However, growers should be aware of the risks involved with growing these seeds. These include the possibility of hermaphroditic plants and the necessity to weed out male plants during the flowering phase.
Unlike feminized seeds, which are produced by spraying female plants with an unpleasant-sounding chemical called colloidal silver to induce them to grow male pollen sacs, regular seeds are created the way Mother Nature intended, via crossbreeding between two different strains of cannabis. The process can take several generations to stabilise a strain and create a stable line of genetics, with desirable traits becoming dominant over time.
Stable genetics are important to many growers and breeders, as they provide a greater degree of consistency and predictability when growing the strains they’ve developed. This can make it easier to understand and manage a strain’s growth and flowering cycles, and produce consistent harvests.
To create stable genetics, the breeder starts with a mother plant that possesses desired characteristics and then crossbreeds her with other seeds to produce F1 plants. This is the first step towards genetic stability, but the process can take up to 12 generations before reliable results are seen.
Regular seeds give growers the ability to experiment with different cannabis strains, allowing them to create new cultivars and combinations of genetic traits. Breeding in regular seeds can be complicated and requires substantial facilities, but it’s an option that gives growers the opportunity to discover unique phenotypes of their favorite strains.
The downside to breeding with regular seeds is that it does have a higher chance of producing hermaphrodite plants, meaning that they produce both male and female flowers. However, this is not a huge issue when working with regular seeds, especially if the plant’s environment is carefully managed throughout its growth cycle to prevent hermaphrodite plants from developing.
Feminized seeds eliminate this issue entirely, which is helpful for growers who want to manage their crop with a predominately female harvest. This can save time and resources, and ensure that the buds produced are of high quality. It also reduces the risk of losing a crop to hermaphrodite plants, which can decrease overall yield and flower quality.
Genetic variation results from the interaction of different alleles in a genotype with environmental factors. This variation is a major source of the diversity in plant and animal species. It can occur at the single-variant level (monogenic phenotypes) or at the aggregate variant-frequency level for polygenic phenotypes. In most cases, there is not a one-to-one correlation between genotype and phenotype.
For example, the flower color of a pea plant depends on whether its alleles favor purple or white flowers. The plant with the dominant purple alleles will produce purple flowers, while the one with the recessive white alleles produces white flowers.
Geographical separation between populations can also result in differences in phenotypes. For example, species of warm-blooded animals may have larger bodies in cooler climates to conserve heat and smaller bodies in warmer ones to allow them to more easily metabolize food. These changes are known as latitudinal and altitudinal clines. Similarly, species of plants may grow differently in different habitats.
Many growers choose to purchase regular seeds rather than feminized ones for the simple fact that they are cheaper. The price of seeds depends on the strain and its popularity as well as your location and the supplier.
Feminized seeds require the use of a halting method to manipulate the production of ethylene in plants in order to create a high percentage of female plants. This is much more complex than achieving the same result with regular seeds, and the process naturally elevates their price.
However, there is another factor at play that could help you save some money when purchasing regular cannabis seeds. Many of the same genetics available in feminized form can also be found in regular seed varieties. For example, you can buy regular seeds of the sativa Amnesia Lemon from Herbies Seeds, which produces uplifting buds that tickle the taste buds with citrus flavours. Or, you can purchase Moby Dick regular from Quebec Cannabis Seeds, which delivers a potent mix of euphoria and pain relief.