You have probably heard of feminised cannabis seeds – but do you know about their history and why they’re so popular?
Feminised cannabis seeds have become a firm favourite for collectors and growers throughout Europe in recent years. As genetically modified seeds, they have been cultivated to be stable and regular and are now recognised for their benefits against ‘normal’ seeds.
With literally thousands of different strains of cannabis available and hundreds of feminised versions, there’s a range of qualities, both common and rare on the market, and several seed banks stock a great range, such as ICE Cannabis Seeds.
In the 1980s the cannabis industry started to adapt the feminisation process for seeds directly from agricultural farmers. It was successfully applied to cannabis seeds through spraying solutions of colloidal silver (common) or through spraying gibberellic acid (less common). This spraying stresses the plant into becoming hermaphroditic, and the pollen produced from this process can be used to fertilise another female.
At first, cannabis growers were concerned about the reliability of such seeds, and thought that the hermaphrodites would be unstable, but this was proven to be a rare occurrence and as the feminising process improved it become extremely rare.
Presently, a lot of modern seed banks have replaced their standard seeds with feminised seeds due to the demand. Some even think that in a few years standard seeds could become a thing of the past for the average cannabis grower.
Feminised seeds grow under the same conditions as standard seeds but have no male parts and produce mainly female plants. These are the plants required for efficient cannabis growth as they pollinate themselves and don’t take up wasted space. With male plants, they are typically grown and removed when they start the flowering stage, as they don’t produce the buds that are consumed by cannabis users to get high and for medicinal value.
For growers, maintenance gets reduced as less weeding and removal is involved whilst any germinating from the soil up is more effective and productive. Cuttings can also be taken for future growth. This makes them the popular choice in Europe for cannabis growers.
In contrast, standard seeds are both male and female and will produce both male and female plants, meaning a certain percentage of the yield will not produce bud. In essence, it becomes a more complicated process as two plants of the opposite sex need to interact to produce seeds that can be used next season.
The plants and buds created from feminised strains only produce feminised cannabis seeds (up to 95%) and are nearly identical to the original parent plant. This has sometimes led to the phrase ‘cloning’ being adopted as there’s only one set of genes involved.
As with all cannabis seeds, feminised versions should not be picked up with bare hands as bacteria and oily skin can damage their quality. Instead, gloves or tongs should be use to handle them and they should always be stored in a cool dry location. Freezers are a debatable storage location and this process carries the risk of passing on freezer burn. In such cases they will not be able to root.
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