Cannabis flower is grown from female plants. Seedsman looks at how to create feminized cannabis seeds to ensure your plants almost always turn out to be female Learn the easiest way to make feminized seeds for your grow step-by-step. It’s not as rocket science-ish as you might think. Feminized seeds have been increasingly rising in demand ever since medical cannabis became legal, but how do we make feminized seeds?
How To Feminize Cannabis Seeds
If you’re a home grower who grows your cannabis from seed, you need those to be female seeds. In this article, we’ll explain why and also how to feminize cannabis seeds.
Table of contents
What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
Cannabis plants are dioecious beasts, meaning they can be male or female. Although they look the same in the early part of their life cycle, there are marked differences between the two. Male cannabis plants produce male seeds and pollen sacs and have much lower potency than females. For that reason, most people involved in cannabis cultivation want to grow female cannabis plants. Females produce the much sought-after buds that cannabis is harvested for. They’re high in cannabinoids and terpenes and have all the trichomes and other components you need for medical or recreational cannabis use.
Why Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
As opposed to regular cannabis seeds, which produce female plants approximately half of the time, feminized seeds only produce females. That means every plant grown from feminized cannabis seeds will be a female, bud-bearing beauty.
Growing cannabis plants from feminized marijuana seeds takes the guesswork out of the gender game and guarantees your plants will be female.
Nowadays, almost all strains of cannabis are available in feminized seed form. This is because seed banks understand that most people buying seeds are more interested in producing cannabis flower. As such, the option to do so is available – although, if you’re a breeder and want to create a breeding programme, these seed banks also sell regular seeds of many popular strains.
How Do You Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
The general idea of the feminization process involves forcing female plants to produce pollen. That pollen is used to pollinate other female cannabis plants, resulting in feminized seeds.
There are two main ways to achieve this:
1. Chemically-induced pollen feminization
Of these two options, it’s far better to go chemically-induced. This method is used by professionals and has a significantly higher success rate. It also has a much lower frustration rate than the latter method. Rodelization creates feminized seeds through stress and, as such, can be a risky endeavour that increases the likelihood of hermaphrodite plants – and you don’t want hermie plants.
Marijuana plant and Cannabis seeds in a plate
So how do you feminize cannabis seeds with chemicals? There are several techniques and chemicals that you can use. The main ones are Colloidal silver, silver nitrate, silver thiosulphate, benzothiadiazole, and gibberellic acid. Of these options, colloidal silver is the easiest to get a hold of, but you can also make it yourself without too much difficulty.
Colloidal silver is a solution comprising tiny – microscopic particles of silver suspended in distilled water. It’s sometimes used as a dietary supplement, meaning it’s reasonably easy to get a hold of. You can buy it on Amazon or from health shops. Disclaimer: Never ingest colloidal silver as a dietary supplement without speaking to your doctor beforehand.
Colloidal silver has other uses in horticulture, including as a means of fungal control. In creating feminized cannabis seeds, colloidal silver works by inhibiting the production of ethylene, a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas. Ethylene is a hormone needed to produce female flowers, so we use colloidal silver to prevent ethylene from effectively making plants female. The result is that the male hormones dominate, producing male flowers. Afterwards, you collect the pollen from the plant and use it for pollinating other plants, producing feminized seeds. Colloidal silver guarantees you consistently get feminized seeds.
The Colloidal Silver Method: Step by Step
- Begin by acquiring the right strength of colloidal silver, preferably 30ppm (ppm meaning parts per million). It’s available in other concentrations, and 30ppm seems to be the best for the job. Lower than 15ppm will result in male sacs with next to no viable pollen, so go with a higher concentration.
- Select a plant that has the traits you wish to preserve. Put it into a small pot away from your grow room and give it a day or two to adapt, then put it on a 12/12 light cycle as soon as possible. If using a clone, you’re good, but if you’re growing a plant from seed, wait until the plant has sexed before treating it with colloidal silver. You need to make sure it’s female!
- Once it begins the flowering stage, spray the plant, or plants, three times a day with colloidal silver, giving them a good soaking. Repeat this process over two weeks, and then leave them to grow as usual.
- When sexing begins, your plant will develop sex organs – look for male pollen sacs on the bud sites rather than the calyxes and pistils seen in female plants. Look for little green balls appearing first at the top and then lower down the plant. Viable pollen appears within three to four weeks once the plant has been sexed. Collect the pollen and use it to pollinate other female plants. These plants will then yield feminized seeds.
