This definition explains the meaning of Feminized and why it matters. Feminized marijuana seeds are produced in a way to make sure all the resulting plants are female (since only female marijuana plants make buds). Find out what feminized cannabis seeds are and what they are used for from the pros at Atlas Seed.
Feminized (seeds) refers to cannabis plants that have been bred to produce only female strains. Such cannabis plants have been modified to produce only bud-bearing female plants.
The female cannabis plant is the most coveted for its production of terpenes and cannabinoids in its flowers. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) creates the desirable psychoactive experience known as a ‘high’ that users find pleasurable and beneficial. However, other cannabinoids also excreted by female plants are also believed to assist in the treatment of numerous medical conditions.
Growers like feminized seeds because they are guaranteed an all-female crop for cultivation.
Maximum Yield Explains Feminized
Feminized seeds were first cultivated by growing female cannabis plants that possessed both male and female characteristics. Known as hermaphrodite or hermaphroditic plants, such early cannabis plants were predominantly female but if the plant underwent stress, such as water deprivation or sudden temperature drops, the plant would enter a survival mode. In survival mode, the female plant would start to produce male staminate flowers so that pollination of the plant’s female pistil flowers could easily occur.
By growing both male and female flowers, the cannabis plant guaranteed it’s lineage survival through seed production.
Researchers have found that the use of colloidal silver helped to physically modify the seeds to further guarantee the production of only feminized seeds.
What Are “Feminized” Cannabis Seeds?
Feminized cannabis seeds are produced in a way to make sure that all the resulting plants are female (since only female cannabis plants make buds).
“Regular” (or non-feminized) seeds will produce about half male, and half female plants.
Having male plants can be an asset to a breeding program, but having to watch over and throw away half the plants can be a waste of time and space for growers who just want to grow their own supply of bud!
By starting your grow with feminized cannabis seeds from a reputable breeder, you can stop worrying about plant gender altogether, and know that every single one of your plants is going to be female and make buds!
Seed Supreme is a trustworthy source of feminized cannabis seeds (it’s the company I use for seeds)
Pros of Feminized Seeds
- All plants end up producing buds
- Less wasted space on plants that need to be thrown away
- Don’t need to watch plants closely to make sure you remove males
- No chance of pollination without pollen sacs, so no seedy buds
Cons of Feminized Seeds
- In order to build a robust breeding program and create new strains, you should start with regular seeds so you have both male and female plants
- It’s possible to buy feminized seeds from bad breeders which turn into problematic hermies (mixed sex plants) or even just end up being half male plants like regular seeds. That’s why it’s important to order seeds from a trustworthy breeder!
Since I started growing cannabis nearly a decade ago, I’ve only grown with feminized seeds! I’ve never had a single plant that didn’t grow buds!
Non-Feminized Seeds Produce Half Male, Half Female Plants
(learn more more about cannabis plant sex)
Feminized Seeds Only Produce Female Plants
How Do Breeders Make Feminized Seeds?
The way breeders create feminized seeds is they breed two female cannabis plants together, which means that all the resulting offspring will be female. This is done by spraying developing flowers with a substance that changes flower development (often colloidal silver or gibberellic acid). This process is used to force one of the female plants to start producing pollen sacs just like a male plant.
By harvesting the pollen sacs and using the “female” pollen to pollinate buds of a different female plant, you are giving the resulting seeds only female genes (there is no “father”), so none of the seedlings end up being male.
What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds & What Are They Used For?
Feminized hemp and cannabis seeds are produced to grow primarily female plants, while regular hemp and cannabis seeds have a 50% chance of being female. Since cannabis is a dioecious plant, it evenly produces male and female plants, or plants with male and female flowering parts. The feminization process allows breeders and seed producers to create seed that is almost entirely female. Though our exact recipe, frequency, and timing are proprietary, generally feminization is done with a colloidal silver spray.
Producing primarily phenotypically presenting females is an efficient approach to streamlining the cultivation of cannabis and hemp flower. Though there is no way to completely remove the risk of male plants pollinating and seeding female flowers (as least with normal, diploid cannabis), farmers and cultivators can save an enormous amount of production space and time by removing males from the equation at the beginning of the growth cycle of the cannabis plant.
Not all feminized seeds are produced equally, since the execution of the process is easy to learn but tricky to master. We’ve heard many anecdotal stories of fly by night seed producer lots producing 20-30% males, so apparently it’s a thing you can encounter if you’re not careful. Atlas Seed feminization rates tend to range from 1:1000 to 1:4000, or 99.99% in either case. These rates are comparable with the best produced feminized seed in the world. To date we are not aware of anyone offering “100% feminized seed.” Some breeders and producers allege that their feminized seed produces no males but will show a small amount of herms, which from the perspective of the grower is merely semantic, since we are in either case talking about pollen producing male parts that will seed your crop.. With Atlas Seed’s feminized cultivars, depending on the amount of plants you have per acre, you’ll basically end up with somewhere between 10-20 males per acre. For more information on conducting a proper hunt for male and hermaphroditic plants, please see our male hunt guide here.