Feminized Cannabis Seeds Pros And Cons

The disadvantages of feminized seeds vs regular are not so many, and both types have their pros and cons. Let’s compare them! Hint: fems rule! The season for growing marijuana outdoors is approaching and proper planning is fundamental to make it a success. First of all you need to know what type of seed to us… Here we investigate the advantages and disadvantages of feminized cannabis seeds vs regular cannabis seeds, and ask, which is more suitable for you?

Feminized Seeds vs Regular: Pros and Cons of Both

Let’s compare feminized seeds vs regular to help all you newbie growers choose the right type for your needs

Making a choice for feminized seeds vs regular isn’t always easy.

When you go to a seed shop, all you see is feminized seeds. Most customers just buy whatever everybody else buys, but some people don’t like the idea of their seeds being genetically modified, and so they are suspicious. If you too have second thoughts about buying feminized seeds, our post will help you make an informed choice.

Table of Contents

Let’s Define Feminized Seeds First

Feminized cannabis seeds are the seeds that have been genetically manipulated in such a way that the plants grown from them are almost always female.

In contrast, regular seeds grow into plants that can either become male or female, with more or less a 50/50 chance.

If you want more details and insights into the biology and history of feminized seeds and what to expect of them, we’ve written a separate post about it.

Are Feminized Seeds Bad?

The short answer is NO, they’re OK.

It’s true that some 30 years ago—when fems first made their appearance on the weed scene—growers routinely ran into problems with feminized seeds. The reason was that, initially, the process of feminization involved too much stress. As you might know, stressed marijuana plants often turn into hermaphrodites. And if they later produce seeds, those seeds inherit this feature, too. Meaning the seeds harvested from hermie plants grow into hermies as well if they’re stressed even slightly.

Fortunately, today’s market—with its huge supply and ruthless competition—forces breeders to eliminate stress from their practices. Most of them offer customers very stable genetics. I myself have seen regular plants change sex for no particular reason. And fem plants that were standing next to them were perfectly alright. So, feminized seeds aren’t good or bad per se. It all depends on the breeder who’s made them.

So Are Feminised Seeds Better Then?

I risk making purists angry, but I think that yes, they are. If you grow cannabis for buds, the choice of feminized seeds vs regular is a no-brainer.

With regular seeds, you’ll have to plant twice as many seeds as you need. Don’t forget that half of them will produce males and you’ll throw them away. This will leave gaps in your grow room that’ll have to be filled somehow. Besides, it’s a waste of resources if you take care of a plant for several weeks, and then it goes in a trashcan.

You’ll also have to watch your plants vere closely after you flip the switch to 12/12. It’s the time when plants reveal their sex, and males must be discarded IMMEDIATELY. You should never risk leaving them in your grow room for an extra couple of days for whatever reason. Even one pollen sack could ruin your whole crop.

And when you grow pot outdoors, guerilla-style, and can’t afford to visit your secret patch very often, the possibility of even one plant turning male in your absence is a major headache. Hell, cross-pollination can happen even if male and female plants are within 10 miles of each other, let alone in the same patch!

With feminized seeds, you’ll have none of these worries.

Are Feminized Seeds Less Potent?

There is nothing in the genetic makeup of feminized seeds to make them less potent than regular seeds. The genes that determine the sex of a plant have no influence over potency. And the same goes for terpenes. So, stuff grown from feminized seeds will smell and taste good and will make you as high as the buds grown from regular seeds.

Do Feminized Seeds Yield Less?

The yields that you can expect from cannabis seeds don’t depend on whether they are feminized or not. So, if you go to a seed shop and see two versions of the same genetics—feminized and regular—rest assured that both yield exactly the same. Yields may be high or just average, but either way it has nothing to do with feminization.

Feminized Seeds Disadvantages vs Regular Seeds

The main disadvantage is the higher price compared to regular seeds. However, recently the prices have been going down. At least some breeders sell their feminized beans very cheap.

One more (rather obvious) thing is that if you want to produce your own seeds the old-fashioned way (when male and female plants grow next to each other, and pollination occurs naturally), you can’t do it with feminized seeds.

And even if you want to make your own feminized seeds (which is not so hard btw), you have a choice to use either feminized seeds or not, but it’s probably best to take genetics that are more ‘natural’, that is regular seeds.

