In the world of hemp cultivation, feminized seeds are where it’s at. Every farmer is looking to buy them, and every seed producer is trying to produce them. But what do we mean by feminized seeds, and why are they so sought after?
Simply put, feminized seeds are hemp seeds that grow into female hemp plants. This is important because when farmers talk about growing hemp, they are talking about 100 percent female hemp plants. Male hemp plants low in the cannabinoids necessary to produce CBD and CBG oil. The introduction of a single male hemp plant to a field could have disastrous effects on your harvest. This is why it’s important to procure feminized seeds.
Why it’s best to only cultivate feminized hemp plants
It’s all about the product. Female hemp naturally contains far more cannabinoids than male plants. These are the compounds that allow for the extraction of large quantities of usable product to get sold. A big reason for this is because female plants put all their energy into producing the compounds hemp farmers value. As long as they’re not pollinated, that is.
While male plants produce less cannabinoids, they do produce pollen. A pollinated female plant will stop putting all its energy into producing cannabinoids. It will instead begin producing seeds. Not only will this lower the CBD content of your plants, but the seeds produced will grow a mixture of male and female hemp plants. This makes the seeds dangerous to plant, and useless to try and sell, if the goal is to grow an all female hemp crop.
It is common practice for hemp farmers to study the plants in their fields and cull any males that might grow. If you do catch one, remove the male plant well before it gets the chance to release pollen. Best practices include patrolling the fields daily looking for these pesky boys.
Feminized doesn’t mean foolproof
There is still a lot to learn about hemp genetics, and because of this, even feminized seeds sometimes produce male plants. This is because the process for producing feminized seeds is not 100 percent effective. Additionally, certain growth conditions can push hemp plants to grow male sex organs.
Hemp can be hermaphroditic, meaning even female plants can produce pollen. This happens at the end of the plant’s flowering cycle. If pollination hasn’t happened, there’s a chance a female hemp plant will produce pollen sacks. It will then try to pollinate itself. The resulting seeds will be clones of the original female plant. This means they’ll be new feminized seeds.
While this is a handy way to produce feminized hemp seeds in a pinch, it’s not the best regular practice. One should take care that a female plant doesn’t pollinate its neighbors. This reduces the amount of cannabinoids in multiple plants. Using this method of seed production also makes the hermaphroditic gene more common. The next round of hemp is more likely to pollinate itself if left in the field too long.
So, what seeds should I plant?
As mentioned above, it’s possible to produce feminized seeds with hermaphroditic hemp plants, or by utilizing other methods. However, this is often time consuming, and can lead to overly-hermaphroditic plants. It’s also an issue that you have to have a hemp crop already in the ground for this to be a viable option.
The other way is to buy seeds. The first step to buying hemp seeds is to make sure you get feminized ones. Finding a buyer that can provide a written guarantee is one way to safeguard against bad seeds. Not every feminized hemp seed producer has had the time or opportunity to fully test their product.
That’s not the case at Arbor Vita8, who puts painstaking effort into selecting seeds to sell. It’s just the start of our high-quality seed-to-sale array of services. We guide hemp farmers every step of the way, offering only the best genetics at planting, followed by quality harvesting, drying, and processing services. Contact us today to learn more about our complete set of services, all there to help you succeed. Good luck out there!