During the 1960’s and 1970’s some cannabis breeders took to experimenting with Colchicine. Which is a powerful mutagen for both man and beast, stops cell duplication, while the cellcore duplication continues the same. The end result is a doubling or more of the chromosome set. This treatment can be beneficial to cannabis because it enforces many properties such as higher production of thc and resistance to disease. What also resulted, when gender chromosomes doubled, is that male or female chromosomes appear manifold, called Hermaphrodites. What’s the plant to become? It becomes all at once. The result is called feminized or effeminate seed.
Feminized cannabis seeds have been one of the most important contributions to the cannabis growing movement in the last generation. Dutch Passion were the first ones who, against all odds, created cannabis seeds that gave rise to 95%+ female plants. These seeds are known as feminized seeds, today they are the most popular and convenient choice for those growing their own stash.
Before feminized seeds, ‘regular’ cannabis seeds were used which produced approximately 50% male and 50% female plants. This meant that growers had to germinate and grow twice the desired number seedlings in order to reach a satisfactory number of mature females. With the arrival of feminized marijuana seeds a grower simply plants the desired number of seeds and forgets about the inconvenience of male plants. Male plants not only waste space in a garden, they also risk reducing the finest sensimilla into seed pods. For most growers of recreational or medical cannabis the male plant is simply no longer wanted. The recent boom in home-grown cannabis has been made a lot easier with the arrival of feminized cannabis seeds. No more worrying about how to identify male plants.
Feminized cannabis seeds are grown in the same way as regular seeds. They can be grown indoors, in greenhouses or outside. They can be grown in soil or hydroponic systems. Feminized seeds give more stable results than regular seeds, resulting in better potency for 80% of all varieties.
The exact process of cannabis seed feminisation has been a secret for many years. The principle is straightforward. Female plants can be stimulated to produce pollen in such a way that the pollen is regarded as ‘female pollen’. The female pollen is used to pollinate a female plant which then starts producing seeds. The seeds produced by this method are feminised – they give rise only to female plants.
In addition, a cannabis plant is more or less predisposed to become male or female. This is regulated by 2 chromosomes everyone knows as the X and Y chromosomes. A plant with 2 XX chromosomes becomes female. A plant with an X and Y turns into a male. Plants have hormones that regulate it’s functioning, of which gender is one of those functions. The hormone balance is genetically determined, and partly influenced by environmental factors. An example is when plant roots get damaged.
The roots will produce a substance that in turn slows down leaf growth. The result is male flowers. When discussing hormone balance you get FEMALE SEED: a female is a plant with XX or only female chromosomes.
When you have a seed with just X chromosomes, you are certain this seed will grow into a plant that is genetically female. To achieve the XX only plant: a female plant is forced by a hormone called Gibberellic Acid to produce male flowers, the pollen created contains only X chromosomes, when you offer this pollen to another female plant you can be absolutely certain to get seeds which are 100% XX. Once again this seed is called FEMALE SEED. Gibberellic Acid can be found in online. It takes years for an individual to achieve the proper plant hormone manipulation to get 100% female XX seed. Supplies therefore fluctuate and there are many different strains available worldwide.
Why Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
The majority of cannabis growers worldwide start their crops from seeds. Mother plants and clones are getting more and more popular, but the reality of facts is that apart from The Netherlands and North America, it is rare for crops to be generated from cuttings. Looking at seed sales on a planetary scale, it is evident that during the last 10 years feminized seeds have been slowly but steadily gaining a large percentage of the cannabis seeds market. In some European countries they now represent over 90% of sales, both in grow shops and over the Internet.
On the American continent feminized seeds are somehow less popular than in Europe, but this trend is changing rapidly, with sharp increases in feminized seeds sales all over Canada. Reading the various American and European Internet forums one can easily see that there are many different views regarding the subject; the same type of categorization that one can make between soil and hydro growers, organic and synthetic growers, sativa and Indica growers, now it can be made for feminized seeds and regular seeds growers.
Both indoors and outdoors, feminized seeds guarantee that space is used in the most productive way possible, by making sure that each and every plant is producing cannabis, not just squatting space waiting to be eliminated. Moreover, feminized seeds allow guerrilla growers more safety, lowering the number of visits needed to the field.
As an additional benefit the feminized cannabis seeds tend to give rise to more uniform plants than regular seed. For the experienced growers feminized seeds have simplified life. To the new grower, feminized cannabis seeds are the only way to go. Growing top quality strains of cannabis has never been as easy, just choose the strain, plant the seeds and ensure ample light and sufficient nutrients.
Many myths surround feminized seeds, most of which are false. Over the last 5 years, as more and more growers in many situations have used feminized seeds, most questions have been answered. It is now clear that feminized seeds are as good as regular seeds to make mother plants. It is also clear that feminized seeds present greater uniformity of product on a large scale.
The growth of a male or female plant from seed, except for the predisposition in the gender chromosomes, also depends on various environmental factors. The environmental factors that influence gender are:
a higher nitrogen concentration will give more females.
a higher potassium concentration will give more males.
a higher humidity will give more females.
a lower temperature will give more females.
more blue light will give more females.
fewer hours of light will give more females.
It is important to start these changes at the three-pairs-of-leaves stage and continue for two or three weeks, before reverting to standard conditions.
In conclusion, for gardeners who require a quick and easy cultivation process, feminized seeds are the ideal choice. Some medicinal cannabis users may be deterred from growing their own supply because of the perceived difficulty of growing or of identifying the different genders and removing males early in the blooming period. Feminized seed-strains offer a simple solution to these issues, as there is no need to spend time in the first weeks of flowering checking for male plants.
Growers usually germinate more seeds than they intend to grow (sometimes twice as many) to allow for the removal of males. With feminized seeds, growers decide how many plants they want, germinate that number of seeds, then simply grow, flower and harvest the results. Cannabis cultivation has never been easier!