Another drawback has more to do with the integrity of a particular breeder. And it doesn’t matter whether they make feminized seeds or regular. If they’re in a hurry to market half-baked strains and make a profit, it’s one thing. In this case, you may expect a great deal of variance of phenotypes. Probably, also a fair share of hermies and mutants from both feminised or regular seeds. But if they make sure to stabilize their varieties over several generations, it’s a totally different thing.

See also  Feminized Cannabis Seeds

So read reviews about a breeder and their strains, look for how stable their plants are and whether growers have ever problems with hermies. If the breeder checks out, their feminized seeds can be better than non feminized seeds by another, less scrupulous breeder.

Bottom Line: Feminised Seeds Rule!

Purists and traditionalists never win in the long run. Progress always does. So don’t look down on such a wonderful modern invention as feminized seeds. In most situations and contexts, they are your best bet.

Pros and cons of each type of seed: regular, feminised, autoflowering and CBD-rich

In its natural state, the marijuana plant is dioecious, that is, there are male and female specimens that breed among each other to create new specimens. Regular seeds are seeds that produce both male and female plants, where the grower has no control over their sex.

Although in recent years the proportion of users who choose this type of seed has fallen considerably, regular marijuana seeds continue to be the preferred option for some old-school growers, who wish to respect the nature of the plant in all aspects and, of course, by those who wish to make their own seeds.

Pros:

  • Breeding: Regular seeds make it possible to breed the plants making seeds with the males and females that emerge from a batch of regular seeds.

Cons:

  • Limited yield: The problem with regular seeds is that you do not have any control over the sex of the plants, meaning that after a month and a half of caring for them you may find that you have to get rid of half of your plants because they are males, thus reducing by half the potential yield of the crop.

Feminised seeds

Feminised seeds emerged in the late 90s as a response to the need to grow seeds that guaranteed the development of female plants. At the beginning this type of seed produced cannabis plants with certain quality problems and instability, with plants that sometimes suffered from hermaphroditism. However, over the years feminised seeds have achieved extremely high levels of quality, as regards yield, effects or flavour, to the point that they have relegated regular seeds to a mere 10% market share.

Pros:

  • Cost effectiveness: Feminised marijuana seeds guarantee 100% female crops. That is, all the effort and care you invest in the plants will be rewarded because there will be no male specimens to discard.

Cons:

  • As they do not allow the development of male plants, feminised seeds are not the appropriate choice if your aim is to produce seeds.

Autoflowering seeds

After feminised seeds, starting in approximately 2008 autoflowering seeds, also known as automatic seeds, made their arrival. As the name indicates, they flower in a shorter period of time and require less care than regular or feminised seeds. Autoflowering marijuana seeds emerged as the ideal choice for less experienced growers, but as their quality parameters have gradually equalled their non-autoflowering cousins in aroma, flavour and effects, they have become a valid alternative for the most demanding growers. In case you were wondering, yes, the autoflowering seeds are also feminised.

Pros:

  • Speed: Without a doubt, the big advantage of autoflowering seeds is the speed with which they develop. The flowering periods change depending on the variety, but with any automatic variety you know that in two and a half months tops your plants will be harvested.
  • Manageability: Although the differences in quality of autoflowering plants in comparison to the rest of the feminised plants are increasingly fewer, most of the automatic varieties are smaller in size, not only requiring simpler maintenance, but they are also ideal for discreet crops, on balconies or terraces. If your idea is to have a manageable marijuana plant, camouflaged among the flowers and pots on your terrace, autoflowering seeds are, without a doubt, your option.
  • Ease: Autoflowering seeds are, in general, easier to grow, both indoors and outdoors. In indoor gardens it is not necessary to change the photoperiod, as the plants themselves change from the growth period to the flowering period by themselves. That is, regardless of the hours of light they receive, they will develop buds.

Cons:

  • Yield: As they are smaller in size, autoflowering cannabis seeds have the inconvenience of a smaller yield per plant.

CBD-rich seeds

You have probably heard a lot lately about CBD, the cannabinoid in vogue. CBD is present in some marijuana plants and, in addition to having many therapeutic qualities, it counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. Therefore, CBD-rich varieties of marijuana cannot only help people who suffer from insomnia, stress or more serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, but, in addition, it can enable a more sustainable recreational consumption of cannabis compatible with daily activities. As for its cultivation, you can find both feminised and autoflowering varieties rich in CBD.

Pros:

Reduced psychoactive effect: As it acts as an antagonist of THC, CBD counteracts the psychoactive and side-effects of the former. To make a comparison with alcohol, a variety with high levels of THC would be like drinking spirits, while another rich in CBD would be like drinking a beer.

