The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Seeds
Considering starting to grow weed yourself? The first step to any garden is sourcing quality weed seeds. Even in a vegetable garden, using old and poorly bred marijuana seeds will cause problems from the very get-go. Taking the time to educate yourself on cannabis seeds is a perfect way to root your new marijuana plants deep in knowledge.
An Introduction to All Things Cannabis Seeds
A well versed marijuana user will know that marijuana plants are both male and female. The scientific name for this trait is dioecious. Other common plants, like spinach and mulberries, have the same characteristic. The female plants require pollination from the male plants in order to reproduce. It’s the basics of the birds and the bees.
Although both the male and female weed plants will flower, only the female can reproduce. It can only do so under a certain set of conditions. The main one being pollination from the male plant. Pollination triggers the female plants to produce seeds.
While you might have found one or two seeds in your bud before, it’s likely that it wasn’t high-quality weed. In most cases, anything bought at a dispensary will be from female plants grown with no male influence. If there are no male plants around, females will usually pump out only dense, potent buds. It will not go to seed. This process is known as sinsemilla.
Therefore, the first lesson about cannabis seeds is that you need to have both a male and a female plant present for reproduction. Without both sexes, there will be no seeds.
What About Hermaphrodite Plants?
There is a third sex of marijuana to talk about, plants with the hermaphrodite condition. Hermaphrodite means that the plant contains both male and female parts. In the marijuana world, this demonstrates up as female plants with male flowers.
Usually, this condition happens only under certain environmental conditions. For example, if the plant undergoes unnecessary stress, it might cut its losses and pollinate itself. Or, if a female plant has flowered for too long, it will again simply decide to reproduce by itself.
Female weed flowers or buds are the juicy cones we all know and love. For those who haven’t seen a male weed flower before it does not produce traditional buds. Instead, its flowers look less delicious and more decorative. It looks like a wild blossom, not a potent herb.
What Kinds of Marijuana Seeds are There?
The second lesson is learning about how the different sexes eventually affect the cannabis seed. Even if you don’t consider strain, weed seeds don’t just come in one variety.
Beginners be warned! It might be best to stay away from feminized seeds because they are not for amateurs. In fact, most growers avoid feminized seeds because they typically only produce hermaphrodite plants. On top of this, they also commonly have lower yields and seedier buds.
Forcing the female plant to enter into hermaphrodite status produces feminized seeds. If you are following along, this means putting the plan into stress mode. Once adequately stressed out, the female plant should grow male flowers, leading to self-pollination.
There are three methods to create feminized seeds:
- Spraying the plants with colloidal silver
- The Rodelization, essentially stressing the plants out
- Spraying the plants with gibberellin acid
Again, feminized seeds require a lot of expertise to create and grow. When done correctly, however, it is a way to clone the plant from a seed efficiently.
Auto Flowering Weed Seeds
Our next lesson explores the three different strains of cannabis, and what this has to do with flowering cycles. There are three known strains of weed:
Both indica and sativa strains rely on light cycles to trigger their flower stage. When female cannabis plants are exposed to 12 to 14 hours of light a day, they will flower. If the light environment triggers the flowering stage, the seeds are not considered to be auto-flowering.
The Ruderalis strain, a lesser known type of cannabis, doesn’t require specific light conditions to flower. It will flower at the same time in its growth, time after time. Instead of needing a particular environment, it only needs to reach a certain age to start flowering.
Growers have taken advantage of the ruderalis characteristics and interbred with other strains of weed. These crossovers tend to flower no matter what is going out around them. They still have a much higher THC content then what is expected out of a traditional ruderalis plant.
The seeds they produce are a great investment for newbie growers. In case you don’t get your lighting system just right, you are still guaranteed bud. Auto-flowering seeds are also good for growing outdoors in northern climates which might not get enough sun.
But Wait! What’s the Difference between Cloning Seeds and Cloning Plants?
There is a major difference between seed cloning (feminized seeds) and cloning a weed plant. Again, to review, seed cloning is forcing a stressed out plant to mate with itself. The seeds it produces will be the from the same genetic code as the mother plant, but the process is less stable.
Real cloning, which is one of the most popular ways to reproduce high-quality plants, its via plant cuttings. A segment of a healthy female plant is cut and replanted into a soil solution. The solution is usually high nutrient based and will trigger a quick regrowth of the cutting. Eventually, the cutting will take root and grow into a full clone of the mother plant.
Are Buying and Selling Cannabis Seeds Legal?
The legal status of cannabis seeds depends greatly on where you live. If you live in one of the unlucky states in the US, weed seeds are still illegal. In fact, even in legal states, marijuana seeds just like marijuana itself is illegal at the federal level. Although states have started opening up cannabis policy, the feds still disagree.
In other countries, it depends significantly on their laws. For example, in Canada, it is considered legal to sell seeds. In Europe, many distributors get away with selling seeds only because they sell them as souvenirs.
That’s right; you can buy weed seeds as gifts for your friends and family on your trip to Amsterdam! Don’t get too carried away though, because federal laws still apply at the U.S borders. Seeds are confiscated at the border or when shipped in the post.
Where Can You Buy Marijuana Seeds Online?
Online seed sales is a booming business, despite the question of legality. In Canada, seeds are shipped using regular mail in labeled packaging. In other countries, companies have gotten a bit more sneaky. For example, some companies will ship seeds in common, everyday items like pens and birthday cards.
Finding a reputable company to source your seeds from will get your marijuana grow off on the right footing.
True North Seed Bank
A trusted Canadian company that ships worldwide. They focus on medically potent strains of cannabis and guarantee the freshness of their weed seeds.
Crop King Seeds
A professional UK based company that deploys pens and birthday cards to get their packages shipped across problem borders. They carry 31 of the top marijuana strains from around the world.
When in doubt, support the guys with the longest history of legal marijuana. Dutch Passion has been working in the cannabis scene in Holland long before it was popular elsewhere. They have a huge selection of products and seeds, but more restrictions on final destination.