What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds?

What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds?

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
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What are regular cannabis seeds? What’s the difference between them and feminized seeds, and what are their pros and cons? Learn about regular cannabis seeds, how to properly use and grow them, and how they can be utilized to make a whole new strain!

Cannabis seed companies usually carry three types of cannabis seeds: feminized seeds, autoflowering seeds, and regular cannabis seeds. Among growers, feminized and autoflowering varieties are the most popular, but this doesn’t mean that their regular counterparts go ignored.

So, what exactly are regular cannabis seeds? How do they differ from feminized seeds? What are their pros and cons? When, and why, would you use them?

What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds And Who Are They For?

What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds And Who Are They For?

You wouldn’t spot a difference between feminized and regular seeds from the outside. The distinction, in fact, lies within their chromosomes. See, female seeds are made through pollination of a female by another female. While that’s normally impossible, it can be done by stressing a female plant into growing male sex features (like pollen). The seeds that emerge as a result of this process end up lacking male (XY) chromosomes, hence their name.

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What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

Regular seeds come from, as you’d expect, crossing a male and a female. Their genetic information, in turn, contains both male and female (XX) chromosomes. Unlike feminized seeds, which produce exclusively (99.99%) female plants, these seeds have a 50/50% chance of being either. Sometimes, however, they can also produce intersex plants.

There are some myths out there regarding the differences between weed plants grown from feminized and regular seeds. Some think that feminized seeds produce less potent or flavourful plants than regular seeds, but this isn’t really true. For the most part, cannabis plants grown from feminized and regular seeds are completely equal in terms of quality. If there are differences, it’s usually due to breeding techniques and the mother plants being used.

So who’d be interested to grow regular cannabis seeds? Why would they pick them over the other options? Most hobby cannabis growers just focus on getting the best final product. They want potent buds, and while female plants offer those, males develop pollen sacs instead. Moreover, when males pollinate the females, the latter produce seedy, poor quality buds. This is why, before feminized seeds, growers had to identify the sex of their plants early and remove useless males.

These days, growers can avoid worry and just buy some feminized seeds (note: autoflowers are also feminized). But, if that’s the case, why are seed banks still carrying regular cannabis seeds? Even with their disadvantages, they still have their justification.

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Professional Breeders

Professional Cannabis Breeders

Feminized cannabis plants don’t produce seeds. Sure, that’s good for growing awesome buds, but it’s awful for breeding. Breeders, therefore, use regular seeds so they can have males and females together. For selective breeding, they separate the males from the females, select only the best specimens from each, and let the pollination occur in a controlled environment.

Cannabis Enthusiasts

Cannabis Enthusiasts

Not all cannabis strains are available in feminized form. Some, especially some of the most iconic strains, are only available as regular seeds. Regular seeds are unaltered and ensure that a particular variety is as close to its roots as possible. Old-schoolers can often find their beloved favourites among regular cannabis varieties.

Along with that, some breeders only offer their creations as regular cannabis varieties. The only way to get those strains in your grow room, then, is to plant those regular seeds.

Pros And Cons Of Regular Seeds

The reason for this is that regular cannabis seeds are immensely important to create and keep a diverse gene pool. Only regular seeds bring about interesting new strain phenotypes, as opposed to constantly breeding with the same genetics. That doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own set of problems, though. To paint a clearer picture, let’s take a look at more of the pros and cons of regular seeds.

Regular Cannabis Seeds: The Pros

Regular Cannabis Seeds: The Pros

  •  They make creating new genetic profiles possible.

  • As mentioned, new phenotypes only occur with regular cannabis seeds. This aspect makes them important for breeding and maintaining the genetic diversity of cannabis.

  • They allow the expression of a strain's full lineage.

  • Most cannabis strains can develop into plants of various phenotypes. In other words, individual plants may emphasize certain genetic traits over others, including specific aroma profiles or effects. This is useful when you want to choose mother plants for breeding based on desired qualities.

  • They are needed for seed production.

  • Only regular cannabis seeds produce both males and females, which are needed for getting cannabis seeds.

  • They are good for strong and healthy clones.

