While shopping for cannabis seeds, you may see all sorts of strange phrases and expressions being used. You’ll come across terms like feminized cannabis seeds, photoperiod plants, autoflowers, males, females, hybrids, hermaphrodites and more. If you’re just starting out growing cannabis, this can all be pretty confusing.
Don’t worry though! These concepts may seem intimidating, but they’re not so bad once you get some explanation. While we’d love to explain everything, it’s best to cover the terms one at a time. Today we’ll start of by talking about feminized seeds.
What Are Feminized Seeds?
Until not too long ago, when growing weed from seed there was always a 50% chance that a plant would become a male. However, only female plants develop the buds that are rich in cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD.
Male plants get anthers which, if left long enough, pollinate the females, drastically reducing their harvests. People who grew regular seeds therefore had to determine gender as soon as possible and remove the males.
The creation of feminized cannabis seeds in the 1990s revolutionized cannabis cultivation. Feminized cannabis seeds are genetically modified to become only female plants and they almost always do (99.9%). By eliminating the twist of fate, this made growing cannabis much easier and more economical.
Feminized seeds often include photoperiod plants. This photoperiodic cannabis flowers depending on the number of hours of daylight/darkness it gets. In nature, weed begins to flower at the end of summer, when the days become shorter. Indoors, photoperiod cannabis remains in the vegetative stage until the grower induces flowering by reducing the number of light hours.
Feminized Seeds Summarized
- Contain many cannabinoids compared to male cannabis. The strains are often bred for maximum potency and excellent aroma.
- The seeds are 99.9% feminized, so the plants are practically always females.
- No need to check the gender of the plants or remove males.
- Feminized strains are usually photoperiod strains, or dependent on a light cycle.
Who Uses Feminized Seed Strains And Why?
High-quality feminized seeds that are currently available usually produce plants with a lot of THC. This is the main psychotropic substance in marijuana. All kinds of cannabis users appreciate this cannabinoid for its strong high.
Recreational users especially enjoy the intoxicating, soothing, euphoric or uplifting high of feminized strains. With the many options available, you can relax in the evening or experience an energetic buzz during the day, depending on what you want. In addition, strains contain varying proportions of cannabinoids, terpenes and sativa/indica genetics. This means that you can experiment with different feminized strains to find the sweet spot in terms of effect.
People who use weed therapeutically often choose feminized strains as well because of their pronounced effect. THC improves moods and helps to relax in tense situations or simply provides a way out of certain symptoms, such as chronic pain. Users also report that THC helps with a good night’s sleep, among other benefits.
How To Grow Feminized Seeds
We mentioned earlier that feminized seeds are easier to grow than regular seeds. Maybe that makes you feel lazy, but beware; growing feminized seeds also has its challenges.
Growing Feminized Seeds Indoor Vs Outdoor
Indoor growing requires manual adjustment of the light/dark schedule. Normally, growers do this when the plants are an appropriate size (about ½ of the desired final height). Since cannabis plants often start to stretch at the beginning of flowering, they need enough space.
To induce flowering of feminized weed indoors, switch the lights to a 12/12 schedule. The longer dark period mimics fall conditions and encourages the plants to flower.
Outdoors, it is crucial that you sow feminized seeds in an optimal climate and during the right season. Why? Because the number of sunlight hours changes, depending on the season, and your plants need a specific schedule to bloom. To meet this need, it’s best to sow them in the spring (when there are no more frosts) and harvest them in the fall.
Time Needed To Grow Feminized Seeds
Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, the required time always depends on the strain. Some strains, such as indica, grow relatively quickly, with a short flowering period of 6-7 weeks. Other strains, such as Haze, take up to twice as long to bloom.
Want to harvest as fast as possible? Then choose fast-flowering varieties or feminized autoflowers. Some of these are ready after just 60 days from germination.
Growing Several Feminized Strains In The Same Space
It is certainly possible to grow several strains in one grow space, but this does require some practice. There are several reasons for this. Different strains can reach different heights, have different nutritional needs and be ready at different times. You may also need to use training techniques (pruning, cropping, etc.) to maintain an even canopy under the lights.
Best Temperature And Humidity For Feminized Weed
In general, feminized cannabis grows best at moderate temperatures (around 21°C). Extreme temperatures can lead to growth retardation and other problems. Don’t live in an ideal climate? Then grow in an environment where you can control the temperature. You can use a heater and/or cooling system if required.
The optimal humidity level for cannabis plants depends on the stage of their life cycle. Typically, weed seedlings and plants in the vegetative stage need a more humid environment. Lower the relative humidity to 40-50% when the cannabis plants are flowering to reduce the risk of mold.
Best Soil For Feminized Seeds
Cannabis thrives best in nutrient-rich, airy and water-permeable soil. Most potting soil is already optimal for growing cannabis. If you are using natural soil, you can enrich it with perlite, coir, vermiculite, compost or worm manure to make it more suitable for cannabis.
