Regular sexed Cannabis seeds represent a breeding line that expresses an equal balance of male and female chromosomes. Working from seed using regulars is an excellent… Regular cannabis seeds have a 50% chance of becoming male or female. Use them to breed your own strains and create healthy clones. Here's how to do it. What are regular cannabis seeds? Learn how regular cannabis seeds differ from feminized seeds and find out about their pros and cons.
A Guide To Regular Cannabis Seeds and How To Sex Plants
Regular sexed Cannabis seeds represent a breeding line that expresses an equal balance of male and female chromosomes. Working from seed using regulars is an excellent way to grow out large selections of either male or female plants. Knowing which plants belong to which sex, how to identify them early on and understanding the life cycle of a Cannabis plant, will give you the advantage when pheno hunting for an upcoming breeding project.
Why Grow Using Regular Seeds?
There are many reasons a grower may choose to work with regular seeds, despite the practical advantages in terms of growing space, waste of nutrients and medium.
For those who have the desire to make your own custom genetic crosses, starting your own breeding project in the comfort of your own home is easily achievable. For this you will need to invest in regular seeds that will allow you to grow either male or female plants. It is a good idea to start with at least 10 seeds to allow for a much wider variation, and greater choice of male to females. Some seedlings may underperform and be discarded early on, however with 10 seedlings, there is a good potential desired ratio. Labeling your pots with numbers and strain names, will make life much easier when sorting through the different plants, especially when taking cuttings before flowering for preservation purposes.
Pre 98 Genetics
There are plenty of old school genetics that have stood the test of time, and due to the marketplace during that era, were never feminized. It was from around early 2000 onwards, when the advantages of feminized seeds were becoming commercially popular. Many cultivars that existed during the last 50 years are often preserved in regular seed form, either as a first generation or as a stable IBL. Back crossing or producing a new generation of cultivar should only be done with regular seeds, especially when in-breeding.
Advanced Phenotype Hunting
When investing the time and money into a large pheno hunt, it is better to work with regular seeds over-feminized seeds. During this process the male and female plants will need to be separated well before flowering. There will be some impracticalites associated with this method such as wasted hydro system space, use of nutrients, growing medium, dedicated space, and maintenance. Working with a large number of plants to select from will allow you to access the best looking plants, based on height, structure, internodal spacing, aroma, leaf pattern, and overall vigor.
There are also commercial advantages when flowers are sold with a dedicated number such as Gelato #33, Gelato #45, KM11, or O.G #18.
Finding A Mother
Working through a bunch of seeds and narrowing down the best female plants to one keeper, will reward you with the ultimate mother plant, and can often soften the blow of paying three figures for a pack of seeds in some cases. If you truly want to find the best of the best, using regular seeds will allow for the most genetic diversity.
When a Cannabis seedling has been left to grow for up to 5 weeks under 18/6, the plant will begin to exhibit very small preflowers. Typically these preflowers reveal themselves once flowering is induced, however it is possible to see which sex you have when knowing what to look for.
Characteristics of Male Preflowers
Male preflowers will look like a small cluster of green, oval-shaped growth. They will be noticeable between the internodal growth and can even look like a female preflower minus the pistil. By this point there is zero need to worry about male pollen sacs and cross pollination, and after several weeks, it will be evident if you have an abundance of tiny male preflowers forming.
Characteristics of Female Preflowers
Unlike the male preflower, the female will produce a tiny white hair known as a pistil. When you see the first white hair, this will indicate the plant is in fact female, and an abundance of pistils will emerge once flowering is induced. Sometimes there can be a very thin and narrow growth, similar to the tip of a blade of grass, that later pushes out a pistil.
Top Tips On Sexing Cannabis Plants
- Make sure you are 100% confident that the plant in question is either male or female, prior to discarding from your garden. Male pollen sacs will not be encouraged to open until weeks 3-4 of 12/12, so take the time to be totally sure of your decision making ability.
- The conversion rate of female to male plants will be usually around 60/40, so the more seeds you plant then the greater chance you have of finding the elite keeper male or female plants.
- Use a magnifying glass or high-powered lens, to get up close and personal with your plants. This will make life much easier considering the flowers can be almost invisible to the naked eye at first.