- Keep your treated plant isolated well away from females. If a pollen sac should burst, it will release millions of spores, and you don’t want them near your girls.
As soon as you’ve collected the pollen, discard the plants. Do not smoke them, and do not be tempted to try and rinse the colloidal silver off. Silver is a toxic metal, so never smoke the plant. Colloidal silver is absorbed into the plant’s foliage, and that plant is no longer fit for consumption. Toss it in the trash immediately.
Five Best Feminized Cannabis Seeds For Sale
We’ve never made any secret that Blue Dream is one of the finest elite strains we offer. By crossing Blueberry Ice with a Haze, you get a high-yielding 70% photoperiod sativa strain of superb quality.
It’s a fairly easy strain to grow and performs well indoors or out. Blue Dream can yield as much as gm/m2 indoors, whereas outdoor cultivators can expect up to 850 gm/plant. Blue Dream is a high-THC strain that produces up to 20% THC on its sparkling, resin-covered crystals.
As a sativa, it’s a tall plant that tops out around 350cm in height when grown outdoors, and with a flowering time of around 10 weeks, you won’t have too long to wait for this wonder weed.
Blue Dream is high in alpha-pinene, a monoterpene with therapeutic benefits. Benefits include relief from anxiety, depression, arthritis, inflammation, nausea and pain. The aroma and taste of Blue Dream are lemon-citrus, with berry and Haze notes. The effect of this strain is a powerful and uplifting cerebral one, mentally stimulating but bodily relaxing at the same time.
Purple Ghost Candy
Purple Ghost Candy from Seedsman is an absolute must if you’re looking for the highest of the high THC strains. This is another high-quality strain that delivers a knockout punch like few others.
Purple Ghost Candy is an easy-to-grow cannabis strain, so much so that it’s recommended even for beginners. Make no mistake, though – this is genuinely connoisseur cannabis. It’s another mostly-sativa strain, but it packs an incredible 27% THC!
The aromas and taste of Purple Ghost Candy are every bit as sumptuous as its appearance. Fuel-like in its scent, but the flavours are decidedly fruitier – let those lemon and peachy tones dance on your palate, with earthy mint notes in support. This is an absolute taste sensation.
Purple Ghost Candy’s very high THC content makes for a potent effect. Expect physical relaxation balanced well with cerebral stimulation. The 12-week maximum flowering time of Purple Ghost Candy is longer, but it is most certainly worth waiting for this absolute champ!
Peyote WiFi CBD 2:1
In sharp contrast to the high-THC madness of Purple Ghost Candy, Seedsman proudly presents a unique cannabis strain – Peyote WiFi CBD 2:1. This is an intriguing cross-breed of Peyote Purple, WiFi OG, and Seedsman CBD#2. The result is a high CBD cannabis strain with the power to soothe and relieve for medical consumers.
Peyote WiFi CBD 2:1 is an indica/sativa hybrid with a THC percentage between 5-10%. CBD is between 12-14%, meaning the therapeutic benefits of this strain are free to enjoy without THC’s debilitating psychoactive effects.
Peyote WiFi CBD 2:1 is a hardy and resilient plant that grows well in most climates and has a flowering time of around 65 days. Its benefits include relief from pain, depression, anxiety, and loss of appetite. This unique medical cannabis grows well in all environments.
Strawberry Cheesecake Auto
One of our most in-demand strains, Strawberry Cheesecake Auto is a fast-finishing strain that will automatically begin flowering regardless of light. This strain consistently delights growers thanks to its high yields and big, dense buds.
Coming in at under 200cm, Strawberry Cheesecake is pretty compact, making it ideal for growing in confined spaces. Don’t let the size fool you, though – what it may lack in stature, it more than makes up for in flavour!
Skunky with fruity lemon notes, this strain is an absolute treat on the palate. THC content is around 15%, and its mostly indica nature means the effect is quite physically relaxing but mentally stimulating at the same time. Strawberry Cheesecake Auto is ideal for relaxing daytime use without serious impairment.
Jack Herer FAST
To include something for everyone, Seedsman presents Jack Herer FAST. What better than a legendary old-school strain that’s ready in just seven weeks if you need weed in a hurry?
