The disadvantages of feminized seeds vs regular are not so many, and both types have their pros and cons. Let’s compare them! Hint: fems rule! Do you know the differences between feminized and regular cannabis seeds? ❤️ Here you can see the advantages and disadvantages of each one ✅ Come in now! The season for growing marijuana outdoors is approaching and proper planning is fundamental to make it a success. First of all you need to know what type of seed to us…
Feminized Seeds vs Regular: Pros and Cons of Both
Let’s compare feminized seeds vs regular to help all you newbie growers choose the right type for your needs
Making a choice for feminized seeds vs regular isn’t always easy.
When you go to a seed shop, all you see is feminized seeds. Most customers just buy whatever everybody else buys, but some people don’t like the idea of their seeds being genetically modified, and so they are suspicious. If you too have second thoughts about buying feminized seeds, our post will help you make an informed choice.
Table of Contents
Let’s Define Feminized Seeds First
Feminized cannabis seeds are the seeds that have been genetically manipulated in such a way that the plants grown from them are almost always female.
In contrast, regular seeds grow into plants that can either become male or female, with more or less a 50/50 chance.
If you want more details and insights into the biology and history of feminized seeds and what to expect of them, we’ve written a separate post about it.
Are Feminized Seeds Bad?
The short answer is NO, they’re OK.
It’s true that some 30 years ago—when fems first made their appearance on the weed scene—growers routinely ran into problems with feminized seeds. The reason was that, initially, the process of feminization involved too much stress. As you might know, stressed marijuana plants often turn into hermaphrodites. And if they later produce seeds, those seeds inherit this feature, too. Meaning the seeds harvested from hermie plants grow into hermies as well if they’re stressed even slightly.
Fortunately, today’s market—with its huge supply and ruthless competition—forces breeders to eliminate stress from their practices. Most of them offer customers very stable genetics. I myself have seen regular plants change sex for no particular reason. And fem plants that were standing next to them were perfectly alright. So, feminized seeds aren’t good or bad per se. It all depends on the breeder who’s made them.
So Are Feminised Seeds Better Then?
I risk making purists angry, but I think that yes, they are. If you grow cannabis for buds, the choice of feminized seeds vs regular is a no-brainer.
With regular seeds, you’ll have to plant twice as many seeds as you need. Don’t forget that half of them will produce males and you’ll throw them away. This will leave gaps in your grow room that’ll have to be filled somehow. Besides, it’s a waste of resources if you take care of a plant for several weeks, and then it goes in a trashcan.
You’ll also have to watch your plants vere closely after you flip the switch to 12/12. It’s the time when plants reveal their sex, and males must be discarded IMMEDIATELY. You should never risk leaving them in your grow room for an extra couple of days for whatever reason. Even one pollen sack could ruin your whole crop.
And when you grow pot outdoors, guerilla-style, and can’t afford to visit your secret patch very often, the possibility of even one plant turning male in your absence is a major headache. Hell, cross-pollination can happen even if male and female plants are within 10 miles of each other, let alone in the same patch!
With feminized seeds, you’ll have none of these worries.
Are Feminized Seeds Less Potent?
There is nothing in the genetic makeup of feminized seeds to make them less potent than regular seeds. The genes that determine the sex of a plant have no influence over potency. And the same goes for terpenes. So, stuff grown from feminized seeds will smell and taste good and will make you as high as the buds grown from regular seeds.
Do Feminized Seeds Yield Less?
The yields that you can expect from cannabis seeds don’t depend on whether they are feminized or not. So, if you go to a seed shop and see two versions of the same genetics—feminized and regular—rest assured that both yield exactly the same. Yields may be high or just average, but either way it has nothing to do with feminization.
Feminized Seeds Disadvantages vs Regular Seeds
The main disadvantage is the higher price compared to regular seeds. However, recently the prices have been going down. At least some breeders sell their feminized beans very cheap.
One more (rather obvious) thing is that if you want to produce your own seeds the old-fashioned way (when male and female plants grow next to each other, and pollination occurs naturally), you can’t do it with feminized seeds.
And even if you want to make your own feminized seeds (which is not so hard btw), you have a choice to use either feminized seeds or not, but it’s probably best to take genetics that are more ‘natural’, that is regular seeds.
Another drawback has more to do with the integrity of a particular breeder. And it doesn’t matter whether they make feminized seeds or regular. If they’re in a hurry to market half-baked strains and make a profit, it’s one thing. In this case, you may expect a great deal of variance of phenotypes. Probably, also a fair share of hermies and mutants from both feminised or regular seeds. But if they make sure to stabilize their varieties over several generations, it’s a totally different thing.