- Take at least one cutting off each plant if you have the space and time. Make sure that you label and number the clones accordingly to the same numbers from the original plants. Taking clones now will save you from reverting the plants back into a vegetative state once they have been harvested.
3 Advantages of Feminized Seeds
Using regular seeds have their own unique advantages, however it is also good to consider the benefits associated with female seeds.
Why Grow Regular Cannabis Seeds?
Regular cannabis seeds operate exactly how nature intended. They have a 50% chance of emerging as either male or female. As such, they allow breeders to create new cultivars and produce better-quality clones.
Use this guide to learn everything you need to know about regular cannabis seeds.
WHAT IS REGULAR CANNABIS?
Regular cannabis seeds are free from human tampering. Every time you germinate them, you’re taking a gamble. There’s an even chance that they’ll grow up to be flowering females or pollen-producing males.
If they produce fewer THC-rich flowers, what’s the point of growing regular seeds? Well, males are extremely valuable when it comes to breeding. Plus, regular strains provide superior clones.
Cannabis is a dioecious species, meaning it produces separate male and female plants. Because female cannabis plants grow the best bud, this led to the creation and popularisation of feminized seeds—strains engineered to produce females 99.99% of the time.
BENEFITS OF REGULAR CANNABIS SEEDS
Feminized seeds are ideal for growers looking exclusively for buds, but regular seeds have their own list of benefits. Chiefly, they’re paramount in the creation of novel strains. Regular seeds also tend to produce more vigorous plants. These specimens are hardier, can tolerate stress well, and produce cuttings that exhibit explosive growth and awesome yields.
Discover more on the benefits of regular seeds below.
Without regular cannabis seeds, there is no breeding! It’s as simple as that. Pick your favourite male and female specimens, and cross them to create offspring that display the best traits of each.
Whether you’re after extreme potency, a certain flavour profile, or specific colours, you need regular seeds to make your vision come alive.
MOTHER PLANTS & CLONES
Regular cannabis plants provide strong and healthy clones capable of rooting well and growing fast.
Cloning enables growers to make an exact genetic copy of a specific plant. If you like the morphology or colour of a certain specimen, you can duplicate it through cloning.
Rooting cuttings will also allow you to produce more plants in a shorter time frame. You’ll skip the germination phase and have a tray of young vegging plants ready to go.
Regular cannabis plants are more suitable for cloning than their feminized counterparts. These clones will be much more stable, possess stronger genetics, and are less likely to become hermaphrodites.
Feminized seeds are only fit for a single harvest, and their genetics have the tendency to become unstable when cloned.
HOW TO GROW REGULAR CANNABIS SEEDS
The process of growing regular seeds is almost identical to growing feminized ones. There are just a few precautions to be aware of.
There are several ways to germinate your seeds. You can plant them directly in the soil, or wrap them in damp kitchen towel for a couple of days. Alternatively, use the Easy Start Kit to boost germination rates. The kit contains a tray with individual compartments for each seed and beneficial bacteria to encourage germination.
The entire germination process takes between 1–4 days. During this time, seeds require a relative humidity level of around 80%. The Easy Start Kit or a moist paper towel will easily achieve that.
Your seeds also need to be kept warm. Aim for a room temperature of approximately 26°C.
Indoors or outdoors?
You’ll also need to decide whether you want to cultivate your plants indoors or outdoors. There are pros and cons to both environments.
Growing indoors gives cultivators much more control over the grow space. You’ll be able to control light schedules at the click of a button and monitor watering to the nearest drop. Temperature and humidity can be modified using fans, heaters, and humidifiers.
The main limitation of growing indoors is space. You can get away with growing medium-sized indica strains, but towering sativas will be out of the question for most people.
Growing outdoors leaves your plants exposed to the elements. They’ll have the chance to soak up the sun, but you can’t control heat waves, storms, floods, and droughts.
Outdoor plants are also more susceptible to pests and fungal diseases.
However, space isn’t usually an issue outdoors. Growers can cultivate tall and productive plants that provide bigger yields.
After your seedlings have gained some size, you’ll need to transplant them into a bigger pot. It’s important to give them enough space to expand their roots, but placing them straight into a large pot can be detrimental. It’s better to slowly increase the size of the pot as your plant grows to avoid conditions such as root rot.
