feminized seeds vs regular seeds

The difference between regular and feminized cannabis seeds – Which should you grow?

With the general hype surrounding the relatively recent developments of feminized and autoflowering seeds, you’d be forgiven for maybe thinking that regular cannabis seeds are somehow less exciting. You’d also be wrong. Regular seeds contain endless possibilities for growers to experiment with.

In the beginning of Sensi Seeds, and therefore the European cannabis seed industry, a seed was a seed. Now, we use the name ‘regular cannabis seeds’ to distinguish the originals from feminized cannabis seeds and autoflowering cannabis seeds. Both of these types are relatively recent developments when you consider that cannabis has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years.

Regular cannabis seeds are produced when a male cannabis plant pollinates a female cannabis plant. Male pollen is released from ripe pollen sacs and blown by the wind (or carried by the careful hand of a breeder) until it finds the receptive stigmas in female flowers. Pollination results in hundreds, if not thousands, more regular cannabis seeds which will all in turn produce either male or female cannabis plants.

Can you see the difference between regular and feminized cannabis seeds?

Feminized cannabis seeds look exactly the same as regular cannabis seeds, whether male or female. But inside their modest brown husks there’s a crucial difference. Feminized cannabis seeds lack male chromosomes, whereas regular cannabis seeds contain the full complement of genetics that enable them to be either male or female.

This is also why feminized seeds must always be referred to by that name – they aren’t truly female, and therefore cannot be sold as such. Watch out for seeds described as ‘100% female’, as this is nothing more than a marketing ploy!

The main advantage for growers who choose feminized cannabis seeds is that they don’t have to identify or remove male plants which would cause pollination. Unless the gardener desires more seeds, rather than buds, this is an essential part of the cultivation process.

Automatic, or autoflowering, cannabis seeds are even easier. Not only are they feminized, they do not rely on a change in lighting cycles to trigger flowering. So what are the advantages of regular cannabis seeds?

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What are regular cannabis seeds used for?

There are two main purposes for regular cannabis seeds, aside from the usual and most common one of simply growing buds.

  1. The first is breeding. Selective crossings of one cultivar with another has been taking place since the earliest days of agriculture, with all types of plant life. Sometimes this is to maximise the yield of whatever crop the plant produces which is desired by the people growing it; sometimes it’s just for fun and experimentation.

Whatever the intention of the breeding is, it’s best to begin with all the genetic material in order to give the new cross the best possible chance of success, rather than missing the chromosomes that are absent in feminized cannabis seeds.

  1. The second use for regular cannabis seeds is the one that was, before the advent of feminized seeds, most commonly used to produce crops of uniform cannabis plants without any males among them. This technique is called cloning. Just as with breeding, it’s best done with plants that have their full set of chromosomes, and all the robust qualities that go with that.

From a crop grown from regular cannabis seeds, the best female plants are selected to become ‘mothers’ – so called because with loving care, they can produce potentially hundreds of ‘children’ over the space of several years. The clones that are taken from these mother plants are tiny replicas down to the last scrap of genetic material – including their female sex.

Why do Sensi Seeds still produce regular cannabis seeds?

There are many seedbanks which only carry feminized cannabis seeds. This has become more common as seedbanks themselves have become more common. With the growing awareness (pun intended) of the advantages of feminized seeds, the question of why Sensi Seeds still carries regular cannabis seeds is quite a reasonable one!

The overall answer is simple, and one which anyone familiar with Sensi Seeds will probably have heard before: we want to bring the joy of cannabis to as many people as possible. That’s not limited to simply selling seeds.

We’re confident in our genetics, we’re confident in our service, and we’re confident in our customers. That means giving everyone the broadest range of options possible. This could be taking the simplest route to a crop of buds, which for most people is automatic seeds. But it could be experimenting with creating a unique cross of their very own, using our genetics as the building blocks.

We have quite often been asked if it’s possible to do all the things that can be done with regular cannabis seeds using feminized seeds.

The short answer is, you can try. There’s no reason you shouldn’t attempt to breed, or create a mother plant, using feminized cannabis seeds. However, it’s our firm belief that these practices are more likely to succeed using plants grown from regular cannabis seeds.