Nutrients To Use For Feminized Seeds
For healthy growth, a feminized cannabis plant needs several nutrients. For starters, it requires nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are the three main “macronutrients.” In addition, she needs micronutrients, including calcium, iron, magnesium and copper.
Commercial cannabis nutrition usually contains all the required macro and micronutrients. Just make sure you stick to the recommended doses (or slightly less). Keep in mind that cannabis requires different nutrients during the growing and flowering stages. For this reason, cannabis nutrition often comes in two varieties: nutrition for growth and nutrition for flowering.
Type Of Water Needed For Feminized Seeds
When watering cannabis in soil, it is important that the water/food solution has a pH of about 6-7. Otherwise, the plants will not be able to absorb nutrients, even if they are present. In the case of tap water, you can achieve the correct pH with “pH down” or “pH up” products.
What Is Plant Training?
Plant training is how growers keep their weed at the desired height and shape. This involves various techniques, including topping, pruning, supercropping, pinching and/or defoliating. The goal of this is to, in some way, make better use of the growing space and light exposure and thus achieve better harvests.
Weed plants may experience stress from plant training and exhibit temporary stagnation of growth. For this reason, most training techniques are not suitable for feminized autoflowers, with their limited life span. For feminized photoperiod weed, this limitation does not apply and these plants also recover easily.
What Are Hermaphrodites?
In addition to the two usual genders of weed, a cannabis plant can also be a hermaphrodite. If this is the case, the plant exhibits both female and male characteristics. When it comes to flowering, it develops buds, but also pollen sacs. The result is often a meager harvest of low quality, full of seeds.
The main reason for this is plant stress. This may be due, for example, to a break in the dark period during flowering, which triggers “re-vegging.” However, other stress factors from the environment can also come into play. These include pests, extreme temperature and fluctuations in humidity. Growing cannabis in a controlled environment is the best way to avoid this. Keep stress to a minimum to reduce the risk of hermaphroditism.
Well-Known Feminized Cannabis Strains
Nowadays you can find hundreds of feminized hybrids, but almost all of them descended from a handful of main groups. Like human families, each group has certain characteristics by which you can tell where they came from. Some well-known feminized strains that you can find in today’s market are:
Cannabis strains with Kush genes have a pleasant aroma and – since they’re mostly indica – often a soothing couch-lock effect. Depending on the variety, Kush often contains terpenes that impart earthy, woody, pine and citrus aromas.
Haze strains are suitable for sativa lovers who enjoy an intoxicating cerebral intoxication and like to smoke during the day. The terpene profiles include many flavors, from sweet and lemony to coffee and chocolate-like.
Weed with Afghan genes usually has a spicy, earthy and fresh taste. Most of these strains are indica-dominant. As a result, they often give you a soothing, upbeat, couch-locking high that’s perfect for evenings.
Strains made with Gelato, an excellent example of the best Californian cannabis, usually stand out for their fruity, dessert-like aroma. Usually these are hybrids or at least feel that way. So you can expect a euphoric cerebral high and calming sensations.
Cookies strains combine a euphoric and social effect with a pinch of physical relaxation. Expect an earthy and sweet aroma, plus a distinctive cookie flavor: a delicious combo. The Girl Scout Cookies strain is derived from this strain.
Strains based on Blueberry often contain a terpene profile with rich, sweet and fruity berry notes. Genes of these originate from the American West Coast. Blueberry strains are thereby known for their relaxing and soothing effects.
Cannabis strains made with the genes of Purple exhibit reddish/purple colors. These become more vivid with cooler night temperatures at the end of flowering. The terpene profile combines spicy hashish flavors with an earthy, lemony and piney scent. Most purple strains are indica and therefore the effect is usually narcotic and relaxing.
The original Banana is indica-dominant (70% indica) and famous for its rich terpene profile, which is characterized by a sweet aroma and a taste of banana. The strain is very potent (25% THC) and has a strong calming effect. Her descendants share these properties.
Many cannabis connoisseurs cherish Skunk for its “skunky” aroma. This strain has also been widely used as the basis for a large number of strains on the market today. Strains containing Skunk genes normally have a sleepy effect, with a happy, uplifting note.
The original Cheese is an indica-dominant hybrid made from the aforementioned Skunk and Afghan. The strain is famous for its pungent, ripe cheese smell. Strains derived from Cheese stand out with a distinctive cheesy aroma and a balanced effect that combines euphoric highs with a soothing stone.
Feminized Seeds | Frequently Asked Questions
Are feminized seeds suitable for beginners?
Yes, especially if you choose an autoflowering variant of a feminized strain.
Can I grow feminized seeds indoors or outdoors?
It’s up to you as the plants can grow anywhere.
What is the best temperature for feminized seeds?
This is 21 degrees Celsius.
Can I find many feminized seeds in the seed banks?
Yes, seed banks usually sell mostly feminized seeds.
Are feminized seeds good for growing cannabis?
Yes, they are the best option for growing cannabis.