Before feminized seeds came along, regular cannabis seeds operated just as nature intended. This meant that each seed has a 50% chance of sprouting into either male or female plants.
Growers and breeders enjoy working with regular seed for its genetic stability, breeding potential and phenotype exploration. Choosing this option often comes down to cultivation experience, grow location and harvest goals.
While feminized seeds are the preferred option of most growers, there are some who still enjoy the process of selecting and breeding their own cultivars. Regular seeds operate as nature intended, with an even chance that each seed will germinate as a male or female plant. This allows breeders to create new strains and provide high-quality clones for growers.
These traits make regular seed a popular choice for experienced cultivators, who often use them to develop their own unique strains and phenotypes. They also offer more genetic stability and variety for those seeking to preserve and enhance desirable characteristics. Though they require sexing and have a higher risk of hermaphroditism than feminized seeds, they can yield incredibly high-quality buds. They are also much less prone to environmental stress, pests and inclement weather than feminized seeds.
If you’re interested in breeding and want to produce your own strains, regular seeds may be the choice for you. They preserve genetic stability and offer the possibility of phenotype variation. This type of variation can produce a range of effects, aromas, and flavors that will appeal to experienced cultivators and consumers alike.
Remember that cloning can be challenging and requires patience. There is always a chance that you will end up with male plants, even with careful selection of a good mother plant. As with seedlings, clones also require a lot of care, including proper nutrition and nutrient burn protection (not to mention the fact that clones are not as hardy as seedlings). However, cloning allows you to simplify your grow by taking cuttings from the same female plant. This can be a great way to maximize yield and flowering times as well as to control odors. Clones can be hitchhikers for pests and disease, so it’s important to sanitize your equipment and grow room before using it with clones.
Genetic stability allows for breeders to experiment with different strains and create new varieties. In addition, stable genetics are often more robust and better able to withstand environmental stresses.
Regular seeds also provide growers with the possibility of phenotype variation, which means that each plant may display a slightly different expression of the parent strain. This variety adds interest and excitement to the cultivation experience.
With their high genetic stability, regular seeds can be grown successfully under a wide range of conditions. However, growers must be careful to select the right seeds and maintain optimal growing conditions. This is particularly important in the case of hermaphroditic plants, which possess both male and female reproductive organs and may pollinate nearby plants. This can be prevented by properly sexing plants and removing hermaphroditic buds. It is also crucial to maintain proper temperature, humidity, and light cycles during the flowering period. This will help ensure that the plants are healthy and free of toxins.
A high level of genetic diversity in produced seed is important, as it helps to promote a range of adaptive traits (e.g. resistance to habitat disturbances, drought or pathogens) and avoid negative inbreeding depression effects such as higher levels of empty seeds or lower vitality. However, it is not always possible to achieve a high level of genetic diversity in seed collected under different mating systems, due to differences in parental population size and selfing rates.
Wojacki et al.  compared the genotypes of parents and offspring using COLONY, which allows for marker-based pedigree reconstruction and provides information on the potential relatedness between individuals. They found that, on average, the observed and expected heterozygosity in offspring generations were at a similar level to the parent generation. However, allelic richness tended to be slightly lower in offspring generations of the three seed orchards with low clone numbers (SO GREEN1, GREEN2 and GREY), most likely due to the lower number and higher relatedness of parent clones.