By: Noah Chen
In the world of cannabis cultivation, growing only the female plants is the goal. This is because female plants produce more cannabinoids when males get left out of the crop. Whether it’s CBD or CBG you’re after, the females are the most productive when not tempted by male plants to go to seed. With a basic understanding of hemp genetics, this all makes perfect sense.
Males vs. females and seeds
There are two different sets of chromosomes in genetics. An XX chromosome pair makes a female, an XY chromosome pair makes a male. This is how it works in people. Hemp plants are slightly different. The genders can change after the fact via the application of environmental or chemical stressors. For example, an all female crop can be “masculinized” to produce pollen. However, female hemp plants produce pollen as well. This is good, since the pollen of a female plant produces feminized seeds. Feminized seeds grow up to become female plants. We love the ladies when it comes to hemp. It’s better to buy seeds produced from female pollen over male pollen.
Keeping males out of the field
Once you’ve found feminized seeds of the right hemp genetics, your next job is to keep male plants out of circulation. If a male plant appears, remove it as fast as possible. Letting it linger gives it a chance to shift your female plants from flowering to going to seed. You’ll lose all your potential CBD or CBG to extract from the plants, essentially ruining your hemp crop.
Avoiding rodelization in hemp genetics
Another way male hemp plants sneak into a crop is through rodelization. This occurs when a female plant has been flowering for too long without harvesting. After several weeks left flowering, the female plant produces a male flower, often called a banana. They’re longer and thinner than female flowers, so very noticeable on the plant. These ‘bananas’ can pollinate a whole crop of female plants, giving you seeds when you don’t want them. As a general rule of thumb, if a plant produces seeds, it is devoting less energy to producing cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are why you’re growing hemp in the first place.
One bad hemp seed ruins the bunch
Hemp plants are so sensitive that one male plant, or even a little bit of pollen from a male hemp plant can ruin a batch. Suddenly, all your female plants will switch direction from producing a sticky, beautiful flower to going to seed. Instead of ending up with the ability to extract CBD or CBG oil from your crop, you’re left with a mixed bag of male and female seeds. There’s no profit, but rather the work of removing the male seeds while hoping the females you’re left with stay female. It’s a lot more labor and a loss of production, all because of one pesky male hemp plant.
Placing value on hemp genetics
The benefit to taking hemp genetics seriously, when it comes to feminized seeds, is the guarantee you’re getting a durable hemp strain that’s less likely to let male plants into the field. Genetics do more than establish the aroma and flavor profile of hemp plants. They also help encourage plant growth by making it resistant to certain issues associated with hemp farming. They can make plants more resistant to pests or mold, as well as help encourage female growth over male growth. Which strain of hemp you plant is one of the many essential choices that make a farmer a successful hemp grower.
Purchasing superior genetics in feminized seeds
Avoid having to worry about your hemp genetics or your plants toughing it out as females by working with Arbor Vita8. Our superior seeds and seedlings are all feminized and of the highest-quality strains. Our wholesalers offer a competitive price for plants least likely to switch over to male plants as they grow. To learn more about the genetics we offer, contact Arbor Vita8 today.