All About Feminized Hemp Seeds and Why Most Hemp Farmers Turn to Them
With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, more farmers are now giving hemp growing a try. If you are one of them, you’ve probably already heard about feminized hemp seeds but aren’t really sure what they are. If you are new to hemp farming, or are just interested to know more about feminized seeds, this article will help shed some light about these seeds and why they are necessary.
What Are Feminized Seeds and How Are They Different from Regular Seeds?
When you grow regular cannabis seeds, there is a 50% chance for them to grow into male plants and 50% chance for them to grow into female plants. This sounds fine, right? However, in the cannabis world, female plants are ultimately superior.
Unfertilized female plants have higher CBD content than their male counterparts. (Image Source: Pixabay)
This is due to the fact that male plants produce lower levels of cannabinoids compared to their female counterparts. Moreover, once the male plants fertilize the rest of the female plants, the cannabinoid levels of the fertilized females are also lowered. Since the money that you’ll earn lies in cannabinoids or CBD, having male plants in your farm is obviously not a good idea.
This is where feminized hemp seeds come in. These seeds are expected to produce female plants only since they contain female genetics, which means that can help farmers increase their yield and earnings.
Why Are Feminized Seeds More Favored by Growers?
By using feminized seeds, growers can avoid the guesswork of whether their plants will grow into males or females. With regular hemp seeds, farmers will still need to carefully monitor their plants so they can identify the males and remove them ASAP. But, with feminized seeds, growing female plants is already guaranteed, which means that farmers can maximize their land, manpower, and other resources.
Choosing feminized seeds will also help growers save time. It usually takes several weeks before one can tell the gender of a hemp plant, so farmers have to wait long only to end up with male plants that must be removed. With feminized seeds, waiting won’t be necessary anymore.
When you have a whole garden full of female hemp plants, the yield is higher. For one, each plant will grow buds that contain the highest possible CBD content. Since there are no male hemp plants on your farm, there is also a zero chance of pollination (which is a big no-no because it lowers the plants’ CBD levels). Of course, you can make the most of all the space in your planting area since each plant will be useful.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Using feminized seeds is only advantageous if you are focused on producing CBD, which is the more lucrative part of growing hemp plants. However, if your goal is to breed new strains, feminized seeds alone won’t be helpful since you will also need male seeds to cultivate and grow exciting new strains.
There is also the chance of getting poor quality feminized hemp seeds, which may grow into hermaphrodites (hemp plants that are both male and female). You can avoid this scenario, though, by looking for reliable and reputable breeders and ensuring that you’re purchasing high-quality feminized seeds.
How Are Feminized Seeds Produced?
The general concept of creating feminized hemp seeds, which is known as masculinization, starts with inducing a female plant to grow male flowers that contain the viable pollen. The resulting pollen from the induced male flowers can then be used to fertilize female flowers. Since the pollen is derived from a plant that only has the female chromosome, the fertilization process results in female plants.
Masculinization involves carefully stressing a female hemp plant for it to produce male flowers as a response to the threat to its genetic lines. Different stressors are applied, such as disrupting its light cycles and applying heat. These methods are not 100% reliable, though, especially if they’re performed by people without the right level of expertise.
Fortunately, newer and more reliable breeding techniques have been developed in the recent years. This makes the masculinization process easier and provides more guaranteed results. One of the most dependable processes involves the use of certain chemicals like silver nitrate, gibberellic acid, and silver thiosulfate.
All of these chemicals inhibit ethylene production in the plant tissues. Ethylene is the hormone that is responsible for producing flowers. Without it, the flower production will be stopped, and the plant will then form male flowers instead.
Are You Looking for High-Quality Feminized Hemp Seeds
The quality of feminized seeds can vary depending on various factors. So, to ensure that all your hard work will result in high yield, you should only purchase feminized hemp seeds from reputable breeders that are known for their high-quality products and are trusted by many farmers.
One example of a dependable breeder is Trilogene Seeds. We ensure that all of our products are guaranteed to be low in THC levels and high in CBD content, which is what a successful grower looks for in hemp seeds.
How can we be confident that our low THC CBD hemp seeds will yield great results? Simple! We are an industry leader in this field and we love what we do. Our group consists of cannabis industry professionals who do extensive research and development in generating elite hemp genetics.
This Aquawoman has a 94% germination rate with 42:1 CBD to THC ratio.
We follow a two-part process — which involves qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis — in our breeding selections. During qualitative analysis, we use our senses and expertise to find new hemp varietals with perfect characteristics. Once this is completed, we move on to quantitative analysis, which involves running numerous tests to identify the best possible breeds.
In order for a hemp varietal to be part of our list, it has to pass the five standards that are included in the testing part. We check the yield, the plant structure (ensuring that the variety is resistant to pests and most pathogens), the CBD to THC ratio, and the extraction efficiency. We also ensure that the variety contains good terpenoid and flavonoid profiles.
