Cannabis Seed Development

Learn how to produce your own cannabis seeds in a few simple steps! There's nothing more rewarding as creating your own killer strain. Marijuana Cultivation/Producing Seeds Sooner or later every grower is going to want to produce marijuana seeds. Developing a new stable strain is beyond the scope of this discussion and requires I have an indoor growroom and in my recent harvest I found seeds in the buds, but I’m sure there are no male plants in the room.

How to produce your own cannabis seeds

Learn how to produce your own cannabis seeds in a few simple steps! There’s nothing more rewarding as creating your own killer strain.

When we talk about cannabis it’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful females that produce those cannabinoid-rich buds we all love and treasure. In fact, we have become so focused on the female cannabis plants that it’s almost considered a bad omen if a plant happens to turn out male.

But it’s important to remember that male cannabis plants are just as important as their female counterparts. Male cannabis plants produce pollen like other male plant varieties which germinate female buds to create seeds.

This pollen plays an important role in breeding as it allows expert breeders to mix and match the genetics from different plant varieties to create their own cannabis seeds of their own strains.

WHAT IS CANNABIS POLLEN?

Cannabis pollen is no different from regular pollen produced by other plants.

Pollen is fine powder that usually has a golden yellow colour. It consists of tiny microscopic grains excreted from the pollen sac on male plants.

Pollen is used to fertilize female cannabis plants and create seeds. In the wild, cannabis pollen is transported from male plants to females via the wind. However, in a manmade grow op growers will collect the pollen from males manually and then apply it to the females when they’ve started developing flowers.

Pollen is usually collected by expert breeders and used to make cannabis seeds or breed unique strains. It can be manually extracted from flowering male plants and stored for well over a year.

HOW TO COLLECT CANNABIS POLLEN FROM MALE PLANTS?

Collecting pollen is relatively simple. You’ll know your male plants are ready when their pollen sacks look full or when you find small patches of pollen on nearby leafs.

There are a few simple ways to collect the pollen from your male plants:

  1. A simple way to harvest pollen from your male cannabis plants is to gently remove the pollen sacs, drying them for a week, and then storing them in a resealable bag (a ziploc bag works great). Once the sacs are dry you can simply shake the bag gently and the sacs should start to split and crack, releasing the pollen into the bag. You can then remove the individual sacs, leaving behind the beautiful golden pollen powder
  2. Another popular way to harvest pollen from your plants is to simply agitate the pollen sacs so they release their pollen into a bag or container. You can do this using a ziploc bag; simply open the bag, gently bend the pollen sacs so they are almost inside it, and gently tap them to release their pollen. Remember to remove any sacs that may have fallen into the bag or container along with the pollen.

Remember, never go near female plants after harvesting pollen or having been near any flowering male plants. Also do not keep your male plants in close proximity to your female plants or you’ll risk pollinating them and destroying your harvest.

HOW TO STORE CANNABIS POLLEN

When it comes to storing cannabis pollen, moisture is your worst enemy; if your pollen gets wet it is literally useless.

The best way to store cannabis pollen is in a new resealable bag. You can store pollen this way in the fridge for a few days. Alternatively, you can store it in the freezer for up to 1 year.

Some people like to store their pollen together with plain flour using a 1 part pollen to 3 part flour ratio. This helps absorb any moisture and also make pollination easier by increasing the volume of the pollen collected. Alternatively, you might want to try storing your cannabis pollen with silica gel packs

Whenever storing your pollen, make sure you minimize the chances of any moisture entering the container or bag. A good way to do this is to store your pollen bag inside 1 or 2 other bags (also known as double or triple bagging).

HOW TO USE CANNABIS POLLEN

As we mentioned earlier, cannabis pollen is typically used by breeders and expert growers to create new strains or seeds. They do this by harvesting pollen from their male plants and then applying it to female plants that are about 2-3 weeks into their flowering cycle.

By this time, the developing buds on the female plants will have white wispy hairs. These are used to naturally collect pollen from the wind in the wild.

In order to pollinate your plant you’ll want to apply your harvested pollen onto the bud sites (usually located where leaves meet the stem of a plant) using a brush. This will cause the buds to develop seeds which can be collected and grown in the future.

Remember, only the bud sites that come into contact with pollen will develop cannabis seeds. You can choose to apply pollen to parts or all of your female plant. You’ll also want to make sure you directly touch the pistils/hairs on a bud site to ensure the area is well pollinated.

