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What are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
If you want to cultivate cannabis plants, one of the easiest ways to do it is by using feminized seeds.
But, if you are uncertain about what feminized seeds are, you’re about to find out everything there is to know about them.
This guide will cover every crucial bit of information regarding feminized seeds, and the first thing we will cover is the reason behind the creation of such seeds.
Why Feminized Seeds?
When they are found in nature (and unbothered by humans), male weed plants create pollen sacks, and female weed plants develop buds, which are the primary source of both cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabis plants that are male use their pollen to pollinate the female plants, and they, in return, begin producing cannabis seeds in their flowers when they are pollinated.
Seeds created in this entirely natural fashion have a fifty percent chance of becoming male plants, and fifty percent of becoming females.
However since male plants have little use for cannabis growers (and are a significant nuisance), growers were looking for ways to produce cannabis seeds that could only produce female weed plants.
This desire to influence the seeds to produce only females is because if you have both males and females in the same growing area, males pollinate the females at some point.
Once pollinated, females begin producing seeds, and the creation of seeds in their buds drastically diminishes the yield of the plants.
Stopping the males from pollinating the females was traditionally prevented by carefully observing the plants as they grow and mature. As soon as you spot a male plant, you should quickly remove it before it has a chance to pollinate any female plants.
Growers also needed to plant a much greater number of seeds because they already knew at least half of the seeds would become male plants once they mature and would eventually endanger the entire crop.
All these issues combined made the cultivation of weed extremely demanding, and breeders invented feminized seeds to battle these issues and made cannabis growing simpler and easier to handle.
What are Feminized Seeds?
Breeders initially created feminized seeds in the last decade of the 20th century, and their creation completely changed cannabis growing.
Feminized seeds are produced through genetic manipulation. The easiest way to describe it is that it is a process where it’s essential to entice a female weed plant to create pollen because male plants are naturally the only ones that can produce it.
When the female cannabis plant produces pollen, this type of pollen can only have female chromosomes inside of it.
Once a female cannabis plant is made to create pollen, this feminized pollen is later used to pollinate completely normal female cannabis plants, producing only feminized seeds.
When this process is performed in a highly professional way, the feminization guarantees that almost 100% (about 99.9%) of the seeds will grow up to become female plants, capable of producing precious cannabis buds.
Creating feminized seeds resulted in much more economical growing, as it immensely diminished the probability of having a male plant in your crop, which can pollinate the females and endanger the entire harvest.
How are Seeds Feminized?
There are only two techniques for how female weed plants create pollen.
When a female plant transitions into her flowering phase, it gets sprayed with silver thiosulfate or colloidal silver. Silver thiosulfate and colloidal silver are a mixture of water and tiny silver particles. They impede the plant’s ability to produce ethylene, an essential hormone for flowering.
Exposing the plant to such substances prevents the ethylene hormone from being produced, but it also makes a female plant develop pollen sacks. As we previously mentioned, when a female plant creates pollen sacks, that pollen only contains female genetics.
Later on, this pollen is used to pollinate regular female cannabis plants, and since the pollen comes from a female, the seeds we will create will be feminized.
Since both techniques rely on the same principle, silver thiosulfate is typically regarded as the superior and more effective method.
Finally, there is another technique for feminization, and this method doesn’t involve the use of any water and silver mixtures.
This technique is rodelization and utilizes an entirely natural mechanism of the cannabis plant.
When a female cannabis plant doesn’t get pollinated by a male counterpart for extended periods, it can sometimes force itself to develop pollen sacks, ensuring its genetic material will endure another generation.
So the process of rodelization implies keeping a female in the flowering stage until it develops her pollen sacks.
It’s important to point out that rodelization isn’t as effective as the previously mentioned methods, mainly because the grower still needs to watch out for male plants and quickly remove them before they start pollinating the female weed plants.
Different Types of Feminized Seeds
Because there are significant differences between various types of feminized seeds, we are first going to cover these seeds in terms of the effects they produce.
Feminized Seeds and Their Effects
Here we are going to cover how different feminized seeds can produce other effects (when they grow up to become female plants, of course), and later down the line, we will also discuss how different types of feminized seeds have other growing requirements.
In the 21st century, many feminized seeds develop into weed strains and hybrids. This means that the cannabis strains from such seeds will have characteristics of both Indica and Sativa subspecies of cannabis.
