The new thing on the market for commercial Cannabis cultivation are auto-flowering feminized strains. By crossing of the cannabis ruderalis with Sativa and Indica strains many cultivators have created interesting hybrids which boast benefits from both sides of these families.
Silver Thiosulfate is a substance that has similar principle, application and results of CS, but is more difficult to make. STS is more difficult to acquire, but it can still be obtained directly from a chemical supply company. STS is not an expensive or controlled substance.
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In order to collect pollen you simply put down newspaper around the base of the plant. The pollen will fall from the plant onto the newspaper. You can then put this newspaper into a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator or freeze it. Pollen will keep for a few months in the refrigerator and can be used on the next crop. Filtering the pollen through a silkscreen, drying, and freezing can extend viability for decades. At least one reader indicates success using pollen treated in this manner and stored at -30 c for 17 years. The chance of viability does decrease with time, even in the freezer, so the more fresh the pollen the better. Wrapping the pollen in a layer of aluminum foil and then a layer of plastic should help to protect it from freezer burn. Additionally, oxygen evacuation such as with a heavy gas like nitrogen or vacuum sealing should provide additional assurance of preservation.
Stress techniques will work but whatever genetic weakness caused the plants to produce a male flower under stress will be carried on to the seeds. This means the resulting seeds have a known tendency to produce hermaphrodites. Fortunately, environmental stress is not the only way to produce male flowers in a female plant.
This is the least expensive and most privacy conscious way to produce fem seed. CS has gotten a bad name because there is so much bad information spread around about its production and concentrations. It doesn’t help that there are those who believe in drinking low concentration colloidal silver for good health and there is information mixed in about how to produce that low concentration food grade product. Follow the information here and you will consistently produce effective CS and know how to apply it to get consistent results.
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.
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’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.
Trusted feminized seed vendors
What to look for when buying feminized seeds?
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.
Cons to Feminizing
A common fear about feminized cannabis seeds is that they will produce hermaphrodites. If you purchase your seeds from a reputable seller, this fear is misplaced. Early feminizers would purposefully use female plants that were genetically likely to become intersexual. Of course, this meant that those genes were passed down to the seeds. Today, chemicals are applied to the plant without compromising the genetics of the seeds.
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Why Should You Feminize Your Seeds?
There are two ways to feminize seeds: naturally or by applying chemical substances that force a female plant to pollinate.
Applying colloidal silver to a female plant is the preferred method of feminizing cannabis plants. These chemicals cause the plant to develop pollen sacs without compromising the lineages’ genes.
When it comes to cannabis plants, females are the only sex that can produce buds. Feminized cannabis seeds grow plants that are exclusively female and can almost guarantee that every plant that sprouts from their shells will flower. Normally, a male cannabis plant will pollinate a female plant, and that is how seeds are produced. The resulting harvest of regular cannabis seeds will contain about half male and half female seeds. For the flower producer , this is a costly inefficiency. Roughly half of an entire grow can be tossed at harvest time if the seeds are not feminized.
In nature, a severely distressed female cannabis plant will naturally become a hermaphrodite and produce pollen sacs in order to self-pollinate. This is a survival mechanism built into all female plants, but it is only triggered when the future of the plant’s lineage is compromised. Consequently, many of the resulting seeds will be naturally selected to be intersexual, and that can make for a disastrous breeding situation. A hermaphrodite can pollinate with female plants that are meant to be harvested, causing the buds to stop developing and to produce seeds.