Are regular seeds better than feminized? Not necessarily. In this article, we gonna tell you the difference between feminized and regular cannabis seeds The Strain There’s a handful of classic, extra-potent marijuana strains that have been around for a very long time, permanently fascinating both growers
What is the difference between feminized seeds and regular
When it comes to choosing a cannabis strain to grow, especially when preparing for your first experience in marijuana cultivation, it’s crucial to be acquainted with at least the basic terms of this industry. In this article, we’re going to start with “feminized” and “regular”, two of the many words used to describe specific types of weed strains. Even if it’s your first time on our website or for looking for marijuana seeds in general, you’ve most probably already heard of these terms before, as they represent two huge subcategories of cannabis seeds. Without further ado, let’s learn the meaning behind them and find out what exactly the difference is between feminized and regular cannabis seeds.
Feminized Vs. Regular: Definition
If you’ve come here asking yourself “Should I buy feminized seeds or regular seeds?”, let’s first learn what these terms mean and what the main differences are between these two seed types.
What Are Regular Cannabis Seeds?
Regular cannabis seeds are seeds that grow to become approximately 50% male and 50% female plants. Usually, marijuana plants with male flowers are used for breeding and creating new hybrids. For an ordinary grower who’s not going to engage in crossbreeding, but only wants to harvest a yield of potent and smokeable buds, male plants are of no interest and can be destroyed. Thus, some growers compare planting regular seeds with a game of Russian roulette. In theory, regular cannabis seeds can grow to become female plants in their majority or vice versa. Thus, there really is a certain element of luck in planting regular seeds even if, as a rule, the number of girls and boys in one batch of seeds is balanced.
Feminized Seeds: What Are They?
Feminized cannabis seeds are seeds that have a 99% chance of growing into a female plant. As you may already know, it is from the female marijuana plants that you can get the so-called sinsemilla – cannabis buds that have matured but haven’t been fertilized by a male plant. The unfertilized flowers of female marijuana plants form into dense resinous buds, so prized by cannabis lovers because they’re the part of the weed plant containing the highest level of THC. These are the buds we smoke, use for making edibles, concentrates, and so on.
Each cannabis variety can be either regular or feminized. If in the past seed banks used to only produce regular strains, the feminization of seeds has now become more common than ever, and today, many breeders even prioritize the creation of fems due to the great demand for female plants. However, we can’t say that feminized seeds are better than regular ones, since both of these types have their advantages and disadvantages. Each grower chooses what to cultivate based on their previous experiences, future goals, current growing conditions, etc.
Choosing A Regular Or A Feminized Strain For Growing
Now that we’ve learned what feminized and regular seeds are, let’s review them from the point of cultivation. When it comes to growing regular seeds vs. feminized seeds, what should you consider in the first place? Let’s find out.
Growing Regular Strains
First of all, regular cannabis varieties are more resilient than feminized ones. Hence, they are easier to grow and deal with stress better. The probability of them turning into hermaphrodites (developing both male and female flowers) is also much lower.
Despite being unpretentious, regular marijuana seeds require some experience to cultivate and successfully bring to maturity. In particular, it’s necessary to carefully “sex” the plants growing from regular seeds, meaning to monitor for any signs of a male plant appearing, and if it does, to discard these plants immediately. Otherwise, a single male plant can fertilize an entire garden and leave its grower without a harvest.
On the flip side, that’s exactly what you want if the goal of your cultivation is breeding, making hybrids, or just getting more seeds. Regular seeds are always the way to go if you want to create your own strain or experiment with breeding, because it’s nearly impossible to do this with feminized plants that don’t grow into male plants necessary for breeding purposes.
Due to the lower cost of production of regular cannabis seeds, they are normally cheaper than the feminized ones. Usually, this compensates for the losses associated with culling the boys.
Growing Feminized Strains
Of course, the biggest advantage of feminized cannabis seeds for a casual grower is that they don’t require sexing – a procedure that takes some experience to perform efficiently. However, when under stress, feminized cannabis plants are more prone to turning into hermaphrodites, which also puts the whole garden in danger of unwanted pollination. Sex formation in cannabis plants begins when they grow their third pair of leaves, and it continues for 3 weeks after that. At this time, it’s important to carefully monitor the conditions the girls are in, because if the plants are under stress, they can develop both male and female flowers or, as we already noted, turn hermie. The stress factors for fem plants include overfertilization or poorly chosen fertilizers, as well as rapid changes in light and temperature conditions. To avoid stressing your feminized plants, you therefore need to follow some simple rules:
- Don’t let the soil dry out
- Don’t let the plants overheat (under temperatures higher than +28C/82F)
- Don’t switch light cycles too quickly
- Follow the directions for all fertilizers you use
Of course, this doesn’t mean that feminized seeds are too difficult to grow – it’s just that you need to monitor conditions of your plants, especially during weeks 3-4 of your grow, to ensure the girls will definitely not turn into hermaphrodites.
