How to produce cannabis seeds

Everybody knows cannabis grows from seeds, but do you know how the seeds are created?
26 May 2020
13 min read
How to produce cannabis seeds

Contents:

When it comes to cannabis plants, feminized seeds are the most known ones. But do you know what auto and regular means?

1. Photoperiodic Cannabis

Photoperiodism isn’t unique to cannabis plants, many flowering plants sense changes in the length of night and day and use those changes as signals for when to flower.

Photoperiodic cannabis plants are just like that, they basically respond to changes in the light cycle. 

As the night becomes longer at the beginning of autumn (in nature) or when you flip to 12/12 in a grow tent, the plant receives more darkness. This causes the plant to realize that its life cycle is coming to an end and they will start to flower (females) or produce pollen (males) in order to reproduce before winter.

Regular Photoperiodic Cannabis

Regular cannabis is photoperiodic cannabis that produces both male and female plants. They are called regular because they are produced the “natural way”: the pollen from the male plant pollinates the female, resulting in seeds.

Back in the day the only way to grow cannabis was with regular seeds, this way you would get half male and half females plants. 

There is a big difference between male and female plants, while female grows buds, male plants will only grow pollen sacs. 

 

Difference between male and female Cannabis plants.
 

In nature male cannabis’ pollen sacs will open to release pollen which will pollinate the female flowers, this way producing seeds. 

But most growers that grow cannabis commercially or for their own consumption only want buds, allowing males to pollinate buds would ruin their harvest because pollination diminishes yield, so they're mainly looking for female plants.

Feminized Photoperiodic Cannabis

To completely avoid accidental pollination and other problems related to male plants, feminized seeds were created. 

Feminized seeds come from the cross of two female plants, one of them is stressed so it starts producing pollen sacs, which will fertilize the other female.

When you cultivate feminized seeds, the offspring will be only female plants. This takes out a lot of the unnecessary work that you can have when growing males and them not being able to use them.

Ever since the boom of feminized seeds back in 1998, growers have stopped buying regular seeds for quite a bit. Nowadays most seed banks don’t even sell regular seeds anymore.

With so much focus on feminized seeds, we can’t forget that regular seeds are vital for the creation of new strains.

2. Automatic Flowering Cannabis

You must already know that the characteristic that makes autoflowers an auto is they don’t need a different light cycle to enter the flowering stage.

Like their name says, autoflowers start flowering automatically depending on age, and unlike regular and feminized cannabis that need a change in the light cycle to start flowering. Autos don’t need anything else other than time to start producing buds.

But that trait didn’t come out of nowhere, it appeared as an adaptation to the environment.

You’ve probably heard of Cannabis Indica and Sativa…well, the autoflowering gene comes from Cannabis Ruderalis.

The Ruderalis species adapted to the extremely cold and harsh climates of Asia, Europe, and Russia. These regions have shorter warm seasons and colder temperatures.

Because of this, Ruderalis started mutating from a photoperiodic plant to an autoflowering plant, to guarantee its reproduction before the temperatures reached freezing levels.

Thanks to that adaptation, now we have autoflowers that take considerably less time from seed to harvest.

3. How To Make Your Own Seeds

Producing your own seeds is relatively easy if you have what it's needed but that doesn’t mean the result will be a perfect strain. The good strains or “IBLs” that most seed banks sell are strains that have been developed for years and are far into the third or fourth generation.

IBL or stabilized strain means the offspring will have certain characteristics locked down. When you cross two strains for the first time the offspring can have infinite phenotypes and this is not good for commercializing.

Photoperiodic Regular Seeds

When we talk about cannabis, it’s easy to forget about male plants.

Everybody nowadays is used to the beautiful flowers we all love, but it’s important to remember that male cannabis plants are just as important as the females. Male cannabis plants produce pollen and are an essential element to the production of new cannabis plants.

This pollen is super important in breeding as it allows breeders to create crosses with genetics from different plants and create their own seeds. For producing seeds all you need is pollen and buds.

Cannabis pollen is no different from regular pollen produced by other plants. It’s a fine powder that usually has a golden yellow color and is excreted from the pollen sac on male plants.

 

Pollen sac on male cannabis plant.
 

Collecting pollen is simple. You'll know when its ready to be collected when the pollen sacks are open and you see pollen floating in the air and on the leaves near them.

When this happens, you can gently remove the sacs and store them in a ziplock bag, once you are ready to pollinate just release the pollen onto the buds. Another way is to simply agitate your male plants near the female plants, the pollen will stick to the buds.

Pollen is used in order to pollinate female plants and create seeds. In nature, female plants get pollinated by the wind which carries the male pollen.

Cannabis seeds develop in the buds about 4-6 weeks after pollination, you will see the calyxes start to round up from the seeds being inside them.

 

After 4-6 weeks from polination Cannabis seeds will develop inside the calyxes.
 

Pollinated buds look quite different from regular buds. They usually don’t have as many trichomes and are usually smaller and a lot more swollen.

