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What Is a Phenotype?

What Is a Phenotype?

So you want to know about phenotypes? You might remember the word from high school biology class; you may have heard cannabis connoisseurs speculate on phenos, but unless you’re a hardcore horticulturalist or you breed animals for a living, it’s probably not part of your daily vocabulary, so let’s discover what phenotypes are and why they’re important.

Defining Phenotypes

A phenotype is a lot simpler than the fancy name suggests. Phenotypes, phenos for short, are a collection of genetic traits exhibited by an organism.  What does that mean? Imagine two kids, same parents, one’s hair is brown hair and the other’s is light, almost blonde. Those are phenos in action: same starting genetics with different observable traits.

Tending to cannabis flower buds

Great. Why do we care? Let’s look at dogs. Dogs are the longest-running genetic experiment in human history. Dogs used to be wolves, noble hunters, masters of the wild. Now they’re puffballs that fit in purses or bug-eyed monsters with universal breathing problems.


How did that evolution occur? Us. We observed desirable traits and behaviors in one family line, saw more desirable traits in another family line, encouraged those two lines to mingle, and the offspring from those two lines spawned a new strain.

Replicate that process millions of times over the course of thousands of years: selective breeding for desirable traits transforms the noble wolf into everything from Rottweilers to Teacup Poodles.

Take that same concept and apply it to the cannabis world: hemp strains are your Chihuahuas and Cocker Spaniels and big, 28%+ THC producers are your Dobermans and Shepherds. We observe desirable traits in one strain and desirable traits in another—whether that is THC production, terpene expression, or some other combination of cannabinoids. It’s all about genetics.

I’ll say it again, because it’s that important and that simple: It’s all about genetics.

Whether we’re talking about dogs, cats, or cannabis, the most glaring question is: who decides which traits are desirable?

Why the Pheno (Phenotype) Hunt Is Important

Here’s why a pheno hunt is such a big deal: The answer is you.

A pheno hunt is our quest to identify those desirable traits from the various off-spring from the new strain. Cannabis hits everyone a little differently. Your body chemistry, your diet, even your current stress levels can change how you experience a high. Because of that disparity between individual experiences, the only way to identify a quality phenotype is with a shotgun approach. We need to get each pheno into the hands of as many people as possible and collect their feedback—the stipulation being, they need to know what they’re talking about.

Marijuana flower detailed with trichomes and pistils or stigmas

That’s you.

Your feedback tells us which strains are fire and which can fall by the wayside.


We have geniuses and experts working wonders in our cultivation and production facilities. This is your chance to put them to work for you. You can nudge the compass needle.

CAMP grows quality flower. Join the pheno hunt. Help us grow quality flower that hits you the way you like.

2 Responses

  1. Thank You! For the education. I am a daily marijuana smoker. I’m a type 2 diabetic w/neuropathy. I enjoy Indica’s and Hybrids. I would love to join and learn more. I stopped using Oxycodone of 14 years usage.

  2. I tend to more fond of indica strains and setiva’s have a habit of exasperating symptoms of paranoia, for me, at a potentially dangerous level. I’ve had positive experiences with hybrids, I assume have higher levels in indica strains and lower levels in sativa. I don’t know much about delta-8 but I like it’s mellow effects and not as cerebral.
    One love. ❤️

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