On the bright side, cannabis grown from feminized marijuana seeds has great homogeneity rates – that is, the similarity of the plants of one strain between each other, which is expressed through the same properties and productivity of each bush. Hence, when choosing to grow from feminized seeds, you will know exactly how each plant is going to perform.
How To Tell The Difference Between Feminized And Regular Seeds
If you receive seeds from an unknown source, there is unfortunately no way to tell the difference between the two types of seeds just by looking at them. You’ll have to plant them, keep under a schedule of >12h light a day, and follow the development of the plant. If the bud sites don’t start forming in a month or so, and if the plant is growing rapidly, it was probably a regular seed. Switch it to a 12/12 light cycle to induce flowering.
Regular Vs. Feminized Bud: Is There A Difference?
Now that we know about the differences between growing feminized and regular seeds, it’s time to talk about the smoking experience. When it comes to the final product, the potent and resinous buds we all love so much, there’s a long and ongoing debate over the difference between cannabis buds grown from feminized seeds and regular ones.
Some growers think that feminized plants might be leading the race. In their opinion, fem marijuana buds are more potent, which is usually expressed in a higher level of THC compared to regular versions of the same weed variety. This means the effects of feminized marijuana will be stronger and more pronounced, and the same with their taste and aroma.
On the other hand, we have marijuana purists who claim that regular varieties are naturally richer in THC, as well as in their variety of effects and flavors. However, today, manufacturers are constantly working on improving their strains, both regular and feminized, so in many cases, the difference between varieties will not be so noticeable, and will mostly depend on the characteristics of each particular strain.
Regular Seeds Vs. Feminized Seeds: To Each Their Own
Let’s sum up everything we’ve learned today. Are regular seeds better than feminized? Not necessarily! Should you always choose feminized over regular seeds? Again, not really. When choosing your next seed to grow, think of your goals, expectations, and experience. Only after considering everything will you be able to decide for yourself. Remember, no matter what you choose, you’ll still have a great time growing and learning. If you’ve already made up your mind, let us know in the comments below: what do you prefer when it comes to feminized vs. regular seeds?
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Seed Showdown: Regular vs. Feminized
There’s a handful of classic, extra-potent marijuana strains that have been around for a very long time, permanently fascinating both growers and smokers with their superb qualities and eventually attaining the status of legends. Serious Seeds’ AK-47 is one of these outstanding evergreens. For Simon, the owner and breeder of Serious Seeds, finding that unique AK-47 genetic profile was the rare case of the “lucky punch” that every cannabis seed breeder dreams of. Back in 1992, after having already tested thousands of plants from different experimental breeding lines, he finally achieved his goal of creating a high-quality sativa/ indica hybrid with excellent overall properties and its own unique stamp. Thus the legendary AK-47 was born.
Although Simon keeps the exact pedigree of AK-47 a secret (much like the formula for Coca-Cola), he reveals that it was bred from Colombian, Mexican, Thai and Afghan seed stock, resulting in a 65:35 sativa/indica hybrid with predominantly sativa traits.
Over the years, AK-47 has racked up an impressive number of prizes—16!— at harvest competitions worldwide, including in the High Times Cannabis Cup’s hybrid category in 2011. It was also chosen as Strain of the Year in 2003 (HT Dec. ’03). In the form of hashish, AK has yielded major success for Serious Seeds as well—for example, when it took first prize at the 2005 High Life Cup in Barcelona in the hash category.
Simon describes AK-47 as follows: “This easy-to-grow plant is a living legend and our most popular strain. Medium height and produces good yields quite quickly. It has an extremely strong odor (growers, take extra care!) and a long-lasting high. AK-47 plants have a short flowering period for a sativa, producing compact, not-too-leafy buds gleaming with a coat of resin crystals. The name was given not out of any idea of violence, but more in association with its ‘one-hit wonder’ effect. An independent lab test showed 21.5% THC in the samples at the Cannabis Cup in 1999, the highest of all entries that year.”
