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Seeds are one of the reproduction methods of many plants, including Cannabis Sativa, better known as marijuana. Marijuana plants reproduce sexually, which means two types of reproductive organs are necessary. Some plants are male whereas others are female. However, a female plant might bear male flowers and thus, self-pollinate.
On the other hand, there are also types of cannabis that are designed to produce fiber, food and medicinal extracts. This type of cannabis is called industrial hemp, and it’s a lot more laid back. You don’t need to worry about male and female plants mingling, because the parts you want from this plant are the trunks, branches and leaves. These plants are bred and grown to not produce high amounts of psychoactive substances. Regardless, they can still produce cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG, both of which have amazing medicinal properties. You can also grow them to produce seeds, which produce a high amount of hemp oil which is one of the most beneficial oils that you can include in your diet.
In nature, male flowers would pollinate female ones, seeds would fall into the ground and as a result of the surrounding humidity of so many plants, the seeds would germinate, becoming new plants. Female flowers are the ones that have a calyx or receptacle, whereas the male ones have staminate flowers that produce pollen. When the flowering time arrives, the female plant catches the pollen in the pistils of its flowers thanks to a resin it generates. From the pistils, pollen gets into the calyx, where a new seed is formed.
Usually, we need to let the seed dry for a few months before it becomes ready to germinate. In natural conditions, seeds dry out inside the plant itself, since cannabis is a deciduous plant that dies every year just to be reborn the next one from the seeds that manage to germinate.
In a natural environment, hybrids (interbred plants) are not very common because the plant is globally banned and there are not many uncontrolled plantations. However, and for some years now, seed banks have been emerging to look for outstanding marijuana varieties and do one of this:1) fix the breed or 2) interbreed (cross) different varieties in order to get hybrids that feature the best characteristics of both species.
According to some studies, marijuana seeds strength has increased by 300% during the last decade.
Little by little, technique has evolved and, though marijuana has been smoked for many years, it is only in the last decade that its power has been increased by 300%. In the 70's THC content was about 10%, in the 80's it was close to 12%, in the 90's it went up to 15%, by 2000 it was already 20% and in 2015 THC content has gone up to 30%. This means that as times goes by, much stronger marijuana species are being found and fixed.
Apart from the strength, many other aspects have been improved. As already mentioned, seeds can lead to female or male plants (50% of chances for each). The truth is it is not always a 50%, since final gender depends a lot on the growing parameters of the first days. A higher ambient relative humidity will get our seeds to develop into female plants mainly, whereas if the ambient is hot and dry mostly male plants will develop. Nowadays, most commercialized cannabis seeds are feminized and lead to 99% of female plants and 1% of hermaphrodites. Though this is not perfect, we have gone a long way from the times we had to discard 5 plants out of 10 to nowadays situation, when only 1 plant out of 100 has to be discarded. Considerable progress has obviously been made.
Usually, a grower person tends to plant between 4 to 10 plants, and then, the probability of failure (only getting male plants) is very small. On the other hand, germination is a much more delicate stage where failure is more probable. Indeed, this not depends so much on the seed but on the conditions we surround it with.
Marijuana seeds need a constant humidity supply from the moment they germinate until the plant dies. Normally, in order to germinate the seeds we put them between paper serviettes or cotton, we wait between 2 to 15 days until they pop up and we see the first root. Then, we plant them in an environment where the seedling starts shaping up. Later, and after 15 additional days, we start seeing our marijuana plant. From then onwards, everything goes too fast but it is very common humidity is wrong before the root develops.
The reason why they do not tend to germinate is because the paper or cotton dries out before the first root manages to come out, and since they cannot absorb water, the humidity supply ceases and they die. No matter how much you moisten them; at this point they will only rot. This is the most common failure scenario. Another one is to drench the serviette paper in excess so the seeds suffocate and rot straight away. A third failure mistake is to have a wrong temperature: when it is cold, seeds do not germinate but when it is too hot, the wet paper will "cook" seeds which will also die.
In many occasions, seeds are blamed for a missed crop, but the truth is cannabis seeds germinate in 99% of the cases, even if they are low-quality. It is very common to see a grower trying to germinate 5 different types of seeds and failing with all of them. It can't be the seeds' fault but the grower's!
SOME MYTHS ABOUT MARIJUANA SEEDS
There are also many myths about marijuana seeds. Some people say that if you put them in a glass full of water and they float this means they are empty and won't germinate, but I have grown myself this kind of seeds and they have become perfect plants. Another myth that needs to be refuted urgently is that the ones that can be squashed are empty, the same as the floating ones.
All seeds you try to squash will be eventually squashed, this depends only on the applied pressure. There is no scale for this, but what I can assure you is that if you try hard enough, you will smash your seeds. So, why don'ty you try to germinate them normally, instead?
Another myth to be denied is that a small or whitish seed will not germinate. There are many varieties whose seeds are small and white and they germinate as well as the biggest and blackest ones; you only need to give them a chance.
Once you get your plants to germinate we will enjoy the sight of your marijuana plants with their beautiful and recognizable leaves in only a few days from the potting-on. If we use seeds of different types, we will normally get very different plants.
Within the same species of marijuana we can find different subspecies, which are classed as Sativas and Indicas. Within those two types there are hundreds of subspecies that can be interbred. Then, there are other two distinct factors that differentiate seeds: seasonal seeds and autoflowering seeds.
We can get a hybrid that has 60% of Sativa genes and 40% of Indica ones and it might turn up as seasonal or autoflowering, depending on the type of plants that have been interbred.
Seasonal plants depend on the photoperiod outdoors in order to bloom. This means that as the days get longer, from the beginning of winter till the arrival of summer, our plants will be at the growing stage. As the days start to shorten and nights become increasingly longer, our seasonal plants will start blooming. Being extremely sensitive to light, your plants mustn't be disturbed at night time with any type of light such as a street lamp or a light in the terrasse.
Autoflowering plants' bloom does not depend on any photoperiod. They come from a species called Rudelaris, which originated in the North of Europe. It grows wildly in the coldest mountains and their seeds are able to freeze and germinate once again when the weather is favorable. This type of plant blooms in two different ways: either it reaches a certain height and blooming starts or it starts flowering once it's reached a specific age.
The quality of both seasonal and autoflowering plants keeps on increasing . Until very recently, autoflowering seeds provide quite a low quality and reduced productions. Now, autoflowering plants have improved a lot, and some hybrids are as good as seasonal plants besides providing 60-day-old cycles from the moment they sprout till the harvest.
It is said that Sativa plants produce a more cerebral effect since they possess a higher THC content, whereas Indicas are more relaxing due to their high levels of CBD and CBN among their cannabinoids. The truth is that cannabis is not a hard drug and if you are a regular smoker you will notice the effect more or less depending on the context, time of the day and who you are smoking it with. However, it is true that a concentrated extraction of these cannabinoids such as BHO will increase the effects noticeably.
Now you can get down to work and plant your seeds, create your own strains by interbreeding and selecting the ones you prefer or become an expert on your favorite plant's behaviour. Seeds are both a well and badly known acquaintance for many growers, who distrust them from the beginning and decide to grow from slips. A crop from seeds will always lead to plants which are somehow different, the same way siblings of the same family are not all just the same. On the other hand, they will also provide us with much more marijuana than a crop grown from slips.