So read reviews about a breeder and their strains, look for how stable their plants are and whether growers have ever problems with hermies. If the breeder checks out, their feminized seeds can be better than non feminized seeds by another, less scrupulous breeder.
Bottom Line: Feminised Seeds Rule!
Purists and traditionalists never win in the long run. Progress always does. So don’t look down on such a wonderful modern invention as feminized seeds. In most situations and contexts, they are your best bet.
Feminized Vs Regular seeds pros and cons
Feminized marijuana seeds have gradually displaced regular seeds as favorites in many countries. This is because these types of seeds offer certain advantages over normal or standard seeds. In this article we will take a look at the differences between them, why some are better for certain situations, and how to know which one to choose, do you feel like it? Well, let’s go see them…
⚠️ What is the difference between regular and feminized cannabis seeds?
At first glance one cannot appreciate the characteristics that differ between lifelong seeds, and the modern feminized ones. They are identical on the outside, it would be impossible to recognize if the plant comes from a regular or feminized seed.
However, in their genome they do have a big difference, and that is that feminized seeds only contain female chromosomes (XX). This is so because to create 100% female seeds it is necessary to pollinate a female with another female, that is, (XX) x (XX).
Regular seeds come from the crossing between a female (XX) and a male (XY) so their genetic information contains both sexes, and they will show one or the other depending on several factors.
The only difference is that from a feminized seed only female specimens should come out, while from a regular seed both female and male or even intersex or hermaphrodite can come out.
Hermaphrodite feminized seeds can also be found, but this is due to a bad choice of parents in the breeding of the variety, therefore, can we say that feminized seeds are good?
Many people ask us if they will have as much flavor as the others, or if they will come out strong, they even doubt if feminized seeds are less powerful, the answer is that they are completely equal to the normal ones, so if they do not come out good it is because of the production process or because of a bad selection of the parents.
image where you can see a seed of a regular variety compared to a feminized one*
Are feminized seeds better than regular ones?
It depends on what you mean by better. For growers looking for practicality and simplicity feminized seeds can be better, because they allow you to germinate just the right amount of plants you need at any particular time. With regular ones it is necessary to put approximately twice as many plants, so that when removing the males there are enough females to fill well the entire cultivation space.
With feminized varieties you can make better use of the growing space, as well as saving on substrate and products such as fertilisers, insecticides, etc. You also avoid the problem that can happen if at a given moment you forget to remove a male, or you don’t notice.
The most puritanical growers say that regular seeds contain more hybrid vigor than feminized ones. It really doesn’t have much to do, hybrid vigour is achieved by mixing 2 different breeds, and it is greater the further they are from each other. The same goes for feminized ones, whoever doesn’t believe me should cultivate a Moby Dick from Dinafem and think whether it is vigorous or not. From our point of view this is because some feminized strains on the market are S1, i.e. produced by the self-pollination of a cutting. Feminized seeds S1 may lose vigor due to inbreeding, but this also happens with regular seeds, you can see it in some landraces for example.
This is Moby Dick’s prizes list, its trophy room needs an extension to accommodate them all…
Bank: Dinafem Seeds
Genetic: Haze X White Widow
Phenotype: Hybrid Sativa / Indica
Harvest outdoor H.N: Mid October
Harvest outdoor H.S: Mid-April
Indoor production: 650 gr per m2
Outdoor production: 1500 gr/plant
Flowering period indoor: 60-70 days
THC: 17-22% – CBD: 0.01-0.2
The great majority of feminized genetics on the market come from elite clones that have been extensively tested as smoking weed. This is a great advantage, as it is easier to guess the features your offspring may inherit.
To know the breeding quality of a male cannabis plant there is only one way, to check the level of its offspring. On the other hand, when you cross 2 mother plants that you have already used to smoke you already know their qualities both in the crop and in the final product, so when you make feminized seeds it is easier to guess the result of the crossing.
Many people think that regular strains are better for creating seeds, or that feminized strains are not good for breeding, we have found that this is not the case, when a plant is sexually pure female it doesn’t matter if it comes from regular or feminized seeds.
Pros and cons of each type of seed: regular, feminised, autoflowering and CBD-rich
In its natural state, the marijuana plant is dioecious, that is, there are male and female specimens that breed among each other to create new specimens. Regular seeds are seeds that produce both male and female plants, where the grower has no control over their sex.