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Tell us what you think

Have you experimented with regular cannabis seeds? Do you think feminized cannabis seeds are a boon to the grower? Would you be sad to see regular cannabis seeds leave our selection, or do you think they are a thing of the past? Let us know in the comments!


30 thoughts on “The difference between regular and feminized cannabis seeds – Which should you grow?”

Good day hooter heads from around the world from Australia,due to the economic climate from covd & most govt recognising the money in pot,we won’t have to go to such length,s sneaking about like outcasts,the med uses for this versatile plant have saved the day,the war on drugs is a hoax,if it wasn’t the hard drug crops Afghan, Thailand opium would of been eradicated,like south America,s coke industry..I think govt,big corp are scammers.

I like feminized seeds but I have used regular seeds and they both grow just as well and have the same potency. Some people like feminized over regular seeds but it doesn’t make a difference except that you might get a male instead of a female but you can use that male to get hundreds more seeds and cross breed them with other plants and get different types of plants. Thank You.

For breeding for the rare Cannabinoids you really need to use selfing like is used for feminized seed production. I speak from experience being the very first to commercialize using STS, I did not make and sell feminized seeds I bred varieties that had a single Cannabinoid, for each of the less common Cannabinoids, like CBC, CBG, THCV, CBDV, CBCV, CBGV each in very high amounts and with close to zero other Cannabinoids. This can not be done with regular seed breeding. And male genes as found in regular seeds do not produce better plants for growing or breeding, I think maybe you do not understand plant genetics for Cannabis which is a Dioecious obligate outcrosser.

Why no mention of hermaphroditism? That is not only How you breed then but ultimately also the biggest flaw and why producing fems is really polluting the gene pool.

Hermaphroditism should be a recissive gene, but your breeding requires it to be a dominant trait. It’s like finding people with dodgy heart conditions or baldness (typical recessive traits that can skip generations) breeding them so everyone goes bald and has a bad heart.

But hey the market wants what the market so u gotta sell what people buy.

This article is intended for our readers who are new to cannabis seeds and, as the title says, focuses on the difference in results rather than the difference in the techniques that produce the seeds. In previous decades, creating feminized seeds was indeed reliant on finding lines with pronounced hermaphroditic tendencies, but thanks to improvements in breeding technology this is no longer the case.

With best wishes,

Improvements? like what? using silverfiosulphate instead of gibberalic acid?

Im not familiar with this “new” technique that does not require one parent to be hermaphrodite….I read arjens blog but that explains even less.

what exactly is this new technique? how does one create fem seeds without hermies?

FYI selecting strains more resistant to hermie, that require excessive amounts of stress to turn, is not new.

No. the disparition of regular seeds would be a disaster and I don’t understand the Auto flowering for me it’s a non sense, it is my personal opinion.

Fear not, we have no intention of removing regular seeds from our catalogue; they are the backbone of our gene library! Regarding our autoflowering strains, they are of great benefit to people who have limited resources in terms of time, energy, experience, and / or space, for whom cultivating regular or even feminized seeds would be out of reach.

With best wishes,

why dont you sell seeds in Canada.

Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, legal restrictions on exporting cannabis seeds mean that they cannot be sent to Canada; we wish it wasn’t so, but it is!

With best wishes,

I believe regular seeds Are The seeds. Feminidad and autoflowering Are productos Or decides to Get Buds.
My blessings to tour effort and hope one Day I Will ser My seed baño with My full range Of seeds. We need The cannacopea.

I to agree with the good parts of regular seeds. Also your buds are generally bigger too. Once you have a selection of females it’s time to CLONE!! More fun !
Then one more fun thing is to develop your own breed! Cross your favorite.
I’m just sad you don’t sell to the U.S.. If you change your mind if like to show you some of my cross breeding. And to acquire more seed stocks. Having fun is most important.

Thank you for your comment 🙂 We wish that our seeds could be sent to the US, but legal restrictions prevent this – as soon as this situation changes, our policies will change too! In the meantime, I hope that you continue to enjoy the blog.

With best wishes,

Long Live Regular Photo Period Seeds.

