While feminized seeds are all the rage, regular seed offers several advantages to growers. In fact, some growers prefer working with regular cannabis seeds as they are easier to distinguish between male and female plants.
Whether you are after specific colours, terpene profiles, or yields, regular seeds can help you create the strain of your dreams!
Regular seeds are the seeds that come from a pollinated female cannabis plant. These seeds can grow into either male or female plants depending on environmental conditions. Regular seeds are popular amongst breeders because they allow them to perform selective breeding.
Because feminized seed is made by stressing a female plant into growing male sex features like pollen, it doesn’t have the same genetic diversity as regular seeds. You can’t tell them apart by their physical appearance, but the difference lies in their chromosomes.
We investigated the plasticity of seed longevity in Silene vulgaris under varying climate conditions by monitoring the germination and parental provisioning of mRNA in seeds from wild alpine and lowland populations. The results showed that the longevity of alpine seeds increased when grown in a common garden compared to wA seeds, while lowland seed lots did not show this adaptive response.
In a nutshell, regular seeds produce both male and female plants, whereas feminized seed has been specifically designed to only create female plants. This can have advantages during the growing process as it reduces the chance of a dual-sex (hermaphrodite) plant producing pollen and ruining the whole crop.
Generally speaking, regular seeds will produce around 50% male and 50% female plants. However, it’s worth mentioning that this ratio can be affected by environmental conditions.
Many growers choose to use regular seeds in order to enjoy authentic genetics that have been unaltered for centuries. Additionally, growers often make their own clones from regular landrace strains. This way they can avoid using chemicals that could affect the quality of their final product. Moreover, they can save money by not having to pay for the use of growing medium, nutrients and light required to sex their plants.
While feminized seeds have become increasingly popular in recent years, regular seeds offer a range of advantages for experienced growers. Depending on your growing environment and overall goals, regular seeds allow you to create a strain that perfectly suits your needs.
You can also create hybrids that combine the best of two strains. Try crossing an indica with a sativa to get the perfect balance of fruity and earthy flavours, or experiment with terpene profiles.
Lastly, regular seeds can be used to cultivate clones that are identical to a particular specimen. This makes them an ideal option for growers who want to replicate a certain phenotype, morphology or colour. For these reasons, regular seeds remain a popular choice among many growers. They also produce a large yield for the first harvest, and the seeds can be used to cultivate more plants.
Unaltered Flowering Time
While feminized seeds promise no wasted space and time sexing out male plants, regular seeds still produce about 50% male and 50% female cannabis plant offspring under normal conditions. This makes them a popular choice for cultivators looking to breed and experiment with their own cultivars.
Studies of Arabidopsis thaliana genetic variation in flowering time have shown that the timing of seed set is controlled by temperature, and this coincides with a change in dormancy state. The two events together determine progeny life history strategy and fitness.
For experienced cultivators, growing regular seeds offers a real taste of nature’s work. It is a more expensive option than feminized seeds but can be well worth it for some growers who appreciate the value of a good male plant in their breeding programs.
Unaltered Genetic Diversity
From a population genetic point of view the participation of all parent clones in reproduction is necessary for a reliable transfer of high genetic diversity to the offspring generation. However, this is a challenge in European seed orchards with large numbers of clones because low clone participation leads to a significant reduction of effective population size and allelic richness (Wojacki et al., 2019).
In the four older German Douglas fir seed orchards analysed here, very high proportions of potential full- and half-sib relationships were found for both parental populations. Single tree seed harvests resulted in a strong sample bias for parent clones as only a fraction of adult clones were used as seed parents. In addition, a substantial amount of adult trees did not participate in pollen production or in the transfer of seeds to the offspring.