Cannabis Gone To Seed

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Every smoker has had the thought cross their mind: Could I grow my own weed? Before undertaking this endeavor, here's what to look for, and how to do it. Discover the complete plant life cycle of the cannabis plant to further your knowledge of marijuana trimming and production. Early flowering is an occasional headache for outdoor growers, but usually there are clear reasons and easy solutions. Our guide explains more.

Can You Plant the Seeds from Your Cannabis Buds?

You’re preparing your bud, getting ready to grind it down, and you lift it up a bit to admire its color and… what’s that? A little speck, either green or brown, sitting right in your bud! Are my buds bad?

Well, worry not, those are just marijuana seeds. It seems pretty obvious if you think about it – marijuana is a plant, and plants have seeds. Simple, right?

However, every smoker has had the thought cross their mind on this seed discovery: Could I grow my own weed?

Well, before you can consider whether or not you can plant those assorted seeds, you need to know what to look for, and how to do it.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Why Are There Seeds in My Marijuana Buds?

First of all, you need to understand why there are seeds in your bud to begin with.

Contrary to what most people think, what you’re smoking isn’t actually the rolled up or dried leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant. You’re actually smoking small flower buds.

It does seem rather odd, considering the prolific nature of the marijuana leaf in stoner culture – we even have images stretching back thousands of years, documented in ancient texts, of the marijuana leaf.

However, the leaf isn’t actually very interesting. It just absorbs sunlight and feeds the plant. According to the United Nations report* on cannabinoid levels between both male and female plants, the large leaves of some specimens only contain about 0.3% THC and 0.7% CBD, meaning you’d be hard-pressed to get any kind of high from the leaves.

No, it’s actually the flowering buds of the marijuana plant that get you high. When the plant is preparing to flower, thus allowing itself to germinate and spread its seeds so as to propagate itself, it creates these small bunches of buds – known as a cola – that are the beginnings of the flower buds.

These little buds are where all the THC and CBD are concentrated, divided between a variety of different parts of the bud. When the plant is harvested, that cola is all mixed together and dried, giving you your whole piece of bud.

However, sometimes a marijuana plant is harvested just a bit too late. Perhaps it got the chance to develop a bit longer than it would normally, or maybe the grower was just trying something new.

Regardless, the small seed of the marijuana plant is born, and it managed to make its way into your bud.

Now that we know what they are, how do we choose and use them?

What Do the Seeds Look Like?

You might be tempted to jump right in and start growing your new seeds. Not so fast though, you’ve got to pick the right seeds.

Take a look at your seed and make sure it’s the right color. It should be brown and entirely whole, not split apart or otherwise damaged.

If it’s green or yellowish, that means the seed had only just begun to grow before it was harvested, making it little more useful than the rest of the bud for growing plants.

If it’s brown and whole however, you’ve got yourself a healthy marijuana seed.
Now what? Do you just plant it and watch it grow?

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Next Steps: Germinating Your Marijuana Seeds

Before you can do any kind of planting of your seed, you first need to germinate it.

Germination is the initial process in a seed’s life, when it starts to transform for a hard, brown little shell into a living plant.

To germinate a marijuana seed, it takes a little more love and care than with some other plant seeds.
Firstly, take a plate or some other surface with a divot in it and lay a wet paper towel across the plate’s surface.

Lay your lovely brown seeds on the paper towel, making sure to give them as much room as possible.
Cover it with another piece of wet paper towel and cover the whole thing with another plate of equal size. This should make a handy little clam-shaped house for your germinating seeds.

What happens to the seeds is that they are tricked into thinking they have been successfully buried into soil.

Water activates the growing enzymes within the seeds, encouraging it to strip off its protective outer layer and start creating roots to lay into the ground.

The reason we don’t just put the seed into the soil is that marijuana seeds can be a bit particular – they require conditions to be just right, otherwise, they’ll fail to germinate and simply sit there. By putting them in a little protective case made of paper towels and plates, the seeds get the perfect environment to germinate.

