A cannabis seed is a tiny little plant that needs to be germinated before it can grow into a mature, full-grown marijuana plant. Germination is the process that the cannabis seed goes through to become nutritionally self-sufficient.
You can germinate cannabis seeds in soil or water. Water germination is quicker, but you must carefully monitor the environmental factors to prevent any issues.
Regular seeds are non-feminized and allow the grower to experience the plant’s natural phenotypes. These are largely responsible for the variations that we see in strains today and growing regular seeds gives you the opportunity to grow many old-school jewels that never made it into feminized form.
These seeds contain both male and female chromosomes (XX) and should give rise to 50% female plants and 50% male plants. However, due to environmental factors the percentage of males may be slightly lower or higher.
For this reason, regular seeds are cheaper than feminized ones as you are engaging in a bit of a genetic lottery when growing them. Moreover, sexing the seeds to ensure you’re growing females takes time and resources. This is why some seasoned growers recommend using regular seeds for novices. This will allow the grower to make mistakes and learn from them without losing valuable crops. Also, it allows the novice to get an understanding of how a cannabis plant behaves before they invest in feminized seeds.
For growers looking for a consistent harvest, feminized seeds are a great option. These seeds are specifically bred to produce only female plants, which means you won’t have any male plants ruining your entire crop. This makes it easier to manage a large harvest of cannabis and can improve the overall quality of your buds.
Feminized marijuana seeds are created by tampering with healthy, female plants to make them “think” they’re nearing the end of their lives. Once this process is complete, the pollen from these plants can then be used to pollinate other female plants to produce feminized seeds in large numbers.
This can save growers a lot of time and money, as they won’t have to spend weeks nurturing their crop only to see 50% of it go to waste. These seeds also allow you to maximize the amount of plants that you can fit in your growing space. This can be especially helpful if you’re working with limited space or a small budget.
Hybrid seeds are produced by crossing two different strains of cannabis. The process is done artificially to create hybrid plants with desirable characteristics, such as disease resistance and high yields. Hybrid seed varieties can be used in many types of growing environments, from gardens to commercial farms.
In order to produce hybrid seeds, a sterile strain of one plant (say A) is grown in isolation with a fertile strain (B). The sterile strain must contain the male gene in order to prevent self-pollination. This process is known as cytoplasmic male sterility, and it’s the primary method for producing F1 hybrid seeds.
This method of breeding has led to the creation of many new strains that offer superior yields and disease resistance. However, it can be time-consuming for farmers who must walk through their fields each week and select the most mature plants. This can be avoided by using nonhybrid seeds, which require less care and produce more uniform crops.
The main concern when storing cannabis seeds is that they need to be kept cool, dry and dark. Temperature fluctuations can degrade the seeds. Longer-term storage is best in a fridge (ideally a separate one that doesn’t get opened too much). A dark cupboard can also work, though this does expose the seeds to more temperature change and needs to be well protected against light.
Using a glass sealable container like a laboratory Eppendorf tube is ideal for long-term storage. Alternatively, plastic jars can be used provided they are opaque and have an airtight seal. Food Mylar bags are also effective if the seeds are vacuum sealed inside.
If you are storing your seeds for a short period, an envelope is perfect. Envelopes are easy to label, so you can add details on strain and date purchased. They also allow moisture to pass through more easily, helping the seeds stay moist and dormant. If you are storing old seeds, consider gently scarring them to help them sprout by scraping off the hard ridge that forms on the seed with a Stanley blade.