By Adam Jacques
Our new Breeder Showcase will highlight the amazing breeders in our industry and the tireless work they do creating genetics for everyone’s cannabis grows. The breeders collect genetics, have years of growing and researching the plant under their belts, and ultimately pick the strains to breed that blow our minds. For me, Odie Diesel of Home Grown Natural Wonders was an easy pick for the first in this series. He is the mastermind behind so many of the strains that rule the top shelf of countless dispensaries nationwide. I had a chance to talk with him and ask him some questions about his journey, his genetics, and what he is doing now.
I was really interested to know the first strain he ever bred as where a breeder’s road started is often interesting. “My first cross I did was in Colorado with a friend of mine,” he says. “We crossed California Red Hair to a hash plant we were growing. This was in the early ‘90s and there wasn’t much choice out there to be had really. We popped a couple hundred seeds to do a pheno hunt. Within that couple hundred seeds, we found a few great phenos. Unfortunately, we no longer have the genetics we used back then. but we did grow the ones we found for a few years after that.”
Odie went on to talk about their history. “When I finally moved to Oregon from Colorado 15 years ago, I knew that I would have to have something special for us to stand out,” he says. “It was at that point in time that I decided I would have to, not only bring different genetics with me, but also create some that stood out. Around 2005 is when I became a grower for my first patient. That point is when Oregon Diesel and Orange Cream Soda were created. We continued to create crosses for the next couple of years. Some of the next ones would include Mad Scientist that won the OMCA for two years, then got a third place the year we entered the Dr. Who that took first. We don’t do much competing anymore, though.”
Odie has been a breeder in the scene for quite some time. Now, in the age of super genetics and hundreds of breeders, what makes Odie stand out? What are his claims to fame and best genetics? “Our more popular strains at this point, with Homegrown Natural Wonders, is our Quantum Kush and our Dr. Who,” he says. “We have a couple that are gaining pretty rapidly like the Head Doctor and the Old Dirty Diesel. Our Quantum Kush was our first strain to break 30 percent and that was several years ago. It was also featured as a High Times top 10 in 2014 with a centerfold picture. The Quantum Kush, not only being high in THC, has a decent amount of THC V and CBC. The Dr. Who is fantastic for anxiety, sleep, PTSD, and relaxation. The Dr. Who has some fantastic fruity, rotten fruity, or over-ripened fruit flavors that come along with it. They’re both fairly easy to grow with decent yields and wonderful medicine.”
Odie looks to the future. “At the moment, we have just started some new crosses that we just did looking for some new breeding stock to work with,” he says. “I’ve taken a job with a consulting company, the Dutch consulting company, and I’m working at a farm currently. With this, it gives us the ability to pop a lot of seeds. It’s great to have the ability to do large-scale pheno hunts. When you have the ability to look at 100 to 500 seeds at a time, you really get a chance to see what the moms and dads are bringing. With the changing landscape of recreational marijuana, there are lots of new things coming and we’re just trying to be prepared if we can.”
From past to present to future, Odie Diesel is an amazing breeder and an amazing person. With his ability to hunt larger and larger batches of seed, I feel like we have only seen the very beginning of what he has offer. Blessed to have grown multiple genetics from this legend, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are lucky to have his genetics available. Many farms have grown and profited by the inclusion of his genetics. If you are ever wondering what to grow next, this may be a breeder to try in your own garden!