Even using the towel and plate method, it’s possible that around a quarter of your seeds still won’t germinate.

The germination process can take up to around 10 days, but most will begin the process after 2-3 days. Any that don’t show signs of opening up and spreading roots can be safely thrown away.

Now that you’ve got yourself some germinated seeds, what’s next? How do you turn a plate full of damp seeds into a full-blown marijuana plant?

Planting the Seeds

Once your seeds are germinated, you can plant your miniature weed plants into a small soil pot, being careful not to overcrowd them. A small quantity of high quality of soil – marijuana needs a crazy amount of nitrogen, potassium and other nutrients to flourish – in a small pot is sufficient.

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Keep the soil moist and allow the seeds to begin to sprout.

After a few days to roughly a week, the seed will begin to spread out its roots and start to shoot up towards the sun. You’ll likely even see the very beginnings of tiny marijuana leaves!

Once you’ve got those handy leaves, it’s time to transfer them into a bigger growing vessel.
Get a common plant pot – something in the 5-gallon range is pretty standard – and fill the very bottom of it with gravel.

This gravel helps provide a good base for the soil, as well as providing drainage.

The rest can be filled with high-quality soil and, once given adequate fertilizers, the marijuana seeds will start to grow!

Now, just treat your marijuana plant as you would any other plant. Keep it watered, keep it fed with a high nutrient liquid fertilizer and make sure it gets enough sunlight.

If you’re planning to grow cannabis indoors, away from prying eyes, and then make sure you have an adequate UV light setup to make sure it gets enough sunlight. Don’t forget to make sure the room where it’s kept is hot and humid enough!

There’s a reason that marijuana is usually grown outdoors in humid, jungle-like climates!

Some Notes of Warning

Only a few things can go wrong when you’re growing your own marijuana plants from the seeds in your bud. They’re not the worst things to ever happen, but they should definitely be considered.

#1 Knowing What You’re Getting

It’s not a frequent problem if you’re buying from a trusted marijuana supplier, but it’s possible that the seed in your bud isn’t exactly the same weed strain you think it might be.

Some unscrupulous sellers sometimes mix in small amounts of other buds to help bring up the bulk of their strains, whether through lack of availability or because they think it might improve the quality.

Though it is rare, it’s possible you might go to all this effort of growing a marijuana plant from your bud, only to find out that it’s not the right strain at all.

This is part of the reason why people generally prefer to buy their seeds from a reputable seed seller, due to the fact that you are more likely to know what you’re getting.

The other reason is…

#2 Seed Survivability – It Might Be Too Dry!

As part of the process of preparing marijuana buds for consumption, the bud is sun-dried over a period of days – or using a dehydrator – so as to concentrate the flavors and cannabinoids, as well as make it a lot easier to smoke.

During this process, it’s possible that the seeds might suffer damage and not be entirely usable. It’s possible that, after putting that time and use of your valuable plates into trying to germinate your seeds, none of them will bloom.

That’s okay though, you can just try again!

So Can You Plant the Seeds from Your Marijuana Buds?

If you’ve followed all these steps, you’ll have managed to turn a lone seed – depressingly isolated, hiding in your bud – into a fully grown marijuana plant!

Enjoy harvesting your new marijuana and keep an eye out for new seeds in your freshly harvested buds.
Given some time, you might find yourselves planting the great-granddaughter of your first seed!

A final note: Make sure you check the laws of your local area – certain municipal governments have different laws about growing marijuana when compared to just imbibing it. Make sure you’re not breaking any laws with your hand-grown marijuana – you wouldn’t want it taken away from you after all your hard work!

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

From Seed to Bud: The Plant Life Cycle of Cannabis

The popularity of marijuana plants is rife at different angles. However, it is the simple life cycle that makes the herb unique. From a seed into a mature bud, the cycle is one of the easiest to master. Below is a breakdown of how the plant grows until it reaches maturity.

