Like any animal species, plants possess gender. In fact, it could go unnoticeable to a lot of botanical varieties with only examining its physical characteristics. One should intensely look at its genetic properties in order to identify its gender. But nonetheless, it sometimes impractical to spend time detailing its gender as there ain’t any differences considering its growth characteristics. Well, it’s not a similar case for cannabis plants.
Cannabis plants typically could exist as male or female. Though there are times that it could go in between or hermaphrodite, this could only satisfy in rare and infrequent cases.
Among these two, feminized characteristics are more desirable. That is why a lot of growers invest much money just to ensure that their cannabis plants will be truly feminine. Upon discovery of a male plant, growers often cut or trim it immediately to prevent seed breeding or infecting any other plants.
Thus, it’s critical to make sure that plants should be feminized for a lot of cultivators. In this article, we’ll discuss more details on how to get feminized seeds. If you’re ready, then scroll below to find out for more.
What is a Feminized Cannabis Seed?
As what its name says, this type of seed strictly is pure female. Thus, it should bear flowers or buds and not take any male characteristics such as anthers or banana-shaped structure in the internodes.
If you want to smoke buds, then it’s the best option to plant only feminized seeds. Only female plants will grow and produce flowers that are used for consumption. A combination of only a single or two male plants could result in hermaphroditism or seed production. These cases are highly undesirable and should be prevented before it spreads all through the plantation.
That is why a lot of seed banks readily identify its available seeds based on its gender as the female one sells the most and its relatively quite expensive for purchase.
However, if you want to not take the other route, then risking for a regular seed will take you to a 50/50 chance that the seeds you have will be female. Buying this seed type ain’t practical if you’re looking for buds rather than seeds. If you insist though, then there are ways to do things alternatively.
The Principle of Cannabis Feminization
A regular cannabis seed is produced upon breeding a male and a female plant. Upon reproduction, the genes of the parents will be shared by their offspring. In relation to that, the dominant trait will be most affected by the resulting offspring. In general case, there could be chances of the offspring getting a male or a female trait depending on how genetics play its dice.
However, we could not rely on chances. As growers want to get only buds, it’s important that each seed to be planted should stay female. It should not get a dominant male gene that its father possesses. Nevertheless, it should have the mother’s traits the most.
While it may seem impossible to change the fate of the seeds, technology has found its own ways to at least to put some few tricks to ensure that strains should be feminized. It may not be perfect or very accurate yet a lot of breeders and growers have been using this technique to assure the female gender of the plants they’ll cultivate.
Basically, the trick of this technique is to force a female cannabis plant to produce pollen, likewise converting it to a pseudo-male plant. This deceptive course will deceive another female plant to put willingly the pollens coming from the pseudo-male plant and interact to its stigma, down to its ovule. The pollination process will, later on, produce feminized seeds.
The feminization of the seeds results into the cross of two female plants rather than a separate male and female plant. Though the latter appears to be male, it still holds a female genetic component resulting in assured feminized seeds.
The Methods for Seed Feminization
As discussed, the main goal for feminization is to force the female plant with pollen generation. To do this, there are two ways you could do it. This includes the following;
Application of Chemicals
This is the most preferable way to induce pollen production. Its commonly done by breeders or growers to generate feminized seeds effectively without taking risks of producing hermaphroditic seeds.
To do this, you’ll have to apply some chemicals that inhibit the formation of female flowers and instead produce the male one. Utilization of chemicals reduces the ethylene levels in tissues which counteracts the formation of male flowers.
There are a lot of chemicals that could be used to obtain male flowers. Repeatedly spraying with solutions of benzothiadiazole, gibberellic acid, silver thiosulphate, silver nitrate, and the known colloidal silver.
If you want the natural method, then this is a preferable one. All you have to do is start making pollen sacs by employing ways to keep it thrive for living. Shifting to a male organ is a survival instinct, a last resort for the plant to not die.
One effective way for it to force on producing male characteristics is through stressing it. There are many ways to naturally stress a cannabis plant. Adjustments in humidity and temperature conditions are just a few things to consider in order to cause stress into the plant.
Other alternatives to cause it to induce pollen sacs is through harvesting the buds earlier as expected or letting the buds to die of old age.
However, though natural, it’s not a recommended process to do feminization. It ain’t that accurate as compared to the latter introduce. Also, the risk of getting hermaphroditic seeds are mostly involved in this method. As known, we want to obtain feminized seeds, not hermaphroditic or regular seeds.
Chemical Methods on Seed Feminization
As there are various chemicals to use, at this part of the article we’ll introduce only two of the most prominent methods utilize by a lot of breeders. This includes the following;
Using the Gibberellic Acid
This plant hormone regulates its growth, flowering, and even its sex expression. Studies had shown that the reduction of this particular hormone could cause sterility of a female plant species. Apart from that, abnormalities on the size of its flower and height are often detected upon a deficiency of this hormone.
Nevertheless, an excess of this hormone causes a different effect on a plant. A separate study conducted had shown that oversupplying this hormone could result in hermaphroditism of the plant. That is why an originally female plant will develop male characteristics upon spraying a lot of this hormone.
Furthermore, it was noticed that self-pollinating this pseudo-male plant and another female plant expresses higher chances of femininity to its future offspring. This study reflected cannabis plants and likewise has been employed by a lot of breeders to feminized seeds.
Using the Colloidal Silver
The colloidal silver is often denoted to solutions of microscopic suspension with silver particles to water. This solution is generally obtained by flowing electrical current, mixing silver with water.
Back in the 1930s, this solution has been sold as an antibiotic and topical treatment to various illnesses. It was later then banned as it was discovered to contain components that cause harmful side effects upon use.
Despite its prohibition, this compound has been distributed as a food supplement advertised as to eradicate bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. In fact, it was used discreetly by cancer and HIV patients as an alternative treatment. Though, there’s no reissued statement as to revoking its banning upon use.
Because it’s invalidated and unclear medicinal legalities, this compound has found its way to other media of use. One of its particular purposes is during feminization.
The process of feminization of seeds through colloidal silver is done through molecular diffusion. As these small silver particles enter through the plant’s cell walls, it will directly bond or attract to copper molecules. It could be recalled that the element copper is significant on sex expression to most plants including cannabis.
Thus, inhibiting the use of copper will aid to prevent the appearance of any female characteristics on the plant. Nonetheless, it will have no choice but to shift on generating male pollens as its survival instinct.
The Final Word
As advancements on agriculture and plant technology had still been continuing, there is still a lot to expect for feminization techniques. However, as of now, there are efficient methods that could be done to at least female seeds are produced. This may easy as you’ve read it, but it truly takes time, patience, and effort for breeders to perfectly practice the science of feminization.