  • Regular seeds are, of course, unaltered and natural. Their genetics are often more robust than their feminized counterparts, making for stronger and healthier clones accordingly.

  • Some classic, old school strains are only available as regular seeds.

  • Many great cannabis varieties from the 1990s and earlier never made the cut in the feminized market.

  • No chemical agents are involved, unlike with feminized seeds.

  • To make feminized seeds, female plants are treated with benzothiadiazole, gibberellic acid, silver thiosulphate, silver nitrate and/or colloidal silver. No such treatment is involved in producing regular cannabis seeds.

  • They’re relatively inexpensive.

  • Regular seeds are not processed in any way, so they’re often cheaper than feminized varieties. The other reason, of course, is that not all the seeds will produce buds.

  • They turn into hardy and strong plants.

  • Thanks to those unaltered genetics, regular cannabis seeds usually become tougher plants than their counterparts. They may grow with increased resistance against pests and disease and may grow better in less optimal environments.

Regular Cannabis Seeds: The Cons

Regular Cannabis Seeds: The Cons

  • You’ll end up with lower yields per crop.

  • Approximately half of planted regular seeds will turn out male, so there’s less usable cannabis per given number of plants.

  • In most cases, males need to be removed.

  • Unless you’re breeding, or trying to get more seeds, you’ll need to sex the plants and remove males in time. If you don’t they’ll pollinate the females and spoil your harvest.

  • Not well-suited for beginners.

  • Identifying male plants and safely separating them from the females requires some additional knowledge.

Growing Cannabis From Regular Seeds

Growing Cannabis From Regular Seeds

Aside from the need to watch out for male plants, growing regular cannabis seeds is pretty much the same as when growing feminized seeds. However, you should keep a few things in mind:

1. Indoors or Outdoors?

The pool of regular seeds is not as big as the feminized pool. In other words, you have a smaller variety of strains bred for particular growing conditions. This can make it necessary that you carefully choose genetics suitable for indoor or outdoor growing in your specific region. The same is true when it comes to your personal preferences for taste or effect of cannabis. You will find fewer to choose from that match what you’re looking for.

2. Seeds Need to Be Transplanted

Cannabis seeds grow vigorously, with the maturation rate depending on the variety and how long they stay in the vegetative phase. For best results, and to avoid plants getting “root bound” (roots outgrowing their pot), re-transplant them at least twice. If you want to save yourself the trouble, though, you should try the Zamnesia Geotextile Fabric Pot. These pots air-prune the roots, so there is no need for transplanting. Furthermore, since water can permeate through the porous textile material, fabric pots make it impossible to overwater your cannabis.

3. Males Need to Be Removed

Unless you’re breeding or seeking more seeds, keep an eye out for male plants and remove them. You don’t need to toss them out though. In fact, there quite a few ways to make use of your male cannabis plants; try juicing their leaves, or making hash from their pollen.

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What To Do With The Male Cannabis Plant?

4. Learn The Best Ways to Care For Your Plants

Not all cannabis strains have the same requirements for watering and nutrients. Some, along with that, are better suited for certain environments. Some varieties will take very long to flower, while others may be done earlier, and so forth. Considering that, you should learn about the particular requirements of a strain before planting. If you’re still new to cannabis, choose an easy variety with robust genetics that isn’t too picky. You can get this information when you read strain information on an online description page.

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The 10 Easiest To Grow Cannabis Strains For Beginners

Along with consulting the internet, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask on grower forums on the internet. There, you can find many growers who will be happy to give you tips on growing, equipment, strains, and more. Growing cannabis isn’t difficult per se, but it will require some basic knowledge that’s good to have before getting started.

How To Create Your Own Strain With Regular Seeds

How To Create Your Own Cannabis Strain With Regular Seeds

One of the most-rewarding things that you can do with regular cannabis seeds is use them to create your own strains. And it’s not even that difficult! Check out our blog on how to create your own knockout cannabis strain, and learn the ropes. As you read, you’ll find out about selective breeding, backcrossing and more. Create your own strains, and you can get your cannabis growing at a whole new level (and seriously impress your friends).