Feminized seeds are bred to produce only female plants once they are planted, as opposed to regular seeds that have a 50% chance of producing male plants.
Feminized seeds can produce resinous buds after the flowering stage.
Feminized cannabis seeds are bred to contain no male chromosome.
What are feminized seeds?
Chances are good that you've heard someone mention the term feminized seeds, meaning a cannabis seed designed to produce only female plants. Feminized cannabis seeds are important in the world of cannabis cultivation because only female plants produce consumable flowers.
Beyond the fact that male cannabis plants produce pollen sacs instead of flowers, having males plants around female plants can ruin an entire harvest. That's because male plants pollinate the buds of young female plants. When that happens, the flowers will be full of seeds, making them of a much lower consumption quality.
Breeders and growers developed feminized cannabis seeds to address these potential challenges. By increasing the likelihood that all your seeds will produce only female plants you eliminate the possibility of getting a male plant that won't produce flowers and of having a male plant accidentally pollinate flower-bearing female plants.
How to get feminized seeds
Feminized cannabis seeds are very mainstream. It is easy to purchase them anywhere you can buy marijuana seeds. In general, you can buy feminized seeds online from seed banks around the world. And if you live in a place where home growing is legal, you should be able to purchase feminized seeds at most dispensaries. You can also feminize seeds on your own but to get the best feminized seeds, it's a good idea to buy them from a reputable breeder or seed bank.
How are marijuana seeds feminized?
Feminized cannabis seeds are created through a process of genetic manipulation. Essentially, the idea is to induce female plants to make pollen. Normally, only male plants produce pollen, but if you can somehow make a female plant produce pollen, then what you've got is pollen containing only female chromosomes. There are a few ways to make this happen:
- Spray a female plant with colloidal silver while it grows and transitions into the flowering phase. This chemical promotes the growth of pollen sacs, and because this pollen comes from a female plant it carries female chromosomes. After the plant starts producing pollen, use it to pollinate the flowers on a regular female cannabis plant. These pollinated flowers will produce feminized seeds.
- In a process very similar to the colloidal silver method, spray a young female cannabis plant with silver thiosulfate. This chemical suppresses the production of ethylene, which is necessary to the flowering process. By feeding your female plant silver thiosulfate, you encourage the plant to produce pollen, which can be used to pollinate other female plants and produce feminized cannabis seeds.
- The third main method is known as “rodelization.” This is an all-natural technique, although it does not produce as consistent outcomes as the colloidal silver or silver thiosulfate methods. Rodelization takes advantage of a natural process in which an unpollinated female plant will sometimes organically sprout its own pollen sacs. Think of it as the plant's last-ditch effort to reproduce. In this method, you force a female plant to remain in the flowering phase for so long that the plant's self-pollination mechanism kicks in. When this happens, you can use the pollen created by the female plant to pollinate the flowers on a regular female plant, which will then produce feminized seeds.
What is the difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds?
Autoflowering seeds have been bred to move into the flowering phase without needing changes in light to activate the production of flowers. Feminized seeds don't have anything to do with triggering the flowering phase. Instead, feminized cannabis seeds have been bred to grow only female plants.
Are feminized seeds guaranteed to be female?
While feminized seeds generally grow only female plants, there is no 100%guarantee. Every once in a while, a feminized seed will still grow up to become a male plant. For this reason, it's a good idea to keep a close eye on your plants as they mature. If you ever see pollen sacs starting to form, you've got a male plant and you should eliminate it before it accidentally pollinates and ruins your female plants.
Do feminized seeds produce seeds?
Theoretically, plants sprouted from feminized seeds should not produce seeds. They should grow into female plants only, and female plants produce buds instead of seeds. Cannabis plants make seeds when the flowers of a female plant are pollinated with the pollen from a male plant. In the absence of male plants, there should be no pollen and therefore no seed production.
Are regular seeds better than feminized?
Growing cannabis is all about your goals and preferences. There is no inherent reason why regular female marijuana seeds would be considered “better” than feminized seeds. With that said, there are a number of potential benefits to using feminized seeds:
- Maximize yields by reducing the chance of producing an unusable male plant.
- Decrease the risk that a male plant will accidentally pollinate your female plants.
- Simplify the growing process by making it much less likely that you'll have to deal with an unexpected male plant.
In many ways, feminized seeds can be a good option for new growers, as it eliminates some guesswork and reduces the pressure to quickly and accurately identify and eradicate unwanted male plants. However, there are no guarantees and new growers should still do their homework and know how to spot a male cannabis plant.