Feminized seeds, what are they, and how are they made?

Published Feb 4, 2019 11:06 a.m. ET

 What’s the deal with feminized seeds? Why are they so expensive and what exactly does feminized mean? Feminized cannabis seeds are genetically modified seeds and will produce only female plants. There is quite a bit of science behind how feminized seeds are made. Making feminized seeds isn't something the average person does. It is a long process that is time-consuming. If your buddy says he’s created some in his basement and has them up for sale for half the price of your local seed bank, I’m not entirely sure I’d risk buying any. The process of making feminized seeds is generally done in a lab in a strictly controlled environment but can be recreated by a careful and patient grower.

How are feminized seeds made?

Usually, a cannabis seed offers a 50/50 chance of producing either a male or female. This is something biologically programmed into the DNA of the plant to ensure the highest odds of reproducing and of course, overall survival. Much like with humans, the gender is determined by the X and Y chromosomes. A plant with one of each chromosome will 99% of the time produces a male. A cannabis plant with two X chromosomes with hasa 99% chance of being female. To create feminized seeds, a treatment of colloidal silver is sprayed on the plants during the flowering stage. This process is used to transform female plants into hermaphrodites (a plant that is both male and female). It forces them to grow seed sacs full of female pollen instead of bud. Those sacs can then be collected and used to pollinate other female plants. Since this process makes two females the mothers, the plant will produce seeds that will only carry X chromosomes. This ensures a 99% success rate of female only plants. While in nature this process does on occasion happen it is incredibly rare, and when it does those plants will also almost always produce more seed that will create hermaphrodites, than seed that is strictly female.

What to look for when buying feminized seeds?

When ultimately deciding where you want to purchase your seeds it is important to look for a few things. Well established trusted seed companies will generally offer a warranty for their seeds. With the high cost that is often associated with feminized seeds it is important to view your purchase as an investment, and when able it is best to go with the highest quality possible to ensure the best results. You will usually get the best deal when purchasing in bulk. There are other things to consider, like the offered variety of strains, the THC and CBD content available, and of course the cost. Sometimes it is best to go local, so the shipping doesn't kill you. Other times, you will find the most variety over the border in which case it might be worth a little extra.

Trusted feminized seed vendors

Finding trusted seed vendors can be more difficult than it sounds. Even the sketchiest companies will plaster “trusted” across their site like a badge of honor, but that doesn't necessarily make their statement true. To help, we have compiled a list of the highest rated top three seed vendors that ship to Canada and carry a wide range of feminized seeds that are sure to impress.

  1. www.weedseeds.ca is Canada’s most popular online feminized seed vendor and carries the largest selection of strains that are feminized. Currently based out of California, weed seeds have been in operation for almost 20 years and is the most trusted source on our list.
  2. www.nativeseedcannabis.com is a close runner-up. Native Seed Cannabis Co offers some of the lowest seed prices on the market. Also based in California but with locations all over the world.
  3. www.jahseeds.cais number three on our list of most trusted seed banks. Their philosophy? Seeds should be easily affordable for everyone. Though they do have much less selection than the first two offer, they tend to have the best prices while offering the bonus of constant running promotions on the site, including free shipping.

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