This can be a positive or a negative depending on your cultivation goals. If you enjoy experimenting with different phenotypes, then regular seeds may be the best choice for you.
Increased Genetic Diversity
Genetic diversity is an important factor in plant cultivation and breeding. It allows breeders to experiment with different genetic strains and explore new phenotypes, leading to unique and varied cannabis varieties. Unlike feminized seeds, regular seeds produce both male and female plants, which necessitates careful identification and removal of the male plants to prevent cross-pollination.
However, it is possible that the presence of a high number of alleles in parent clones may lead to a reduction in the number of alleles transferred to offspring generations. This was observed by Wojacki et al. (2019) in German seed stands, where the effective population size decreased slightly from the parent to offspring generation due to a lower number of parents participating in reproduction and higher selfing rates.
Using neutral genetic markers, we investigated how the representation of source populations in seed production and restoration planting fields and 10 ecological restoration sites shifts during production and restoration use of mixed-source seed lots. Observed and expected heterozygosity as well as heritability were estimated by using COLONY software (version 22.214.171.124; Jones and Wang 2010).
In many cases, regular seeds are less expensive than their feminized counterparts. Growers who choose to use feminized seeds may spend a lot of time and resources eliminating male plants from their growing operation, but with regular seeds there is no need for this extra step.
This allows growers to focus all of their efforts on the production of female plants and the development of high-quality buds. This can result in a much higher yield for the same amount of space and nutrients.
Regular seeds also offer more genetic variety than their feminized cousins. This means that breeders can create unique strains and cultivate never-before-seen phenotypes that are not available with feminized seeds. This can be an exciting and rewarding experience for growers and breeders alike.
Although it’s not ideal, most experienced growers will still choose to work with regular seeds. They provide more genetic variation when compared to feminized seeds. This allows for more discoveries to be made in terms of phenotypes, which is important when it comes to the cultivation of cannabis.
Regular seeds produce a mix of male and female plants in an almost 50/50 proportion. This makes it easy to create breeding programs in the comfort of your home. Male plants can be used to cross with other cultivars, which will result in a number of hermaphrodites that you can later use as cuttings.
Feminized seeds on the other hand, require the sexing process to be performed by hand, and it is difficult to know what type of plant you will end up with. This can lead to a lot of wasted time, water and nutrients in your grow room. This can also be costly for commercial producers who are looking to maximize profits.
The seeds in regular seed packs have a 50/50 chance of germinating into either male or female plants. This can create a lot of extra work for growers, as it will be necessary to identify and remove any male plants when the plant is in pre-flowering stage. This isn’t always easy and can be time-consuming for new growers.
Regular seeds are cheaper than feminized seeds, but the extra work required can add up to higher costs when growing a crop of cannabis. They can also pose a risk of hermaphroditism, which can lead to decreased yield and quality in the final product. Nevertheless, for those looking to maximize genetic stability, breeding potential, and phenotype exploration, this option is still worth considering.