Seed Germination

The life of a cannabis plant starts immediately when the seed is sown into the ground. The rate of germination of the seed depends on the conditions it is exposed to. First, if the seed is watered regularly, it germinates at a fast pace. Colour and texture determine the quality of the seed, and to a great extent, the time it takes to germinate.

A healthy seed should be dry and hard. It should also have a dark-brown color. It is advisable to avoid sowing seeds that are white or green since the probability of germinating is negligible. High-quality cannabis seeds take between five to ten days to sprout.

The Seedling Stage

The seedling stage in cannabis takes place immediately after the seeds germinate. A standard cannabis seedling should have leaves containing a single-ridged blade. During the growth stage, the cannabis plant should be green.

During the seedling stage, it is advisable to reduce the rate of watering to protect their delicate stems. Besides, the risk of the plant developing mold and getting diseases is also higher during the seedling stage.

The seedling should be watered after two days. Overwatering the seedlings is a common mistake many growers make, which might affect the time taken for the cannabis to grow and develop. Also, the seedling should be kept in an area with free circulation of air and sunlight. This allows the chlorophyll to form and crucial cannabinoids to accumulate in the leaves.

If the right conditions are adhered to, the seedling stage should take between two and three weeks. Most importantly, the seedling stage should also be exposed to a source of light for at least 18 hours a day. Sunlight is the most common source of light used by cannabis seedlings. However, the sophistication in technology has led to the improvisation of LED lights, which provide the same light properties as the sunlight.

Vegetative Stage

The vegetative stage is considered the time when the marijuana plant starts to mature. During the phase, the leaves become full, and the stems sturdier. The rate of growth also hastens, giving the plant a bushy appearance.

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During the vegetative stage, it is advisable to transfer the plant to a place where it will attain the full size. In addition, the watering style should be changed. In this case, the water should be poured further from the stalk to protect the roots from being exposed. The stage takes approximately three to sixteen weeks and requires about 18 hours of light.

Flowering Stage

During the flowering stage, buds start to form on the cannabis plant. It is also during this stage that the sex of the plant begins to manifest. Once the male parts have been identified, they can be separated to prevent them from germinating the female ones.

The formation of buds is more prevalent in week 6 and 7 in the cycle. It is also advisable to avoid pruning leaves and branches two weeks before the marijuana starts to produce flower buds.

During this phase, the plant should be watered less, and the plant exposed less to light. The plant should receive less than 12 hours of sunlight in a day. Less exposure to light allows the cannabinoid levels in the plant to increase. The rate of watering during this stage should be lower.

Harvesting

Once the buds have matured, harvesting can take place. It involves plucking the branches from the plant and hanging them to allow excess moisture to evaporate. It is also during harvesting that bud trimming takes place. This consists of removing fan leaves from the buds together with sugar leaves. However, the removal of sugar leaves from the buds is less common since they contain a high amount of THC. Once the marijuana trimming has taken place, the seeds can be prepared for planting again.

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Why is my outdoor cannabis plant flowering too early?

Occasionally outdoor cannabis growers experience problems if plants go into bloom far earlier than they should. Without the vital climatic support of warm weather and intense sunlight, early bloom is unwelcome and confusing for the grower, often resulting in small plants and poor yields. There are a few reasons why this could happen. The good news is that the solutions are easy to implement.

Summary:
When does cannabis start flowering outdoors?
Key reasons why outdoor plants flower too early
Pros and cons of early cannabis flowering outdoors
Can you reverse an early flowering cannabis plant?
Give love to your cannabis seeds and you’ll get it back

When does cannabis start flowering outdoors?

Normally, cannabis starts to flower in response to the changing seasons and the impending arrival of autumn/fall. This is an evolutionary safeguard to ensure that the plant has time to produce and ripen the cannabis seeds. This ensures the next generation of plants for the following season.

Outdoor photoperiod cannabis plants

Photoperiod feminised cannabis strains tend to enter bloom as they sense the day length shortening. Short daylight hours are an indication that the autumn/fall is approaching, the plants respond with hormonal changes triggering bloom.

