What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
This article is sponsored by Kannabia Seed Company, an award-winning cannabis seed company headquartered in Spain. Using only the highest quality genetics on the market, their grower-oriented approach has made cannabis cultivation simple and satisfying for growers of all skill levels for years.
Anyone who’s ever savored a joint owes their enjoyment to the fruits of the cannabis plant, but moreover, to the female of the species. That’s because only female cannabis plants produce the cannabinoid-rich flowers that deliver the flavors and effects consumers look for.
This is why many North American growers are turning to feminized seeds—cannabis seeds that carry only female genetics, and can be relied on to produce only female plants. By creatively applying technologies to seed feminization, modern breeders like Kannabia can ensure female genetics in seeds with a nearly 100% success rate.
Male vs. Female Cannabis Plants
A bud of Diesel Glue grown from Kannabia’s feminized seeds. (Courtesy of Kannabia)
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.
As a result, growing cannabis from regular seeds isn’t very efficient—it’s akin to running a bakery that has to throw out every second loaf of bread. Growers working from regular seeds have to account for the fact that roughly half of their plants could be males. While those plants are of some value to breeders, folks growing for flower won’t find much to like in them, and too many male plants can spoil a grow.
Traditionally, the solution to this has been an inelegant one, with many cultivators planting at least twice as many seeds as they hope to harvest with the assumption that about half of them will be useless. However big a harvest you’re looking for, using regular seeds means you’ll have to plant twice that many seeds.
Why Grow From Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
Cultivators depend on feminized seeds for efficient growing cycles. (Courtesy of Mr. Sticky Farm)
There are numerous advantages for growers who start their garden using feminized seeds. By removing the guesswork of germinating regular seeds, feminized seeds streamline the growing process, saving space and time.
That efficiency is key for medical cannabis patients and hobby growers. Since most cannabis regulations limit plant counts, growers cultivating a small crop of cannabis for personal use want to ensure they’re getting the most out of their grow.
Male plants don’t just take up space in a garden, either. They can also sap time and resources from growers. When male and female plants are both present, growers need to cultivate both until their sexes are clear. While some strains will show early signs of their sex before flowering begins, most cannabis plants don’t begin to express their sex until they start to mature past the vegetative stage.
This change occurs when the photoperiod, or amount of light and dark that the plant receives, changes to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. In outdoor gardens this change can happen naturally with the seasons or, in more controlled environments like indoor gardens, by human intervention using light timers.
Once those plants are old enough, growers have to go to the trouble of actually determining their sex, monitoring each individual plant to ensure any males are removed before they can pollinate their female counterparts.
Growers can avoid spending weeks nurturing plants with only a 50% chance of expressing as female and maximize the space and plant count in their gardens by using feminized seeds from suppliers like Kannabia. These specially-treated seeds increase the probability of producing a female plant to 99%.
How Are Cannabis Seeds Feminized?
Treating cannabis seeds with a silver thiosulphate solution can ensure the resulting plants are females. (Courtesy of 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.
Both substances are a blend of water and fine silver particles, and they work in largely the same fashion. The silver solution impedes the production of ethylene, a hormone involved in flowering. The result is a female plant, but one that produces male flowers with pollen sacs. Since those pollen sacs develop on a plant with only female genetics, female genetics are all they carry. When those flowers pollinate another female plant (one untreated by silver solutions), the resulting seeds are nearly certain to be female.
Treating plants with a silver thiosulphate solution results in seeds that will produce feminized plants nearly 100% of the time, and Kannabia’s breeders have found this method to be the most effective way to maintain the stability of the seeds and future feminized plants.
Feminized Varieties to Try in Your Garden
Using feminized seeds can make it easier for home growers to cultivate strains like Russian Doll. (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.
“In our search to find new genetics, Kannabia paired us with their feminized Russian Doll seeds,” say growers at Canada’s BlueSky Organics. “Every seed germinated, and now that we are in the late vegetative stage, these plants have an extremely hardy trunk preparing themselves for some massive buds.”
If you have more questions about strains or seeds, keep digging through Leafly’s resources. And to learn more about the variety of feminized seeds available to you, visit Kannabia’s website to see its full line of feminized genetics, including strains like Diesel Glue and the award-winning Mataro Blue.
Promotions are offered solely by Kannabia Seed Company. Terms and conditions may apply—contact Kannabia for full details.
Feminized marijuana seeds can streamline the growing process and ensure that cannabis cultivators get the most out of their hard work. Read all about the process here.
