It is possible to buy both regular and feminized seeds on today’s cannabis seed market. But what is the difference? Many novices will pick one or the other without fully understanding why. Find out exactly what the difference is here, and how this difference will effect your grow and what you can do with your cannabis plants.
Regular seeds are completely pure and natural, they produce both male and female cannabis plants.
Feminized seeds are seeds from cannabis plants that have been treated a particular way. This results in seeds that only produce females.
It was the Dutch seed bank “Dutch Passion” that first introduced feminized seeds to the market in 1998; by doing this they started a revolution in the way cannabis seeds are bred. On today's market, almost every seed bank has feminized cannabis seeds within their product range, with many seed banks going as far as to only sell feminized seeds. The reason for this is clear – most cannabis growers are not interested in breeding, they simply want to produce as much high quality marijuana as they possibly can; this means they are only interested in cultivating female cannabis plants. Buying feminized cannabis seeds saves a lot of time and frustration, there is nothing worse than growing your cannabis crop to fruition to find that half of them are male plants when all you want are the female.
Upon their introduction to the market, the quality of feminized seeds came under heavy criticism for producing a high proportion of hermaphrodite cannabis plants. However, over time feminized seeds and the methods used to produce them have been refined down to an art. The quality of feminized marijuana seeds on today's market is drastically higher, with the production of hermaphrodite plants due to genetics being very rare - unless you buy from a rubbish seed bank.
When feminized seeds were introduced into the European markets in 1998, the nature of the market completely shifted from regular to feminized seed. Today over 95% of the European market share belongs to feminized seeds. In the USA this is yet to be the case; regular seeds still hold a large proportion of the market share.
For the great majority of growers, feminized seeds are going to be the best choice when it comes to choosing seeds. They produce great weed without the stress of having to deal with male plants. However, more “die hard”, traditional cultivators will favor the use of regular seeds. Sometimes this is because they feel it is a matter of principle, that they don’t want to use seeds that have been “tampered” with; much in the same way organic cultivators will not use any chemical additives, as they want their marijuana to grow as nature intended. Other times it is for more practical reasons.
Advanced cannabis cultivators like to produce their own seeds and create their own hybrids, to do this you will need a mix of male and female plants. This is because you need to mix male pollen with female flowers to produce new strains and seeds - so the use of regular seeds is required. It could be said for this reason that the shift in the market towards feminized seeds is dangerous to the cannabis community; as it makes it hard for cannabis growers to experiment, and dissuades newer growers from creating their own strains. This means if the seed bank you use only sells feminized seeds then there is no potential for you to cross their strains. Fortunately, there are some seed banks out there that realize this and still sell regular seeds – it is an important thing to do in order to keep the world of cannabis in the hands of the growers. We highly recommend the use of feminized seeds, especially for novice cultivators; but don’t be afraid to experiment with regular seeds every now and then.