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Marijuana Seeds 101: All the Information You Need

If you are trying to become a cannabis grower, it is essential to learn more about marijuana seeds. Unfortunately, there are sellers of dubious reputation selling low-quality seeds. Buying such produce will sadly lead to a poor harvest or failed crop.

It is also crucial to familiarize yourself with United States law, especially any cultivation laws that apply to your state. Hopefully, this guide will help you avoid making purchasing and planting mistakes.

Cannabis Seeds – What You Need to Know

Most marijuana plants are dioecious. This means their male and female reproductive organs are found on separate plants. To grow females, you must place them far away from males. Otherwise, the male plant pollinates the female and hinders its ability to produce high potency cannabis.

Seedless female flowers are grown without males. These are called sinsemilla (this means ‘without seed’ in Spanish). The potent weed you find in your local dispensary comes from such a flower.

A male plant must pollinate a female plant’s flower for it to reproduce. When this happens, the female flower produces seeds. There are also hermaphrodite plants. These contain male and female reproductive organs. They are capable of producing pollen and self-pollinating their flowers.

Irrespective of whether a male plant pollinates a female or one plant self-pollinates, seeds get created. Once they reach maturity, they are dropped from the plant and can produce new marijuana plants. Alternatively, they are harvested for hemp oil or food.

For the record, the only sure-fire way to determine the difference between a male and a female plant is to let them grow for a while. You likely won’t spot the gender of a plant for around six weeks, which is the pre-flowering stage. If a small bud is visible between the new branch and the main stock, it is probably a female plant. Eventually, buds become adult flowers. Another tip is to look for white pistil hairs that grow where the bud ultimately forms.

You can spot male cannabis plants by the pollen sacs they create. These are bulbs that resemble tulips in terms of shape. They don’t have any pistil hairs growing. When you spot a male plant in your garden, remove it immediately. Otherwise, it will pollinate female plants that produce seeds rather than developing a flower.

Waste not, want not!…

What Are Feminized Marijuana Seeds?

‘Feminized’ cannabis seeds are produced by causing the hermaphrodite condition in a female plant. You can do this via Rodelization, by spraying gibberellic acid or a colloidal silver solution. What happens is that you use ‘male’ pollen from a hermaphrodite plant to fertilize a female flower. As a result, you end up with plants that are either hermaphrodites or females, but never males.

In the right conditions, feminized marijuana strains can gain resistance against becoming hermaphrodites. This means the seeds are guaranteed to grow into female plants. It is a process that saves commercial growers, in particular, a great deal of time and money.

Feminized cannabis seeds produce marijuana plants almost genetically identical to the self-pollinated female parent plant.

Also known as ‘cloning by seed,’ it is a reliable way to avoid producing male plants. On the downside, finding a stable mother plant for seed production is expensive and time-consuming.

A high percentage of feminized seeds become hermaphrodites. This scenario results in marijuana flowers with seeds in them and lower overall yield. Don’t use feminized seeds if you intend to breed plants. On the plus side, this type of seed is ideal for beginners who want to avoid male plants infiltrating their cannabis garden.

What Are Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds?

Eventually, you need to change the light cycle of a marijuana plant to help it move from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage. The length of time a plant is exposed to light is known as a ‘photoperiod.’ It is normally anywhere between 16 and 20 hours a day during the vegetative stage. Next, you have to expose the plant to 12 hours of continuous darkness each day for a couple of weeks to help it reach the flowering stage.

Autoflowering cannabis seeds are very different. They are based on the Cannabis ruderalis species. It flowers once the marijuana plant reaches a certain age, regardless of its light exposure. It is possible to cross a potent marijuana strain with a lower-THC ruderalis variety to produce an autoflowering strain.

This type of seed is ideal if you grow marijuana plants in a climate where summers are typically cold and short, and the rainy season appears relatively early in the fall. With autoflowering seeds, you can begin growing in early spring because it will flower during summer.

Although these plants don’t need a specific light cycle, they do require consistent light to produce the highest yields. Please note that the nature of autoflowering strains means you can’t keep them in the vegetative stage.

What is a Cannabis Clone?

A cannabis clone is a cutting taken from a marijuana plant. You place it in a growing medium (such as soil or Rockwool) to ensure it grows roots. After the cutting has rooted, you can guide it into a mature plant. Best of all, it is genetically identical to the plant you cut it from.

Cannabis seeds have genetic information from its two parent plants, which are expressed in a variety of combinations. For instance, you could have a plant that picks up most of its traits from one parent. Alternatively, it could have several characteristics from both.

Attempting to create genetically identical marijuana plants from seeds is exceptionally tricky. It takes a considerable amount of time and patience.

Typically, experienced producers elect to plant several seeds and pick the best plant. Next, they take cuttings from this ‘master’ plant and use them to grow marijuana flowers. They may also take a proven clone purchased from another grower and use it as their master plant.

