophyll to perform photosynthesis (the process by which plants covert light energy into food), so albino plants may never make it to maturity before dying.

Dr. Grinspoon

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The spindly strain called Dr. Grinspoon was dedicated to the longtime cannabis advocate and professor at Harvard, Dr. Lester Grinspoon. In the early 60s, Dr. Grinspoon condemned the use of cannabis as its popularity grew, but came to endorse it after studying the plant. He found that the information that was being shared to the public was not supported by his research and felt that the public was being strongly misled.

This strain is a pure sativa heirloom that typically invites creativity, energy, and cerebral activity. Bred by Barneys Farm in Amsterdam, it grows with a bizarre stature: Instead of developing bud sites at the nodes of the branches, Dr. Grinspoon grows small buds that decorate the plant like berries on a holly plant. Because of its unconventional appearance, this strain is also a solid choice for growers seeking subtlety in their garden.

Dr. Grinspoon is not a high yielding strain and has a 14-week flowering period, making it an unpopular strain among commercial growers. But novelty-seeking cultivators raising this potent sativa will be rewarded with a truly unique product.

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Polyploid Cannabis

Polyploidy occurs in plants that contain more than two sets of chromosomes in their genetic makeup. While most cannabis plants are simply diploid (two sets of chromosomes), many growers find that polyploid cannabis plants produce larger flowers with resilience to disease and pests. While this mutation in animals is often destructive, it is generally successful in plants. Many flowering plants have picked up extra chromosomes, and this mutation has often helped them become adaptive and resilient.

Buddha Seeds from Spain has been exploring polyploidy for a number of years now with the goal of producing more potent, high-yielding strains. The mutation is difficult to work with and difficult to clone, making polyploid cannabis plants few and far between.

Frisian Duck

Frisian Duck, a cross between Frisian Dew and Ducksfoot, was bred by Dutch Passion out of Amsterdam. While Frisian Dew was produced as a high-yielding outdoor strain, “Ducksfoot” is a unique mutation that results in oddly shaped cannabis leaves. This cross holds on to the Ducksfoot leaf pattern while producing beautiful deep purple buds that are compact with spicy notes of citrus and pine.

A targeted benefit of Frisian Duck is stealth. With leaves that look nothing like a normal cannabis plant, Frisian Duck became a great strain for growers seeking to raise cannabis incognito.

Black Haze

It’s not unusual to see vibrant or dark shades of purple in cannabis, but some strains achieve hues so distinct, you’ll likely never forget them. Black Haze is one of those strains, and as the name suggests, it oftentimes produces flowers that are near-black in color. Produced by Exotic Seed in Europe, this strain is an autoflowering variety that crosses Sir Jack x Skunk Auto and Pakistani Chitral Kush.

Other strains that sometimes express unusually dark hues include Black Lemon, Black Domina, Black Dahlia, and Black Diesel. Cannabis may also uniquely express blue, pink, and red coloration.

Pinkman Goo

Pinkman Goo is a strain developed by Twompson Prater of Cali Crop Doc. Discovered while growing a few unidentified seeds found by his sister, Pinkman Goo was named after observing little balls of goo secreted by the buds 3-4 weeks into flowering. It’s up for debate how the goo balls are created, but one theory hypothesizes that they result from nighttime “respiration” after the plant’s stomata close.

Have you come across any unusual cannabis strains? Tell us about them, or better yet, post a photo of them in the comments section below.

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Trevor Hennings
Trevor Hennings
Trevor is a freelance writer and photographer. He has spent years in California working in the cannabis industry.
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