This speed demon of a plant combines the classic Jack Herer cannabis strain with FAST genetics, reducing the waiting time and bringing top-notch buds to you quicker than ever. Jack Herer FAST is another easy-to-grow strain suitable for beginners and will yield a respectable 400 gm/m2 of high THC (20%) resinous buds.
Jack Herer FAST is a squat plant and will have a limited stretch to just over 100cm. It maintains the sweet peppery taste of the original and is every bit as potent as you’d hope.
Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.
How to Make Feminized Seeds Easily at Home
If you’re not a total beginner as a grower, you probably know that male cannabis plants pollinate female plants. You may also know that only female plants produce the flowers that cannabis fans know and love.
The problem with male plants is that if they pollinate your girls:
- The girls will produce seeds
- Their buds will have less resin & THC
- Your total bud yield will be lower
Growers normally buy feminized seeds from breeders and seed banks because they can count on almost all of those seeds becoming female plants with high THC and all the other goodies cannabis has to offer.
Here you will learn to feminize seeds yourself.
What is a Feminized Seed?
A feminized cannabis seed is what you get when you breed two female plants instead of a male and a female. When you plant feminized seeds, they germinate and grow into females.
The way to feminize seeds is to force females to produce pollen sacs. You can use that pollen to fertilize other females.
How do you trick them into producing male buds? Induce environmental stress or change their hormones chemically.
Choice #1 – which is called Rhodelization – is not a favorite method of breeders. It’s more complicated than changing hormones.
The trick to rhodelization is to fool the girls into “thinking” that they’re dying. A female anticipating death wants to optimize the continuation of the species. When they think they’re doomed, they will produce female seeds almost exclusively. This is because a small number of male plants can fertilize an entire room full of girls, so very few of them are needed. Cannabis pollen outdoors travels far and wide. The girls are more essential.
How to Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds by Changing the Hormone Balance Chemically
This is the most common method top breeders use to feminize seeds.
To do this, you can use one of four substances:
- Colloidal silver (CS)
- Silver thiosulfate (ST)
- gibberellic acid (GA3)
You can find colloidal silver at bricks and mortar natural foods stores or through online supplement stores. If you want to make your own, there are plenty of guides online that show you how to do that.
Step 1: Grow 1 or More Female Plants
Let these ladies grow through the vegetative stage.
Step 2: Spray the Bud Sites Daily
When the buds start forming, put colloidal silver in a spray bottle and drench the bud sites once per day. The buds will develop into male-like buds that have the power to pollinate. The process will take three or four weeks. Don’t stop spraying them until the pollen-filled buds start opening and the leaf that protects the pollen begins to crack.
Warning: If any female buds form, don’t smoke them. They could be dangerous because of the chemicals.
Step 3: Harvest & Dry the Pollen Sacs
Pluck the pollen sacks. Place them somewhere that allows them to dry. The drying process should take about a week.
Step 4: Put Your Sacs in a Bag & Shake ‘em Up
You can use a can for this, too. The sacs will release pollen when you shake them. Keep your container closed while doing this so that no pollen escapes.
Store your pollen in a ziplock bag or something air tight.
Step 5: Fertilize Some Lady Plants
The best time to pollinate your plants is when they are about two or three weeks into the flowering stage. If you wait too long, they’ll produce less seeds.
Do this step in a closed room. It’s a delicate process. There are lots of tutorials online about how to pollinate cannabis. Find a good one and follow the steps.
Step 6: Harvest Your Feminized Seeds
You can tell the seeds are ready when some of them start dropping from the buds. They should be brown and not green. You may need to give the plant some nutrients or whatever it takes to keep her alive so that she can get to the seed dropping phase.
Harvest the seeds with your fingers.
Step 7: Store Your Seeds or Plant Them
Keep your seeds in a cool and dry place. Mark them with a harvest date so you know how old they are. If you store them properly, they’ll keep for a few years. You can plant them any time after harvest.
3 Best Ways to Feminize Cannabis Seeds
Most people are already aware that cannabis buds we use today come only from female plants.
Male plants pollinate female plants, which produce seeds upon pollination.
Just like children, some seeds end up being female and some male. That’s just how nature works.
A male plant can pollinate a whole room of female plants. Even if there were 50 plants in that area, all the male plant requires is a bit of wind, and each female plant will end up being fertilized.
Getting only feminized cannabis seeds is not an impossible task, you just have to work around the rules set up by nature.
Why are seeds feminized?