See also  Cannabis Seeds Ct

Therapeutic properties: CBD interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, activating and stimulating our natural response to pain, anxiety, stress, etc. Scientific research has found that CBD can bring many benefits to our body including:

  • Reduction of nausea and vomiting
  • Suppression of convulsive activity
  • It combats psychosis disorders, and there have been studies and clinical trials which indicate that CBD can be effective for treating schizophrenia
  • It combats inflammatory disorders
  • It combats neurodegenerative disorders
  • It combats anxiety and depression disorders
  • Fewer side-effects: CBD counteracts the side-effects associated with THC, such as increased appetite, faster heart rate, poorer memory or an altered perception of time, among others.

Cons:

A reduced psychoactive effect: what may be an advantage for some, can be an inconvenience for others. CBD causes the effects of marijuana to be less intense, much milder, and not everyone is interested in that milder effect.

Author

Regina Journalist with a PhD in Media Studies and a chatty spirit. I love telling stories and being told stories; listening, analyzing and understanding all the things around me to never stop growing and discovering. Cannabis is one of my passions, and every day I learn about new nuances, secrets and possibilities offered by this plant, information I like sharing with you here.

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Feminized vs Regular Cannabis: Pros and Cons

There’s a lot of terminology surrounding cannabis consumption and cultivation. While most of it is interesting, a lot of it is jargon that is of less importance to a beginner grower. Yet, this is not the case with the terms “feminized” and “regular” when referring to cannabis seeds. Misunderstanding these terms can spell doom, so get educated here!

Contents:

  1. What’s the Difference Between Regular and Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
  2. Can You See the Difference Between Regular and Feminized Seeds?
  3. What Are the Pros and Cons of Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
  4. What Are the Pros and Cons of Regular Cannabis Seeds?
  5. Are Feminized Marijuana Seeds Better Than Regular Seeds?
  6. What Should I Buy: Feminized Seeds or Regular Cannabis Seeds?

If you’ve spent any time perusing the catalogues of marijuana seed banks, you likely noticed that most of the seeds are described as “fully feminized” or “100% feminized”. And, if they have them at all, often there’s only a small section dedicated to “regular” seeds.

But what is the difference? And which kind is most suitable for you? Here we explore the differences between feminized and regular cannabis seeds, and discuss the circumstances in which one or the other is more favourable.

Aimed at beginner growers, this guide will help you understand some of the most important decisions you have to make on your growing journey, and those that will offer you the best results.

What’s the Difference Between Regular and Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

As the name suggests, feminized cannabis seeds produce exclusively female cannabis plants (or about 99.9% female). Regular cannabis seeds, on the other hand, produce a mix of male and female plants.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of seed, with the grower’s individual needs ultimately determining which is most suitable. While these will be expanded upon below, the main reason cannabis growers use regular seeds is to breed their own strains, whereas feminized cannabis seeds are ideal for growers seeking a cannabinoid-rich, bud-producing crop.

Male cannabis plants only produce pollen sacs, not resinous flowers. It is this resin that is packed full of cannabinoids such as THC and aromatic terpenes, which are in turn responsible for cannabis’ sought-after effects.

So not only do male plants not provide much in the way of a high, but if they pollinate the female plants, then their flowers will stop developing resin, and start producing seeds. In short; male cannabis plants do not assist in the pursuit of monster, potent harvests.

Nevertheless, male plants are essential to the continuation of the species, and to breeding and improving marijuana strains. So don’t discount them immediately.

Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds

You may have heard of autoflowering cannabis seeds as well—are these feminized or regular?

Autoflowering seeds can be either regular or feminized! Although, in truth, most tend to be available as feminized seeds. What’s different about autos compared to photoperiod plants—those that develop based on light exposure—is that they begin to flower after a genetically predetermined amount of time.

While you can keep a photoperiod strain in the vegetative stage indefinitely under an 18/6 light cycle, an autoflowering strain will begin to flower no matter what.

This phenomenon is achieved by crossing photoperiod indica and sativa cannabis plants with ruderalis-containing plants. Ruderalis is a type of cannabis that hails from cold locations, such as Siberia, where the short summers and harsh conditions forced plants to adapt to follow their own internal clocks, rather than the sun.

What’s the advantage of autoflowering plants? As a result of this adaptation, they tend to have very short life cycles compared to photoperiod plants—often around a month or so shorter. They are also likely to be resilient in the face of stress, and resistant to pests.