Where to Buy Cannabis Seeds

There are online seed banks located around the world, in countries such as Canada, Spain, Holland, and the United Kingdom. In such nations, it is relatively easy to buy cannabis seeds because the laws are relatively lenient. When it comes to the United States, however, things get very complicated.

At the time of writing, there are 33 American states plus Washington D.C. that have legalized weed either recreationally or medicinally. However, marijuana remains illegal on a federal level. States have no obligation to enforce federal weed laws. However, they are powerless to prevent federal law enforcement from imposing their rules.

If you live in the U.S. and try to buy marijuana seeds online from an overseas country, the United States Customs and Border Protection could confiscate the package. It is unlikely that you will face legal difficulties, however. If your package is seized, most reputable seed banks will send you another one as a replacement.

It is also illegal to transport cannabis seeds across state lines. This is the case even if you only travel in states where marijuana is legal. A resident of Washington state could theoretically get in trouble for purchasing cannabis seeds from a company in California. Even so, seed banks know the risks. They usually take precautions to ensure your seeds are delivered safely.

There is also a potentially interesting way to work around the law without breaking it. In some cases, it is legal to purchase cannabis seeds for uses other than growing marijuana. For example, in some locations, you can technically buy seeds for use as bird food or fishing bait! However, such seeds are generally sterilized to ensure they can’t germinate.

Seeds in my buds how much yield will I lose?

Dry the bud really well, then break it apart over a piece of bristol board or similar. Tilt the board, and the seeds will all run into one direction.

That’s how I collect my seeds at least.

manfredo
Well-Known Member

It depends what made them morph in the first place. If it was genetic, then yes the next gen could also have this issue. If it was something you did and you correct it, than no.

Most everyone who has grown indoors for any time has had this happen at least once. It’ll still be good smoke, but the street value went way down.

Cannabis_king
Active Member

Dry the bud really well, then break it apart over a piece of bristol board or similar. Tilt the board, and the seeds will all run into one direction.

That’s how I collect my seeds at least.

Well-Known Member

Dry the bud really well, then break it apart over a piece of bristol board or similar. Tilt the board, and the seeds will all run into one direction.

That’s how I collect my seeds at least.

spek9
Well-Known Member

That’s what I do. Makes collecting the seeds very easy.

I then use the bud I’ve broken up for my edibles. It’s still just as good to smoke though; using for edibles is just my habit for seeded plants (plants I’ve seeded intentionally).

spek9
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purpaterp
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spek9
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purpaterp
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purpaterp
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curious2garden
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curious2garden
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tslonige
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OldMedUser
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I can tell you from personal experience that both yield and potency are taking a big hit when all the buds get seeded.

I screwed up pollinating a few buds on each of 8 plants and ended up with only 200 – 300 seeds in each plant at harvest and it was really low compared to every other harvest. Fully seeded buds are going to yield even less.

Not to mention that all your bud will need to be busted up to get the seeds out of it so there goes bag appeal. Great for making hash or oils for smoking or medicine. Can roll joints out of the busted up bud too if you want but it won’t be as good as unseeded bud from the same strain.

If those seeds came from balls on that same plant early in flowering about half the plants grown from that seed will likely do the same thing. I’ve been pollen chucking for 20 years and am used to weeding out the hermie prone ones. Any seeds I keep were deliberately made from pollen and the girls went thru their whole cycle without any balls or ‘nanners. Random seeds on plants get tossed. Same with seeds that come from a girl that showed any sign of hermaphrodism.

Males can carry the trait and also show flowers from the opposite sex so that has to be watched for as well.

How Much Weed Does One Plant Produce?

“How can I grow as much weed as possible?” You know that’s what’s on your mind when you ask or wonder about plant yield. Old and new marijuana growers (and scientists and politicians ) alike want to know how to get the highest yield per plant and per grow. Planning and practice can make a huge difference– especially when you are only growing one plant!

But, ultimately let’s not forget that the cannabis plant is a sentient being. She’s alive! Her growth is dependent on many factors and the same plant can produce a pound in one situation and a couple grams in another. Below we will detail the known factors that impact yield and potency, discuss where things can go wrong, and where things can grow right.

What is yield? (wet vs. dry yield)

Yield is the amount of weed you get when you harvest your marijuana plants. This is only the buds themselves, removed from the stems. This is most often measured once your marijuana buds are dried and trimmed. This is generally measured in grams, ounces, and pounds. The “lid” is not a used measurement anymore.

One of the most know measurements currently is an 1/8th (of an ounce) which is 3.5 grams. This is commonly found in dispensaries as well as something one might purchase from their friendly neighborhood weed guy. In this picture below, only two perfectly grown and cured buds were needed to reach this weight!

Wet and dry cannabis does not weigh the same.