RQS Fabric Pots are ideal for the entire growing cycle. These environmentally friendly pots retain moisture while allowing roots to breathe properly. The pots are available in 11, 15, 19, and 25l sizes. Up-pot your plants to the next size as they continue to grow. RQS Fabric Pots are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
At RQS, we recommend growing organically. Studies have confirmed the harmful effects of pesticides and herbicides, and holistic methods render synthetic nutrients unnecessary.
You’re not just feeding your plants when you add food to the soil; you’re feeding the vital organisms that make up the soil food web. These critters form mutually beneficial relationships with cannabis plants.
You can boost the number of these useful microorganisms by making your own compost tea. This nutrient-dense liquid encourages the growth of beneficial fungi and bacteria while helping to deter pathogens.
Compost tea isn’t the only plant-nourishing formula you can make at home. Try making your own super soil that delivers everything your plants need on command.
It’s also critical to learn how to water your plant properly. Too much water can cause root rot, and too little can result in nutrient uptake issues.
Many beginner growers tend to overwater their plants by caring a bit too much! Start out low and gradually increase the amount of water you give as your plants grow.
The amount of water you give will also depend on the size of your container. Use these figures to administer the right amount of water for your pot size:
- 1l pot = 0.25l water
- 4l pot = 1l water
- 12l pot = 3l water
- 30l pot = 7.5l water
It’s a good idea to weigh your pots before you water them. If possible, place them on a scale. Every time you water them, the soil will retain water, and each pot will become significantly heavier.
You’ll know it’s time to water again when the pots are closer to their original weight.
You can also tell when it’s time to water again by feeling the soil. A general rule of thumb is to wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before watering your plants again.
Outdoor plants are more susceptible to overwatering during rainy weather. Place them inside a greenhouse or under a temporary shelter to prevent root rot from taking hold.
Ventilation is an important factor for both indoor and outdoor plants. Stagnant air can promote the growth of mould, which can ruin your hard work. Instal fans if you’re growing indoors, and place outdoor plants in a breezy area of your garden.
Temperature & humidity
Temperature and humidity are important variables in preventing mould and optimising yield. These factors can be controlled indoors by using humidifiers, dehumidifiers, heaters, and air conditioning.
The first signs of flowers or pollen sacs emerge at the nodes—the points at which the branches meet the main stem. Female flowers will emerge as tiny buds with small white hairs, while pollen sacs are round, hairless pods.
It’s possible to tell them apart before plants are mature enough to reproduce. Plants will start to reveal their sex at the tail-end of the vegetative phase.
It’s important to identify males and females as early as possible. Doing so will enable you to separate them well before the air becomes rife with pollen.
Dedicate a separate room or grow tent to male plants. Once they’re mature, you can collect their pollen for future breeding projects. Alternatively, you can place them in a dedicated breeding tent with a female to produce seeds naturally.
BREEDING: CREATE YOUR OWN STRAINS
By growing regular cannabis seeds, it’s possible to breed your own strains at home. You can cross two strains to combine their best traits into a single plant. For example, try breeding a regular male with an autoflowering female to create a strain that flowers much faster.
Maybe there are times when you find it hard to choose between indica and sativa strains? Try breeding an indica-dominant strain with a sativa-dominant variety to create a perfectly balanced cultivar.
You can also play around with terpene profiles. Some strains are exceptionally fruity, whereas others are more earthy. Why not blend opposing terpene profiles to see what you come up with?
Likewise, cross a regular male with a high-THC or high-CBD strain to boost cannabinoid levels.
Once you’ve grown out the males and females you want to breed, it’s time to make the cross. Use these simple steps to do so.
STEP 1: CHOOSE A MALE AND COLLECT POLLEN
First thing’s first, you need to choose a prime male specimen. Select a male that displays the traits you want to pass down to the progeny.
If you want a tall plant, choose the tallest male you have at your disposal. Maybe you want a generation of productive males? If so, choose the plant with the most pollen sacs.
Enter the male grow space with a plastic bag and place the bag over a branch that contains mature pollen sacs. Shake your plant to release pollen into the bag.
STEP 2: FERTILISE YOUR FEMALES
If possible, change your clothes before entering the female grow space. Any lingering pollen could accidentally fertilise unselected plants.
Select the females you want to fertilise. Dab the pollen with the end of a paintbrush and gently stroke the flowers you want to fertilise.