This means that feminized seeds quite rarely develop into plants that are 100% Sativa or 100% Indica. Still, typically these modern strains of cannabis are either sativa dominant or express effects that make them indica prevalent.
Indica cannabis plants can grow in various climates and have a brief and overtly bushy appearance. The effects that Indica dominant strains produce are best described as very mellow and soothing.
Contrary to Indicas, Sativas grow better in warmer climates, and their appearance is quite different from Indicas since they grow tall and slender.
Buds of sativa-dominant plants have a very different effect, as they create uplifting and much more cerebral effects. These characteristics make sativa plants far better for use during the daytime, and Indicas are far better for unwinding during the nighttime.
As we mentioned before, weed plants resulting from feminized seeds are rarely purebred Indica or Sativa plants because most feminized seeds on the market contain the genetics of both Indicas and Sativas.
Another critical aspect in terms of the effects that a specific cannabis plant produces is, of course, terpenes, which are compounds that greatly influence both the flavor and aroma of each given strain of cannabis.
Many terpenes help to produce the precise effect of every strain. So, if you want your cannabis plants to have a specific effect or taste/aroma, it’s essential to consider terpenes.
How to Grow Feminized Seeds?
Even though feminized seeds offer many advantages compared to regular seeds, cultivating them into bud-bearing plants isn’t a piece of cake.
Most feminized seeds create photoperiod weed plants, which means they enter the flowering stage once there is a time change in daylight and darkness.
In nature, all cannabis plants are photoperiod, and they bloom when days get shorter at the summer’s end. But, when a human grower cultivates such plants, they remain in the vegetative phase until the grower decides to commence the flowering stage by lowering the duration of light exposure to the plant.
How to Grow Feminized Seeds Outdoors?
When feminized seeds are grown outdoors, the most important thing is to plant them at the right time because the plants will depend on light hours changes.
Feminized seeds are usually in the spring because it’s warm enough and there’s no frost, and they are harvested in the fall. Another essential aspect to consider is the climate when growing outdoors, as it greatly determines the overall quality of your harvest.
Because a significant percentage of feminized seeds grow up to produce weed plants that are hybrid strains, the growing requirements of such plants can immensely vary.
A great example is that Indica-dominant strains have a much quicker blooming time than Sativa-dominant strains. Indica-dominant cannabis plants require 6 to 7 weeks to finish flowering, and Sativa-dominant strains need almost twice as long to complete their flowering phase.
How to Grow Feminized Seeds Indoors?
If a grower is planning on growing feminized cannabis seeds that are photoperiod indoors, they need to know that it is necessary to adjust the light hours schedule manually.
A light change that starts the flowering stage is usually done when a cannabis plant reaches a certain height, generally about one-half of the height that a plant should reach at the end of its growth. Room for additional growth is left since weed plants quickly sprout during the flowering phase.
A grower generally sets the light / dark hours to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to start the flowering stage of cannabis plants since this mimics the natural light conditions during autumn.
Now that we’ve covered the basics behind photoperiod feminized seeds, it’s time to mention the other two capital varieties, which produce autoflowering weed plants and fast-flowering seeds.
Autoflowering feminized cannabis seeds produce weed plants that don’t depend on the change in light/darkness hours to start their flowering but enter the flowering stage based on how old they are.
These cannabis plants are created by breeding naturally occurring Ruderalis cannabis plants (which begin their flowering phase based on age) with regular photoperiod weed plants.
Such seeds produce some of the fastest-growing plants around because some autoflowering weed plants are fully matured just two months after germination.
Fast flowering seeds are pretty similar to autoflowering seeds, but unlike autoflowering seeds, they still require a change in light cycles.
Fast flowering seeds are best suited for growers who plan to grow their weed outdoors but live in climates with relatively brief summers.
Fast-flowering seeds typically produce cannabis plants that are harvest-ready after only six to seven weeks of flowering.
Where Can I Buy Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
Although you can obtain feminized cannabis seeds from various sources (mainly because they have existed for more than twenty years), it is still a wise choice to acquire your feminized seeds from a well-established producer like our seed shop.
As feminized weed seeds don’t have any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), ordering them online doesn’t break any laws, and they can freely be bought from a cannabis seed bank anywhere in the world.
There’s also the option of creating your feminized seeds (through the methods we already mentioned). Still, if you want a superior product that guarantees an almost 100% chance of feminizing seeds, it’s much wiser to buy them from a trusted seed bank like Hypno Seeds.