Did I catch a recommendation to use only reg seeds for a Mother? Please explain. Ive been growing out a FPOG Mother from fem seeds. Will she clone out ok?

Thanks Y’all. 1LUV

Unfortunately, legal restrictions mean we can’t answer grow related questions or give grow advice on this blog. However, we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask questions and share your experiences with a thriving community of cannabis and gardening enthusiasts, so please don’t hesitate to join the community!

With best wishes,

I can’t comment as I’m new to all this but just wanted to say I’m really enjoying reading the e mails that come through to me to help me learn in my journey so they aren’t a waste off time, keep them coming ❤️

Thanks for your comment, I hope you continue to enjoy the newsletter emails and the blog! If you haven’t yet discovered the Sensi Seeds Forum , you can visit it to ask questions and share your experiences with a thriving community of cannabis and gardening enthusiasts, so please don’t hesitate to join the community!

With best wishes,

We need your genetics! Keep the regulars (or at least some of them).

The difference between regular, feminized and autoflowering cannabis seeds is more than skin deep, and regular cannabis seeds lend themselves to all kinds of fun for growers who want to experiment. Discover what Sensi Seeds original varieties could bring to you!

Feminized Vs. Regular Seeds: A Guide To Help You Choose Between These Two Types Of Cannabis Seeds

When it comes to choosing a cannabis strain to grow, especially when preparing for your first experience in marijuana cultivation, it’s crucial to be acquainted with at least the basic terms of this industry. In this article, we’re going to start with “feminized” and “regular”, two of the many words used to describe specific types of weed strains. Even if it’s your first time on our website or for looking for cannabis seeds in general, you’ve most probably already heard of these terms before, as they represent two huge subcategories of marijuana seeds. Without further ado, let’s learn the meaning behind them and find out what exactly the difference is between feminized and regular cannabis seeds.

Feminized Vs. Regular: Definition

If you’ve come here asking yourself “Should I buy feminized seeds or regular seeds?”, let’s first learn what these terms mean and what the main differences are between these two seed types.

What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds?

Regular cannabis seeds are seeds that grow to become approximately 50% male and 50% female plants. Usually, marijuana plants with male flowers are used for breeding and creating new hybrids. For an ordinary grower who’s not going to engage in crossbreeding, but only wants to harvest a yield of potent and smokeable buds, male plants are of no interest and can be destroyed. Thus, some growers compare planting regular seeds with a game of Russian roulette. In theory, regular cannabis seeds can grow to become female plants in their majority or vice versa. Thus, there really is a certain element of luck in planting regular seeds even if, as a rule, the number of girls and boys in one batch of seeds is balanced.

Regular Cannabis Seeds

Feminized Seeds: What Are They?

Feminized cannabis seeds are seeds that have a 99% chance of growing into a female plant. As you may already know, it is from the female marijuana plants that you can get the so-called sinsemilla – cannabis buds that have matured but haven’t been fertilized by a male plant. The unfertilized flowers of female marijuana plants form into dense resinous buds, so prized by cannabis lovers because they’re the part of the weed plant containing the highest level of THC. These are the buds we smoke, use for making edibles, concentrates, and so on.

Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Each cannabis variety can be either regular or feminized. If in the past seed banks used to only produce regular strains, the feminization of seeds has now become more common than ever, and today, many breeders even prioritize the creation of fems due to the great demand for female plants. However, we can’t say that feminized seeds are better than regular ones, since both of these types have their advantages and disadvantages. Each grower chooses what to cultivate based on their previous experiences, future goals, current growing conditions, etc.

Choosing A Regular Or A Feminized Strain For Growing

Now that we’ve learned what feminized and regular seeds are, let’s review them from the point of cultivation. When it comes to growing regular seeds vs. feminized seeds, what should you consider in the first place? Let’s find out.

Growing Regular Strains

First of all, regular cannabis varieties are more resilient than feminized ones. Hence, they are easier to grow and deal with stress better. The probability of them turning into hermaphrodites (developing both male and female flowers) is also much lower.

