Do Female Marijuana Plants Produce Seeds

Learn about feminized seeds, or seeds that are bred to only produce female cannabis plants. Female cannabis plants are desirable to cannabis cultivators and are more valuable because they produce THC- and CBD-packed buds. New growers usually start from seeds. When a gardener decides to maintain an ongoing garden, the first step toward consistent results is to make a mother plant

Feminized seeds

Feminized seeds are bred to produce only female plants, as opposed to regular seeds that have a 50% chance of producing male plants.

More about feminized cannabis seeds

Feminized cannabis seeds are important to cannabis cultivation because only female plants produce consumable flowers.

Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Beyond the fact that male cannabis plants produce pollen sacs instead of flowers, having males plants around female plants can ruin an entire harvest. That’s because male plants pollinate the buds of young female plants. When that happens, the flowers will be full of seeds, lowering their quality and value.

Breeders and growers developed feminized cannabis seeds to address these challenges. By increasing the likelihood that all your seeds will produce female plants, you eliminate the possibility of getting a male plant that won’t produce flowers and of having a male plant accidentally pollinate flower-bearing female plants.

How to get feminized seeds

Feminized cannabis seeds are very mainstream. You can buy feminized cannabis seeds online from seed banks around the world. And if you live in a place where home cultivation is legal, you should be able to purchase feminized seeds at most dispensaries. You can also feminize seeds on your own, but to get the best feminized seeds, buy them from a reputable breeder or seed bank.

How are marijuana seeds feminized?

Feminized cannabis seeds are created through a process of genetic manipulation. Essentially, the idea is to induce female plants to make pollen. Normally, only male plants produce pollen, but if you can somehow make a female plant produce pollen, then what you’ve got is pollen containing only female chromosomes. There are a few ways to make this happen:

  • Spray a female plant with colloidal silver while it grows and transitions into the flowering phase. This chemical promotes the growth of pollen sacs, and because this pollen comes from a female plant it carries female chromosomes. After the plant starts producing pollen, use it to pollinate the flowers on a regular female cannabis plant. These pollinated flowers will produce feminized seeds. There are some reports online that say you shouldn’t smoke or otherwise consume any part of a plant that’s been sprayed with colloidal silver. And there are also reports saying that’s baloney. You’ll need to decide for yourself.
  • In a process very similar to the colloidal silver method, spray a young female cannabis plant with silver thiosulfate. This chemical suppresses the production of ethylene, which is necessary to the flowering process. By feeding your female plant silver thiosulfate, you encourage the plant to produce pollen, which can be used to pollinate other female plants and produce feminized cannabis seeds.
  • The third main method is known as “rodelization.” This is an all-natural technique, although it does not produce the desired outcome as consistently as the colloidal silver or silver thiosulfate methods. Rodelization takes advantage of a natural process in which an unpollinated female plant will sometimes organically sprout its own pollen sacs. Think of it as the plant’s last-ditch effort to reproduce. In this method, you force a female plant to remain in the flowering phase for so long that the plant’s self-pollination mechanism kicks in. When this happens, you can use the pollen created by the female plant to pollinate the flowers on a regular female plant, which will then produce feminized seeds.

What is the difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds?

Autoflowering seeds have been bred to move into the flowering phase without needing changes in light to activate the production of flowers. Whether cannabis seeds are seeds doesn’t have anything to do with when plants enter the flowering phase. Feminized cannabis seeds have been bred to grow only female plants.

Are feminized seeds guaranteed to be female?

While feminized seeds generally grow only female plants, there is no 100% guarantee whether you buy feminized seeds or create them yourself. Every once in a while, a feminized seed will still grow up to become a male plant. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your plants as they mature. If you ever see pollen sacs starting to form, remove the plant before it accidentally pollinates and ruins your female plants.

Do feminized seeds produce seeds?

Theoretically, plants sprouted from feminized seeds should not produce seeds. They should only grow into female plants, and unpollinated female plants produce buds instead of seeds. Cannabis plants make seeds when the flowers of a female plant are pollinated with the pollen from a male plant. In the absence of male plants, there should be no pollen and therefore no seed production. If you force a female plant to stay in the flowering stage too long, however, all bets are off and you could wind up with rodelization as discussed above.

Are regular seeds better than feminized?

Growing cannabis is all about your goals and preferences. There is no inherent reason why regular female marijuana seeds would be considered better than feminized seeds. With that said, feminized seeds:

  • Maximize yields by reducing the chance of producing an unusable male plant
  • Decrease the risk that a male plant will accidentally pollinate female plants
  • Simplify the growing process by making unexpected male plants much less likely

In many ways, feminized seeds can be a good option for new growers, as they eliminate some guesswork and reduce the pressure to quickly and accurately identify and eradicate unwanted male plants. However, there are no guarantees and new growers should still do their homework and know how to spot a male cannabis plant.

