If you’ve ever grown from bag seeds and discovered a mix of male and female plants, you’ve used regular seed.
Sexing marijuana plants can be a time consuming and labor intensive process.
It requires separating the plants and removing all hermaphrodites prior to flowering. This process also wastes a lot of growing space, water, nutrients, and lighting.
In order to create a new strain with specific properties, breeders must stabilize their plants over several generations. This ensures that the desired properties remain consistent, while undesired traits are bred out of the plant genotype over time. This is a long and challenging process, which makes stable seed an essential tool for commercial cultivators looking to produce consistently high-quality crops.
Breeders begin the stabilization process by selecting stringent mother plants that display the desirable traits they are seeking. Then, they cross these plants with stable fathers in order to create F1 hybrid offspring. F1 offspring are segregating and may not always display the exact desirable traits of their parents, but the more favorable individuals can be cloned as female cuttings or used in half- or full-sibling crosses to generate large, heterozygous F2 populations for further genetic improvement.
As cannabis industry maturation continues, we expect agtech companies that specialize in plant trait development to emerge, providing stable seed to free cultivators from the need for in-house genetic development and breeding operations. We think this will allow cultivators to focus on what they do best: growing top-quality crops.
There are a number of factors that go into the price formation of cannabis seeds. The popularity of the strain, the seed bank’s pricing policies, the demand and supply levels, the THC content – all of these have an impact on the prices of marijuana seeds.
At Herbies, we’ve worked hard to create a massive collection of cheap regular seeds. This makes it possible for every grower to start off with a great crop of quality, affordable marijuana seeds. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean low quality though – the Herbies selection contains a variety of top-notch strains.
For example, Agent Orange is a strong sativa hybrid with energizing citrus flavor and a high level of THC that will boost your energy. It’s an easy-to-grow, reliable cultivar that grows best outdoors but thrives indoors too. It’s a photoperiod variety that will require a change in light schedule to enter flowering. It may produce both male and female plants so you’ll need to separate them if you want to harvest weed.
When you plant regular seeds, you have the potential to grow a mixed crop of male and female plants in a 50/50 ratio. This is how cannabis has been bred since long before feminized seeds became the norm.
This type of crop is good for breeders because they can separate the males and females to conduct selective breeding in a controlled environment. Many old-school strains don’t come in feminized form, so growing them with regular seed allows you to explore new phenotypes that might have been lost if feminized seeds had become the standard.
Additionally, weed grown from regular seeds is usually much more vigorous than feminized strains. They tend to be resistant to stresses like over-fertilizing or changing the photoperiod, so they can thrive when compared to feminized strains that are often more delicate and susceptible to stress. This is especially true for weed plants that are bred using traditional techniques, such as topping, fimming, lollypopping, and defoliation.
Better for Breeding
Regular sexed plants offer breeders an excellent starting point for large-scale pheno hunts, especially when breeding to capture particular traits such as height, internodal spacing, flavour profile and leaf pattern. It can be hard to find these traits in clones – and even harder to revert undesirable ones like hermaphroditic plants – which is why many growers choose to work with regular seed.
When growing feminized seeds, it’s necessary to remove male plants as soon as they become apparent, or risk losing a good proportion of your harvest. This can lead to wasted space and money on growing medium and unused nutrients.
With regular seed, you’ll enjoy a natural proportion of female plants, meaning that most of your crop will be ready to harvest at the same time. This can help to streamline the cultivation process and save on labour, allowing you to focus your energies on making the most of your yield. This is an advantage that feminized seeds simply cannot match.