Despite being unpretentious, regular marijuana seeds require some experience to cultivate and successfully bring to maturity. In particular, it’s necessary to carefully “sex” the plants growing from regular seeds, meaning to monitor for any signs of a male plant appearing, and if it does, to discard these plants immediately. Otherwise, a single male plant can fertilize an entire garden and leave its grower without a harvest.

Indoor Cannabis Strains

On the flip side, that’s exactly what you want if the goal of your cultivation is breeding, making hybrids, or just getting more seeds. Regular seeds are always the way to go if you want to create your own strain or experiment with breeding, because it’s nearly impossible to do this with feminized plants that don’t grow into male plants necessary for breeding purposes.

Due to the lower cost of production of regular cannabis seeds, they are normally cheaper than the feminized ones. Usually, this compensates for the losses associated with culling the boys.

Growing Feminized Strains

Of course, the biggest advantage of feminized cannabis seeds for a casual grower is that they don’t require sexing – a procedure that takes some experience to perform efficiently. However, when under stress, feminized cannabis plants are more prone to turning into hermaphrodites, which also puts the whole garden in danger of unwanted pollination. Sex formation in cannabis plants begins when they grow their third pair of leaves, and it continues for 3 weeks after that. At this time, it’s important to carefully monitor the conditions the girls are in, because if the plants are under stress, they can develop both male and female flowers or, as we already noted, turn hermie. The stress factors for fem plants include overfertilization or poorly chosen fertilizers, as well as rapid changes in light and temperature conditions. To avoid stressing your feminized plants, you therefore need to follow some simple rules:

  • Don’t let the soil dry out
  • Don’t let the plants overheat (under temperatures higher than +28C/82F)
  • Don’t switch light cycles too quickly
  • Follow the directions for all fertilizers you use

Of course, this doesn’t mean that feminized seeds are too difficult to grow – it’s just that you need to monitor conditions of your plants, especially during weeks 3-4 of your grow, to ensure the girls will definitely not turn into hermaphrodites.

On the bright side, cannabis grown from feminized marijuana seeds has great homogeneity rates – that is, the similarity of the plants of one strain between each other, which is expressed through the same properties and productivity of each bush. Hence, when choosing to grow from feminized seeds, you will know exactly how each plant is going to perform.

How To Tell The Difference Between Feminized And Regular Seeds

If you receive seeds from an unknown source, there is unfortunately no way to tell the difference between the two types of seeds just by looking at them. You’ll have to plant them, keep under a schedule of >12h light a day, and follow the development of the plant. If the bud sites don’t start forming in a month or so, and if the plant is growing rapidly, it was probably a regular seed. Switch it to a 12/12 light cycle to induce flowering.

Regular Vs. Feminized Bud: Is There A Difference?

Now that we know about the differences between growing feminized and regular seeds, it’s time to talk about the smoking experience. When it comes to the final product, the potent and resinous buds we all love so much, there’s a long and ongoing debate over the difference between cannabis buds grown from feminized seeds and regular ones.

Some growers think that feminized plants might be leading the race. In their opinion, fem marijuana buds are more potent, which is usually expressed in a higher level of THC compared to regular versions of the same weed variety. This means the effects of feminized marijuana will be stronger and more pronounced, and the same with their taste and aroma.

On the other hand, we have marijuana purists who claim that regular varieties are naturally richer in THC, as well as in their variety of effects and flavors. However, today, manufacturers are constantly working on improving their strains, both regular and feminized, so in many cases, the difference between varieties will not be so noticeable, and will mostly depend on the characteristics of each particular strain.

Regular Seeds Vs. Feminized Seeds: To Each Their Own

Let’s sum up everything we’ve learned today. Are regular seeds better than feminized? Not necessarily! Should you always choose feminized over regular seeds? Again, not really. When choosing your next seed to grow, think of your goals, expectations, and experience. Only after considering everything will you be able to decide for yourself. Remember, no matter what you choose, you’ll still have a great time growing and learning. If you’ve already made up your mind, let us know in the comments below: what do you prefer when it comes to feminized vs. regular seeds?

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Are regular seeds better than feminized? Not necessarily. In this article, we gonna tell you the difference is between feminized and regular cannabis seeds