Cannabis is dioecious, meaning that there are distinct male and female plants. Under normal circumstances, about half of cannabis plants become male and the other half female. A small percentage of cannabis plants are hermaphrodites – plants with both male and female characteristics.
A seed produced under common circumstances is a regular seed and will have a 50% chance of being a female and a 50% chance of being a male. Seeds that have been feminized will have close to a 100% chance of producing a female plant.
How are feminized seeds made
To produce feminized seeds the grower uses a genetic anomaly, a hermaphrodite, a cannabis plant that is both male and female. When a hermaphrodite pollinates a female the resulting seeds are feminized because they have dominant female genes. Feminized seeds should produce only female plants.
Benefits of feminized Seeds
Feminized seeds offer growers a big advantage because they help avoid worthless male plants. There is no reason why you would want a male plant in your garden if your goal is to grow smokable bud. A male plant is hemp. It does not produce much THC. You can’t smoke male plants and get high. If you start a grow with regular seeds and not feminized seeds you’ll get approximately 50% male plants that you’ll have to kill after they’ve been identified. It typically will cost you some time before you can identify the males vs. the females because the first signs of sex only show in late vegetative growth. Males can also pollinate the nearby females and wreck your entire grow. If a female plant becomes pollinated it will dramatically slow down the production of smokable bud and produce seeds instead. Feminized seeds allow you to skip the hassles that male plants cause.