A number of people consume cannabis in the form of recreational marijuana or medical marijuana. All of the cannabis consumers have the female species of cannabis to thank for. This is because only female cannabis plants can produce cannabinoid-rich flowers which have the desired effects and benefits that the consumers seek. Due to this, most growers are turning to feminized seeds, seeds that carry solely female genetic, and therefore produce only female plants. Various modern growers are using technologies for seed feminization to ensure female genetics in the cannabis seeds with a success rate as high as 100%.
Female vs. Male Cannabis Plants
Naturally pollinated cannabis plants that are produced using traditional breeding techniques, are capable of producing both female and male seeds. These seeds are the traditionally used regular seeds, and generally, they occur with a more or less equal number of the male and female seeds. This suggests that the cultivators who use such standard seeds for breeding cannabis, have a 50% chance of producing a female plant from each seed.
There are a number of drawbacks in growing regular seeds for cannabis cultivators. It is not efficient at all, since half of the produce from such seeds has to be disposed of. This is due to the fact that roughly half of the plants produced in such situations are male. Although male plants have minor value to the growers, those growing for flower do not have any use for them. Additionally, too many male plants can even spoil the grow. Traditionally, the cultivators would plant twice the number of seeds of the harvest they expected, since half of the plants would turn out to be useless. However, with the awareness being spread about feminized seeds, one can avoid such a problem.
Advantages of Growing Feminized Cannabis Seeds
Growing feminized cannabis seeds is quite advantageous to the growers. Since the hassle of having to guess which ones are male and female is removed, feminized seeds make the growing process easier and save a lot of time and effort. If growers use feminized seeds instead of the regular ones, they can avoid spending weeks nurturing plants with only a 50% chance of yield, and can also use their space efficiently by maximizing their plant count.
How Are Cannabis Seeds Feminized?
There are certain well-known techniques that can produce feminized seeds. One of the methods is to stress a female plant by interrupting its light cycle during the process of flowering. This method works to an extent; however, a more controlled method is to spray the female plants with a silver thiosulphate or colloidal silver solution. Since this method does not involve any genetic modification, it is a slightly better and more efficient method.
The aforementioned substances are a blend of water and fine silver particles, and both produce similar results. These silver solutions prevent the production of ethylene, which is a hormone involved in the flowering process. This results in a female plant, which produces male flowers with pollen sacks. However, these flowers only carry female genetics because the pollen sack develops on a plant which only has female genetics. When such flowers pollinate other female plants (untreated ones), the resulting seeds are nearly all female. Since this method produces at least 99% female seeds, it is the most efficient one.
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From the information provided above, it is quite clear that if growers seek long streaks of successful grows, feminized seeds are the best option for them. With a possibility of nearly every plant producing flowering buds, it is an option worth experimenting with for an efficient produce. This, in turn, would be greatly beneficial for the growth of the medical cannabis industry.