Small to medium
Difference between feminized and autoflower seeds
Cannabis seeds come in a huge variety of varieties and grow into beautiful plants where the weed differs in taste and effect. However, apart from the harvest result, there are also big differences in the way of growing and yield. For example, you have fast growers that need little attention (autoflowers) and cannabis seeds that require more time and knowledge (feminized seeds). On the other hand, the latter delivers a higher yield. But what are the differences exactly and are there other differences?
Medium to large
However, over the years, the seeds and the methods used for their production have reached very high levels, becoming a real art. The quality of the feminized marijuana seeds that you find on the market today is extremely high and the chances of a hermaphrodite plant developing are almost zero. When feminized seeds were introduced to the European market in 1998, a real revolution began which inevitably led to a lack of interest in regular seeds. Today, over 95% of the European cannabis seed market is occupied by feminized seeds. In the United States, however, regular seeds continue to have an important market, still managing to cover a large part of the sector.
For most growers, feminized seeds are the ideal choice when buying a variety of cannabis: they produce excellent quality grass without the risk of running into some male plants. When a professional cannabis grower wants to produce his own seeds and create his own hybrids he needs to work with plants that show both male and female sex. This is necessary in order to pollinate female flowers with male pollen, thus obtaining new genetic crosses and new seeds. This is one of the main reasons why regular seeds continue to be grown.
Both of these seeds have their own qualities that make them unique.
Feminized seeds and the methods
This is what feminized seeds look like
In the current cannabis seed market, it is possible to buy both regular and feminized seeds. But, what’s the difference? Beginners could purchase seeds without understanding the real difference. Further, we explain the main characteristics of each of them and how they can influence cultivation. This is done in order to evaluate which are the most suitable cannabis plants for your needs. Regular seeds are completely pure and natural and produce both female and male cannabis plants. Feminized seeds are seeds obtained from Cannabis plants treated with special agronomic techniques. In this case, the plants produced from these seeds will express only the female sex. The first seed company to introduce feminized seeds to the market was “Dutch Passion” in 1998.
Thus a real revolution in the cultivation of cannabis seeds began. Today, we find several seed companies on the market that offer a wide range of feminized seeds in their catalogs. And, in some cases, there are companies that sell exclusively this type of product. The reason for this commercial strategy is quite obvious: most cannabis growers are not interested in hybridization and their only goal is to produce large quantities of top quality marijuana. This means that the ultimate goal is to grow only female cannabis plants. Buying feminized cannabis seeds avoids wasting time and being overwhelmed by frustration (there is nothing worse than growing numerous cannabis plants for several weeks and then discovering that half of them are male when the target initial was to get only female plants). When introduced to the market, the feminized seeds initially showed a rather poor quality, receiving heavy criticism from the public (given the high percentage of hermaphrodite Cannabis plants that developed from these seeds).
In a sense, one could say that this growing market interest in feminized seeds could become very dangerous for cannabis communities, turning cannabis growers away from experimentation and dissuading newcomers to create new and interesting varieties. In fact, if we consider a seed company specializing exclusively in the sale of feminized seeds, a grower will never have the opportunity to exploit those particular genetics to create new hybrids. Fortunately, there are still some companies out there that are interested in maintaining this market, where normal growers are allowed to experiment with hybridizing cannabis through regular seeds. Most recommend the use of the seeds, especially for beginner growers.
Due to the lower cost of production of regular cannabis seeds, they are normally cheaper than the feminized ones. Usually, this compensates for the losses associated with culling the boys.
On the other hand, we have marijuana purists who claim that regular varieties are naturally richer in THC, as well as in their variety of effects and flavors. However, today, manufacturers are constantly working on improving their strains, both regular and feminized, so in many cases, the difference between varieties will not be so noticeable, and will mostly depend on the characteristics of each particular strain.
Each cannabis variety can be either regular or feminized. If in the past seed banks used to only produce regular strains, the feminization of seeds has now become more common than ever, and today, many breeders even prioritize the creation of fems due to the great demand for female plants. However, we can’t say that feminized seeds are better than regular ones, since both of these types have their advantages and disadvantages. Each grower chooses what to cultivate based on their previous experiences, future goals, current growing conditions, etc.
Choosing A Regular Or A Feminized Strain For Growing
If you receive seeds from an unknown source, there is unfortunately no way to tell the difference between the two types of seeds just by looking at them. You’ll have to plant them, keep under a schedule of >12h light a day, and follow the development of the plant. If the bud sites don’t start forming in a month or so, and if the plant is growing rapidly, it was probably a regular seed. Switch it to a 12/12 light cycle to induce flowering.
Now that we’ve learned what feminized and regular seeds are, let’s review them from the point of cultivation. When it comes to growing regular seeds vs. feminized seeds, what should you consider in the first place? Let’s find out.
Some growers think that feminized plants might be leading the race. In their opinion, fem marijuana buds are more potent, which is usually expressed in a higher level of THC compared to regular versions of the same weed variety. This means the effects of feminized marijuana will be stronger and more pronounced, and the same with their taste and aroma.
Despite being unpretentious, regular marijuana seeds require some experience to cultivate and successfully bring to maturity. In particular, it’s necessary to carefully “sex” the plants growing from regular seeds, meaning to monitor for any signs of a male plant appearing, and if it does, to discard these plants immediately. Otherwise, a single male plant can fertilize an entire garden and leave its grower without a harvest.