Feminized seeds – pros and cons

  • January 11, 2021
  •  Comments : 0
  • Last modified on January 26th, 2021 at 5:17 am
Feminized cannabis seeds are designed to produce only female plants. Usually a cannabis seed can become a male or female plant; the whole process is determined by the X and Y chromosomes expressing sex. “Feminization” is a process of female conditioning plants to obtain male pollen for seed production. A plant with two X chromosomes will become female 99.99% of the time, while regular cannabis seeds with one X and Y chromosome sometimes tend to produce more males than females.

If you want to buy and use hemp seeds, you should ask first whether you want to purchase feminized or normal hemp seeds. To feminized seeds, regular seeds are specially treated. There are basically two different methods of feminizing cannabis seeds. The goal is to always produce a female plant with male flowers. As a rule, existing plants are cloned instead of being preserved through natural reproduction.

Formation of feminized seeds

One way to get female plants produced from male flowers is to spray them with silver thiosulfate (STS) solution before flowering. It is also possible to put the plant under stress during flowering, for example to expose it to a different light cycle. The stressed seeds begin to hermaphroditic, producing both female and male flowers. The pollen from the male flowers of the female plant is then used to pollinate other female plants during the flowering period. Two female plants are crossed and the resulting seeds only contain female genes. They are now referred to as feminized.

Advantages and disadvantages of feminized seeds for growing

Feminized seeds
  • Feminized seeds allow you not to worry about this problem, as almost certainly any plants you have planted will be female. This saves time (imagine the frustration of a grower seeing that all plants are “male”) and energy.
  • Fertilization and thus seed formation is excluded. This could contaminate the end product. If you use regular seeds, male plants can also develop, which must then be selected out before flowering. The workload and the necessary care are therefore significantly higher than breeding purely feminized seeds.
  • Plus, unless you’re not an extremely lucky person, planting feminized seeds is more profitable. You no longer need to buy 10-15 seeds in the hope of getting 5 female plants, you just buy the number of seeds you need (we still recommend taking “with a reserve”, 1-2 kernels more, as some of the seeds may not germinate).

However, there are also disadvantages:

  • Feminized seeds are, as just explained, produced with the help of hermaphrodites. These plants, called hermaphrodites, have weaker genetic makeup than natural plants. In practical terms, this means that plants from feminized seeds are more likely to have high, lean growth. They can also hiver more easily under stress. Your buds are often smaller.
  • Plants derived from feminized seeds cannot become a cloning donor. Rather, you can clone it once or multiple times, but limited genetic resources will quickly lead to the extinction of your plants. They’re the product of a genetic modification of human origin. Often this modification comes at the expense of other characteristics of the plant.

The decision is to be made individually

Each grower has to decide for himself which type of seed makes the most sense for himself. Feminized seeds are usually better for novice and casual growers alike. They are less maintenance-intensive as they do not have to be selected and they produce a good harvest indoors after just three months. Experienced growers usually use regular seeds, but then have to select them, destroy the males and pull a mother out of the females. Seeds can then be cloned again and again and contain consistently good genetic material.

Mr. BC Seeds
Mr. BC Seeds is an over educated old school hippy who has been involved in the cannabis industry since the 1970's. He is one of the most experienced marijuana breeders in Canada if not the entire world. He was the first to use the most advanced breeding techniques in 2008 to create 42 of the world's strongest cannabis strains. He has been writing in-depth articles about cannabis in Canada for decades and looks forward to continue bringing you cutting edge cannabis strains for the decades to come. Mr. BC Seeds uses a "pen name" because he still travels the world collecting cannabis strains and continues researching cannabis in laboratories of non-legalized countries.
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