Hey smokers! :)
If you have ever browsed through the inventory list of your favorite #seed bank, you most probably read the word Feminized seed(s). Now we all know that we want to grow female plants for the sticky buds, and these seeds almost gaurantee to produce a female plant, but how is this possible? What kind of magic did they use to alter the sex of these seeds?
Come with me, and lets find out! 🍃
So what exactly is a feminized seed, and what are the benefits of growing these?:
Feminized cannabis seeds are designed to produce only female plants.
Usually, a cannabis seed can develop into a male or female plant; the entire process is determined by the sex expressing X and Y chromosomes. "Feminization" is a process of conditioning female plants to obtain male pollen needed for seed production.
A plant with two X chromosomes will be female 99% of the time, while regular cannabis seeds (XY genetic set) sometimes have a tendency to produce more male than female individuals.
Source - Royal Queen Seeds
Growers of cannabis have been producing all kinds of genetics and strains in the last decades, and from all that the category of Feminized seeds was born. By starting out with feminized seeds, growers mostly skip the hassle of sexing the plants, and worrying about a male plant that might pollinate the crop.
The efficiency of having only a few plants that have a 99% chance of being female(over having to cultivate a whole bunch of plants to only get a few females) is key for medical patients and hobby growers.
How are these "feminized" seeds created?:
Dont let the big words scare you off, the process of getting a female plant to produce feminized seeds is not as hard(or magical) as it may seem at first.
In fact, the most common and easiest way growers have gotten fem seeds is to take a healthy female plant and stress it out with light cycles during the flowering stage. Although this works to an extent, there are some more reliable methods science has cooked up.
Spraying down the female plants with a collodial silver or silver thiosulphate solution is the next best option, and makes it possible to control the sex of your plant without any genetic modifications.
Both substances are a blend of water and fine silver particles, and they work in largely the same fashion. The silver solution impedes the production of ethylene, a hormone involved in flowering. The result is a female plant, but one that produces male flowers with pollen sacs. Since those pollen sacs develop on a plant with only female genetics, female genetics are all they carry. When those flowers pollinate another female plant (one untreated by silver solutions), the resulting seeds are nearly certain to be female.
Source - Leafly
Is this modified genetics still safe to smoke?:
Yes, even though some procedures like stressing out the plants are taken to get feminized seeds, this still produces healthy and quality plants that are sure to harvest some big buds ;)
Learned something new today?
Stay tuned my friends, as the next topic will be on autoflowering plants :)