What is the difference between regular and feminized seeds?
In the current cannabis seed market, it is possible to buy both regular and feminized seeds. But, what’s the difference? Beginners could purchase seeds without understanding the real difference. Further, we explain the main characteristics of each of them and how they can influence cultivation. This is done in order to evaluate which are the most suitable cannabis plants for your needs. Regular seeds are completely pure and natural and produce both female and male cannabis plants. Feminized seeds are seeds obtained from Cannabis plants treated with special agronomic techniques. In this case, the plants produced from these seeds will express only the female sex. The first seed company to introduce feminized seeds to the market was “Dutch Passion” in 1998.
Both of these seeds have their own qualities that make them unique.
- They come from elite clones
- Germinates only you need
- Saves time and resources
- No sexing is required
- Genetics are purer
- You can create new seeds
- No chemical used
- More efficient sexing clones
Thus a real revolution in the cultivation of cannabis seeds began. Today, we find several seed companies on the market that offer a wide range of feminized seeds in their catalogs. And, in some cases, there are companies that sell exclusively this type of product. The reason for this commercial strategy is quite obvious: most cannabis growers are not interested in hybridization and their only goal is to produce large quantities of top quality marijuana. This means that the ultimate goal is to grow only female cannabis plants. Buying feminized cannabis seeds avoids wasting time and being overwhelmed by frustration (there is nothing worse than growing numerous cannabis plants for several weeks and then discovering that half of them are male when the target initial was to get only female plants). When introduced to the market, the feminized seeds initially showed a rather poor quality, receiving heavy criticism from the public (given the high percentage of hermaphrodite Cannabis plants that developed from these seeds).
Feminized seeds and the methods
However, over the years, the seeds and the methods used for their production have reached very high levels, becoming a real art. The quality of the feminized marijuana seeds that you find on the market today is extremely high and the chances of a hermaphrodite plant developing are almost zero. When feminized seeds were introduced to the European market in 1998, a real revolution began which inevitably led to a lack of interest in regular seeds. Today, over 95% of the European cannabis seed market is occupied by feminized seeds. In the United States, however, regular seeds continue to have an important market, still managing to cover a large part of the sector.
This is what feminized seeds look like
For most growers, feminized seeds are the ideal choice when buying a variety of cannabis: they produce excellent quality grass without the risk of running into some male plants. When a professional cannabis grower wants to produce his own seeds and create his own hybrids he needs to work with plants that show both male and female sex. This is necessary in order to pollinate female flowers with male pollen, thus obtaining new genetic crosses and new seeds. This is one of the main reasons why regular seeds continue to be grown.
In a sense, one could say that this growing market interest in feminized seeds could become very dangerous for cannabis communities, turning cannabis growers away from experimentation and dissuading newcomers to create new and interesting varieties. In fact, if we consider a seed company specializing exclusively in the sale of feminized seeds, a grower will never have the opportunity to exploit those particular genetics to create new hybrids. Fortunately, there are still some companies out there that are interested in maintaining this market, where normal growers are allowed to experiment with hybridizing cannabis through regular seeds. Most recommend the use of the seeds, especially for beginner growers.
In the current cannabis seed market, it is possible to buy both regular and feminized seeds. But, what's the difference between regular and feminized seeds?
3 Important advantages of regular cannabis seeds (vs feminized)
Last updated June 1-2019 Published June 13-2017
‘Back in the day’ the only way to grow weed with seeds were ‘regular’ seeds. The classic way nature intended them to be. So from a seed you either got a male or a female plant. But most growers grow cannabis to harvest the buds which they can smoke, so they’re mainly interested in the female plants. For this reason feminized seeds have been created.
When you grow with feminized seeds you will be sure you’ll get only female plants in your garden. The beauty of this is that it takes out a lot of unnecessary work. All plants will be female, instead of that genetic lottery of male/female.
Ever since the boom of feminized seeds back in 1998, growers have gone crazy for feminized seeds and many seed banks have really cleaned up during this time. It went so far that most seed banks don’t even sell regular cannabis seeds anymore at all. The European seed marketplace currently holds 95% to growers who grow with feminized seeds.
With such a strong (commercial) focus on feminized seeds, it’s easy to forget that regular seeds are vital for the creation and maintaining of a diverse cannabis gene pool. It’s incredibly important that seed banks and breeders take their responsibility and keep offering regular seeds to the cannabis community.
So what are the advantages of using regular seeds?
For some, this is what growing is all about, finding that incredible phenotype from a large selection. By growing from regular seeds you will be sure to express that strains full lineage. When feminized seeds are produced a preferred phenotype is selected then reverse pollen is used to preserve the new generation of seedlings.
With regular cannabis seeds you can find a genetically untouched phenotype that is totally different and the keeper in your grow room.
CREATE YOUR OWN STRAIN
Before feminized seeds came about, many old generation growers would take the opportunity to breed male and female plants from their grow rooms, to enhance the features of the strains they had.
You can begin a small scale breeding project that is relatively straightforward, as the aim is not commercial financial value but to make your own strain. After a long time of breeding with selected clones and male plants, you can possess some of the most breathtaking strains around.
OLD SCHOOL STRAINS
Some of the best strains from the old school never made the cut in the feminized market, so over time have been forgotten. There are some old school pre 1990 gems available and simply not available in feminized form. It pays well to do your research about strains and breeders before making your next purchase.
The beauty of life is choice is and getting into the practice of carefully cataloguing each seed and noting its characteristics, growth pattern, leaf and stem growth, smell, yield, bug resistance, terpene profile, THC and CBD ratio is what will take your growing game to the next level. Especially when you start creating your own cannabis hybrid strains!
Feminized cannabis seeds are incredibly popular by the home grower, but we should not forget about regular seeds! Read more at CannaConnection.