Alternatively, you can try pollinating your female plants using a more “natural alternative.” Simply place your male plant in the same room as a female and give it a few good shakes once or twice a day for 2-3 days. This will help release pollen into the air and onto the bud sites of the female.

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You can then move your pollinated female plant out of the room and back into another grow environment. Just make sure to keep both your male and pollinated female as far away as possible from the females you don’t want to pollinate.

HOW TO COLLECT CANNABIS SEEDS

Cannabis seeds develop in the flowers of the female plants after about 4-6 weeks from pollination. You will see the seeds starting to form in and around the pollinated buds.

Pollinated buds look quite different to regular sinsemilla. They usually don’t have as many rich trichomes and don’t form into large colas. Instead, they’re usually smaller and a lot more bulbous.

4 weeks after pollinating your female you can begin checking in on your seeds to see if they’re ready for harvest. Simply pick a seed out from a pollinated bud; mature seeds will have an incredibly hard shell and be a dark brown or tan colour. They might also have some light striping on the outer shell.

If your cannabis seeds don’t meet this description, let your plant develop a little longer. Some cannabis plants can develop mature seeds really late into their flowering cycle. If that’s the case, make sure you keep your plant alive with plenty of light and nutrients.

Once you’re convinced your seeds are mature, simply harvest your buds and dig in deep to get out all those beautiful seeds. You can store cannabis seeds in a cool, dry place for at least a few years or germinate them to start growing new plants immediately.

Max has been writing about cannabis and psychedelics for several years now. With a strong belief that an open, honest attitude toward drugs and drug policy can improve the lives of many, he seeks to offer insightful and developed opinions on the subject.

Marijuana Cultivation/Producing Seeds

Sooner or later every grower is going to want to produce marijuana seeds. Developing a new stable strain is beyond the scope of this discussion and requires the ability to grow hundreds or even thousands of breeding plants. However, just about any grower can manage to preserve some genetics by growing f2 seeds where they have crossed a male and female of the same strain, or can produce a simple cross which would be referred to as strain1xstrain2 for instance white widow crossed with ak-47 would be referred to as a WW x AK-47. You can produce some excellent seed and excellent marijuana this way.

To Feminise or not to Feminise Edit

There are numerous myths surrounding feminized seeds. Feminizing seeds are a bit more work than simply crossing two plants naturally. However it will save you a lot of time in the end. If you make fem seeds properly then there is no increased chance of hermaphrodites and all seeds will be female. This means no wasted time and effort growing males and it means that all your viable seeds produce useful plants. Since roughly half of normal seeds are male this effectively doubles the number of seeds you have.

Feminized seeds are bred to contain no male chromosomes, which will be able to produce the crop of resinous buds sought by most growers. For gardeners who require a quick and easy cultivation process, feminized seeds are the ideal choice. Some medicinal cannabis users may be deterred from growing their own supply because of the perceived difficulty of growing or of identifying the different genders and removing males early in the blooming period. Feminized seed-strains offer a simple solution to these issues, as there is no need to spend time in the first weeks of flowering checking for male plants.

Other times you will have no choice but to produce feminized seed because it will be a female plants genetics that you want to preserve and you won’t have any males. Perhaps you received these genetics via clone or didn’t keep males.

The new thing on the market for commercial Cannabis cultivation are auto-flowering feminized strains. By crossing of the cannabis ruderalis with Sativa and Indica strains many cultivators have created interesting hybrids which boast benefits from both sides of these families.

The first ‘auto-flowering cannabis seed’ which came on the market a few years ago was the Lowryder #1. This was a hybrid between a Cannabis ruderalis, a William’s Wonder and a Northern Lights #2. This strain was marketed by ‘The Joint Doctor’ and was honestly speaking not very impressive. The genetics of the ruderalis was still highly present which caused for a very low yield and little psychoactive effect. Not very attractive.

Auto-flowering cannabis and the easily distributed seed have opened a whole new market in the world of the online grow-shop, making it easy for home growers with shortage of space to grow rewarding cannabis plants in many different varieties. To grow plants indoors, a growing medium (e.g. soil or growing Potting soil, irrigation (water), fertilizer (nutrients), light and atmosphere need to be supplied to the plant.

Auto-flowers have been rising in popularity fast and there are now auto flower growers communities. These Web properties allow users to get information on how to grow these non photo-sensitive plants and what are the best practices when producing and germinating auto-flower seeds.

Selecting Suitable Parents Edit

There are a number of important characteristics when selecting parents. First are you making fem seeds? If you are then both parents will be female. This makes things easier. If not then the best you can do is select a male with characteristics in common with the females you hope to achieve from the seed.

