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My passion

by Amanda Dell 4 months ago in growing

Breeding for a Purpose

The Purpose (Purple Urkel x Sour Diesel) IBL

I have an unconventional passion in life. Breeding medical marijuana cultivars is what I spend all my free time doing. Hand selecting the perfect terpene profiles to isolate and stabilize is an art. I have spent endless hours researching the genetic profiles that would create the ideal combination for relief of specific ailments. Narrowing phenotype expression is a labor-intensive process that takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication. Anyone can pollinate a plant and create seeds. Not everyone can successfully duplicate the results generation after generation.

Let me start with a little background. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in my early 20’s. Doctor’s have little understanding of the disease and even less knowledge of how to treat it. Years of experimental medications with all kinds of side effects lead me to cannabis. I had used it recreationally most of my adult life alongside all the prescriptions given to me. Once I decided to eliminate all the pharmaceuticals and focus on just the marijuana, I finally had relief.

This miracle plant has given me what 10 years of side effects could not. It gave me freedom from my pain. In my experiments to find a dosage that best suited my symptoms, I realized there was much more to this plant than meets the eye. Different fragrances, or terpenes as I later learned in my research, have different effects. Homeopathic remedies are nothing new. Although marijuana has a bad reputation still despite the advances in scientific studies, I consider it a full-fledged medicine. The plants genetics contain endless combinations of medicinal terpenes and cannabinoids.

There are many ways to ingest this plant that make it moldable to any treatment plan. It can be inhaled, orally consumed, topically applied, or even made into a suppository. Being so versatile prompted me to dive deeper into making my own medicine. Living in a medically/recreationally legal state in America gave me the freedom to begin my journey of cultivation. I started off slowly, simply happy that a plant survived to harvest. I had medicine that I knew was organically grown and safe to consume however I saw fit.

As the years progressed, so did my knowledge. I learned how to not only grow them to completion, but how to make them thrive. A natural next step to me was to try to design a cultivar that possessed all the medicinal qualities I desired in one plant. Not necessarily a “cure all” for any medical issue. Rather, more, or less create designer genes that had the terpenes and cannabinoid percentages that best managed my fibromyalgia.

Out of the myriad of options, I found that myrcene was the main terpene that I drew the most benefit from. Myrcene is a monoterpene that is present is a wide variety of cannabis cultivars. It is said to have the perceived medicinal benefits that include relief of pain, ulcers, anxiety, and other ailments. It is readily available in other plants such as mangoes, thyme, and hops. I had the first building block for my recipe. One of many, but I had a place to start.

I also had a penchant for the flavor of humulene. Humulene is a monocyclic sesquiterpene that is also found in hops, black pepper, and ginseng. It has benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, as well as appetite suppression. My goal was to find an existing cultivar that had high myrcene and humulene and then combine it with another cultivar that had other complimenting terpenes.

Searching through the available strains is a never-ending maze of options. I wanted to use my knowledge of Mendel’s Laws of Heredity to my advantage. I decided that the least altered strain, or “Landrace” as they are often referred to, was my best option for parent number one. I needed to have a pure cultivar to build on from the start instead of trying to weed out the unwanted phenotypes. Pun intended.

Purple Urkel, aka Mendocino Purps, aka The Purps, was the shining star in my genetic map. This variety is considered the only USA Indica landrace. This in and of itself is misleading. It is not from the United States, but actually a transplant from an “unknown” origin with no parental lineage listed. It has been said to be of afghani descendant. It has a high myrcene count, a high humulene count, and an acceptable thc content of 19% on average. The entourage effect is more compelling to me than an absurdly high thc content. Thc is not the only brick in the wall. I spent a few years pheno hunting Mendo for what I felt was a good representation of the cultivar.

Satisfied with that portion of the project I now had to move onto the second parent. Again, endless options and combinations available to choose from. It is a daunting task to navigate the ups and downs of the breeding done on the cultivar up to the point that you grow it. Many breeders make questionable decisions in their procedures and processes. A lot of factors need to be taken into account when selecting what to breed with. That being said, I am a huge Sour Diesel fan. The pungent aroma is always welcome. The lineage of Sour Diesel is not ideal. It has questionable parents, and was the result of a hermaphrodite pollination. Never something that I would suggest using for stabilizing a cultivar, but I was smitten.

I spent the next few years painstakingly testing the progeny of my two chosen parents. Stress testing them near death to try to force any of these terrible genetic possibilities carried by the Sour Diesel to the surface. One phenotype became the clear stand alone in the crowd. It was hearty, good yielding, and fungus resistant, as well as being the smelliest plant I had ever grown. Years of work and I had produced something unique that had a terpene profile that made it a tremendous weapon in my arsenal against fibromyalgia. The mixture of myrcene and humulene from one parent and the gaseous combination of linalool, limonene, pinene, and caryophyllene from the other parent was sublime.

Naming the cultivar came naturally. It rolled off the tongue of my partner without effort. The Purpose. I set out to create my own medicine and I had succeeded. It most definitely was born out of purpose in life, and it was deserving of such a distinct name. I have been continually strengthening the genetics with subsequent back breeding to the same parent phenotype for many years now. Nearing the end of the work on this particular cultivar I have since branched out to begin the same arduous process of making different cultivars for different ailments.

Starting my own company was a huge step for this hobby. I want to share this medicine with the world, where it is legal to do so. Keeping it all to myself seems like The Purpose is losing some of its own purpose. Hooty Hoot Genetics has become the face for my hobby. I only offer this one variety currently and that is fine by me. Eventually, I will have other designer gene projects completed. For now, I am happy to stand behind my first accomplishment. The product of my frustration with an invisible disease with no proven treatments. The Purpose has given me freedom. I am so excited for the future of Hooty Hoot Genetics and the medicine I will be able to make available for all.

I feel like times are changing and more and more people are becoming accepting of this unconventional plant. Countless stories of epilepsy being alleviated or even eliminated in some cases. Cancer patients able to have some relief from the nauseating chemo therapies. Anxiety patients able to participate in life even a little better than usual is a win for many. The breeding of cultivars for specific needs is a rewarding yet challenging passion. Societal views are hard to overcome. Being labeled the black sheep my whole life I am used to the whispers behind my back at family functions and assumptions made about my chosen path.

I am willing to put myself out there even if I only help one person with fibromyalgia. I saw a need and I dove in headfirst to simplify the selection process for people like me. Helping people is deep in my nature. Hopefully, one day, my efforts will benefit the many, instead of the few. I am grateful to anyone who has taken the time to review my submission. Your time is precious to me and my passion. Thank you.


Amanda Dell

I am a writer, an artist, a mother, and a cultivator.

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