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Letting Perfection Take Root

The Philosophy of Pheno Hunting 

For customers who truly love cannabis, finding the greatest strains is a lifelong search. Luckily for them, some of the industry’s best cultivators are dedicating their time and expertise to that very goal through a process called pheno hunting. 

Stemming from the same root as the word “phenomenon,” a phenotype, or pheno for short, is a set of observable characteristics on an organism – a unique combination of its genetics paired with its environment. In cannabis, they’re expressed in color, size, structure, taste, aroma, crystal or trichome density, total cannabinoid profile, overall growth rate, effects when consumed, and other traits that make each individual plant its own. 

Think of phenotypes like siblings – two plants may come from the same parents, or lineage, but still express themselves differently. 

Pheno hunting, then, is the term dubbed by growers for selecting the plant or plants with the most desirable traits out of a batch of the same seeds. This could be the specimen with – for example – the most beautiful purple foliage, the strongest and most delicious earthy-grape flavor profile, or just the right full-body high without an overly sedative effect. They can be selected for sensory preferences like these on a small-batch scale, or rigorously tested for cannabinoid content, like THC percentage or specific terpenes, to achieve a medicinal level of consistency across large yields. It all depends on what the pheno hunter is looking for. 

Many industrial grow ops, constrained by market pressures or budget restrictions, don’t have the ability to pursue truly exploratory pheno hunting. They may simply select plants for the highest weight, productivity, or tolerance to stressors. But for operators who can afford to dedicate the resources, the ultimate goal can be something far more enticing. 

At its purest, pheno hunting is about finding the best of the best in quality, potency, and uniqueness. At Trulieve, we encourage the hunt. 

That’s why we give expert growers the support and creative freedom they need to take pheno hunting to the next level. 

Thanks to investments in time, talent, and technology, our team can fully focus their efforts on identifying exceptional plants. From breeding to nurturing, testing, and finally hand-selecting the cream of the crop, skilled growers collaborate through every step of the highly involved process. And with decades of mastery in cultivation and unmatched passion for the plant, their top priority is putting truly special strains into the hands of the cannabis community. 

DISCOVER STANDOUT STRAINS FROM INTENSIVE PHENO HUNTS – SHOP THE AVENUE COLLECTION


The Harvest House of Cannabis blog offers articles about cannabis for dispensary shoppers that visit our dispensaries.