Fertilise the flowers on one or two branches on each plant. Label these branches, and leave the other flowers to develop into smokable bud.
STEP 3: SPRAY DOWN YOUR PLANTS
Allow the pollen to work its magic for three hours. The fertilised flowers will now begin the process of forming seeds. Gently spray down the fertilised buds with water to remove excess pollen.
STEP 4: HARVEST YOUR SEEDS
The fertilised flowers will produce seeds within 2–6 weeks. When mature, dry your flowers and store them for one month. After this time, your seeds will be ready for germination. Let the experiments continue! Grow out your strain, have a smoke, and become familiar with it.
Repeat the process again with your favourite specimens to tease out the desired traits. You’re no longer limited to strains you find in seedbank archives.
You can literally create the strain of your dreams with some experimentation. Find specimens that produce your favourite terpenes, a high that you love, and flowers you find beautiful.
With each subsequent generation, you’ll be one step closer to creating your very own masterpiece!
Regular vs Feminized vs Autoflowering vs CBD Learn the difference between cannabis seed types.
What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds?
What are regular cannabis seeds? What’s the difference between them and feminized seeds, and what are their pros and cons? Learn about regular cannabis seeds, how to properly use and grow them, and how they can be utilized to make a whole new strain!
Cannabis seed companies usually carry three types of cannabis seeds: feminized seeds, autoflowering seeds, and regular cannabis seeds. Among growers, feminized and autoflowering varieties are the most popular, but this doesn’t mean that their regular counterparts go ignored.
So, what exactly are regular cannabis seeds? How do they differ from feminized seeds? What are their pros and cons? When, and why, would you use them?
What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds And Who Are They For?
You wouldn’t spot a difference between feminized and regular seeds from the outside. The distinction, in fact, lies within their chromosomes. See, female seeds are made through pollination of a female by another female. While that’s normally impossible, it can be done by stressing a female plant into growing male sex features (like pollen). The seeds that emerge as a result of this process end up lacking male (XY) chromosomes, hence their name.
Regular seeds come from, as you’d expect, crossing a male and a female. Their genetic information, in turn, contains both male and female (XX) chromosomes. Unlike feminized seeds, which produce exclusively (99.99%) female plants, these seeds have a 50/50% chance of being either. Sometimes, however, they can also produce intersex plants.
There are some myths out there regarding the differences between weed plants grown from feminized and regular seeds. Some think that feminized seeds produce less potent or flavourful plants than regular seeds, but this isn’t really true. For the most part, cannabis plants grown from feminized and regular seeds are completely equal in terms of quality. If there are differences, it’s usually due to breeding techniques and the mother plants being used.
So who’d be interested to grow regular cannabis seeds? Why would they pick them over the other options? Most hobby cannabis growers just focus on getting the best final product. They want potent buds, and while female plants offer those, males develop pollen sacs instead. Moreover, when males pollinate the females, the latter produce seedy, poor quality buds. This is why, before feminized seeds, growers had to identify the sex of their plants early and remove useless males.
These days, growers can avoid worry and just buy some feminized seeds (note: autoflowers are also feminized). But, if that’s the case, why are seed banks still carrying regular cannabis seeds? Even with their disadvantages, they still have their justification.
Feminized cannabis plants don’t produce seeds. Sure, that’s good for growing awesome buds, but it’s awful for breeding. Breeders, therefore, use regular seeds so they can have males and females together. For selective breeding, they separate the males from the females, select only the best specimens from each, and let the pollination occur in a controlled environment.
Not all cannabis strains are available in feminized form. Some, especially some of the most iconic strains, are only available as regular seeds. Regular seeds are unaltered and ensure that a particular variety is as close to its roots as possible. Old-schoolers can often find their beloved favourites among regular cannabis varieties.
Along with that, some breeders only offer their creations as regular cannabis varieties. The only way to get those strains in your grow room, then, is to plant those regular seeds.
Pros And Cons Of Regular Seeds
The reason for this is that regular cannabis seeds are immensely important to create and keep a diverse gene pool. Only regular seeds bring about interesting new strain phenotypes, as opposed to constantly breeding with the same genetics. That doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own set of problems, though. To paint a clearer picture, let’s take a look at more of the pros and cons of regular seeds.
Regular Cannabis Seeds: The Pros
They make creating new genetic profiles possible.
