To get the buds found in medical and recreational stores, female cannabis plants are grown in an environment without males—or the males are removed from the area before they release pollen—so the females don’t create seeds. Females can then focus their energies on producing buds and not seeds—this high-potency marijuana is traditionally known as “sinsemilla,” meaning “seedless.”
For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.
Pros and cons of using cannabis seeds
Autoflowers don’t need lots of nutrients because they’re small and don’t spend much time in the vegetative cycle. They won’t need as much veg nutrients—such as nitrogen—but will need more bloom nutrients.
If you don’t like the flavor, effects, or even the look of the bud, then it’s probably not worth growing.
Many marijuana growers start autoflowers early in the season, and at a different time than a regular crop, so keep the season and climate in mind when growing and harvesting—your plants still need warmth to grow, and rain can give them bud rot. Consider growing in a greenhouse to protect them.
For many years, people had to choose between the benefits of indica or sativa. But you can also grow hybrid plants, which blend the qualities of sativa and indica into one plant. Hybrids usually are dominant one way or the other – indica or sativa – but also produce the effects of the other kind of plant.
Another thing to consider, especially if you are a novice grower, is that indicas take less time to mature than sativas. Indicas are considered a hardier plant that can withstand more stress so they are more forgiving to novice growers who tend to make a few mistakes on their trial run.
How to Spot a Healthy Seed
Whether you grow your seeds or purchase them, you should take a few precautions to keep them safe until you are ready to grow them. If done correctly, you can store marijuana seeds for several years and still use them to grow healthy cannabis plants.
Seeds can be male or female, but most people only want to grow female seeds. Why? Because female plants are the plants that produce buds. Most seed companies sell “regulars,” which contain male and female seeds. However, they also offer only female seeds, referred to as feminized seeds. There is a big price difference between the two, but its worth it to spend the extra money to make sure that you are working with feminized seeds so that you do not waste your resources growing male plants that don’t produce the results you want.
Seeds should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place. Do not expose seeds to sunlight or they may sprout. Do not expose seeds to moisture or they may sprout as well. Seeds should be stored at room temperature. Exposing the seeds to extreme cold or heat could damage the seed so that it can never be used.
There are many companies that sell feminized seeds, but, buyer beware, do your research to make sure the seller is reputable, especially if purchasing online. Thanks to modern technology, most feminized seeds from reliable brands will be 100% female as advertised – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people selling low-quality seeds out there.
If you have some experience growing cannabis and would like to bend a crop to your will to ensure that the seeds will be female, there are a few feminizing methods you might try. One such technique is to literally stress out a healthy female plant by interrupting the light cycle during flowering, called Rodelization Feminizing.
Determining if a Seed is Male or Female
In the colloidal silver feminizing method, distilled water is mixed with pure silver and sprayed on female plants. This method works best when the plants are flowering. This results in pollen sacs being formed, which will allow the seeds to produce female plants.
If what you’ve got is a handful of seeds, it’s pretty much impossible to tell which ones are male or female. The only way true way to tell the plant’s gender is to plant some seeds, then wait. After a period of several weeks, it will begin to pre-flower, or form a small bud in the crux of a branch. One of the first signs your cannabis plant is female is the appearance of pistillates that are wispy and generally white in color.
Feminizing via the silver thiosulfate technique involves carefully selecting a nearly mature female plant, then spraying it with 50/50 mix of sodium thiosulfate and silver nitrate. This triggers a gender change, from female to male. Place this plant back with the others to pollinate other female plants, and female seeds are created.