Cannabis seeds are created much the same way as everything living. It’s a bit of a “birds and bees” lesson. It’s time for “the Big Talk,” I suppose.
It’s worth knowing how seeds are created if you intend to grow your own. An increasing number want to grow a supply of medical marijuana. Some want to grow as a hobby, to breed new strains, or just to save themselves some money.
The basic sex talk
Male plants are necessary for reproduction, but in the cannabis world, they are otherwise useless. It’s the female plants that produce the rich terpenes and flowers that make the plant valuable.
It’s the males that produce the pollen that the birds and bees transport to the female plants to create seeds. No pollen, no seeds!
But, in a world where genders are manipulated, growers and breeders will remove the pollen by hand.
You must know your plants well enough to spot the development of plump pollen sacs. If you can see the pollen on the leaves, it’s time to move. It’s time to remove, dry, and store the pollen sacs. Store the sacs in plastic bags or containers, you can shake them gently to split them open and shed the pollen. You can use the golden pollen to breed new seeds, but you can also use it to combine with pollens from other plants to create new strains.
Using the pollen
Once you have removed or harvested the pollen from healthy make plants, you introduce it to the female 2 or 4 weeks into its flowering phase. You want to introduce the pollen once the female buds sprout white hairs. In a natural setting, those hairs would gather the pollen as bees, birds, or the wind brought it their way.
You apply the pollen using a fine paint brush. Dipping the brush in the pollen, you paint the female plant at the buds where the leaf meets the stem. You can “paint” some or all the buds on the plant, but only those you pollinate will produce seeds.
Harvesting the seeds
Seeds should appear in another six weeks. You must go looking for them, but you will find them at the joints you have pollinated. They are small brown balls. You can germinate and use them immediately or store them in a cool dry place.
You can store seeds for long periods if you do so smartly. You can freeze them, but you must remember you reduce the seeds’ viability every time you thaw and refreeze them. If you store them in the refrigerator, you should push them to the rear to avoid the temperature changes when the door is opened.
Germinating the seeds
Allowed to germinate, the seeds will sprout a white tail or taproot. You lay a double folded paper towel saturated with distilled water on a dinner plate. With the seeds scattered across the paper towel, you cover it with another wet towel and another plate to construct a sort of flying saucer.
You can check on the seeds’ progress and moisten the towels. Still, this process must be sterile so avoid touching the seeds with your hands.
Feminizing the seeds
Whether you grow for yourself or others, you want female plants. Female plants produce more flowers, and they produce higher THC density. You cannot change a male seed into a female seed, but you can encourage female plants to produce more seeds to improve the odds you will have more female seeds.
♦ Most growers use a mixture of Sodium Thiosulfate and Silver Nitrate (STS). They spray it on the developing female plant to create a stress that sparks a change in the plant’s gender. The plant appears to die, but it will revive as a male.
You dry it out and shake its pollen over female plants. In this way, you introduce the pollen from an altered plant into a select female strain.
♦ Other growers use a Rodelization Method to prolong the flowering and natural seeding of female plants. It panics the plant into producing seeds without make pollination to survive.
This produces more seeds, but there’s no telling how many will be female. It is an organic method, but it risks wasting plants and flowers.
♦ A Colloidal Silver method is unnecessarily complex for the average grower.
These methods feminize the seeds. Growers then wind up with two types of female seeds: those bred naturally and those engineered.
The seeding process is your opportunity to cultivate and breed favorite strains and experiment with new ones. This takes some learning and sophistication as a grower to make it work and reduce cost.
It takes knowledge of the plants, their botany, ancestors, and cannabinoid content and density. You would, then, sort and number plants before you start journals on your work. You must track planting, growth, height, and flowering.
Your purpose is to select a known strain and fertile male to pollinate a female of another strain to effectively cross-pollinate them. You might also mix previously gathered pollens before you paint the female.
Without clear and detailed records, you will produce a mess of distasteful and ineffective weed. Of course, there will be trial and error in any experiment, but your record-keeping can minimize the errors.
Your cross-pollination can produce a stronger taste and higher potency which you can use to breed tastier and more potent breeds. You may only develop something that suits your interests, and that’s just fine. But, if you launch this seeding and breeding process at all, you want it to work.