Immediately upon harvesting, your buds will be quite heavy. That’s because, like humans, freshly harvested cannabis flowers are 75 – 80% water by weight. Once dried and cured, the actual harvest you get is about ¼ of the wet weight. So, if your harvest weighs out at an ounce at first cut, when it’s all said and done, you will have a quarter ounce of homegrown weed to smoke.

To estimate your dry yield from your wet yield, just multiply the wet yield by 0.25 to get an idea of what you’ll have to share with your friends (or stash away for yourself)!

This varies slightly depending on if you grew a sativa-dominant or an indica-dominant strain. Sativas are notoriously more airy so if you weigh your sativa harvest wet, you will get 20 – 22% dry. Indicas tend to be a bit chunkier so if you weigh your indica harvest wet, you will get 22 – 25% dry.

​​Yield vs. Potency

Yield is an important factor to consider because cannabis is an annual crop; there’s only one harvest per plant. After harvest, the plant is dead and returns to compost. Yield is the weight of the buds that you harvest. Yield should not be confused with the potency of these hefty green nuggets. Potency is the strength of the cannabinoids found in the trichomes on your cannabis buds.

In other words, you can have a high yield of low potency buds. Or you can have a low yield of high potency buds. In a perfect world, you’d get a high yield of high potency buds and we are going to discuss how to make that happen!

What to do to increase your weed plant’s yield?

Light to Increase Weed Plant High Yield

The yield from an indoor-grown cannabis plant largely depends on the light the plant receives. Cannabis plants, being photosynthesizers, receive all their energy to function from light.

The type, quality, and amount of light you provide your marijuana plant directly influences yield and should not be taken lightly (see what we did there?)

Sunlight is the most powerful light us earthlings have access to, so if you are able to give your plant direct sunlight, do it! Sunshine is also free, and that is a big plus. The only downside is that we cannot control cloudy or rainy days and winter makes it challenging to grow with the limited amount of sunlight (the freezing temperatures also don’t help).

Moving to an indoor grow environment, w hen it comes to lighting fixtures, it does not benefit you to get the cheaper option. And we know how challenging it is to pick the right light- – there’s so many options out there! (incandescent, CFL, HPS, LEDs)

We do not encourage growers to use incandescent light bulbs when growing indoors. To get enough energy for your plant, the bulb would put off too much heat and not be fun to see on your electric bill. CFL bulbs are equally useless. Stick to new technology to protect your plants and your wallet.

While HPS light fixtures are historically the choice for those who want to maximize their indoor cannabis crop harvest, they are slowly fading out from commonplace. An experienced grower can expect to harvest a gram of weed from each watt of HPS light provided to the plant. This means that if the light is a 400-watt HPS bulb, then 400 grams of weed could potentially be harvested. However, LED light technology is getting more advanced. LEDs are: 1) cheaper to run than HPS and 2) run cooler than HPS which also lowers the cost of air conditioning and 3) reduces the likelihood of burning your plants with too much light.

When choosing an LED light fixture for your weed plants you are up against a surplus of options and information.

The most important metrics to look for in a lighting fixture are PPF, PPFD, and energy usage/efficacy . If none of these are present, you may want to look at a different fixture.

PPF, PPFD, and photon efficiency are measurements related to PAR. PAR is photosynthetic active radiation. PAR is not a unit of measurement but instead defines the type of light needed to support photosynthesis.

PPF is how much PAR a lighting system produces each second. This is not often listed as it does not show how much of the measured light actually lands on your plants but is a useful metric to calculate how capable a light fixture is at creating PAR.

PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) is the measurement of how much PAR actually arrives at your plant. This is a spot measurement and is typically highest at the center point beneath the light and decreases as light ripples outwardly. This changes with the distance away from the plant. Ideally, the higher the better but a single measurement won’t tell you much– you want the average taken from many measurements throughout the coverage area.

Photon efficacy is a way of defining how good a lighting fixture is at converting the electrical energy into PAR light that your plant can actually consume. This is not often listed in the spec sheet for most lights. Instead, most light manufacturers list the wattage, either total electrical watts or watts per square foot. Knowing the wattage is good to budget the main cost of your indoor cannabis grow. But the wattage doesn’t give the best information about the quality of light as watts are a measurement of the energy coming into the light fixture (from your electric bill) where photon efficacy is how good the light is at giving your plant energy.

We suggest paying attention to whether or not the company you want to buy a light from lists the actual wattage or the watt equivalent. (Hint: if they are only disclosing the watt equivalent, the light is most likely not strong enough for cannabis.)

LED wattage and incandescent wattage aren’t the same.

Many LEDs are marketed with their “incandescent equivalent” wattage, referring to the brightness of the LED. For example, a 10 watt LED may say “75 watts” on the package and in fine print say that the brightness is equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent. But for growing cannabis, you’re going to want an actual real 75 watts (or higher!) from your LED lamp .

