Feminized cannabis seeds are bred to contain no male chromosomes, thus ensuring that every plant grown from them will flower as a female and be able to produce the crop of resinous buds sought by most growers.
Why choose feminized seeds?
For gardeners who require a quick and easy growing and flowering process, these seeds are the ideal choice. Some medicinal cannabis users may be deterred from cultivating their own supply because of the perceived difficulty of growing, or of identifying the different sexes and removing males early in the blooming period. If this process is too long delayed,
the males will fertilize the females, leading to a disappointing harvest of seeded bud with a lower amount of trichomes. Just one male plant is capable of fertilizing a large number of ladies. This is the last thing that most gardeners desire, especially those growing for medicinal reasons. Feminized, or 'fem', varieties offer a simple solution to these issues, as there is no
need to spend time during their first days in flower checking for males, nor energy removing and destroying them once they are identified.
What are feminized seeds?
People who are new to the world of indica and sativa may also have only a vague idea that there are different sexes of this
versatile plant. Seeds that occur naturally are gained from simply allowing a male to fertilize a female, and the resulting seeds will in turn produce both masculine and feminine offspring. There is no reliable way of telling which one will grow into which sex of plant, short of actually growing them. It is therefore traditional to germinate more regular seeds than one intends to grow (often twice as many) to allow for the removal of males. With feminized seeds, gardeners decide how many bushes they want, germinate that number of seeds, then simply grow, flower and reap their rewards. With the introduction of these new cannabis seeds, cultivation became easier than ever before!
How is it possible to create feminized seeds?
Every cannabis plant has the innate ability to grow the reproductive organs of the opposite sex as a survival mechanism. This ability, which is not unique to cannabis in the plant kingdom and has even been observed in some species of frogs, is one of the factors that enabled it to successfully proliferate in climates all around the world, adapting and surviving even in hostile conditions. It is not unknown for male plants to produce feminine flowers, making it possible for the plant to self-pollinate, produce seeds and ensure the survival of the species for another generation. However it is far more common for a female plant to produce male flowers for the same purpose. This fantastic survival trait is not only useful for the plant, but has now been turned to the advantage of people who wish to grow it.
Rather than being produced from male spore meeting female flower, feminized seeds are the result of forcing a female plant to produce pollen and then using this to fertilize another female. The resulting seeds lack male chromosomes, so when they are grown out, each plant will produce female flowers and growth characteristics. It is important to note that when this technique was in its infancy, a breed chosen to create male pollen usually had a genetic background that was prone to produce hermaphrodites anyway. These were easier to trigger into growing the distinctive banana-shaped male reproductive organs. Unfortunately they could also pass on their marked hermaphrodite tendencies to their offspring. Nowadays, significant advances in feminized cannabis seed breeding has solved this problem with new techniques for coaxing even the most reluctantly hermaphroditic variety into a yield of the fertile yellow dust.
Feminized seeds or female seeds?
It should be noted that seeds in this category are technically not female seeds, as the biological definition rests on them having a full complement of genetics. Some seedbanks declare that they stock ‘100% female’ seeds, but we consider this to be both scientifically inaccurate, and misleading, since they are not truly female. It is also for this reason they are seldom recommended as a good source for a mother plant. The process by which mothers have their life-cycle prolonged, and the constant low-grade stress caused by removing cuttings, is best withstood by regular females which are more resilient when kept under these conditions. Crossing naturally male cannabis plants with feminized ones should result in a yield of seed-bearing flowers, but the resulting offspring will have the same roughly 55% feminine, 45% masculine ratio as seeds created in the regular way, and there is no real advantage to doing this. However, there is little difference in aroma, flavour, resin production, THC level, THC to CBD ratio and so on, between a regular and 'fem' variety.
This category collects every feminized seed-strain available from the White Label Seed Company and Sensi Seeds. The filters can be used to easily view them according to the size of yield, flowering time, height gain, price, indica, sativa or hybrid content, indoor or outdoor growth suitability, whether it has won a cannabis cup, and so forth. Some of the most famous names, such as White Widow, Master Kush and different types of Skunk and Haze, can be found here.