Tips for growing marijuana from feminized seeds

The steps for growing cannabis from feminized seeds are the same as growing from regular seeds. If you understand the laws and regulations where you live and want to give cannabis cultivation a try, keep these things in mind.

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Before you plant the first seed, you’ll need to make some decisions:

  • Do you want to grow your cannabis indoors, in a greenhouse, or outside under the sun? do you plan to cultivate?
  • Will it be autoflowering or photoperiod?
  • Are you going to grow from seed or clone a cannabis plant?
  • What cultivation medium will you use? Good old soil, hydroponic solution, or an aeroponic system?

Each of these areas may generate more questions. If you grow indoors will you use natural or artificial light? If you go hydroponic, will you also use a grow medium like rockwool or hydroton? While you could just buy a clone, plop it in some soil, and hope, it’s best to think like a beginner and do some thorough research before taking the marijuana-growing plunge.

On the other hand, if that’s just not your style, you could treat cannabis like a houseplant and attempt a simple indoor grow with natural light. If you start with a plant or two on a sunny windowsill and wind up with a nice harvest, you might choose to move on to a more complicated setup or just keep it simple. Like most things in the cannabis world, it’s all up to your personal taste and how much effort you want to put into it.

Do Female Marijuana Plants Produce Seeds

Article written by

Tina Magrabi Senior Content Writer

Tina Magrabi is a writer and editor specializing in holistic health. She has written hundreds of articles for Weedmaps where she spearheaded the Ailments series on cannabis medicine. In addition, she has written extensively for the women’s health blog, SafeBirthProject, as well as print publications including Destinations Magazine and Vero’s Voice. Tina is a Yale University alumna and certified yoga instructor with a passion for the outdoors.

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Female Plant Producing Seeds

New growers usually start from seeds. When a gardener decides to maintain an ongoing garden, the first step toward consistent results is to make a mother plant or plants (this is covered in chapter 2). Once a quality mother is chosen, a gardener can propagate plants by taking cuttings for each successive garden. Since the cuttings or clones are identical to the mother, they are all females. The gardener can concentrate on getting the conditions and harvest time right for optimum results.

When I pick a female for a mother plant, I always choose something that I just adore to smoke, the type of marijuana that one hates to run out of. The thing is, sometimes pot thats great to smoke is a low yielder or takes too long to finish. That’s when the breeder’s creative energy can put a magic touch on the cannabis plants.

Gardeners also decide to try breeding when seeking a more ideal high and flavor. Whether the goal is enhanced qualities of the high or improved growing characteristics, breeding takes time, space and patience.

In order to reproduce an already-great female, all you need is a mother to clone from, but in order to breed you need a few good males, too. Actually, one male can be sufficient to pollinate hundreds of females.

In my opinion, the best way to breed is to start out working with quality genetics. Then you can enjoy the experimental nature of the whole thing. Breeding is an exercise in imagination. Start off with something you like and then think about what would make the plant better to grow or smoke.

It is necessary to start with plants that have already exhibited different desirable qualities. For instance, maybe one variety has a terrific flavor and high but is a finicky grower or takes a long time to finish. Another variety might be a hardy plant and finish quickly, but the high isn’t as mentally stimulating or the flavor isnt as tasty as it could be.

Once the gardener decides which plants have traits that would make a good combination, one variety becomes the donor parent (male) and one the recipient parent (female). These two parents are known as the PI generation.

The female is the plant whose traits you like but want to improve. The male is used to add traits to the female in order to improve a certain characteristic, such as finishing time. In other words, the male is used to “donate” new characteristics to the female.

The best way to identify a good male candidate is to experience a female from the same strain. After a suitable strain is identified, the most vigorous male is chosen. Sometimes it can be difficult to get a male plant of the variety you want. It may require obtaining additional seeds of the variety. If you think you might undertake any breeding, this is one reason to preserve seeds or possibly even males from the varieties you are working with.

When different varieties are crossed, the resulting plants are hybrids; that is, they are a genetic mix of the two parents or PI plants. This cross is the F1 generation. When grown out, the Fl’s have only subtle variations. Significant variety in this generation probably means that the parents were not completely stabilized strains. The F1 generation is like a big family of siblings. They are similar but none are precisely the same. They will exhibit slightly different combinations of their parents’ characteristics, but will still be more alike than they are different.

The first time you cross two different kinds of cannabis together, you get a phenomenon that’s called “hybrid vigor.” F1 plants often exhibit impressive vitality. When F1 plants are made into mothers, their clones possess a near super strength.

