How to make Regular & Feminized Cannabis Seeds
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 or buy cannabis seeds and store them correctly. We are going to give you an easy to follow 5 step run down of how cannabis seeds are produced by the 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.
Step 1. Select the Parent Plants
The first step is ensuring that the cannabis seeds created are going to be of high quality. People can breed any type of cannabis plants together with ease in minimum time, but without proper planning and quality control you could end up with a low-quality batch of seeds.
If the breeder is making regular seeds (which means that the resulting seeds can grow into either male or female plants), then you will need to select a high-quality male plant and a high-quality female plant.
If the breeder is making feminized seeds (which means that the resulting seeds will only grow into female plants), then you will only need one female plant for the breeding project.
To check the quality of the parent plant the breeder should take healthy cuttings. After rooting along with a two week veg (including the veg time is optional but recommended) it is time to flip these cuttings into flower. This way the breeder can now see exactly what the parent plant is capable of doing and get an idea of whether or not it is worth creating a batch of seeds.
If the breeder is making autoflower seeds it is a little trickier to test the quality out due to the automatic life cycle of the plant. However, if the breeder was to take cuttings and use a fast cloning method such as an Aeroponics cloner, they could have the cutting rooted in just five days. That way a few clones could still be produced and tested for quality. The parent autoflower plant would still have to go through the seed process along with the new cuttings, but the breeder would be able to see the quality of the parent plant through the non-seeded clones.
Ideally, the breeder would have several potential options for the parent plant and test multiple cuttings out. This is the best way to perform a quality check for the best parent plant.
Step 2. Create Cannabis Pollen
Pollen is a fine powder that 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 plant's 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.
If a breeder is making regular seeds then they do not need to perform any particular magic to create cannabis pollen. All they need is a healthy male plant that demonstrates high-quality attributes. The male plant is then put into flower. It takes around 3 weeks for a male plant to produce mature pollen that is viable and ready to impregnate those lovely females! Breeders will know when this pollen is mature because they will find the pollen on fan leaves as it has already started to escape from the sacks and spread around.
If a Breeder is Making Feminized Seeds
Forcing a Female Cannabis Plant to Produce Male Flowers & Pollen
Forcing a Female Cannabis Plant to Produce Male Flowers & Pollen
Here comes the magic! The most popular method to create feminized cannabis seeds is by spraying the chosen female plant with Colloidal Silver with a ppm count of at least 30. If you watch the video at the start of this article then you can see footage on exactly how and where to spray this silver. But if you prefer to read, see below.
When to Start Spraying a Female Plant with Colloidal Silver
The breeder should start spraying the female cannabis plant with colloidal silver once a day, starting 10 to 14 days before flipping it into flower. Some people continue to spray for two weeks whilst others spray until the male pollen sacks start to form. Either method is fine.
When to Start Spraying an Autoflowering Plant with Colloidal Silver
Autoflowering genetics usually start flowering at 3 to 4 weeks. So the colloidal silver should start being sprayed about 14 days into veg.
What Part of the Cannabis Plant should be Sprayed with Colloidal Silver
The breeder should spray the nodes (the part where the side branches come off the main stem) with the colloidal silver. See the picture below for clarification.
How Much of the Plant Should be Sprayed
This depends on what the breeder is planning to do. The best method is to just spray one of the top branches whilst leaving the rest of the plant to grow female flowers as normal. This way, once the pollen is mature and ready, it can be shaken onto the rest of the plant to impregnate its self. This way the breeder only needs one plant to produce feminized cannabis seeds.Some breeders may want to spray the whole plant with silver and harvest the pollen so that they can use it later on a different plant. All of this pollen collected will produce female seeds.
As you can see in this picture below, the plant has been topped at a young age, and then one of the main stems has been guided away from the rest of the plant to avoid getting any colloidal silver in unwanted places. Instead of using cardboard, some breeders will place a bag over the rest of the plant and turn the fans off for two hours.
Step 3. Collect & Store Cannabis Pollen
Collecting male cannabis pollen is an easy process that can be done without any prior experience. To do this the pollen sacks must be ripe and ready. Once the pollen sacks start to burst open then it is time to start collecting the pollen. This happens around 3 weeks into flower, depending on the strain.
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 then 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 the 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 a fully sealed container which is then placed in a cool dark place. A good storage option is to first 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 fridge's 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.
How Long does Cannabis Pollen Remain Viable for?
When stored correctly, cannabis pollen can last anywhere from one to five years! The older it gets, the less reliable it will become.
Step 4. Pollinate the Female Cannabis Plant
When to Pollenate 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 sensimilla whilst also creating cannabis seeds for future grows. If the breeder decides to only pollinate a few branches, the rest of the plant will need to be covered with bags for 24 hours to stop the pollen from spreading to them. Fans should also be turned off.
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 gently brush it onto the female's white pistons located on the chosen bud site. These sites will now change their mission from building buds to making cannabis seeds.
Step 5. Harvest the Cannabis Seeds
When to Harvest Cannabis Seeds
Like always, the grower should not rush to harvest as the cannabis seeds need 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 carefully pry 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 ripen 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 regular, autoflowering, and feminized cannabis seeds are made. It is a relatively simple process providing the breeder takes care during the process and follows a few crucial rules. You may be interested in learning how to store cannabis seeds as this is the next important step.
One cannabis plant can produce over one thousand seeds but this depends on the conditions that the plant is grown in. The main factors for the given seed count is plant size, nutrients, overall health of the plant, and what lighting used.