4 weeks after pollination, you can start checking the buds to see if the seeds are ready for harvest by picking a couple of seeds from the bud.

Mature seeds will have a hard shell and be a dark brown color, they might also have some stripes on the outer shell.

Photoperiodic Feminized Seeds

Normally, a male cannabis plant has to pollinate a female plant to produce seeds. The resulting regular seeds will contain about half male and half female seeds.

The way feminized seeds are produced is the same but instead of collecting the pollen from a male, breeders will stress or spray flowers with colloidal silver, for example. This process forces the female plants to become a hermaphrodite and starts producing pollen sacs.

Hermaphrodite plants are females that are halfway turned into males, this means she has both male (pollen sacs) and female (buds) parts.

 

How to recognize a hermaphrodite Cannabis plant.
 

By picking out the pollen sacs and using a reverted plant's pollen to pollinate a female plant, you will have only female genes as there is no "father", this way you get feminized seeds, meaning the offspring will be 100% female plants.

Feminized and Regular Autoflowering Seeds

•  Regular Autoflowering Seeds

Usually, you can find regular and feminized seeds, and this applies to autoflowering seeds also. This means you can find male and female autoflowers, depending on the type of seed you buy (regular = 50% male and 50% female, feminized = 100% female).

Unfortunately the high increase in the production of feminized seeds affected automatic seeds also. Although it’s not common to find regular auto seeds nowadays, they do exist.

For producing regular autoflowering seeds all you need is male pollen and female buds, just like for regular photoperiodic cannabis. The process is basically the same, collect the pollen from the male and spread it on the buds, this will result in regular autoflowering seeds.

•  Feminized Autoflowering Seeds

The process of producing feminized autoflowering seeds is almost the same, the only difference is you will need two female autos instead of one male and one female. You will have to make one of your female autos produce pollen, either by stressing her out or spraying with colloidal silver and pollinating the other female. This will result in a 100% female automatic offspring.

4. In Conclusion

Even though it is fairly easy to produce seeds, we recommend having a bit of experience before trying it.

We recommend easy-to-grow strains like Zkittlez Auto to start acquiring experience before going into breeding.

Zkittlez Auto
Zkittlez Auto
Genes
Mostly Indica
Genetics
Zkittlez Autoflowering
Flowering
9-10 weeks
Harvest
XXL
Height
70-100 cm
THC
23%
CBD
Very Low
Autoflowering
Yes
1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €
 

A breeding operation needs a lot of caution, even the smallest amount of pollen may ruin your entire harvest.

Remember you should always buy seeds from a reputable seed bank. If you buy bad genetics, your plants can become a hermaphrodite easily and what was initially cheap can end up being surprisingly expensive.

Top 10 Strongest strains

Amnesia Haze Auto
Amnesia Haze Auto
The world’s favorite Haze…
Buy seeds from 9,00 €
1 fem
9,00 €
2 fem
16,00 €
3 fem
24,00 €
5 fem
40,00 €
10 fem
70,00 €
25 fem
150,00 €
50 fem
250,00 €
100 fem
420,00 €
500 fem
1 450,00 €
1000 fem
2 400,00 €
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3 fem
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24,00 €
Gelato Auto
Gelato Auto
Our most powerful strain yet. 26% THC lab reports, and distinct Ice cream flavours. 
Buy seeds from 13,00 €
1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €
Gorilla Cookies Auto
Gorilla Cookies Auto
The Stickiest Cookies in the Game
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1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €
Gorilla Glue Auto Glue Auto
Gorilla Glue Auto (Glue Auto)
A platinum strain, with more than a million sold all over the world!
Buy seeds from 13,00 €
1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €
Lemon AK Auto
Lemon AK Auto
Fully automatic citric firepower.
Buy seeds from 11,00 €
1 fem
11,00 €
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20,00 €
3 fem
30,00 €
5 fem
45,00 €
10 fem
80,00 €
25 fem
175,00 €
50 fem
300,00 €
100 fem
490,00 €
500 fem
1 650,00 €
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2 800,00 €
Pack
3 fem
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30,00 €
OG Kush Auto
OG Kush Auto
Next level potency and delicious Kush flavor
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1 fem
9,00 €
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16,00 €
3 fem
24,00 €
5 fem
40,00 €
10 fem
70,00 €
25 fem
150,00 €
50 fem
250,00 €
100 fem
420,00 €
500 fem
1 450,00 €
1000 fem
2 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
24,00 €
Orange Sherbet Auto
Orange Sherbet Auto
Super Sour, Orange Flavored Terp Monster
Buy seeds from 13,00 €
1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €
Purple Lemonade
Purple Lemonade
The best purple strain we’ve ever created
Buy seeds from 13,00 €
1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €
Wedding Cheesecake Auto
1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €
Zkittlez Auto
Zkittlez Auto
The new standard for autoflower genetics
Buy seeds from 13,00 €
1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
Pack
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €
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