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It is now possible to go in two directions with the F1 generation. If the desired characteristic is present, the best F1 males are selected and crossed back to the female parent or clones taken from this parent. This is called backcrossing. Usually breeders backcross a number of times to introduce a desirable characteristic to a strain. Eventually, successful backcrossing results in a stable strain.

The other possibility is to cross F1 males and females with each other. Plants grown from the seeds of this cross are called the F2 generation. Whereas the F1 s were fairly uniform, the F2s are heterogenous. This cross increases diversity. The plants will exhibit a wider range of characteristics from which to select.

I basically get three dominant phenotypes and one recessive phenotype in the typical F2 generation. One plant will be like the father, one like the mother, one a combination of both and one a recessive phenotype that may exhibit some non-dominant genetic traits.

Selection is key in winning breeding programs. The hallmark of selection lies in the human ability to choose the best from a cluster of many. Selection is pardy talent and partly understanding the plants. It necessitates that the breeder knows what to look for and also knows his or her plants and their needs.

Selecting Winning Plants

Cannabis breeding allows a gardener to come up with an endless number of combinations.

When I choose strains I always select for medical potency first, yield and finishing time second. When assessing cannabis plants, I look for a few main things: the length of stem between nodes, the profuseness of THC trichomes, the finishing time, the aroma, and last but certainly not least, the effect.

It is desirable for the nodes to grow close together. Nodes are the places where branches come off of the main stem. Internodes is the term for the space between the branches. The less stem between branches, the better. Of course, THC glands are best when they are found in massive clusters rather than sparsely distributed. Most people prefer short finishing times. When growing outdoors, the finishing time is especially important and should be suitable to the region. Aroma and effect are more subjective. Some people like fruity, some pine. Whatever the desire, both aroma and effect will be enhanced

This indoor NYC Diesel is nearly ripe and ready to pick. NYC Diesel is a sativa/indica mii It -,: fruit flavor and a sunny creative high with a touch of body stone effect.

This young Buddha’s Sister has a healthy profusion of white hairs and a glossy green glow.

Buddha’s Sister plants have a characteristic powder-puff-shaped bud. Here the plant has started to ripen as evidenced by the appear ance of orange hairs.

Sister bud after being manicured and dried

At 10 weeks, this Buddha’s Sister bud is ripe. A photographer’s loupe would show glands filled with liquid arid slightly amber in color.

This indica variety has a tart cherry flavor arid a powerful cerebral high. This plant looks quite robust with a week or two left to go before it will be ready to harvest.

The Ice-o-lator® (left) from Mila Jarisen’s Pollinator Company, and Bubble Bags® (right) from Fresh Headies are designed to make it easy to process leaf or bud into hash. These products are described in chapter 8. Information about these companies can be found in the resource appendix.

Here you can see that a male flower has formed on a female plant. The plant was flowered for an additional 10 days to 2

weeks beyond ripeness to force male flowers.

When female plants produce male flowers, the pollen creates all-female seeds. Feminizing seeds is described in chapter 10.

Females qrown lonaer for pollen do not usually form seeds.

they do. This plant has both a male flnuuer anrl a seed in close proximity.

Here you can see that a male flower has formed on a female plant. The plant was flowered for an additional 10 days to 2

weeks beyond ripeness to force male flowers.

When female plants produce male flowers, the pollen creates all-female seeds. Feminizing seeds is described in chapter 10.

Females qrown lonaer for pollen do not usually form seeds.

hut occasionally they do. This plant has both a male flnuuer anrl a seed in close proximity.

Here are 4 other Soma varieties: White Willow (upper left), Somango (upper right), Amethyst Bud (lower left), and Lavender (lower right). Stories about the evolution of Soma’s varieties are included in chapter 11.

by using organic methods of cultivation and by harvesting and curing properly.

The first thing I typically notice about a new variety is the shape of the leaf and the tone of green it has. Even before harvesting any buds, I can tell by the shape of the leaf if it is going to be special. Flowering out strains is the ultimate way of knowing the full range of a strains qualities. Most strains take 3-4 months to finish a complete cycle, so seeing how each strain grows takes a good amount of time and space. Once you get to know your plants you can organize your garden by grouping plants according to height or similar harvest time. This can be quite helpful for cross-pollination projects that use many different females and one choice male.

It is usually trickier to select a desirable male than it is to choose a female you want to cross. This is a good reason to select several males and cross each of them with the female variety that you like, and then see which produces the most promising hybrids.

Breeding with NYC Diesel

NYC Diesel is a blend of a Mexican sativa and an Afghani. It tastes like ripe red grapefruits. Everyone I smoke it with loves it, so I thought it would be a great male.