As you can see, our team never cuts corners in our processes. We always set high standards, and this is why we’re number one when it comes to elite hemp genetics. So, if you need high-quality feminized hemp seeds, just get in touch with us and we will be glad to be of help.
Ultimate guide: What are feminized cannabis seeds, why they are in high demand and three ways you can make them, too
Feminized seeds have increased in demand since medical cannabis became legal, but how are seeds feminized?
Breeders and seed producers will want feminized seeds for business purposes, as they’re in very high demand in places where growing weed is legal. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus
Most people already know that cannabis buds used today come from female plants. Male plants pollinate female plants, which respond by producing seeds. Just like children, some seeds end up being female and some male.
A male plant can pollinate an entire room of female plants. With little more than a bit of wind, each female plant will end up being fertilized. Getting only feminized cannabis seeds is more complicated, and while not an impossible task, this does demand a workaround on the rules set up by nature.
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Why are seeds feminized?
Cannabis growers need seeds that are guaranteed to grow into female plants in order to avoid pollinating the entire crop. Since no one wants seeds in their weed, feminized seeds are required. When it’s confirmed all seeds are feminized, big crops can be grown knowing that the plants are safe from pollination by a male plant.
As cannabis becomes legal in more places around the world, feminized seeds are likely to be among the first things sought out by new growers. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus
Breeders and seed producers will also want feminized seeds for business purposes, as they’re in very high demand in places where growing weed is legal. As cannabis becomes legal in more places around the world, feminized seeds are likely to be among the first things sought out by new growers. Reliably producing female plants is of great value in the cannabis industry, because female plants produce flowers that have greater medicinal value.
How to feminize seeds?
When breeding cannabis, growers will intentionally pollinate their females to get certain traits in the offspring. Once the breeder stabilizes a certain trait, the idea is to mass produce the offspring with precisely those traits. This may be done by feminizing seeds that the “mother plant” produces.
In the wild and without any human tampering, cannabis plants produce mostly female seeds when they “perceive” they’re approaching the end of their lifetimes. Feminization is essentially a process of pushing the plant to produce as many female seeds as possible, by making it “think” it’s approaching its last days.
Only a very small percentage of male seeds will be produced because a small number of male plants can pollinate many female plants. This is why the process of pressuring the plant to produce female seeds en masse is called feminization.
In the wild and without any human tampering, cannabis plants produce mostly female seeds when they “perceive” they’re approaching the end of their lifetimes. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus
There are several ways to perform seed feminization. Though each approach is different, they all boil down to the same thing—getting female seeds. That said, some methods are more efficient than others and, as such, are preferred by numerous producers and growers.
Feminizing seeds with colloidal silver
Colloidal silver is a substance made from microscopic particles of silver, which are suspended in liquid. Measuring less than 100 nm (nanometres) in size, the particles of silver are invisible to the naked eye. Colloidal silver works by inhibiting female flowering hormones in cannabis. The result of this is that the male hormones dominate, and, thus, male flowers are produced.
By doing so, healthy female plants are transformed into males. The pollen that came off that plant can be used later to pollinate other plants.
Cannabis is known to yield many—hundreds, sometimes even thousands—of seeds after being pollinated. The colloidal silver method is tried and true for consistently getting feminized seeds.
To start the process, spray colloidal silver on the plant branches every three days before switching lights to 12/12 hours, and continue spraying it until the first male flowers begin to appear. As the plant matures, it will produce pollen that should be collected and used to pollinate other female flowers. Collect the new seeds and plant them to get the next generation of the same plant.
Feminizing with gibberellic acid
Feminizing with gibberellic acid may be even simpler than with colloidal silver. Available mostly in powder form and found online, mix the acid with water until it reaches about 100 ppm (parts per million, instructions on packaging will explain), and spray that mixture on the plant once a day for 10 consecutive days during the flowering phase. Male flowers should be produced.
A male plant can pollinate an entire room of female plants. With little more than a bit of wind, each female plant will end up being fertilized. Getting only feminized cannabis seeds is more complicated, and while not an impossible task, this does demand a workaround on the rules set up by nature. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus
Once that part of the process is done, apply the pollen from the resulting male flowers on other healthy female plants. The idea is that those plants will yield feminized seeds after being pollinated.
Feminizing with the rodelization method
The rodelization method is, by far, the slowest, least efficient and least reliable approach of the three. Rodelization entails not harvesting flowers after they’ve bloomed, but, rather, forcing the plant to turn male, in order to preserve itself.
After the plant has flowered, it should be left as is for another few weeks. It is likely the plant will then grow a couple of male flowers, in an attempt to pollinate itself once more. If the plant succeeds, the grower will need to wait another few weeks to get decent seeds that are ready for sowing (the method generally yields fewer seeds than the other two).