Can I give my weed plant too much light?

The answer in fancy, science talk:

Effectively, within the range of practical indoor PPFD levels—the more light that is provided, the proportionally higher the increase in yield will be. Therefore, the question of the optimum LI [light intensity] may be reduced to more practical functions of economics and infrastructure limitations: basically, how much lighting capacity can a grower afford to install and run? – Victoria Rodriguez-Morrison, David Llewellyn , and Youbin Zheng

In plain English:

No, not really! For a vegging photoperiod cannabis plant, you will want to give her a minimum of 18 hours of light a day– some give 20 hours or even keep the lights on 24/7. We know that a lot of good growth happens during the dark period when the cannabis plant has time to rest so we suggest either a 18/6 or 20/4 light cycle for photoperiod cannabis in the vegetative stage.

Same goes with autoflowering cannabis, with an autoflower seed indoors, you’ll want to give it 20 hours light / 4 hours darkness each day.

When it comes to using light to maximize yield, maximize the light intensity to meet your budget.

Grow Less Cannabis Plants to Get More Weed

In some ways you may think that if you pop more marijuana seeds or get more clones that you will get a bigger harvest in the end. This is not always true.

Each cannabis plant wants her own space. Planting more than one seed in a pot leads to competition between plants for the shared nutrients and reduced yields. As seen in this photo below where two seedlings starved each other and both ended up dwarfed:

The size of the container that you grow your pot in matters, too. Outdoor plants have the potential of reaching extreme oak tree size when planted directly in good soil (which can be hard to find) and allowed to flourish in an open, sunny space. Indoor cannabis plants, become much like a goldfish in either a fishbowl or an aquarium or an ocean, you will grow a different size plant from the Mini Complete Pot Grow Kit (1/2 Gallon) to the Medium Complete Pot Grow Kit (5 gallon) or the Large Complete Pot Grow Kit (35 gallon) . The bigger pot, the bigger plant (and the more pot).

Growing in a grow tent, consider the total space as well as the size of your containers. It may sound like a good idea to pack a small 24’’ x 48’’ x 60’’ tent with as many pots as possible but this will limit the canopy space for your plants to fill. Best to give each pot space for the plant to fill out.

Growing less plants means:

  1. A longer vegetative stage. This means bigger plants. Bigger plants have bigger harvests and higher yield. When growing photoperiod cannabis indoors, it is time to transition your tent to flower when the tips of the leaves of each plant begin to touch. More plants touch each other faster.
  2. Less plants to manage! You know each one personally and can tell when even the slightest thing is off which means you can catch pests and diseases before they become a major problem. This also means that you will have more time for defoliation and advanced pruning techniques to maximize your yield!

In the same space with a 600 watt HPS lamp, you can either get 37.5 grams from 16 plants, 150 grams from four plants, or a pound from one single plant! Don’t compromise on plant density; the more space you give a single plant, the more she can blossom.

Best Grow Mediums to Maximize Harvest

Yield can also vary based on the particular grow medium you use. It has been clearly documented that using hydroponics to grow marijuana can result in 20 percent more yield compared to using soil indoors.

Hydroponics increases yield because it is the most efficient way to feed plants. The grower supplies all the nutrients that the plant would naturally need to find for herself in the soil.

But, hydroponic systems are also 1) more expensive to set up and run, 2) can take time (like several runs) to dial in a nutrient feeding schedule and 3) can go wrong if your plants are fed too much.

At the simplest level, fertilizers come in varying NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) formulations. Fertilizers that are richer in nitrogen are ideal for the vegetative phase, and those richer in potassium are better suited to the flowering phase. Growing hydroponically you need to know which nutrients your cannabis plants need during their different stages of growth and have that ready.

Whether you opt for organic, inorganic, or a mixture of the two is more of a personal decision. The important thing is that your marijuana plants receive enough nutrients to give you a higher yield per plant, but never too much. Unlike light intensity, there is a sweet spot for nutrients when it comes to growing marijuana. Too much of a good thing can negatively impact your plants. Unfortunately, finding the right balance between enough nutrients and excess nutrition usually comes with experience.

Soil grown marijuana can pull down some epic yields as well. But not all soils are created equal. For example, one person growing marijuana in loam soil may have a richer harvest since loam soil is easy for the roots to penetrate. On the other hand, clay soil could lead to a dismal yield since it doesn’t easily drain and can be quite compact, making it difficult for cannabis roots to grow.

That’s why a Pot for Pot specially formulated our Superb Soil to contain just the right amount of nutrients to maximize cannabis growth. With a Pot for Pot kits, there’s no need to add additional fertilizer because their soil has everything your plant needs from seed to harvest . It isn’t just easy to use, it’s optimized for marijuana growth.

Our complete grow kits include everything you need to go from seed to your very own supply of high grade medical cannabis.