As mentioned, new phenotypes only occur with regular cannabis seeds. This aspect makes them important for breeding and maintaining the genetic diversity of cannabis.
They allow the expression of a strain’s full lineage.
Most cannabis strains can develop into plants of various phenotypes. In other words, individual plants may emphasize certain genetic traits over others, including specific aroma profiles or effects. This is useful when you want to choose mother plants for breeding based on desired qualities.
They are needed for seed production.
Only regular cannabis seeds produce both males and females, which are needed for getting cannabis seeds.
They are good for strong and healthy clones.
Regular seeds are, of course, unaltered and natural. Their genetics are often more robust than their feminized counterparts, making for stronger and healthier clones accordingly.
Some classic, old school strains are only available as regular seeds.
Many great cannabis varieties from the 1990s and earlier never made the cut in the feminized market.
No chemical agents are involved, unlike with feminized seeds.
To make feminized seeds, female plants are treated with benzothiadiazole, gibberellic acid, silver thiosulphate, silver nitrate and/or colloidal silver. No such treatment is involved in producing regular cannabis seeds.
They’re relatively inexpensive.
Regular seeds are not processed in any way, so they’re often cheaper than feminized varieties. The other reason, of course, is that not all the seeds will produce buds.
They turn into hardy and strong plants.
Thanks to those unaltered genetics, regular cannabis seeds usually become tougher plants than their counterparts. They may grow with increased resistance against pests and disease and may grow better in less optimal environments.
Regular Cannabis Seeds: The Cons
You’ll end up with lower yields per crop.
Approximately half of planted regular seeds will turn out male, so there’s less usable cannabis per given number of plants.
In most cases, males need to be removed.
Unless you’re breeding, or trying to get more seeds, you’ll need to sex the plants and remove males in time. If you don’t they’ll pollinate the females and spoil your harvest.
Not well-suited for beginners.
Identifying male plants and safely separating them from the females requires some additional knowledge.
Growing Cannabis From Regular Seeds
Aside from the need to watch out for male plants, growing regular cannabis seeds is pretty much the same as when growing feminized seeds. However, you should keep a few things in mind:
1. Indoors or Outdoors?
The pool of regular seeds is not as big as the feminized pool. In other words, you have a smaller variety of strains bred for particular growing conditions. This can make it necessary that you carefully choose genetics suitable for indoor or outdoor growing in your specific region. The same is true when it comes to your personal preferences for taste or effect of cannabis. You will find fewer to choose from that match what you’re looking for.
2. Seeds Need to Be Transplanted
Cannabis seeds grow vigorously, with the maturation rate depending on the variety and how long they stay in the vegetative phase. For best results, and to avoid plants getting “root bound” (roots outgrowing their pot), re-transplant them at least twice. If you want to save yourself the trouble, though, you should try the Zamnesia Geotextile Fabric Pot. These pots air-prune the roots, so there is no need for transplanting. Furthermore, since water can permeate through the porous textile material, fabric pots make it impossible to overwater your cannabis.
3. Males Need to Be Removed
Unless you’re breeding or seeking more seeds, keep an eye out for male plants and remove them. You don’t need to toss them out though. In fact, there quite a few ways to make use of your male cannabis plants; try juicing their leaves, or making hash from their pollen.
4. Learn The Best Ways to Care For Your Plants
Not all cannabis strains have the same requirements for watering and nutrients. Some, along with that, are better suited for certain environments. Some varieties will take very long to flower, while others may be done earlier, and so forth. Considering that, you should learn about the particular requirements of a strain before planting. If you’re still new to cannabis, choose an easy variety with robust genetics that isn’t too picky. You can get this information when you read strain information on an online description page.
Along with consulting the internet, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask on grower forums on the internet. There, you can find many growers who will be happy to give you tips on growing, equipment, strains, and more. Growing cannabis isn’t difficult per se, but it will require some basic knowledge that’s good to have before getting started.
How To Create Your Own Strain With Regular Seeds
One of the most-rewarding things that you can do with regular cannabis seeds is use them to create your own strains. And it’s not even that difficult! Check out our blog on how to create your own knockout cannabis strain, and learn the ropes. As you read, you’ll find out about selective breeding, backcrossing and more. Create your own strains, and you can get your cannabis growing at a whole new level (and seriously impress your friends).