Soon after their introduction, nearly all seedbanks switched to feminized seeds. These days, the majority of all seeds sold are feminized. That’s fabulous for growers like you and me, but it’s great for breeders too. That’s because feminized weed seeds are harder to clone than regular ones, protecting against copycats running off with their carefully developed strains.
Alright, regular seeds; let’s start with the basics. As goes for many species, cannabis is subject to the story of the flowers and the bees. Well, actually, we can skip the bees, because cannabis reproduces by direct pollination of a female plant by a male one without relying on pollinating insects. Males produce pollen; females use it to grow seeds to spawn the next generation. Cannabis is what we call a dioecious plant, involving two sexes making babies together. This is how it’s been done since forever, but if you’re just looking to grow weed, you’ll actually need only female plant to get there. That’s because the ladies are the only ones to sprout those lovely flower buds to which we humans love to help ourselves. You’d almost think males were no use at all. Well, my dear male growers, just ask your girlfriend or wife: she’ll probably tell you it’s true.
Looking for genuine first-hand grow expertise, sleeves rolled up and boots in the mud? You’ll find plenty in our Nibameca blogs & grow guides ! Ever since discovering our White Choco genetics, this cannaboss refuses to leave our AG grow program – and rightly so. This veteran grower is all about top quality, innovation and sustainability in indoor grow projects. Our personal Amsterdam Genetics Grow Guru shares his experience with you to make the most out of every weed seed you plant! More About Nibameca
Timing: When Can You Tell Male From Female Cannabis Plants?
You probably felt this one coming: wrong. Male plants definitely have their uses; including for you as a grower. That goes well beyond their natural means of reproduction, too. Male plant give you the chance to cook up your own unique crossbreeds. Highly interesting for the experimentally inclined. But regular seeds don’t grow to become male plants by default. Naturally, about half of them become females, just like with human babies of course. You just don’t know in advance. Genetically, non-feminized regular seed are slightly different from their feminized counterparts. That can work to your advantage in the right circumstances. Regular seeds are less likely to become hermaphrodites when stressed, for one. I’ll tell you more about the pros below. First, though, we return to feminized cannabis seeds: what the big difference?
The female cannabis plant and her calyxes.
Regular seeds or feminized strains: which are better? When picking the best cannabis seeds for a next grow, deciding on whether to grow feminized or regular (non-feminized) weed seeds is an important step. Feminized seeds have their advantages, but so do non-feminized ones. So how do you know what’s best for your situation? Our grow expert Nibameca shares his personal insights and experience to explain the benefits of regular cannabis seeds.
Female plants are identifiable by the teardrop-shaped calyxes growing from the plant’s axils, sprouting two white hairs each.
Regular cannabis seeds operate exactly how nature intended. They have a 50% chance of emerging as either male or female. As such, they allow breeders to create new cultivars and produce better-quality clones.
Once you’ve grown out the males and females you want to breed, it’s time to make the cross. Use these simple steps to do so.
WHAT IS REGULAR CANNABIS?
The entire germination process takes between 1–4 days. During this time, seeds require a relative humidity level of around 80%. The Easy Start Kit or a moist paper towel will easily achieve that.
Many beginner growers tend to overwater their plants by caring a bit too much! Start out low and gradually increase the amount of water you give as your plants grow.
You’ll know it’s time to water again when the pots are closer to their original weight.
One way to look at the benefit of femenised seeds is, how they can fill the space of clones. It may be that your clones have become contaminated, or infested with spider mites. Perhaps it is not as logistically easy to source reliable clones where you live, as opposed to having seeds discreetly arrive in the mail. If your objection is to find a keeper that can be cloned, then femenised seeds will again make this job simple and straightforward. Inside Europe, growing Cannabis is still very much underground despite the popularity of Dutch coffee shops and Barcelona’s social clubs. The opportunity to walk into a dispensary or nursery and legally walk away with the latest hyped clones does not exist. It can be challenging to find the latest and greatest flavours unless you are part of those circles to begin with.
The best thing about feminized seeds and what revolutionized indoor growing ever since, is the fact that grow space could be used to 100% spacing efficiency. Regular seeds require a sexing period where the grower will decide if they want to use the male or female plants.
The marketplace for femenised cannabis seeds is insanely high, and with that comes an unbelievable choice of femenised seeds to choose from. Many of the old school seed banks jumped on the femenised train and never really focused on making regular seeds, as the demand was almost non existent. Now it is possible to have femenised seeds sent to your house, with a choice of autoflowering, CBD dominant or standard photoperiod varieties.
Clones May Not Be Reliable
Beginner growers can often become filled with panic and anxiety, at the idea of a male plant being in the grow room. The thought of a pollinated crop is enough to stop their dream grow in its tracks, and the idea of patiently waiting to identify preflowers during the transition stage window sounds like an arduous task. Sexing plants is simple enough, yet femenised seeds eliminate that concern and allow a grower to relax and be away from their garden with little maintenance, without the threat of an unseen male.
When working with regular seeds, growers can often be reluctant to train plants up as they normally would, in case the plant is male and not what they are looking for. With femenised seeds it is possible to apply all types of plant training to enhance the overall canopy and total harvest. There are also no feelings of wasted time, nutrients and labour when using feminised seeds, meaning there will be no point once flowering has begun, where a percentage of your garden needs to be removed due to male plants.
The debate on which type of Cannabis seeds to work with is never ending, with many saying regular and many arguing femenised. Granted that both serve a different purpose depending on who the end grower is, so below is better explained all of the advantages of growing with femenised seeds incomparron to using regulars.
By Stoney Tark