Simon recommends a five- to 10-day vegetative clone-growth period. AK-47 delivers yields of 350 to 500 g/m2, has a flowering time of 56 to 63 days, and reaches maturity around October 15 under natural light. It has the high calyx-to-leaf ratio typical of sativas, which means lots of flowers and only a few leaves. The single calyx size tends to be unusually large, resulting in fat clusters grouped together very decoratively and densely, contributing to its trademark appearance. These compact nugs ooze copious amounts of glistening trichomes and break up nicely, leaving plenty of resinous crystals on your fingers and unleashing a strong, sweet and fruity aroma. AK-47 is also famous for its outstanding results in hydroponic mediums, as reported by many international growers, and has been very successfully grown outdoors in Spain.
Since last year, AK-47 has been available in the form of feminized seeds. That made the grower known as Mr. Power Planter curious, so he decided to run a test: a head-to-head comparison of both regular and feminized AK-47 seeds. Never before has such a comparison been reported in any magazine, so here it is. Would the feminized AK-47 seeds prove to be as much a contender as their long-established traditional counterparts?
Mr. Power Planter sowed a full package of 11 regular AK-47 seeds and five feminized ones. Germination proceeded very well, and after four days, all of the seeds had sprouted and reached the soil’s surface. From the start, they were grown under three 600-watt Green Bud metal halide (MH) lamps equipped with adjust-a-wing reflectors (without spreaders), so the plants had abundant light to thrive and prosper. One week after germination, they were transplanted into 11-liter containers filled with Plagron Standard soil mix. All 16 plants did well, growing very compactly and with a quick onset of side-branch development and dark green leaves. They were also very homogeneous, both within their group and when the feminized and regular plants were compared to one another.
Three and a half weeks after germination, Mr. Power Planter induced flowering by reducing the light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12, at the same time replacing the MH lights with three 600-watt Osram high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps. Within 10 days, all of the plants had revealed their sex, with five of the 11 regular AK-47 plants turning out to be males that were then removed. As expected, the five feminized plants presented only female pre-flowers. In the first weeks of flowering, though, it was observed that the feminized plants reacted a bit more slowly to the onset of the flowering period, with the regular plants progressing more quickly into flower production. Other than that, in terms of the overall growth pattern, both the regular and feminized plants still had the same appearance.
Soon, all 11 plants were building very fat main colas and many impressive side tops in addition. The feminized plants were about one week behind in their bud development, but still flowering in a most promising way. A very strong, sweet odor took possession of the growroom, arising from the richness of the massive resin layers on both the feminized and regular plants. All 11 plants were literally oozing with resin as they approached maturity, appearing whiter and whiter with each subsequent week of flowering. The buds consisted of many thick, dense, round flower clusters, rock-hard and chubby—in short, the trademark AK-47 look.
The six regular AK plants were harvested on day 63, just within the 56-to-63-day window promised by Serious Seeds. They produced tremendously fat main and side colas from the bottom to the top, with some of the huge main colas measuring more than 30 cm in length— really big, impressive chunks! The flower structure of these six plants was almost identical, and the same was true for their rich resin amounts.
As for the five feminized AK plants, they did require about one extra flowering week and were harvested after 69 days. They had grown lower than their regular counterparts, measuring from 65 to 85 cm in height only (with three plants about 75 cm), apart from one plant that was subject to a much stronger sativa influence and grew accordingly taller. But the feminized plants’ side branches were longer, for the most part, than those of the regular plants, while their fabulous, fat flower structure and copious resin amounts were equal to them, though with one difference: The side buds—including the lowest ones— were even bigger! Both the regular and feminized plants had the same powerful aroma, sweet but quite mild.
The delicious-smelling, very silver dried buds were of the highest order, a sheer pleasure to look at and smoke. No difference was found between the regular and feminized buds by Mr. Power Planter in terms of odor, aroma and high. While AK is a strain that doesn’t have the most intense taste—it’s a bit mild and slightly sweet, with a hint of a sandalwood undertone, but not especially charismatic—its high proved to be quite a sensation. It was very complex and extremely strong, with clearly pronounced elements from both ends of the cannabis spectrum asserting themselves … at the same time! Under the influence of the AK’s potent indica side, Mr. Power Planter felt like taking a seat, but he simultaneously felt clear and euphoric in the head and didn’t get “hypnotized” or totally blasted away by the indica stone.
Altogether, Mr. Power Planter was stunned by the superb outcome of both the regular and feminized plants. Like many tried and true strains, AK-47 has been often adopted by other seed banks and either used as a component in creating a “new” strain or just flat-out copied. But one thing’s for sure about Serious Seeds’ AK-47: You can’t beat the real thing!