BlogCannabis 101 - feminized versus regular cannabis seeds
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Cannabis 101 - feminized versus regular cannabis seeds


For new cannabis growers visiting an online seed bank can be quite an overwhelming experience. There’s quite a few terms to get to grips with before choosing the right seed and strain for you. In this article we’ll take a look at the differences between “feminized” and “regular” seeds and help guide you as to what is right for you.

Battle Of The Cannabis Sexes

First the basics. Cannabis plants can be two different sexes - male or female. Looking at a seed there is no way to tell what sex the finished plant will be. A “regular” seed has more or less a 50% chance of being a male or female plant.

Female plants produce the dense flowering buds that we like to consume. Males produce flowers that cannot get you high but contain pollen (not to be confused with “pollen” hash). Should the pollen from the male plants come into contact with a flowering female bud the plant will shift its energy to creating seeds rather than fat juicy budding flowers.

If you are growing to produce cannabis to be consumed you will want to keep your garden male plant (and pollen) free.

Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Expert cannabis breeders have figured out various ways to ensure that the seeds will - most likely be female.

To produce a feminized seed the breeder stresses a female plant into being a hermaphrodite. The resulting “male” flowers on a female plant will (most of the time) produce pollen that when combined with a real female flower will produce seeds that will be female plants.

When these feminized seeds are germinated a grower does not need to monitor the garden for signs of male plants - that need to be removed or eradicated.

As seeds are so expensive (thank you prohibition). You most likely want to grow out 100% of your seeds rather than 50% of your seeds.

Feminized seeds are not only interesting for growers. Seed companies would prefer to sell you a seed every time you want to grow a plant rather than you buying cannabis seeds once then become self-sufficient - or even a competitor.

If you are a new grower, are wanting to grow out all of your seeds into flowering buds to consume or at a push want to choose a mother plant to take clones from - then feminised seeds are the best choice to you started.

You may even want to consider feminised autoflowering seeds, which are about the easiest type of cannabis plants you can grow. See this article about the difference between autoflowering and photoperiod seeds.

Regular Cannabis Seeds

You may be wondering why would people be interested in regular seeds?

If you germinate 10 regular seeds you may get 5 male and 5 female plants. Each will have their own characteristics. Some may be more sativa dominant (taller, longer leaves, lighter colour, uplifting high) whilst other plants may be more indica dominant (shorter, bushier, darker colour, broader leaves with a more mellow stoned effect).

The grower will choose which ones they want to keep. They may even keep them in a vegetative state (mother plant) and take clones to see which effects they like the best. As you can imagine this process takes lots of time - many months, if not years.

Cannabis purists say plants grown from regular seeds are stronger. Some breeders may keep a mother plant going for decades so starting from a regular seed is a safer bet than a seed that is a result of plants processed to provide feminized seeds.

Should they wish to breed their own cannabis strains they will separate the male plants as they show signs of their sex and take samples of the resulting pollen. They then mix this pollen with clones of their female plants to see what the results will be.

If this is all starting to sound a bit complicated - that is because it is.

Breeding requires advanced growing techniques and a sophisticated setup. Think of all the difference zones needed for mother plants and growing out male and female plants separately.

Used correctly, regular seeds can make great source material for wannabe breeders.

Therefore, regular seeds are more interesting to people who have experience of growing and wish to move to the next level.


If you do not know what the difference between a feminized and a regular seed is, then most likely you will be requiring feminized seeds. 99% of the seeds you germinate will give you female plants and you will have one less thing to worry about in your cannabis garden.

If you want to take your growing to the next level then you may want to consider investing in some regular seeds. They are more expensive and harder to get hold of than feminized seeds but essential if you want to become a professional breeder.

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