Obviously potency, yield, and psychoactive effects are critical to the selection process. But some other important traits are size, odor, taste, resistance to mold and contaminants, early finishing and consistency.

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Collecting and Storing Pollen Edit

In order to collect pollen you simply put down newspaper around the base of the plant. The pollen will fall from the plant onto the newspaper. You can then put this newspaper into a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator or freeze it. Pollen will keep for a few months in the refrigerator and can be used on the next crop. Filtering the pollen through a silkscreen, drying, and freezing can extend viability for decades. At least one reader indicates success using pollen treated in this manner and stored at -30 c for 17 years. The chance of viability does decrease with time, even in the freezer, so the more fresh the pollen the better. Wrapping the pollen in a layer of aluminum foil and then a layer of plastic should help to protect it from freezer burn. Additionally, oxygen evacuation such as with a heavy gas like nitrogen or vacuum sealing should provide additional assurance of preservation.

Pollinating a Plant Edit

To pollinate a plant you can brush the pollen on a flower with a cotton swab or you can take the plastic bag, then wrap the flower inside it and shake, trapping the pollen inside for easier transportation. In this way you can selectively pollinate plants and even individual buds and branches.

Male Isolation Edit

A male plant or a plant with male flowers will pollinate your entire crop rendering it seedy. You probably don’t want THAT many seeds so how can you avoid it? Moving the male to another room might work but if that other room shares an air path via ducting or air conditioning then pollen may still find its way. One technique is to construct a male isolation chamber.

A male isolation chamber is simply a transparent container such as a large plastic storage tub turned on its side (available at your local megamart). Get a good sized PC fan that can be powered with pretty much any 12v wall adapter, by splicing together the + (yellow or red on fan, usually dotted on power adapter) and the – wires (black on fan, usually dotted power adapter) just twist with the like wire on the other device and then seal up the connection with electric tape. Then take a filtrate filter and cut out squares that fit the back of the pc fan so that the fan pulls (rather than pushes) air through the filter. Tape several layers of filter to the back of the pc fan so all the air goes through the filter. Now cut a large hole in the top of the plastic container and mount the pc fan over top of it so it pulls air out the box. You can use silicon sealant, latex, whatever you’ve got that gives a good tight seal.

This can be used as is, or you can cut a small intake in the bottom to improve airflow. Pollen won’t be able to escape the intake as long as the fan is moving but you might put filter paper over the intake to protect against fan failures. You can also use grommets to seal holes and run tubing into the chamber in order to water hydroponically from a reservoir outside the chamber. Otherwise you will need to remove the whole chamber to a safe location in order to water the plant or maintain a reservoir kept inside the chamber.

Making Feminized Seed Edit

To make feminized seed you must induce male flowers in a female plant. There is all sorts of information on the Internet about doing this with light stress (light interruptions during flowering) and other forms of stress. The best of the stress techniques is to simply keep the plant in the flowering stage well past ripeness and it will produce a flower (with seed).

Stress techniques will work but whatever genetic weakness caused the plants to produce a male flower under stress will be carried on to the seeds. This means the resulting seeds have a known tendency to produce hermaphrodites. Fortunately, environmental stress is not the only way to produce male flowers in a female plant.

The ideal way to produce feminized seed through hormonal alteration of the plant. By adding or inhibiting plant hormones you can cause the plant to produce male flowers. Because you did not select a plant that produces male flowers under stress there is no genetic predisposition to hermaphroditism in the seed vs plants bred between a male and female parent. There are actually a few ways to do this, the easiest I will list here.

Colloidal Silver (CS) Edit

This is the least expensive and most privacy conscious way to produce fem seed. CS has gotten a bad name because there is so much bad information spread around about its production and concentrations. It doesn’t help that there are those who believe in drinking low concentration colloidal silver for good health and there is information mixed in about how to produce that low concentration food grade product. Follow the information here and you will consistently produce effective CS and know how to apply it to get consistent results.

Simply construct a generator using a 9-12 v power supply (DC output, if it says AC then its no good) that can deliver at least 250ma (most wall wart type power supplies work, batteries are not recommended since their output varies over time). The supply will have a positive and negative lead, attach silver to each lead (contrary to Internet rumors, you aren’t drinking this so cheap 925(92.5%) Stirling silver is more than pure enough. You can expose the leads by clipping off the round plug at the end and splitting the wires, one will be positive and the other negative just like any old battery. Submerge both leads about 2-3 inches apart in a glass of distilled water (roughly 8 oz). Let this run for 8-24 hrs (until the liquid reads 12-15 ppm) and when you return the liquid will be a purple or silver hue and there may be some precipitate on the bottom.