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Cannabis guerrilla growing, 10-point strategic plan

Outdoor autoflower cannabis plants

Autoflower strains initiate bloom at a point dictated by their genetic composition. This is usually around a month after autoflower seed germination, but on slower flowering autoflowers it can take up to 2 months. The grower isn’t able to initiate autoflower bloom by trying to artificially manipulate the grow environment or light hours. Instead the plants flower ‘automatically’ at a time of their own choosing.

Related:
Autoflower vs feminised outdoor cannabis growing

Outdoor regular cannabis plants

When planting regular cannabis seeds for outdoor growth the onset of bloom is the same as that when using photoperiod feminised cannabis seeds. Long hours of darkness, or a sense of decreasing day length, is sufficient to initiate bloom in regular cannabis strains.

Pro tip: How to detect early flowering signs for cannabis? Look for signs of pre-flowers where the branches meet the main stem. These give an early indication whether the plant will be male or female. Female plants show a calyx which may have a couple of hairs (pistils) growing out. Male plants, which may show their sex sooner than female plants at the same stage of development, produce small ball-like growths that look similar to miniature grapes.

Key reasons why outdoor plants flower too early

Even the best outdoor grows can have unexpected issues, such as early flowering. Usually the reason is simple to find.

Starting your plant too early

If you get your outdoor plants going early in the season, e.g. around March the dark overnight period is still long enough to force photoperiod feminised strains to bloom.

This can be an issue for the growers that were tempted outdoors a little too early in the season (perhaps due to a freak early heat wave). The best option is to ensure that you have a period of artificial light to break the period of overnight darkness.

A security light, or similar, which comes on for just a few minutes will do the job and ensure the plant remains in vegetive growth. With prolonged vegetive growth the plant can grow into a large size, especially if it was started early in the year.

In Europe many that grow at Southern Latitudes (Spain, Italy, Greece etc) will start their outdoor plants as early as February, perhaps with protection from a heated greenhouse/polytunnel (if local conditions are still a little too cold). Using artificial lights on for a small part of the overnight ensures the plants grow in veg mode even though the days have perhaps only 9 hours of light.

Outdoor growers that put their plants out in e.g. May often never see their outdoor plants flower too early. That’s because the number of daylight hours in May is significantly higher than March, making it easy for photoperiod feminised cannabis strains to settle into veg mode with the long summer days.

Related:
Full collection of Dutch Passion outdoor cannabis seeds

Dark period exposure

Even though it may be warm enough to grow cannabis outdoors there may be insufficient light to allow vegetive growth. It’s one of the challenges for those growing in countries where the hot weather arrives slightly before the longer days.

It can also be a challenge for those with heated greenhouses/polytunnels who are keen to start their outdoor cannabis seeds as early as possible. Some strains can have slightly differing responses to the length of the day. One strain may grow in veg mode under a given day length, whereas a different strain may respond with early flowering.

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Abrupt light cycle switch

The stress of a sudden change in light cycle can also shock a cannabis plant into early bloom. This could happen, for example, if a plant grown on a 24-hour indoor grow cycle was placed outdoors.

The sudden change in the amount of light hours can be stressful to the plant which may respond by flowering – even if outdoor light hours are more than 12 and the plant might normally be expected to grow in veg mode.

Again, the problem is easily solved by giving the plant extra artificial light during the evening. Perhaps by bringing the plant into a lit garage at night or arranging a security light to occasionally come on and light up the area where the plant resides.

Related:
How to move your indoor cannabis plant outdoors

Pro tip: Some cannabis seed genetics are known to flower early. ‘Fast’ photoperiod feminised seeds (e.g. Think Fast) contain recessive (i.e. non-dominant) autoflower genetics, meaning you may be able to harvest a month earlier than usual. For outdoor growers with unstable late-season weather, ‘fast’ photoperiod strains along with autoflowers may be the best options.

