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Cannabis Column | June 26, 2022

How to feminize cannabis seeds


Are you interested in learning how to feminize cannabis seeds?

Want to make sure you get the most female cannabis plants possible from your seeds? In this article, we explain what feminized seeds are and describe the process of seed feminization.

If you're ready to learn how to feminize cannabis seeds, keep reading!

Feminized seeds

Only the female cannabis plant produces the coveted cannabis flower, rich in cannabinoids. It is for this reason that industrial and home cannabis cultivators alike seek out feminized seeds - or produce feminized seeds.

What are female marijuana seeds?

Female marijuana seeds are seeds that have been treated to produce female-only offspring.

When cultivators don’t feminize their seeds they run the risk of wasting resources to grow male plants that won’t ever produce cannabis flowers. 

Feminized cannabis seeds greatly increase the chances of a bountiful harvest and ensure little to no cultivation resources are wasted.

Feminized seeds explained

In nature, cannabis plants produce about 50% male seeds and 50% female seeds. While growers used to plant twice the number of seeds that they hoped to harvest, expecting that half of the plants would be useless, there are much more efficient methods available today to ensure that every seed you plant will produce female plants.

A naturally produced cannabis seed is formed through sexual reproduction: cannabis pollen reaches the stigma of the flower and travels down the pistil to fertilize the ovules within the ovary of the plant. This process results in the creation of seeds. 

Only female cannabis plants grow THC-rich flowers, so if you want buds, you need to polinate your female plants with female pollen - which means you need to prevent pollination from a male plant. 

How do you do this? One common way is by removing all of the male plants from your grow before they can spread their pollen.

Once the female cannabis plants are isolated from the male plants, they will continue to produce unpollinated flowers.

To create feminized cannabis seeds, you have to pollinate female cannabis plants with female plant pollen. This process ensures that all of the offspring are female-only plants. There are two primary ways that cannabis seeds are feminized.

Cannabis seed feminization

The process of seed feminization forces female cannabis plants to spread their pollen to other female cannabis plants and prevents fertilization from male plants, thus forcing the creation of female seeds.

There are several processes used to create feminized marijuana seeds. Two of the most popular techniques to create female seeds are: 

  • Spraying plants with colloidal silver, which is popular but uses harsh chemicals
  • Rodelization, which is the process of harvesting female cannabis plant pollen and manually pollinating other female cannabis plants

While using colloidal silver is more reliable, if you want to create chemical-free feminized seeds, we recommend using the Rodelization method.

How to feminize cannabis seeds with the Rodelization method

The most common and easiest way to produce feminized seeds is through a method called Rodelization.

Rodelization is when a female cannabis plant is left to mature for an extended period without being pollinated. As days go by and the plant continues to go unpollinated, it will release a chemical called Gibberellic Acid. This hormone signals to the plant that it needs to produce pollen to ensure its survival.

To produce pollen, the plant becomes a hermaphrodite and generates pollen sacs (typically found in the male plants). Cultivators harvest the pollen and manually pollinate female cannabis plants: the seeds will be feminized and the offspring will be female-only plants.

This technique is particularly helpful to create feminized seeds from a preferred cannabis plant or strain. 

While the Rodelization method is effective, it does have some drawbacks:

  • You won’t know exactly when your plants will start producing pollen, it can take several weeks and requires a watchful patient eye
  • A female cannabis plant isn't guaranteed to develop hermaphroditism
  • Feminized cannabis seeds pollinated from a hermaphrodite plant have hermaphrodite genetics and are more likely to become hermaphrodite plants and not produce flower
  • Pollen from hermaphrodite plants is not as plentiful or potent and is not guaranteed to pollinate a female plant even when the method is correctly implemented

Seed feminization is a practical and cost effective cultivation method that can be used by any grower to generate bountiful buds. 

Key takeaways about feminizing cannabis seeds

  • By feminizing your cannabis seeds, you can increase your chances of getting bud-producing female plants.
  • Feminized seeds are seeds that have been treated with a chemical or method to ensure that they grow into female plants.
  • If you want to create feminized cannabis seeds a female cannabis plant must be pollinated with female plant pollen.
  • Rodelization is a method that “naturally” forces a female cannabis plant to develop male pollen sacs to self pollinate.
  • Using the Rodelization method to feminize seeds has drawbacks that include an uncertain timeline and plants that are more likely to be hermaphrodites.

Do you have a question regarding how to feminize cannabis seeds that we didn’t cover? Let us know by leaving your question in the comments. We’re happy to get you an answer. 

Get started on your cannabis wellness journey

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