Regular seeds are an essential part of any growing regimen. Regular seeds are the product of cross pollination between a male (flowering) plant and a Female (ovulation-bearing) plant. In general, the longer the interval between plants, the greater the number of seeds that are produced. In cannabis cultivation, these seeds are normally the end product of hand-pollinated cultivation. The advantage to this process is that it creates the “best” cannabis; one with the highest yield and the least amount of seed used from each plant.
Since these “best” seeds are produced by hand with very little artificial help, feminized plants have been created in order to cultivate seeds without the use of pollen. While some argue that cross-pollinating has its own advantages, feminized plants carry a distinct disadvantage. These disadvantages include lower yields and shorter growing periods. Another disadvantage of cross-pollinated feminized plants is that the feminized seeds do not grow close to the actual parent plant as their roots tend to grow too far away. Yet another disadvantage of feminized plants is that they do not have ” cannabis “flowers”.
However, there are some advantages to cross-pollinating that must be weighed against disadvantages before one’s personal preference for a certain type of flower or variety is established. One of the biggest advantages of autoflowering seeds is the increased yield. In the case of cannabis, this increase in yield is most commonly seen in the inner-growing area of the plants. Because the plants cannot be disturbed too frequently, they focus most of their energy on growing buds and producing new flowers. This means that in order for cannabis to reach its maximum potential, it must be grown in the right environment – the right place, the right temperature, and at the correct time of day. In essence, when these factors are met, the high quality of the final product is only as good as the effort put into the task.
Cross-pollinated cannabis strains have another advantage. When one uses regular seeds, one can inadvertently miss an opportunity for the full flowering of the plant. When the plants are mixed with regular seeds, they are more likely to flower at the same time and in the same quantity as regular seeds. With regular seeds, their potential for flowering is significantly reduced. In fact, if mixed with regular seeds, they are only half as likely to flowering at all.
Cross-pollinated cannabis has another set of disadvantages. In order for the female plants to produce flowers, they need to be in the right condition at the right time. If they are over-fertilized, the flowering period will be shortened and the plants will not develop fully. If they are under-fertilized, they will not flower at all. Therefore, although it is possible to grow a crop of cannabis with regular seeds, if the conditions for the cross-pollinated crop are less than ideal, there will be fewer chances for the plant to flower fully.
The advantages and disadvantages of breeding for high yielding autoflowering strains are compounded when the plants are grown individually. The individual plants can differ greatly in size, bearing little or no resemblance to the parent plant. This is the major disadvantage when growing cannabis with this technique. The plants will produce a meager yield that will be far below the level needed for consumption. The chance of error is greater because the individual plants are unlikely to be in good condition when they are taken from the garden. They will also be under stress from being moved often.
Cross-pollinated feminized seeds and regular seeds can still be used for mass production. There are methods that allow for very high densities of buds to be produced in a short period of time. Such techniques are used for mass manufacture of marijuana cigarettes.
A high yield is obtained by cross-pollinating plants with auto flower seeds. The yield is highly dependent on the health and vigor of the mother plants. With care, these plants can live an entire lifetime producing high quantities of buds. The disadvantages to cross-pollinating are minimal if the plants are in perfect condition and are provided adequate support during harvest.