How to Feminize Cannabis Seeds?

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Added 30 July 2023

Growing cannabis is already a daunting task, and as much as we love reaping the rewards, some parts of the cultivation process can be downright annoying. One of the most annoying of those is when you are growing a cannabis plant that turns out to be a male plant. 

You wouldn’t be wrong if you said you felt cheated by your cannabis plant. You expected it to grow big buds but it ended up growing pollen sacs. But there’s a way to avoid this headache: feminized seeds. And you can make them at the home of your favorite strain. Although this isn't a tutorial, we will go over the various techniques necessary to make feminized cannabis seeds at home. 

What are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

What are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

Cannabis plants are either male or female, and their sex is defined by genetics present in the seeds from which they grow. As a result, regular cannabis seeds may either grow into male plants or female plants. But here’s the thing — most cannabis growers don’t want to deal with male plants because the female ones grow buds. 

When you purchase regular cannabis seeds, you never really know what you’re going to get. So, you have to grow multiple plants, weed out the male ones, and grow the female ones. Be a little late and the male plant may end up pollinating all the female plants in the growing space. 

Unless you’re a breeder who wants pollen, one way to deal with this nuisance is to use feminized seeds that are bred to grow only female cannabis plants via feminization. The process genetically manipulates the seeds so they become incapable of growing male plants. So, with feminized seeds, you are guaranteed a female plant. 

Benefits of Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Benefits of Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Feminized cannabis seeds also have some other benefits, such as the following:

  • Since they almost never grow male plants, you are guaranteed a higher success rate with negligible (almost zero) chances of your plant turning into a male after a couple of months 
  • The second benefit is that you don’t end up wasting your time, money, and resources on a male plant that you have to eventually discard 
  • Since you no longer have to grow more plants, expecting some of them to turn out males, you won’t be wasting so much of the space in your grow room, either 
  • An underrated benefit of feminized seeds from the same lineage will more or less produce similar results with fewer chances of phenotype variations

No doubt, feminized seeds are the way to go when growing cannabis for their buds. 

Why Should You Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds at Home?

Why Should You Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds at Home?

1. Cost-Effectiveness

Feminized seeds have one major downside: they are expensive to purchase. As a cannabis grower, you would already know the importance of choosing high-quality seeds from reliable seed banks, which are already a little expensive compared to non-brand seeds. But high-quality feminized seeds can get even more expensive. 

If you have enough experience growing cannabis and are growing plants in bulk, purchasing feminized seeds may not be a viable option since they are a tad expensive. However, you can save money by feminizing the seeds yourself. You might think, since they are so expensive, they might be costly to produce, but you’d be partially wrong. 

Although it can be intimidating at first, you’ll see that it’s the best choice in the long run. You don’t need an elaborate lab facility to make feminized seeds; the process can be easy, small-scale, and cheap. Sure, there will be some minor investments in the beginning as items like colloidal silver can be pricey but you can even make that at home if you prefer. Ultimately, your plants will help you recover the investment over time. 

2. More Control

Another benefit of feminizing cannabis seeds at home is that it gives you control over the traits of the plants. For example, you can choose parent plants with specific characteristics that you want to recreate. Whether it’s the high THC, or CBD or you simply love the fragrance of the plant, it’s possible to recreate plants with similar traits. And, since it’s so easy to feminize seeds, commercial cultivators and even home growers are interested in the process.

3. Independence

Relying solely on seed banks for your weed will limit your choices. However, once you excel in the art of feminizing cannabis seeds at home, you’re independent and there’s no looking back. Sure, you will have to spend some money to buy new strains, but they won’t be as much as purchasing bulk seeds. 

4. Conservation of Rare Strains

Some marijuana strains are rare and hard to procure. But, if you put in the effort to find a breeder selling those particular strains, you can recreate them to the best of your abilities. Then, you can pass those seeds along to your friends and enjoy sessions together. 

But, before creating your own feminized seeds, let’s learn how feminized seeds are created. When you use regular seeds, they will contain X and Y chromosomes, required for female and male sex organs, respectively. However, if you turn a female plant into a hermaphrodite by inducing stress, it will grow both male and female sex organs and eventually self-pollinate. 

The hermie pollen only contains X chromosomes, not the Y ones — they can only grow female plants. So, by pollinating a female plant with hermie pollen, it will grow seeds that will only contain XX chromosomes. That’s how feminized cannabis seeds are created. 

Now that you know the science behind feminized seeds is not as complex as it sounds, you can begin planning on creating feminized cannabis seeds at home. 

Note that although feminizing cannabis seeds will provide a lot of experience and help you understand more about the science of your plant, you will have to practice doing it for a while. Breeders work on strains for years to choose desirable traits. The final product you see in reputed seed banks would have gone through years of testing to ensure that the seeds are stable. 

Therefore, it’s pretty common for seeds to lose their viability after a few cycles. In addition, don’t expect the seeds to perform exactly like the parent plant. Most importantly, if you don’t store the seeds well, they may not perform well over time.

How to Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds at Home?

How to Make Feminized Cannabis Seeds at Home?

While the science behind feminizing seeds is straightforward, breeders have come up with various ways of reaching that goal. The most common methods used by breeders to create feminized seeds include the rodelization method, chemical method, and colloidal silver. 

