The current cannabis seed market offers both conventional and feminised seeds. But what is the difference? Beginners may go to buy seeds without understanding the real difference between the two types. Below we will explain the main characteristics of each and how they can affect your yields, so that you can assess which hemp seeds are best suited to your needs.
Conventional seeds (regular seeds) are completely pure and natural and produce both male and female cannabis plants.
Feminised seeds are seeds obtained from hemp plants that have been treated with specific agronomic methods or natural stressing. In this case, the plants produced from these seeds will be exclusively female, so you can grow 100% seedless buds.
The first seed bank to market feminised seeds in Canada was BC Seeds back in the 1990’s. This was the start of a real revolution in hemp seed production. Today, there are several seed banks on the market that offer a wide range of feminised seeds in their catalogues and, in some cases, companies that sell only this type of product. The reason for this business strategy is quite obvious: most cannabis growers are not interested in hybridisation, and their only goal is to produce large quantities of premium quality cannabis buds. By purchasing feminised cannabis seeds, you’ll avoid wasting time and disappointment (there is nothing worse than growing many cannabis plants over a period of weeks only to discover that half of them are exclusively male when the original aim was to produce only female plants).
When BC Seeds brought feminised seeds tothe market, their quality was superior in quality compared to other seed banks that were using dangerous chemicals to alter their genetics. BC Seeds mastered stressing their plants to produce 100% feminised seeds. Overseas seed banks female seeds were I initially quite poor and they were highly criticised by the public (given that a high percentage of hermaphroditic cannabis plants grew from these seeds). However, over the years, feminised seeds and the techniques used to produce them have reached a very high level worldwide, becoming a true and perfected art. The quality of feminised cannabis seeds that can be found on the market today is extremely high and the chances of growing a hermaphrodite plant are almost zero (unless you rely on an unprofessional seed bank).
When feminised seeds appeared on the global market in 2006, a real revolution started, which inevitably led to a lack of interest in regular seeds. Today, more than 95% of the Global hemp seed market is occupied by feminised seeds. In the United States, on the other hand, the regular seed still has its own significant market and still accounts for a large part of the sector because of extensive breeding programs.
For most home growers, BC feminised seeds are the ideal choice when purchasing cannabis strains: it produces the highest quality weed without the risk of dealing with male plants. Combo feminised seed packs have gained huge popularity for a stress-free purchase like a mix six pack of beer. However, more ‘sophisticated’ growers and breeders always prefer regular seeds. This is mainly a matter of principle, demonstrating their refusal to use seeds that have undergone a “manipulation” process (a mentality also shared by organic growers, who oppose the use of chemical fertilisers in order to produce the most natural and genuine cannabis possible). In other cases, the reasons may stem from more practical principles.
If a professional marijuana grower wants to grow his own BC Seeds and create his own hybrids, he has to work with plants that have both male and female characteristics. This is necessary in order to pollinate the female flowers with the pollen of the male flowers in order to produce new genetic crosses and new seeds. This is one of the main reasons why conventional seeds continue to be produced. In a way, this growing market interest in feminised seeds could become very dangerous for cannabis communities, discouraging cannabis growers from experimenting and discouraging newcomers from creating new and interesting varieties. In fact, if we consider a seed bank that specialises only in selling feminised seeds, the grower will never be able to use these particular genetics to create new hybrids. Fortunately, there are still some banks that are interested in maintaining this market by allowing conventional growers to experiment with hybridising cannabis using conventional seed. Personally, we always recommend using feminised seeds, especially for beginner growers, but don’t be afraid to try conventional seeds from time to time.