What Are “Feminized” Cannabis Seeds?
Feminized cannabis seeds are produced in a way to make sure that all the resulting plants are female (since only female cannabis plants make buds).
“Regular” (or non-feminized) seeds will produce about half male, and half female plants.
Having male plants can be an asset to a breeding program, but having to watch over and throw away half the plants can be a waste of time and space for growers who just want to grow their own supply of bud!
By starting your grow with feminized cannabis seeds from a reputable breeder, you can stop worrying about plant gender altogether, and know that every single one of your plants is going to be female and make buds!
Seed Supreme is a trustworthy source of feminized cannabis seeds (it’s the company I use for seeds)
Pros of Feminized Seeds
- All plants end up producing buds
- Less wasted space on plants that need to be thrown away
- Don’t need to watch plants closely to make sure you remove males
- No chance of pollination without pollen sacs, so no seedy buds
Cons of Feminized Seeds
- In order to build a robust breeding program and create new strains, you should start with regular seeds so you have both male and female plants
- It’s possible to buy feminized seeds from bad breeders which turn into problematic hermies (mixed sex plants) or even just end up being half male plants like regular seeds. That’s why it’s important to order seeds from a trustworthy breeder!
Since I started growing cannabis nearly a decade ago, I’ve only grown with feminized seeds! I’ve never had a single plant that didn’t grow buds!
Non-Feminized Seeds Produce Half Male, Half Female Plants
(learn more more about cannabis plant sex)
Feminized Seeds Only Produce Female Plants
How Do Breeders Make Feminized Seeds?
The way breeders create feminized seeds is they breed two female cannabis plants together, which means that all the resulting offspring will be female. This is done by spraying developing flowers with a substance that changes flower development (often colloidal silver or gibberellic acid). This process is used to force one of the female plants to start producing pollen sacs just like a male plant.
By harvesting the pollen sacs and using the “female” pollen to pollinate buds of a different female plant, you are giving the resulting seeds only female genes (there is no “father”), so none of the seedlings end up being male.
Regular cannabis seeds are completely natural cannabis seeds that have not been chemically altered or genetically modified in any way. They are pure, stable genetics, bred from male and female parents and they produce approximately 50/50 male to female ratio.
Most cannabis growers generally want feminized marijuana seeds, while many breeders and some experienced growers may choose to use regular seeds for specific purposes. Regular cannabis seeds offer the same genetics and can often do a better job of retaining the best features and genetics of each parent plant.
One advantage of these regular cannabis seeds is that once the male plants are removed from the grow (usually a quick and easy process) the remaining females will be strong and very stress-resistant. It is very rare, in fact almost unheard of, for true females to start displaying hermaphroditic tendencies, even towards the end of the flowering period.
So if you are looking for marijuana seeds with the most vigor, hybrid cannabis plants grown from regular seeds are usually much more resilient and tough enough to withstand any fluctuations in the growing environment.
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What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds?
Regular seeds are natural cannabis seeds that have not been chemically treated or genetically altered in any way. Regular seeds are pure, stable seeds made from the crossing of a female (XX) and a male (XY) plant. Their genetic information includes both sexes, and they will display one or the other depending on certain factors. Regular seeds produce an approximately 1:1 ratio of female to male plants. This is how cannabis has been grown for centuries before the advent of modern breeding practices. Anyone who has grown some bag seeds out and received a mix of males and females in the batch knows all about regular seeds.
Why Use Regular Seeds
Most cannabis growers want to work with feminized seeds, while many breeders and some experienced growers may choose to use regular seeds for specific purposes. Regular seeds provide more genetic variation than feminized seeds. Feminized seeds are produced by selecting a preferred female plant phenotype and then chemically altering it to create viable pollen used to pollinate the original female plant. With regular seeds, you will see much more expression of a strain’s lineage, and thus you can discover new phenotypes not possible with feminized seeds.
If a limited plant count is not a concern and you are familiar with sexing cannabis plants, then regular seeds will be fine for most people. Regular seeds usually tend to produce more vigorous plants that tolerate stresses better than feminized seeds. For growers who like to do their own breeding, regular seeds are essential to creating new strains. Maybe you live in an area where it’s hard to import cannabis seeds. If you have access to regular seeds, you can curate your own collection of P1’s and use them to make your own seeds to share.
Some people even like to toss regular seeds into the wild with hopes of re-establishing a wild cannabis ecosystem. The male plants will pollinate the females, and those seeds will continue to grow there, repeating the cycle for future generations. If you wait long enough, this results in a landrace strain.
How to Grow Regular Seeds
Regular seeds should be started the same as any other cannabis seed. Check out our How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds article for step-by-step instructions. The only major difference in growing regular seeds is that when it comes time to induce flowering, you’ll have to be vigilant in inspecting the plants for the first signs of the reproductive organs. If you want to grow only females, the males will have to be identified and removed from the garden. Maybe some males exhibit extraordinary traits such as resin production, vigorous uniform growth, or a delicious smell. These males can be separated and have their pollen collected for future breeding projects. If the males aren’t removed they will likely pollinate the budding females resulting in seeded buds.
Buying Regular Seeds
While most modern growers are opting for feminized cannabis seeds, there are still many people who use regular seeds just as they have been for centuries. Our regular seeds are carefully bred using top-tier genetics. The seeds are tested to ensure high germination success rates and healthy plants that best represent the chosen cultivar.