Why did Feminized Cannabis Seeds become so popular?
Most of the websites that sells cannabis seeds nowadays have in stock only feminized cannabis seeds. 10 years ago they were considered something for professionals, but now everybody grows them. Why did they become so popular? To answer this question, we have first to know a little more close the cannabis plant, and consider the purpose of the production.
The marijuana is the mature, unfertilized (not pollinated) flower of specific cannabis strains, selected for their high contents (>5%) of THC and other cannabinoids. Given this definition, it is easy to understand why the growers are only interested in female plants.
The revolution in the cannabis seeds industry
Each cannabis plant in nature can be male or female – the male produces the polm that fertilize the female plant, that develops seeds. This is quite unusual for an annual plant, but so it is. These “regular” cannabis seeds can generate both male and female plants, in various proportions. There is no way to pre-determine the sex of the plant looking at a seed.
The only way to select female plants was, till a few years ago, to grow a larger number of regular seeds, give them time enough to flower till the sexual characters showed up. At that point the male plants were manually eliminated. This meant to grow more plant than necessary and throw away many of them. What a waste of cannabis, time and money!
Feminized cannabis seeds have been created to satisfy the need to have only female plants out of the seeds. The experiments started in the early ’90 but the technology start to be fully mature around 2005.
What are exactly the femminized cannabis seeds and how are they produced?
The feminized cannabis are produced starting with selected clones of plants of very high quality. In the Netherlands it is common choice to start with plants that are used for coffeshops production. These female plants are sprayed with special silver salts, this provokes the production of male flowers. But the polm in these flowers will only carry the female chromosome. Once crossed with another female, the offspring will only be female.
Are there other advantages?
Beside the fact that feminized seeds generate only female plants, there can be other advantages. One of them is that is possible to “clone a plant as a seed”. Of course this expression is scientifically ridiculous, but it gives really good the idea: crossing a plant with itself will carry out to the offspring a great number of the characters of the mother-plant, resulting really similar to a clone. The growers of a plant that is illegal in most of the planet seems to appreciate the predictability most of all!