What Does ‘Feminized Seeds’ Mean?
To summarize, feminized seeds are pretty different compared to average regular cannabis seeds, and their main differences include:
Feminized seeds that were created professionally immensely diminish the risk of ending up with a male plant in your crop, which in favor dramatically lessens the chance of having to remove a male cannabis plant before it pollinates the female plants.
A significant aspect of feminized seeds is that they make the entire growing much more efficient since a substantial percentage of weed strains don’t express their sex for a long time. This means that the grower using feminized seeds doesn’t have to worry about tending to cannabis plants that eventually have to be removed from the crop.
Since even professional-produced feminized seeds don’t offer a 100% guarantee of all seeds being female (usually 99.9%), growers still need to look out for male crops. Still, the chance of that happening is hugely diminished.
Now that we have covered all of the important stuff about feminized seeds, let’s check out some of the most frequently asked online questions about these seeds.
What are Autoflowering Feminized Seeds?
As we already mentioned, when an indica or sativa strain is mixed with a ruderalis strain of cannabis, their offspring is an autoflowering strain of weed.
This means that it enters the flowering stage automatically and doesn’t require a change in light/darkness hours for flowering to begin.
So, autoflowering feminized seeds will grow to become autoflower strains, an excellent option for growers growing their cannabis outside but living in regions with short summers. They are also helpful for growers who don’t want the hassle of manually setting the change of light to start the flowering stage.
Are Feminized Seeds Autoflowering?
While some feminized seeds are indeed autoflowering, others will grow up and become standard regular photoperiod strains that need a change in light duration to start flowering.
If you’re buying your feminized seeds from an established producer or seed bank, this difference is usually stated in the description of each specific feminized seed.
To conclude, some feminized seeds will sprout to become autoflowering cannabis plants, while others will become photoperiod plants, depending on their genetic characteristics.
Can Feminized Seeds be Autoflower?
Yes, some feminized seeds can become autoflower plants.
For that to happen, a plant with the characteristics of both a ruderalis and regular photoperiod plant has to be feminized with some of the feminization techniques we already mentioned in this guide.
On the other hand, the vast majority of feminized seeds are not autoflower but will generally become regular photoperiod cannabis strains.
Are Feminized Seeds Photoperiod?
As we just mentioned, most feminized seeds produce plants that are photoperiod in nature, but some feminized seeds can grow up to become autoflower weed plants.
Whether a seed will grow up to become an autoflower strain or a photoperiod strain depends on the seed’s genetic makeup. If you’re buying your seeds from a well-respected and established source, You can find such information in the description of each specific seed type.
What’s the Difference Between Autoflowering and Feminized Seeds?
Autoflowering seeds entail that the seed in question doesn’t require a change in daylight hours to bloom, while regular, feminized seeds grow up to become typical photoperiod cannabis plants.
But, it’s important to point out that if you’re purchasing seeds from a seed bank, all of them will be feminized, but some are autoflowering, and some photoperiod.
This means that autoflowering seeds are just one type of feminized seeds, while photoperiod seeds are just a different type of feminized seeds.
Choosing between the two is just a matter of preference, depending on your growing requirements.
What do Feminized Seeds Look Like?
Feminized seeds appear just like regular cannabis seeds but differ from regular seeds.
Since feminized seeds only carry female genetics, they are capable of growing into female cannabis plants, but their appearance can’t observe this.
How to Plant Feminized Weed Seeds
Since feminized seeds have the same characteristics as regular seeds in planting or growing, they don’t require special treatment.
Feminized seeds need to be germinated first, and you can start by soaking the seeds in a bowl of tap water for about 12 hours. After 12 hours have passed, place your seeds on a towel.
Next, you must wet a paper towel and place it on a plate. Such towels come in handy as they are just thick enough to retain sufficient moisture.
Cover a plate or any other ceramic dish with the wet towel, and place the seeds on the towel. The blunt (non-pointy) end of the seed should face the towel.
The seeds should be evenly spaced, about 1.5 centimeters apart. This helps to avoid getting their delicate roots tangled.
Once you’ve finished this step, wet another paper towel, and place it over the seeds, making sure that the other towel also comes in direct contact with the seeds.
