There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.
A couple big drawbacks, though: Autoflower strains are known for being less potent. Also, because they are small in stature, they usually don’t produce big yields.
Seeds can also form in plants with genetic disorders or instability, like hermaphrodites—plants that develop both male and female reproductive parts. Generally, stress and genetic disorders are viewed as bad, so temper expectations with any plant you start from a bagseed.
Are you ready to grow?
Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.
Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.
Immature seeds tend to be light in color and have a soft outer shell.
The main drawback to growing from seed is there is no guarantee as to what you’ll end up with—if you buy a regular pack of cannabis seeds, it will be a mix of males and females. You’ll need to sex them out (more below) to identify the males and get rid of them, because you don’t want your females producing seeds.
Plants can be induced to grow male sex organs as late as four weeks into flowering. Though spraying one week prior to the light changeover is recommended for clones. If a plant grown from seed is being used, wait until the plant has sexed before spraying so you can be sure it is female.
Sinsemilla is an unnatural state for cannabis. Without human intervention, it would be rare to find an unpollinated female in the wild—unless it was sterile. When sinsemilla plants are left to go beyond their desirable maturation stage by a number of weeks, the plant, through whatever amazing processes evolution has bestowed, knows it has not been pollinated. As a last ditch effort at propagation, it will produce male pollen sacs in an effort to self-pollinate.
When sexing begins, male pollen sacs will develop instead of female calyxes and pistils. Male plants mature much faster than females, and viable pollen can be expected within 3–4 weeks once the plant has been sexed. Some growers will spray until the plant shows sexual growth, just to be sure the method has worked. Make sure these plants are well-isolated from any flowering females. A burst pod can release millions of pollen spores, and it only takes one spore per hair to create a seed.
DON’T SMOKE IT
There are a number of solutions that can be sprayed on female plants to create male pollen sacs: benzothiadiazole, gibberellic acid, silver thiosulphate, silver nitrate, and colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver is a distilled water-based solution in which microscopic particles of silver are suspended. The nature of colloids means the particles will never settle out and can’t be removed by normal filtering. Colloidal silver is available commercially, or you can make your own if you want to totally geek out (see how-to section at the end). It has numerous uses as an alternative medicine. For example, it is used to soothe burns, as an antiseptic and digestion stimulant in people, and as a fungal control in horticulture.
With a bit of aforethought, it is possible to set up an efficient feminization breeding programme—and have female seeds from your favourite phenos on hand all the time. You never know, you might discover the next big thing!
Growing from feminized cannabis seeds is a space and resource-efficient way of getting all girls, all the time. Find out how to create your own feminized cannabis with Royal Queen Seeds.
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.
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.
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.
HOW TO STORE CANNABIS POLLEN
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.
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.
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.
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.