Feminized seeds are made through a process that prevents an otherwise female plant from producing the female flowers that its XX chromosome instruct it to, forcing it to produce the default male flowers, but since these flowers come from female plants the pollen they produce only possesses XX chromosomes, making the coin flip go to team female every time. Basically, by applying the element silver at a specific time to a flowering female you can make female pollen and from that create a crop of all female seed. But, I wondered, is this some kind of GMO or shortsighted technology that will bite us in the butt later down the road?
I was actually quite surprised by what I’d found. There was no evidence whatsoever that there would be any downstream effect from the feminization process as long as the female plant that we select to turn into a male is not being selected for its propensity to produce male flowers. It took some time to develop methodologies that would allow any female from any strain to become a pollinator, but we’re now at a point where there’s no question that a plant is usable as a pollinator as long as it is a natural diploid.
We haven’t seen any increases in intersex traits through our studies and even repeated feminizing from generation to generation hasn’t had any observable negative effect. In contrast, what we’ve discovered is that through feminized breeding we’re able to have a much greater influence over the outcome of our breeding. No more sniffing stems to imagine how the genetic makeup of a male would express itself as a female. We can take a selected plant that produces gorgeous female flowers and coax it to produce pollen that carries its gorgeous traits onto another selected female to reproduce or even onto itself as an untreated clone. This process, known as selfing, has allowed us to create seed lines that are much more uniform and flowers that are higher in cannabinoids and terpenes.
Public opinion of feminized seed can vary. Some of that sentiment is likely due to the fact that early attempts at feminizing were selecting for the ease of the sex reversal process and therefore likely passing on those intersex traits. The feminized seeds of today, however, are likely superior and certainly easier to grow than regular seed and we encourage breeders that, like us, bred regular seed for years trying to make fems. The process is certainly more technical but we’re confident that you will enjoy the outcome along with anyone else who grows your genetics.
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