What are feminized cannabis seeds?
Feminized cannabis seeds were first created in the 1990’s by Dutch Passion; feminized seeds give rise to female cannabis plants.
Before feminized cannabis seeds were invented, the only option for home growers was to use regular cannabis seeds, these produce male and female plants in roughly equal numbers. The male plants have to be thrown away to prevent them pollinating the females, which would fill the plants with seeds. Many home growers in the 1980’s & 90’s wanted feminized seeds which would only produce female cannabis plants, but this was widely regarded as impossible, many people had tried and failed.
The introduction of seed feminization means that only half as many cannabis plants need to be grown. This allows the grow-room to be smaller, use less energy and be more efficient In countries where cannabis has not yet been legalized growers prefer to have fewer plants to minimise their risk.
Above, OutLaw grown by Mr Sparkles. OutLaw is one of Dutch Passions most resinous strains
Below, CBD SkunkHaze by Antonio. Any seed variety can be feminized; CBD-rich, automatic or traditional.
The introduction of feminized seeds has been one of those few discoveries that have genuinely changed the way millions of people grow their own weed. Within a few years feminized seed accounted for around 97% of Dutch Passion seed sales. And as other seed companies learned how to create feminized seeds they saw the same effect - nearly all the customers wanted to use feminized cannabis seeds. Today many seed companies only sell feminized seeds.
Here at Dutch Passion, despite inventing feminized seeds we still sell 15 varieties in regular (non-feminized) seeds even though these regular varieties account for just 2-3% of our sales. Selling regular seeds is a service rather than a profitable business for us, we offer regular seeds for the old-school home growers who still prefer them. And our collection of regular seeds is also a valuable source of original genetics for smaller seed banks who like to select plants for their own breeding projects.
Above, AutoXtreme grown by TaNg almost ready to collapse under its own weight. All of Dutch Passions Automatics are feminized.
Below, Blue AutoMazar by Hazy. A super-potent customer favourite characterized by numerous heavy blooms, rich flavours and exceptional resin production.
How were feminized cannabis seeds discovered?
Its a question we are often asked. How did we find out how to create feminized seeds? The question had been asked ever since home growing began to appear in the 1970’s and 1980’s. There were many ideas, some people believed that minute differences in the size or shape of the seeds could indicate whether the seed would produce a male or female plant. But like many of mankind's challenges the real answer came after years of study, research and hard work.
Henk van Dalen formally established the Dutch Passion Seed Company in Amsterdam in 1987 after many years collecting and working with the best cannabis genetics. As well as offering top quality cannabis genetics to the home grower Henk always had a passion to make it easier and more convenient to grow cannabis at home without being an expert.
Above, Think Different grown in DWC under 600W HPS by Bambud. A strong cerebral high and one of our most established automatics
Three books were to play an important part in Henks work. These were: Mel Frank/Ed Rosenthal`s “Marijuana Grower`s Guide” (1978) and Robert Connell Clark`s “Marijuana Botany” (1981) and Jorge Cervantes “Indoor Marijuana Horticulture” (1983). The comments in Rosenthal’s book about female seed possibilities was especially interesting to Henk who has always looked to make marijuana growing easier and more convenient to the home grower. Henk used his Biology degree and understanding of plant hormones to apply some scientific methods to his work.
Henk noticed something unusual when he left female plants to continue flowering for a few weeks longer than normal. He noticed that female plants grown from regular seed and left to bloom for several weeks longer than normal could produce male flowers at the very end of their life cycle. At the time it was an observation that was puzzling, yet it was also an observation that was repeatable. The male flowers were produced so late that the plant was unlikely to be able to pollinate itself, the optimum point to pollinate a female cannabis plant is after approx. 4 weeks not 12 weeks ++. Henk carefully collected the pollen produced from these male flowers and used it to pollinate other female cannabis plants. The seeds were collected and grown. The process was time consuming but necessary. It was a remarkable ‘Eureka’ moment in cannabis history, all the seeds produced female cannabis plants. At first it seemed too good to be true, it was repeated again and again.
Eventually it was clear that the pollen collected from these late male flowers gave rise to female plants. It was called ‘female pollen’ since all the seeds grew into mature females. Feminized cannabis seeds had been invented and commercially introduced in November 1998. although some people initially refused to believe it was actually possible. The process of collecting this ‘female pollen’ was difficult, female plants had to be grown from regular seed and left for many weeks longer than normal and even then only small amounts of ‘female pollen’ could be collected. Several techniques were subsequently developed to stimulate female plants to create more ‘female pollen’.
Within a few years feminized seed had become the normal way for the home grower to grow their own cannabis. Many people feel feminized cannabis seeds are Dutch Passions greatest contribution to the home grower, but we like to feel that the quality of our traditional, CBD-rich and AutoFem cannabis seeds is an equally important contribution. Henk received the first High Times ‘Dutch Master’ award for his contribution.
Today feminized cannabis seeds have become the normal way to grow cannabis whether you are growing traditional varieties, autoflowering or CBD-rich varieties. Dutch Passion are extremely proud and grateful to have made a contribution to the cannabis world that has affected the way so many people grow their own cannabis.
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