Although in recent years the proportion of users who choose this type of seed has fallen considerably, regular marijuana seeds continue to be the preferred option for some old-school growers, who wish to respect the nature of the plant in all aspects and, of course, by those who wish to make their own seeds.
- Breeding: Regular seeds make it possible to breed the plants making seeds with the males and females that emerge from a batch of regular seeds.
- Limited yield: The problem with regular seeds is that you do not have any control over the sex of the plants, meaning that after a month and a half of caring for them you may find that you have to get rid of half of your plants because they are males, thus reducing by half the potential yield of the crop.
Feminised seeds emerged in the late 90s as a response to the need to grow seeds that guaranteed the development of female plants. At the beginning this type of seed produced cannabis plants with certain quality problems and instability, with plants that sometimes suffered from hermaphroditism. However, over the years feminised seeds have achieved extremely high levels of quality, as regards yield, effects or flavour, to the point that they have relegated regular seeds to a mere 10% market share.
- Cost effectiveness: Feminised marijuana seeds guarantee 100% female crops. That is, all the effort and care you invest in the plants will be rewarded because there will be no male specimens to discard.
- As they do not allow the development of male plants, feminised seeds are not the appropriate choice if your aim is to produce seeds.
After feminised seeds, starting in approximately 2008 autoflowering seeds, also known as automatic seeds, made their arrival. As the name indicates, they flower in a shorter period of time and require less care than regular or feminised seeds. Autoflowering marijuana seeds emerged as the ideal choice for less experienced growers, but as their quality parameters have gradually equalled their non-autoflowering cousins in aroma, flavour and effects, they have become a valid alternative for the most demanding growers. In case you were wondering, yes, the autoflowering seeds are also feminised.
- Speed: Without a doubt, the big advantage of autoflowering seeds is the speed with which they develop. The flowering periods change depending on the variety, but with any automatic variety you know that in two and a half months tops your plants will be harvested.
- Manageability: Although the differences in quality of autoflowering plants in comparison to the rest of the feminised plants are increasingly fewer, most of the automatic varieties are smaller in size, not only requiring simpler maintenance, but they are also ideal for discreet crops, on balconies or terraces. If your idea is to have a manageable marijuana plant, camouflaged among the flowers and pots on your terrace, autoflowering seeds are, without a doubt, your option.
- Ease: Autoflowering seeds are, in general, easier to grow, both indoors and outdoors. In indoor gardens it is not necessary to change the photoperiod, as the plants themselves change from the growth period to the flowering period by themselves. That is, regardless of the hours of light they receive, they will develop buds.
- Yield: As they are smaller in size, autoflowering cannabis seeds have the inconvenience of a smaller yield per plant.
You have probably heard a lot lately about CBD, the cannabinoid in vogue. CBD is present in some marijuana plants and, in addition to having many therapeutic qualities, it counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. Therefore, CBD-rich varieties of marijuana cannot only help people who suffer from insomnia, stress or more serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, but, in addition, it can enable a more sustainable recreational consumption of cannabis compatible with daily activities. As for its cultivation, you can find both feminised and autoflowering varieties rich in CBD.
Reduced psychoactive effect: As it acts as an antagonist of THC, CBD counteracts the psychoactive and side-effects of the former. To make a comparison with alcohol, a variety with high levels of THC would be like drinking spirits, while another rich in CBD would be like drinking a beer.
Therapeutic properties: CBD interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, activating and stimulating our natural response to pain, anxiety, stress, etc. Scientific research has found that CBD can bring many benefits to our body including:
- Reduction of nausea and vomiting
- Suppression of convulsive activity
- It combats psychosis disorders, and there have been studies and clinical trials which indicate that CBD can be effective for treating schizophrenia
- It combats inflammatory disorders
- It combats neurodegenerative disorders
- It combats anxiety and depression disorders
- Fewer side-effects: CBD counteracts the side-effects associated with THC, such as increased appetite, faster heart rate, poorer memory or an altered perception of time, among others.
A reduced psychoactive effect: what may be an advantage for some, can be an inconvenience for others. CBD causes the effects of marijuana to be less intense, much milder, and not everyone is interested in that milder effect.
Regina Journalist with a PhD in Media Studies and a chatty spirit. I love telling stories and being told stories; listening, analyzing and understanding all the things around me to never stop growing and discovering. Cannabis is one of my passions, and every day I learn about new nuances, secrets and possibilities offered by this plant, information I like sharing with you here.
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