How Cannabis Seeds are made - The Basics
The mind of nearly every stoner will eventually wonder on to the topic of how cannabis seeds are made. With so many awe inspiring strains surrounding the niche we can all enjoy radically different types of marijuana genetics. But how do the breeders create a seed to lock and store the genetics away?
In order to maintain a full array of different marijuana it is crucial that people create seeds and store them correctly. We are going to give you a brief run down of how cannabis seeds are produced by breeders.
Firstly we have to clarify that in the UK cannabis in all forms is illegal. This guide is strictly for educational and historical knowledge purposes or for uses in countries that allow the cultivation and breeding of cannabis.
The first step is ensuring that the cannabis seeds created are high quality. People can breed any types of cannabis plants together with ease and minimum time, but if the breeder wants to ensure that the cannabis seeds are worth keeping, they need to know how to check if a cannabis seed is high quality.
So with quality control aside, we can talk about how a breeder would start the breeding program. If they want to produce regular seeds they will need both a male and female marijuana plant. However, a second option is to create feminized seeds. For this type of seed only a female plant is required - but that is a story we will save for a different day! In this article we will concentrate on producing regular cannabis seeds.
Creating cannabis seeds is no different than breeding other types of plants together. The first task is to harvest some pollen from the selected male.
Where to find Cannabis Pollen?
Pollen is a fine powder which is a spectrum of yellow in colour. It is stored within clusters of banana shaped sacks that pop out during the flower cycle of a male plants life. In a natural setting the wind alone can carry this pollen up to a 13 mile distance. So as you can imagine, an indoor operation needs to be under a strict regime to stop any accidental female pollination. So cool facts aside, the breeder needs to collect the pollen themselves manually.
When to collect the male cannabis plants pollen
Collecting male cannabis pollen is an easy process that can be done without any prior experience. To do this the selected male plant must be grown and flowered. Once the pollen sacks start to burst open then it is time to start collecting the pollen. This happens several weeks into flower, depending on the strain. It can be normal to find burst pollen along the fan leaves of the plant, once this happens the grower will start collecting that sweet cannabis pollen!
How to collect cannabis pollen
Every breeder has a slightly different method, but the basic principles remain the same. The best method to collecting cannabis pollen is to cut off entire clusters of male flowers and allow them to slowly dry in a dark warm place, preferably in a storage container, over the course of 5 to 7 days. Once dry, they will place these male flowers into a sealed bag and give them a shake. Shaking the bag will be enough for the dry sacks to break open and release the pollen. They will carefully remove the green plant matter out of the pollen. The sacks can also be broken up over a sift, this way they will not need to mess around picking out plant matter.
Storing Cannabis Pollen
So the breeder has already spent some good time growing the plant and harvesting the pollen. Now they need to carefully store this pollen away for future use. To ensure the longevity of the cannabis pollen they need to follow a few simple, but crucial, rules.
Moisture and humidity will quickly destroy the pollen, rendering all previous work wasted. Pollen must be stored in fully sealed container which is then placed in a cool dark place. A good storage option is to firstly place the pollen in a plastic baggie and then place that into a sealed container. An optional extra would be to place rice or silica gel into the container to absorb any moisture.
Now the container can be placed into the fridge or freezer, but it is important to ensure no light shines on the pollen from the fridges internal light. To get around this, some people place the container into a lightproof bag or wrap some cloth around it. It is important for the pollen to remain a consistent temperature if they wish to store it long term. Frequent changes in temperature will massively reduce the life of cannabis pollen.
When to pollinate the female cannabis plant
Once the chosen female cannabis plant is around 3 weeks into the flowering cycle it is time to pollinate her. Now the grower does not have to pollinate every single bud site, this gives them the option of still producing sensi whilst also creating cannabis seeds for future grows.
How to pollinate the female cannabis plant
Now comes the magic. The grower can use either a q tip or a very small and fine brush. Get some pollen on the end of either tool and carefully and gently brush it onto the females white pistons located on the chosen bud site. These sites will now change their mission from building buds into making cannabis seeds.
When to harvest cannabis seeds
Like always, the grower should not rush to harvest as the cannabis seeds to mature. After pollination it will take around 5 weeks to create the cannabis seeds and allow enough time to mature. To distinguish whether the seed is ready or not is simple. The breeder can careful pries one of the seeds out of the pod and inspect it. Most growers will already know what a mature seed looks like. They are dark brown and often feature tiger patterned stripes over them. The outer shell should be hard and strong, just like a seed one would expect to receive from a supplier. Once they all look like this, it is time to harvest the cannabis seeds. Every strain is different and some seeds can riper faster or slower than others.
How to Harvest Cannabis Seeds
The breeder will cut down the plant as normal, apart from this time they will not bother trimming off loads of leaves. However many breeders will remove some quickly to create better access to the seed pods. Once the plant matter is dry the breeder will break up all of the bud, during this the seeds often just fall out naturally. Every seed needs to be cleaned and any excess plant matter must be removed. The breeder should also know some details about how to store cannabis seeds for a long shelf life.
So this is how cannabis seeds are made. It is a relatively simple process providing the breeder takes care during the process and follows a few crucial rules.