Cannabis plants that are pollinated naturally or with traditional breeding techniques can produce both male or female seeds. These are known as regular seeds and, as in most species, they occur with about an even split between the two sexes. That means cannabis cultivators starting with standard seeds have about a 50% chance of yielding a female plant from each one.
Cultivators depend on feminized seeds for efficient growing cycles. (Courtesy of Mr. Sticky Farm)
Male vs. Female Cannabis Plants
Treating cannabis seeds with a silver thiosulphate solution can ensure the resulting plants are females. (Courtesy of Kannabia)
Growing cannabis in your home is legal in an increasing number of states and provinces throughout the United States and Canada. To make starting a home garden easy, growers can start with feminized seeds for many popular strains from providers like Kannabia.
There are a few techniques that can produce reliably feminized seeds. One classic method is stressing out a healthy female plant by interrupting its light cycle during flowering. While that works to an extent, the more common and controlled method is to spray down female plants with a collodial silver or silver thiosulphate solution. This method makes it possible to control the sex of a plant without any genetic tinkering or modification.
We’ve already mentioned how feminized seeds are easier to grow than regular seeds. That might be enough for you to let your guard down, but don’t be so care-free. As with male photoperiod plants, growing feminized cannabis comes with specific challenges, too.
Most cannabis strains these days aren’t pure indicas or sativas. Rather, they are hybrids combining indica and sativa characteristics, and thus their growing characteristics vary.
There are a few distinct types, or subspecies, of cannabis. The two major categories are sativa and indica, but there are also hybrid and ruderalis strains to consider.
HOW TO GROW FEMINIZED SEEDS
In the past, it was believed that cannabis’ effects were contingent on what family a strain belongs to—whether it is more indica or sativa. Indicas were thought to produce a heavy “stoned” feeling while sativas were said to produce an energising high better suited for the day. Recently, however, evidence is mounting that the effect of a given strain has more to do with the terpene profile of a strain—not the subspecies it belongs to.
Spoken differently, some indicas can have an uplifting effect and some sativas can be relaxing, meaning things are not as straightforward as once believed. To find out about the particular effects of a strain, it’s recommended to read strain descriptions before making a purchase.
• Those who use cannabis for holistic purposes also choose feminized strains for their pronounced effect. They may find that the THC lifts their mood and helps them wind down in tense situations, or simply takes the edge off whatever symptom they’re dealing with. Users also report that THC helps them achieve a good night’s sleep, along with other benefits.
Fast-flowering strains have been bred to help with this issue. They can be ready to harvest after a short 6–7 weeks of bloom, meaning cultivators can bring them in during mid/late-September with little risk of rain destroying their harvest.
Feminized cannabis seeds are taken for granted by some growers, but they are still a source of confusion for others, especially for beginners! Here are 10 interesting facts about these feminized cannabis seeds to share with your friends.
By the time Sensi Seeds and White Label decided to offer feminized seeds, the process was already infinitely better. Using different techniques, female plants with a very minor tendency to turn intersexual were forced to produce male flowers. This meant that their offspring had no more tendency than a normal female cannabis plant to turn intersexual.
Feminized seeds – Breeding to minimise intersexuality
It should be everyone’s right to grow male and females of what they’re buying and back-cross and pheno-hunt and pheno-cross as much as they like, this is far more valuable than the luxury of getting 5 seeds that are all known to be females but missing part of their genetic code.
Very good reading. I plan on trying my hand at a pheno-cross, just to fill my bucket list and to explore.
“a lot of smugglers and heroin junkie speak bad about you…” About Sensi Seeds? See my comment above. Me personally? I seriously doubt my reputation is that big.