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This liquid is called colloidal silver. It is nothing more or less than fine particles of silver suspended in water so it is a completely natural solution. It is safe to handle without any special precautions. [ citation needed ] The silver inhibits female flowering hormones in cannabis and so the result is that male flowering hormone dominates and male flowers are produced.

To use the silver, spray on a plant or branch three days prior to switching the lights to 12/12 and continue spraying every three days until you see the first male flowers. Repeated applications after the first flowers appear may result in more male flowers and therefore more pollen. As the plant matures it will produce pollen that can be collected and used to pollinate any female flower (including flowers on the same plant).

Silver Thiosulfate (STS) Edit

Silver Thiosulfate is a substance that has similar principle, application and results of CS, but is more difficult to make. STS is more difficult to acquire, but it can still be obtained directly from a chemical supply company. STS is not an expensive or controlled substance.

Gibberellic Acid (GA3) Edit

This is probably the most popular way to produce feminized seed, but at the same time the least effective. GA3 is a plant hormone that also causes the plant to stretch uncontrollably. It can be purchased readily in powdered form, a quick search reveals numerous sources on e-bay for as little as $15. Simply add to water to reach 100ppm concentration and spray the plant daily for 10 days during flowering and male flowers will be produced.

I have an indoor growroom and in my recent harvest I found seeds in the buds, but I’m sure there are no male plants in the room. I’ve heard that light leakage can cause plants to become hermaphrodites. Is this true, and if so, do you have any tips for avoiding this?

Cannabis plants are monecious. This means they have the ability to be either male or female. Or in the case of hermaphroditism, they can be both. The reason to make sure there are no males or hermaphrodites in your garden is because male flowers make pollen. When pollen touches the white hairs on a flower, it makes a seed, and seeded weed gives you headaches. Even though there are reasons in nature hermaphroditism could be important, such as continuing the species in case there is no male present, hermaphroditism is generally a bad thing when talking about cannabis plants.

Light poisoning is the most common cause for a normal plant to hermaphrodite.

Light poisoning refers to the flowering night cycle of a plant being unnaturally interrupted with light. The best way to prevent this is to close yourself inside your darkened room during the daylight, and then after allowing a few minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark, check for any light leaks from covered windows, door jams, etc. Also cover all timer and appliance lights with tape.

Negative stressors can combine with small interruptions of the light cycle to cause hermaphroditism, especially with less-stable, clone-only hybridized strains. When the night cycle is abnormally interrupted, it sends a mixed hormonal signal to the plant. This can cause a full female plant to throw some male flowers. Male flowers are easy to identify, especially when side by side with female flowers. Male flowers look like small bunches of bananas, which will take a week or two to swell before they burst and release their pollen.

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Finding a hermaphrodite in your growroom can happen at any stage of the flowering cycle and is indicated by the presence of male flowers growing on the same plant as female flowers. As with all species in nature this can occur in varying degrees. A plant can become slightly or majorly hermaphroditic. In cases where singular male flowers are found between the branch and stalk nodes, you should be diligently removing them as they grow. You must re-inspect the plant top to bottom every few days to be sure pollination and seeding doesn’t occur. If you find male flowers (anthers) actually growing from within the female flowers (buds) the situation is a little more dire. You can still remove all the male anatomy as it appears, but it will be harder to find and much more prevalent. This is a horrible discovery that leads to a tough decision: Should you let the plant live and risk the whole crop being ruined by seeds?

In either case, once hermaphroditism has compromised the safety and purity of your sensimilla, the plant should not be propagated further. Remember, once a hermy, always a hermy. The plant pictured here is in the tenth and what should have been the final week of ripening, but a timer failed and one light stayed on continuously for almost two weeks, causing this vegetative regrowth. Because the light was continuous, the plant made no pollen. This method of re-vegging can be used to save a flowering plant you have no copies of, but be careful, as this may cause some strains to hermaphrodite.

Purposefully causing a plant to hermaphrodite is called selfing. Gibberellic acid or colloidal silver is typically sprayed onto the female plant. This technique is used to make feminized seeds and uses the plant’s ability to be both male and female to force a female plant to produce male flowers. The pollen contained in these male flowers can only produce female seeds. Just keep in mind that feminized plants should not be used for breeding, as they were produced without a true male, making them genetically inferior.