Cannabis growers need seeds that are guaranteed to grow into female plants, in order to avoid pollination of the entire crop.
No one wants seeds in their weed and because of this issue we require feminized seeds.
When you’re certain that all your seeds are feminized, you can grow big crops knowing that your plants are safe from pollination by a male plant.
Breeders and seed producers also want feminized seeds for business purposes, as they’re in very high demand in places where growing weed is legal.
As cannabis becomes legal in more places throughout the world, feminized seeds are the first small-time thing new growers will start looking for.
Reliably producing female plants is of great value in this industry, because only female plants produce flowers with medicinal value.
How to feminize seeds?
When breeding cannabis, growers will intentionally pollinate their females in order to get certain traits in the offspring.
How to Start Your Own Marijuana Seeds Breeding Program?
However, sometimes the breeder isn’t looking to cross two strains in hopes of getting a specific trait.
Once the breeder stabilizes a certain trait, he’ll look to mass produce the offspring with precisely those traits. He may do so by feminizing seeds that the “mother plant” produces.
In the wild and without any human tampering, cannabis plants produce mostly female seeds when they “perceive” that they’re approaching the end of their lifetime.
Feminization is essentially a process of pushing the plant to produce as many female seeds as possible, by making it “think” that it’s approaching its last days.
In order to survive and spread its genetic material as much as possible, plants will mostly make female seeds, and a very small percentage of male seeds, because a small number of males plants can pollinate a colossal number of female plants.
This is why the process of pressuring the plant to produce female seeds en-masse is called feminization.
There are several ways to perform seed feminization. Each one is different, although they all boil down to the same thing — getting female seeds.
Some methods are more efficient than others, which is why they are preferred by numerous producers and growers.
Feminizing seeds with colloidal silver
Colloidal silver is a substance made from microscopic particles of silver, which are suspended in liquid. Particles of silver are less than 100nm (nanometers) in size, and completely invisible to the naked eye.
You can get bottled colloidal silver on Amazon, or you can make it yourself, which is also relatively simple.
If you’re going to use it only a few times don’t bother making it, just order a couple of bottles.
Colloidal silver works by inhibiting female flowering hormones in cannabis. The result of this is that the male hormones dominate, and thus male flowers are produced.
By doing so, you turn your healthy female plants into males. Afterwards, you use the pollen that came off that plant to pollinate the other plants.
After you pollinate the other female plants, they will produce feminized seeds. This technique is reliant and yields female seeds in huge numbers.
Cannabis is known to yield hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of seeds after being pollinated. The colloidal silver method guarantees that you consistently get feminized seeds.
Here’s how to use it:
Spray colloidal silver on the branches every three days prior to switching the lights to 12/12 and continue spraying it until you start seeing first male flowers.
The more you use it, the more pollen sacks you will get. As the plant matures it will produce pollen that should be collected and used to pollinate other female flowers.
Collect the new seeds and plant them to get the next generation of the same plant.
Feminizing with Gibberellic acid
Feminizing with Gibberellic acid is even easier than with colloidal silver.
Gibberellic acid can also be bought in stores, and it’s mostly available in powder-form.
Gibberellic acid isn’t expensive at all, you can order it online or buy an entire box for as low as $15 bucks.
Mix the gibberellic acid with water so it reaches around 100 ppm (parts per million, the instructions on the packaging will let you know what’s what), and spray that water/acid mix on the plant once a day, for 10 consecutive days during the flowering phase, and male flowers will be produced.
After that apply the pollen from the “gibberellic acid” male flowers on other healthy female plants.
Those plants will yield feminized seeds after being pollinated.
Feminizing with the rodelization method
The rodelization method is by far the slowest, the least efficient, and the least guaranteed to work out of these 3 methods.
Rodelization entails not harvesting flowers after they’ve bloomed, but rather forcing the plant to turn male, in order to preserve itself.
After the plant has flowered, you need to leave it like that for another few weeks. The plant will then stress itself and grow a couple male flowers, in an attempt to pollinate itself once more.
If your plant succeeds, you’ll need to wait an additional few weeks to get decent seeds that are ready for sowing. Keep in mind that this method is not as reliable as the other two, and yields a smaller number of seeds.
This is “nature’s way of feminizing seeds”, although like everything else with nature, it takes a lot of time. A lot more time compared to the gibberellic acid and colloidal silver.
All these factors make rodelization the most natural, but for growers by far the worst possible feminization method.