See also  Lemon Tree Cannabis Seeds

All of this means that autoflowers are pretty easy to cultivate. However, they do tend to have lower yields and potency compared to photoperiod plants, though newer varieties are closing the gap.

Can You See the Difference Between Regular and Feminized Seeds?

There is no way to tell whether a cannabis seed is male or female. In fact, you won’t be able to sex the plant until it’s entered the pre-flowering stage.

Indeed, once the plant begins to flower, you will see growths at its nodes. The nodes are where branches meet the main stem. From the nodes, the plant’s sex organs will emerge, either in the form of pistils (small, white, hair-like outgrowths) or pollen sacs (small, ball-like growths). The former are a sure sign of a female, while the latter signal a male.

Unless you are going for uncontrolled breeding, you must separate your plants at this point. Even then, without lab-grade seals in your tent or growing room, it’s likely pollen from your males will find the females. Therefore, it’s important to decide whether or not you want to breed, and if not, to kill your males.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

For the beginner grower, it is likely that feminized cannabis seeds are the best choice, at least for your first couple of crops. These first attempts are best used to hone your growing skills and get to know how marijuana plants work. Removing the complexities of breeding makes this significantly easier.

  • Exclusively bud-bearing plants
  • No risk of pollination
  • Cost-effective, as you won’t have to remove half your crop
  • Huge variety of stable genetics available
  • Can’t breed with them
  • Harder to clone
  • Potentially higher chance of hermaphrodites—can be mitigated by buying high-quality seeds
  • Limited to commercially available genetics

What Are the Pros and Cons of Regular Cannabis Seeds?

Regular seeds, on the other hand, offer the obvious benefit of being able to breed, thus allowing individuals to produce their own strains. However, for a beginner who hasn’t nailed the growing process, it’s likely that breeding will be a mostly random process. This is because, if you haven’t grown your plants well, it will be impossible to tell whether their strengths and weaknesses are the consequence of their genetic makeup or environmental influences.

That said, those looking to simply take clones from a quality mother will find a good partner in regular marijuana plants.

  • Breed your own strains
  • Produce viable clones
  • Create a pollen bank over time
  • Huge variety of genetics available
  • 50/50 chance of male/female plants
  • Spotting a male too late can wreck a harvest
  • Requires much more space, as two grow rooms will be necessary

Are Feminized Marijuana Seeds Better Than Regular Seeds?

Answering this question ultimately comes down to your own preferences. If you want an easy ride to big-yield-land, then feminized seeds are the best option for you. If you choose a high-quality strain from a trusted breeder, you’ll be able to grow a whole load of high-quality plants, each behaving in mostly predictable ways.

Yield and potency tend to be very good in commercial strains, and more or less any terpene profile can be found, meaning you can match your palate’s desires fairly easily.

What’s more, though they may seem less “pure” than regular seeds, feminized seeds will—by making cultivation easier—allow you to practise growing, ultimately making you better at it. In the long term, these skills can be turned to regular seeds and breeding your own strains.

On the other hand, it’s important that the skills of home breeding are not lost, and that people continue to develop diverse marijuana strains. Who knows where the next huge innovation could come from? So, once you think you’ve got growing down, consider getting a batch of regular seeds to start breeding your own varieties. Explore genotypes and phenotypes; you never know what might happen.

And we can’t forget our growers looking to take cuttings! In this case, female plants grown from regular seeds are often thought to make better mothers. Have you found a perfect specimen that you want to replicate? Regular seeds are the way to go.

What Should I Buy: Feminized Seeds or Regular Cannabis Seeds?

For beginners, it should be fairly clear by now that our advice is to get some good-quality feminized seeds in the ground. Introducing the extra challenge of identifying male plants before they pollinate your females is an unnecessary issue while you still have other things to learn.

It’s far more important to figure out how often to feed, water, the importance of pH, when to harvest, etc. Ending up with a load of seeds in your bud will most likely not inspire you to have another go. At least, not compared to a good haul of delicious high-grade.

Nevertheless, a time may well come when you wish to expand your cannabis-related horizons, and breeding your own strains is an incredibly exciting voyage—one that requires regular seeds! The pleasure of knowing that a new genotype is expressing a never-before-seen combination of phenotypes, and that you created it, is hard to beat. But all in due time!

Fascinated by the wellness potential of nature, Luke has spent over a decade writing about cannabis and its vast selection of cannabinoids. Creating, researching and writing content for Cannaconnection, alongside several other industry-related publications, he uses strong technical SEO skills and diligent research to bring evidence-based material to thousands of unique visitors.