I planted several Diesel seeds and got three males, each one showing a slightly different growth habit. I’d read that it was possible to achieve greater genetic depth by breeding with more than one type of male from the same genetic pool.

With this new information, I conducted a little genetic experiment. I placed fifteen different varieties of female plants in my grow room and crossed them to two of the male NYC Diesel’s. One of the males had closer internodes and wider leaves, and the other had more stretch between nodes and thinner leaves. I put both of these males in the room with the females, and as the pollen flew, the two of them pollinated all the plants.

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I liked the results. While all the crosses had NYC Diesel genetics, i had greater variety from which to make my selections.

When deciding what to breed for, another factor to consider might be what other people want. For instance, many outdoor growers are looking for a fast finishing strain. For some growers, fast finishing strains may be desirable even though they are often less potent. Medicinal users may also be looking for specific characteristics in a strains effect.

How to Cross

Having enough space to breed is important. When working with cannabis you may have to produce hundreds of plants before you discover the winner you have been looking for, so patience is a virtue. The more plants you are able to grow out and select from, the more likely you will find something unique or precisely to your liking.

I put the females under 12/12 lighting a week before the males are added. This gives the female plants a head start, so they have more time to produce flowers. Also, after harvest when all the seeds have been removed, the leftover material makes excellent water hash.

It takes the male cannabis plant about 3 weeks to start throwing pollen. It continues for about 3 weeks. Female calyxes that are the first to get hit make the first seeds. The females continue to make new calyxes. As they become ripe, the male pollen touches them and seeds start to form. The last calyxes to get pollinated usually don’t get a chance to finish, and the seeds come out white.

In my quest for the best medicinal genetics, I am constantly trying new techniques and genetics, constantly learning about this sacred plant and all the gifts she holds. Spreading quality seeds around the world has brought me many new friends and adventures, and I truly think that it changes not only the topography of planet Earth, but her soul as well.

For so many years, I grew only seedless ganja because it smokes the best, but sometimes I have daydreams about what would happen if every ganja smoker grew one seed crop and spread them around

The Soma Way of Female Seeds

Making cannabis seeds is an art. As in any art, there are different methods of application. I have tried using gibberilic acid, pH stress, light stress, and fertilizer stress to force my female plants to make seeds. All of these methods are harsh on the plants, and some, such as gibberilic acid, are not organic.

In my search for cleaner, more earth-friendly ways of working with the cannabis plant, I have found a new way to make feminized seeds. This method of making female seeds is Age Feminization Technique (AFT). I like to call it “Rodelization,” after a friend who helped me realize and make use of this way of making female seeds.

Stressing for Seeds

Female seeds happen from stress, not genetics. That’s right. I am saying that all cannabis varieties have the capability of making male flowers on 100% female plants. Stress is the cause of this phenomenon. In the 32 years I have been actively growing cannabis, I have come to know every form of stress a cannabis plant can experience.

It takes many harvests before you really get to know a type of weed. Just like getting to know human friends, it takes time. Some strains prefer a higher pH, some a lower one. Some like a lot of food some like much less. There is quite a lot of variety in marijuana genetics, and you cant treat every plant the same way.

I have grown the same strains now for close to a decade, and am truly getting to know every bit of body language that my plants exhibit. I can recognize them now from a distance.

After growing crop after crop of the same plants in the same conditions, I noticed that if I flowered the plants 10-14 days

First, match the female plant with the pollen from the same female in the previous crop. Turn off all of the fans in the room. With a fine watercolor brush, remove some pollen from the bag and paint it on the female flower. This is repeated for each variety. I have done this successfully with up to ten strains in the same room.

I pollinate the lower flowers, leaving the top colas seedless for smoking. This method requires two crops to produce seeds, but it is completely organic. It also lets you have great quality smoke at the same time and from the same plant you are using to make female seeds. If you have never grown seeds for fear of not having something good to smoke, you will love this method.

You can also use the collected pollen to make new female crosses by cross-pollinating. This is a great solution when you want to use a variety you like as the “male” part of the cross, but you don’t have access to seeds or males.

The second way is less controlled, or may be used when you are gardening a single variety. Rather than drying and saving the pollen, the females with male flowers are brought directly into the room with a second group of females that are 3 weeks into the flowering cycle. The circulation fans are turned to high and the little particles of pollen circulate around the room for several days. Six to seven weeks later you have ripe 100% feminized seeds. This method does not produce as many seeds as crossing with a genetically male plant, but it is productive enough to keep a variety in circulation.

Feminizing methods can be extremely valuable in the effort to preserve strains, as well as being useful for any breeding program. Having been a farmer who moved my genetics far away from where they started, I know the value of seeds. My friend Adam from TH Seeds in Amsterdam has a motto that I love to borrow: “Drop seeds not bombs.”