The goal of the three methods is to turn a healthy female cannabis plant into a hermaphrodite by inhibiting ethylene within the plant. Essentially, you spray certain solutions on the female plants to force them to grow male pollen sacs. 

Let’s look at the three methods of feminizing cannabis seeds below. 

1. Rodelization Method 

The first method is the rodelization method, which is popular for being the most natural method of all. Follow these steps to feminize cannabis seeds with the rodelization method:

  1. Choose a strong, healthy female cannabis plant that is at least four weeks into bloom and contains a healthy ratio of buds and leaves. 
  2. Wait for a couple of weeks for the female plant to mature, but don’t harvest it; over time, it will try to pollinate itself by growing male pollen sacs — the plant has turned into a hermie.
  3. When the male flowers are developed, harvest them gently from the cannabis plant and collect their pollen in an appropriate container. 
  4. Next, apply the same pollen to another healthy female cannabis plant when it starts developing flowers — you can do this by using a small painting brush to rub some pollen over the buds. 
  5. Allow the pollinated female plant to flower for longer until the seeds are ready to be harvested. 

The harvested seeds are your feminized cannabis seeds. This is an easy process, but it’s often a hit or a miss because many female plants are too stubborn to turn into hermies. In that case, you should try the following method. 

2. Silver Thiosulfate

The next method is chemical treatment, where you have to use silver thiosulfate. This chemical is readily available at most hydroponic stores, especially online ones, and this inhibits ethylene in the plant, forcing it to turn into a hermie. 

Follow these steps to feminize cannabis seeds using silver thiosulfate:

  1. Procure high-quality silver thiosulfate from a hydroponic store. 
  2. Choose a strong, healthy female cannabis plant that’s at least 3 to 4 weeks into the flowering stage. 
  3. As per the manufacturer’s recommendations, prepare the silver thiosulfate solution by diluting it in water — generally, the ratio is 1 part silver thiosulfate to 500 parts water, but it may vary depending on the manufacturer. 
  4. Now, use a fine mister to spray the solution on the cannabis buds of the chosen female plant; avoid spraying it on the stems and leaves of the plant. 
  5. Keep an eye on the plant for a few days; if it doesn’t show any side effects, respray the buds once every couple of days for two weeks. 
  6. Then, allow the female plant to flower and mature until it starts growing seeds. 

The seeds that the plant will grow will be feminized. However, silver thiosulfate isn’t often the first choice. If you are looking for the most effective way of feminizing cannabis seeds, the next method should be right up your alley. 

3. Colloidal Silver 

This is a solution made of distilled water with microscopic silver particles suspended within. Like silver thiosulfate, even colloidal silver can be purchased at hydroponic stores but what makes it better than other methods is that it is relatively safe for your cannabis plants. 

The process of using colloidal silver is the same as that of silver thiosulfate. So, procure your colloidal silver solution, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on preparing the solution, and spray your female cannabis plant’s flowers with the solution. 

The best part is that you can make your colloidal silver at home. Also, note that the colloidal silver needs to be at least 30 to 40 ppm for it to work. If you don’t want to make colloidal silver at home, you can purchase higher ppm solutions and dilute them for your purposes. 

Spray the plant as soon as it begins showing pistils. Try and avoid spraying the other parts of the plant because it’s unsafe to use plants treated with colloidal silver. If the other parts of the plant catch some spray, you can dedicate the entire plant to making seeds. 

After about 15-21 days, you will see that the plant develops small sacs. These sacs will contain pollen. Once the sacs mature, you can collect the pollen and rub it on other buds in the plant. After a few days, you will see the plant developing seeds that are feminized. 

What About Gibberellic Acid?

Many breeders also use gibberellic acid to feminize cannabis seeds, but it’s not recommended. This acid, along with some other products, is often dangerous, expensive, or not readily available. Plus, gibberellic acid is a growth stimulant, so it can make your cannabis plant grow in all wacky ways. 

Word of Advice 

While the three methods listed above are efficient, they can often be unpredictable. Depending on the strain and genetics, some plants are naturally resilient to this forced manipulation and some other plants may show side effects at the sight of silver thiosulfate. 

So, before using any of the methods listed above, do enough research on the strain you are dealing with and factor in the risks. You can’t smoke buds once they are pollinated, so you don’t want to waste a perfectly good plant by trial and error. 

Here are some additional tips on feminizing cannabis seeds:

  • Always use high-quality products, solutions, and equipment for the best results
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations over advice from others — the manufacturer knows best 
  • Feminizing cannabis seeds is a slow process, so take your time and be patient 
  • If you are feminizing seeds of your favorite plant, we recommend growing a clone for the process, just in case you lose it 

Summary: How to Feminize Cannabis Seeds?

Growing cannabis is fun, but if you want to make a fun yet non-challenging process, one of the steps you must never overlook is using feminized cannabis seeds. It saves you a lot of headaches. And if you find them expensive, use this guide to make your own feminized cannabis seeds. 

All you have to do is turn a healthy female plant into a hermie, using the methods listed above, and harvesting the seeds. That’s it. So, let’s get started, shall we? 



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I've saved pollen on an auto breeding project using 10ppm silver sol. Ideal is 30ppm but if you use a lower amount you need to spray the plants more often to make up for the concentration difference.
@m0use, I have tried it too. Was around 50 or so and worked beautifully. I had more seeds than I ever wanted lol. But, they didn't grow the same after a couple of years.