Is It Possible To Clone Autoflowering Varieties Of Cannabis?
It’s often said that autoflowering cannabis strains cannot be cloned. Considering that cloning is an easy and economically efficient way to grow weed, this would be a real shame. So, is this claim true or false?
Cloning a cannabis plant is an extremely interesting process. It involves taking a cutting from an already established “mother” plant, and using this cutting to generate an entirely new and independent plant. What’s more, the new plant will share identical genetics to the mother that it was cloned from.
This means that cloning is an excellent way for cannabis growers to preserve the genetics from a particular strain that they adore. The new clone will share all of the original characteristics, from the way it tastes to the high that it produces.
Cloning cannabis plants is also economically appealing to many growers. It means that they don’t have to keep buying seeds in order to grow the exact same strain; instead, they can simply take a cutting from the prized plant within their crop and create a homogeneous copy. With all these benefits, it might seem as though cloning should be a technique that all growers use, all of the time. However, the method does indeed have its limitations.
One significant limitation is that autoflowering strains of cannabis are quite difficult, though not impossible, to clone successfully. Considering that autoflowering varieties have some massive advantages over traditional strains, such as compact sizes and rapid growth time, this may put many cultivators off from cloning altogether.
It is a common myth within the cannabis community that autoflowering strains simply cannot be cloned. On the contrary, it can be done, but it may not be worth it. Why are autoflowering strains harder to clone?
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AUTOFLOWERING AND PHOTOPERIODIC STRAINS
To discover why growers don’t see impressive results when attempting to clone autoflowering cannabis strains, we need to observe what it is that sets this breed of plants apart from the rest. Autoflowering strains pretty much do exactly what their name suggests – they flower automatically based on time, rather than on environmental factors like photoperiodic strains.
Photoperiodic plants require a change in the amount of light they receive each day in order to go from the vegetative phase into the flowering stage.
This distinction is largely due to evolutionary differences. Autoflowering strains are known to have evolved in northern regions of the world where there is much less sunlight throughout the year. This led them to develop the ability to flower automatically over certain periods of time.
This trait makes them very appealing to beginner growers who do not have to go through the task of changing the light cycle in order to start flowering and achieve a successful yield of high-quality buds.
Photoperiodic strains evolved closer to the equator. When grown indoors, they require a light cycle change which simulates the approaching autumn and encourages them to march towards flowering and seeding before the weather becomes too harsh for them to continue to survive.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CLONING?
So, what does this genetic difference mean when it comes to the craft of cloning cannabis plants? Well, remember when we talked about how cloning results in an exact copy of the mother plant? This literally means that every trait is carried over, even the age of the plant when the cutting was taken.
The cutting will follow the same genetic timeline as the mother and will continue approaching the flowering stage, regardless of its size and development. In the case of autoflowering strains, this usually results in small and underdeveloped specimens with minimal yields to offer.
Photoperiodic varieties are far superior when it comes to cloning. If the cutting is taken during the vegetative phase and the light cycle remains the same, it will have the chance to grow and flourish within the vegetative phase. Only when the plant has reached an optimal size will the grower elect to shift the light cycle and initiate the flowering stage.
CAN IT BE DONE?
It has been reported that some growers claim to have successfully cloned autoflowering varieties. Cloning an autoflowering plant is indeed possible, but the outcome will surely be suboptimal. If a grower attempts this in order to boost yield, instead of for experimental purposes, they will surely be met with disappointment.
Many within the cannabis community claim that autoflowering varieties of the plant cannot be cloned. Is this just a myth or a fact?
How car cloning works – and a new trick to beware of
You buy a second-hand Ford Fiesta. A nice little runner at a decent price that you pick up from a house in Birmingham. Everything seems legit.
What you don’t realise, not least because you ran a background check online, is that the car is actually a stolen vehicle. Its identity has been copied from a car owned by somebody else miles away, in Scotland.
You’ve become the latest victim of ‘car cloning’ and will lose the vehicle and potentially the money you paid for it.
How car cloning works
A cloned car is a vehicle that has been given a new identity – such as happened in the Ford Fiesta example, a real case from earlier this year.
Criminals find an exact match of a car they have stolen – with the same make, model and colour – and copy the identity of the legitimate vehicle.
To make the vehicle they have stolen appear legal, they’ll put on false number plates. They may also use a duplicate or stolen V5C logbook. This is a document issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) which would normally be your proof of ownership. Finally, they may change the vehicle identification number (VIN), which is intended to serve as the vehicle’s unique fingerprint, and is normally found on the driver’s side at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield, or by driver’s side door post.
With such sophisticated techniques used by fraudsters, it means that even if the buyer runs an online background check on the car, then the details may appear to be in order
As well as hiding the true identity of a stolen vehicle, criminals also use cloning to avoid paying charges such as parking tickets and speeding fines, which would instead be sent to the owner of the vehicle whose identity they’ve stolen.
Car cloning is sadly a common problem. One in 12 cars on UK roads could have cloned registration plates, research by the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) showed in 2016.
A new trick
One tip often given to help people avoid falling for a cloned car scam is to only buy a car from the address shown in the vehicle’s V5C logbook.
However, some cars are now being sold from the driveway of the address shown on a forged V5 logbook so that everything looks genuine.
Commenting on one such case, James Babington from the Ageas Counter Fraud Team says:
“This was a really sophisticated fraud where the car buyer was actually invited into what appeared to be the fraudster’s home to complete the sale. Unfortunately the V5C logbook was forged and the vehicle stolen. The buyer only realised that something was amiss when the car was stolen a few weeks later and the residents at the address the car had been bought from denied all knowledge of the sale.”
So what can you do to avoid handing over your hard-earned cash to fraudsters? Mark Silvester, West Midlands Police crime prevention manager, has the following advice:
- Is the vehicle a bargain? If it’s less than 30% below the normal asking price then it’s probably too good to be true.
- Don’t pay in cash. Paying by Bank Transfer will help the Police trace the fraudster if the vehicle turns out to be cloned.
- When looking over the car check the VIN plate. If it looks like it’s been tampered with in any way, then walk away.
- The VIN may also be etched on the windscreen and other windows in the car. Have a good look to see if these numbers match your paperwork or have been tampered with.
- Look closely at the V5C registration document (logbook). Genuine documents should have a DVLA watermark running through them.
- Does the seller have paperwork for the vehicle like the service history or receipts for work? Are these receipts in the seller’s name?
- Make sure you collect all the vehicle keys from the seller.
If you think you have already become the victim of car cloning, then contact the police immediately.
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As well as hiding the true identity of a stolen vehicle, criminals use cloning to avoid paying charges such as parking tickets and speeding fines.