The seeds will require a warm (21 to 29 degrees Celsius) temperature to germinate properly. An excellent way to achieve this optimal temperature is to keep them on your refrigerator or by using a table lamp.
Avoid direct sunlight as it can overheat the seeds and dry out the towels you used to cover them.
If the towels are drying, you can spray them with any spray bottle to keep them moist. Make sure to check the moisture of the towels at least several times a day because if your weed seeds get too dry, this can severely damage and even destroy them.
The next thing that needed to be done was to wait for the seeds to germinate. Cannabis seeds generally open within two days, while roots begin to appear after a couple of days.
As soon as the tap roots reach about a centimeter length, the seeds are considered ready to be planted.
Make sure to be very gentle while you’re touching and manipulating the seeds, as they are incredibly delicate, and the seeds that haven’t opened can be discarded since you cannot use them.
The next step is to plant your germinated seeds. It’s best to use small garden pots and potting soil that is quite airy and loose.
Poke a 0.5-centimeter hole in the soil with a pencil or something similar, and make sure to avoid placing the seed too deep or too shallow.
Use a pair of tweezers to place the seed into the soil gently. The end of the seed with the tap root should be facing down into the hole.
Once you’ve placed the seed, cover the hole with soil, but make sure not to press too hard on the seed, as this can mess with its development.
Avoid direct sunlight and other direct heat sources, as the air needs to be moist and not too dry.
Any closet or a basement are all great options, and the temperature should be anywhere from 24 to 29 degrees Celsius.
You’ll also need to water the soil with a spray bottle to keep the soil and the seeds inside nice and moist. This needs to be done about two times a day, and always avoid getting the soil too wet, as this can interfere with the seed’s development.
Also, white cool grow lights are an excellent option for growing seeds. Since the seeds are still developing, they will require constant light to prosper adequately. The temperature of the lights should be around 22 °C and the strength between 3 and 5 watts.
It’s important to mention again that it’s necessary to be very delicate with the seeds when you’re handling them, and with optimal conditions being met, the seeds will sprout out from the soil within 5 to 10 days.
How to Make Feminized Seeds
As mentioned in the “How are seeds feminized” section, feminized seeds are usually created with three distinct methods.
The first and second methods involve using a combination of water and microscopic silver particles (either silver thiosulfate or colloidal silver), which stop the plant from producing ethylene when sprayed on a female cannabis plant, a crucial hormone involved in flowering.
The lack of ethylene also influences the female plant to create pollen sacks, but since a female plant makes such pollen sacks, that type of pollen only has female chromosomes.
This female-genetics pollen is then used to pollinate typical female plants, and they produce seeds in their flowers that are feminized, meaning all of the seeds will develop into female plants.
It’s important to point out that these methods are relatively complicated and technical, so if you’re looking for great results, it’s usually a wiser option to acquire feminized seeds from a trusted source.
The third method for producing feminized seeds is rodelization, where a female plant is kept in the flowering stage until she “decides” to create her own pollen sacks naturally to self-pollinate.
This self-preserving mechanism doesn’t always happen, so rodelization isn’t as effective as the abovementioned methods.
Can Feminized Seeds Produce Males?
Transparent and trusted producers like ourselves generally state that there is a 99.9% chance of their seeds developing into female plants, meaning there is a minuscule chance of getting a seed with male genetics.
The quality of the feminization process greatly depends on the feminization methods we just mentioned, so it’s essential to get your seeds from a seed bank that guarantees quality, as this will significantly diminish the chance of getting a male plant from a feminized seed.
Are Feminized Seeds Always Female?
Our feminized seeds have a 99.9% chance of developing into female weed plants. Still, since genetic manipulation isn’t a perfect science, there is a very slight probability of getting a male plant from a feminized seed.
But, since the chances of something like that are slim, it’s far more likely that all your feminized seeds will develop into healthy females.
Can Feminized Seeds Produce Seeds?
A female cannabis plant that develops from a feminized seed is entirely typical, which means that if a male plant pollinates it, it will produce seeds.
But, if a male plant pollinates a plant created from a feminized seed, these seeds will not be feminized, and there’s about a 50% chance of getting male cannabis plants from such seeds.
Can Feminized Seeds Be Pollinated?
As we just mentioned, a female cannabis plant that grows from a feminized seed is completely capable of being pollinated.
But, if a male pollinates such a plant, the seeds created in this process will be completely regular and have equal chances of becoming male and female cannabis plants.