Feminized Vs Regular seeds pros and cons
Image of a marijuana plant half Feminized half Regular
Feminized marijuana seeds have gradually displaced regular seeds as favorites in many countries. This is because these types of seeds offer certain advantages over normal or standard seeds. In this article we will take a look at the differences between them, why some are better for certain situations, and how to know which one to choose, do you feel like it? Well, let’s go see them…😜👉
⚠️ What is the difference between regular and feminized cannabis seeds?
At first glance one cannot appreciate the characteristics that differ between lifelong seeds, and the modern feminized ones. They are identical on the outside, it would be impossible to recognize if the plant comes from a regular or feminized seed.
However, in their genome they do have a big difference, and that is that feminized seeds only contain female chromosomes (XX). This is so because to create 100% female seeds it is necessary to pollinate a female with another female, that is, (XX) x (XX).
Regular seeds come from the crossing between a female (XX) and a male (XY) so their genetic information contains both sexes, and they will show one or the other depending on several factors.
The only difference is that from a feminized seed only female specimens should come out, while from a regular seed both female and male or even intersex or hermaphrodite can come out.
Hermaphrodite feminized seeds can also be found, but this is due to a bad choice of parents in the breeding of the variety, therefore, can we say that feminized seeds are good?
Many people ask us if they will have as much flavor as the others, or if they will come out strong, they even doubt if feminized seeds are less powerful, the answer is that they are completely equal to the normal ones, so if they do not come out good it is because of the production process or because of a bad selection of the parents.
image where you can see a seed of a regular variety compared to a feminized one*
🎯 Are feminized seeds better than regular ones?
It depends on what you mean by better. For growers looking for practicality and simplicity feminized seeds can be better, because they allow you to germinate just the right amount of plants you need at any particular time. With regular ones it is necessary to put approximately twice as many plants, so that when removing the males there are enough females to fill well the entire cultivation space.
With feminized varieties you can make better use of the growing space, as well as saving on substrate and products such as fertilisers, insecticides, etc. You also avoid the problem that can happen if at a given moment you forget to remove a male, or you don’t notice.
The most puritanical growers say that regular seeds contain more hybrid vigor than feminized ones. It really doesn’t have much to do, hybrid vigour is achieved by mixing 2 different breeds, and it is greater the further they are from each other. The same goes for feminized ones, whoever doesn’t believe me should cultivate a Moby Dick from Dinafem and think whether it is vigorous or not. From our point of view this is because some feminized strains on the market are S1, i.e. produced by the self-pollination of a cutting. Feminized seeds S1 may lose vigor due to inbreeding, but this also happens with regular seeds, you can see it in some landraces for example.
This is Moby Dick’s prizes list, its trophy room needs an extension to accommodate them all…
The great majority of feminized genetics on the market come from elite clones that have been extensively tested as smoking weed. This is a great advantage, as it is easier to guess the features your offspring may inherit.
To know the breeding quality of a male cannabis plant there is only one way, to check the level of its offspring. On the other hand, when you cross 2 mother plants that you have already used to smoke you already know their qualities both in the crop and in the final product, so when you make feminized seeds it is easier to guess the result of the crossing.
Many people think that regular strains are better for creating seeds, or that feminized strains are not good for breeding, we have found that this is not the case, when a plant is sexually pure female it doesn’t matter if it comes from regular or feminized seeds.
✅ Advantages of feminized seeds
- They come from 2 elite clones in most cases
- You can germinate only the seeds you need
- Saves on time, resources and work
- No sexing is required, which can be difficult for new growers
🔥 Advantages of regular seeds
- They are the originals, for many their genetics are purer
- Both males and females come out, so you can easily create new seeds
- They do not need the intervention of chemical agents for their production
- They are more effective as mother plants in serving clones according to some people
infographics that represent the advantages of feminized and regular seeds*
It must be clear that the most important thing in the quality of cannabis seeds is their genetics, and this is indifferent if it comes from regular or feminized plants. The choice of breeding parents is the key factor when producing seeds, not just measuring quality by the features we can measure.
It is important to know the level of stress they are capable of withstanding, as this is another quality they will transmit to their offspring, but feminized plants that are sexually stable, that withstand high levels of hydric, light, thermal stress, etc. are as good at creating seeds as stable regular ones.
If you want to see the best way to make feminized seeds I invite you to visit this other post, and if you liked this article consider sharing it, this way you help us and you can help many other growers too, thanks in advance.💪
Do you know the differences between feminized and regular cannabis seeds? ❤️ Here you can see the advantages and disadvantages of each one ✅ Come in now!