Pros and cons of early cannabis flowering outdoors

Many people traditionally associate early flowering outdoor cannabis as a problem. A sign that the plant will be small, with lower yields than expected. But to some growers early flowering, if properly controlled, can be used to great advantage.

• Early flowering outdoor cannabis strains is a term often used to describe traditional outdoor photoperiod strains that finish earlier than usual. These can be very useful strains, especially if your late-season weather can be bad. ‘Fast’ photoperiod strains with recessive autoflower genetics such as Dutch Passion’s Think Fast finish in September in the northern hemisphere, that’s around a month earlier than many traditional outdoor strains. Perfect if you can’t guarantee the autumn/fall weather.

• Those that enjoy growing multiple successive outdoor autoflower harvests find it is a convenient, and fast, way to spread the risk. With 2 or 3 successive autoflower harvests each year, it’s not a disaster if one of those crops fail.

• Those that want to start their photoperiod feminised seeds in February will find that the long nights may force their plants into early bloom far too early in the season, resulting in poor growth and results.

Can you reverse an early flowering cannabis plant?

Thankfully you can! But prevention is better than cure. Take time to look at your grow situation and identify any possible causes. Would it help if you could improve the transition process when moving an indoor plant outdoors – perhaps adjusting light hours gradually? Are you trying to plant out too early in the year when the nights are simply too long? Is a particular strain repeatedly going into early bloom when the others are behaving themselves?

When to re-veg an early flowering plant outdoors?

If early flowering issues are something that you have seen before then it makes sense to initially grow your preferred outdoor cannabis seeds in containers, rather than rooting them directly into the ground. With your plant in a container, it is easier to move it to an area that receives additional artificial light to break the long night hours.

Those with indoor grow rooms can simply bring the plant to an indoor grow room. Autoflower plants can’t be reverted to vegetative growth, but cannabis plants grown from feminised seeds can be re-vegged. Just put them under 18-24 hours of light.

Those growing in a greenhouse or a patio/back garden may find some security lighting that comes on during the evening (even if only for 30min or so) will be able to break the bloom cycle. You will get heavier yields from an outdoor plant that was restored to veg growth after a premature (and undesired) flirtation with bloom. Some growers report that sativa strains may be easier to re-veg than indicas.

When not to re-veg an early flowering plant outdoors?

If your plants have only gone into bloom a month earlier than expected (as opposed to 2-3 months) you may wish to simply leave it to continue bloom rather than attempt a re-veg. The early finish may even be beneficial if you occasionally struggle with poor weather around the normal bloom time.

Related:
Top-10 tips for growing cannabis outdoors in cold weather

Pro tip: Make sure you can finish up by the end of the outdoor season. Being realistic, rather than excessively optimistic, about the length of your grow season is a key quality of the experienced outdoor cannabis grower. A few checks online will show you the likely dates of the first late-season frosts & general weather concerns.

If you do have doubts about your ability to finish photoperiod feminised strains in time, then autoflower seeds are the best alternative. Northern European growers in general, and UK growers in particular, can suffer especially difficult outdoor grow conditions. The following guide to growing cannabis outdoors in the UK contains numerous proven tips and advice for those growing in variable climates.

Related:
How to grow cannabis outdoors in the UK

Give love to your cannabis seeds and you’ll get it back

Many of the challenges of outdoor growing can be avoided if the grower is able to buy proven outdoor cannabis seeds. Not only should you have solid, reliable genetics which will behave and grow/bloom predictably. But you should also benefit from professional breeding techniques & natural selection which will ensure in-built genetic resistance to some of the common diseases.

Most importantly of all, professionally bred outdoor cannabis seeds will have what it takes to cope with variable weather and cool/grey conditions.

An outdoor grow will often be around a 5-6 month process, so it makes sense to invest time in research before you buy cannabis seeds. If you need some extra inspiration from those that have already grown Dutch Passion outdoor seeds then please check out the hundreds of grow reviews in the Dutch Passion blog site where you will find all the grow archives.

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