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The first feminized seeds on the market were made by naturally stressing a female to pull out male flowers with pollen. This is not a good method, since plants that revert under natural stress can easily transmit this trait to their offspring. It often happened that those feminized strains were hermaphrodites, so natural stress is not a good way to reverse cannabis females.
It is another stress process, in this case due to over-ripe, i.e. not harvesting in time or lengthening the flowering cycle of a female cannabis plant to produce male flowers. This method is not very good because of the small amount of pollen that is created, it is not worth it if you want to make many feminized seeds.
When we choose the varieties we want to cross we have to look at the desirable qualities, such as taste, production, effect, speed, and so on. But it must be clear that these features are only useful if they are transmitted to the progeny, a good phenotype is only a good phenotype if its qualities are not transferred to its descendants. On the other hand, if it transmits those qualities, it can also be considered a good breeding tool.
? Are there other ways to produce feminized cannabis seeds?
The females chosen to be reverted to male have to undergo a number of tests to prove that they are suitable for reversion. These tests are based on the resistance and sexual purity of the selected specimens and basically they try to induce different types of stress. Only plants that stay fully female will pass the test and then they can be considered good breeding tools.
The most common technique used to cause stress to female plants was known as “Light Poisoning“ or light stress. It’s easy, you just have to use irregular photoperiods, or often interrupt the night cycle of female cannabis plants during flowering.
Image where you can see the thin pollen produced by a reversed plant falling on female cannabis flowers*
This way of producing 100% feminine seeds with gibberellic acid was published by the great Robert Connell Clarke in his magnificent book “Marijuana Botany”. With this method several applications must be done during a period of 5 or 7 days. The biggest problem with gibberellic acid technique is its instability, since a very precise dose is needed to be effective, around 100 PPM. It is also common that each variety may need a different dose, so not many people use it nowadays.
This is not the result of genetic or stress-induced hermaphroditism. They are genuine XX chromosome female bananas. With all the genetic information from the female and no Y chromosome, using rodelized pollen creates female-only seeds, although as with colloidal silver, an occasional male may appear.
Once the plants have been sprayed with colloidal silver and the pollen is collected, they are write-offs—86 them and don’t smoke them. Giving them a thorough rinse will not work. The colloidal silver is a systemic treatment absorbed into the plant through the foliage and not a topical application. Be safe and bin them.
HARVESTING POLLEN AND POLLINATION
With a bit of aforethought, it is possible to set up an efficient feminization breeding programme—and have female seeds from your favourite phenos on hand all the time. You never know, you might discover the next big thing!
To begin with, select a plant that has the characteristics you want to preserved. Feminizing clones is the usual practice as the growth, flowering, and resin characteristics from the mother are already known. There is no need for any vegetation time once a clone is well-rooted. Simply pot the clone into a small pot, give it a day or two to recover, and begin a 12-12 light cycle right away. A pollen-producing plant only needs to be small as cannabis produces copious amounts of pollen.
Colloidal silver is by far the easiest to source or make. It is non-toxic, non-caustic, and can be bought from a pharmacy or easily online. The other solutions can be dangerous, difficult to get a hold of, and expensive—except gibberellic acid, which can be found in nurseries, but is not as effective as colloidal silver. But if you want to watch some freaky plant growth just for the fun of it, give gibberellic acid a try. It is a growth stimulant and makes plants stretch and stretch.
There are a number of harvesting methods employed to catch pollen.