Now that hemp has been legalized and medical marijuana is utilized in a number of states across the country, the cannabis industry is evolving at a pace that’s unprecedented. Nowadays, consumers can enjoy a massive range of cannabis products that boast innovative formulas and contain hemp concentrates that are derived from high-tech extraction processes.
The hemp market alone is expected to boom over the next few years, so it is no surprise that investors and manufacturers are pouring so much money into developing new techniques to streamline the process while making it more affordable to themselves and the consumers.
One of the most cutting-edge techniques that is sweeping across cannabis farms nationwide is the feminization of cannabis seeds. Now, maybe you consider yourself an expert on hemp, but lots of enthusiasts don’t quite understand the difference between male and female cannabis seeds. This is primarily a concern of the farmer who cultivates the crops. As you will find out, it’s actually an incredibly important factor in the whole cannabis production process.
Before explaining the process of feminizing cannabis seeds, and why it’s so beneficial, we need to briefly discuss the cannabis plant.
The Cannabis Plant
Cannabis is a genus of plants, and every plant belonging to this genus has its own distinctive chemical composition. One thing that ties all of these plants together is the fact that they have the unique distinction of possessing cannabinoids, which are plant compounds that directly interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system to produce a number of effects.
Hemp and marijuana are the two members of the cannabis genus that get the most attention. That’s because they are commonly used for human consumption because of the ways in which they affect the body.
How Male and Female Cannabis Plants Differ
Many cannabis enthusiasts are surprised when they learn that there are actually three sexes of cannabis plants: male, female and hermaphroditic. This has to do with the chromosome composition of each plant. It is important to point out that hermaphroditic plants are far less common than male and female ones.
Basically, the male cannabis plant pollenates the female plant, and the female produces the seeds. As you would imagine, hermaphroditic cannabis plants are self-pollenating. One way to determine whether a plant is female or not is to look for white flowers. If the flowers are present, it is a female. Also, female cannabis plants are larger in size compared to the other two.
Why Male Cannabis Plants are Undesirable
Did you know that the cannabis product that you use comes from a female cannabis plant? This is because of the fact that only females have the chemical composition that has the potential to benefit our health. In the flowers are the cannabinoids that work with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Therefore, you can imagine why farmers are not interested in growing male plants, as they are essentially useless.
However, cannabis farmers have always had a problem. As is often the case in biology, there is only a 50 percent chance that a cannabis plant will be female. This means that a farmer can only utilize half of their crops, which, as you can imagine, leads to a huge waste of time, money, and resources.
Another issue is that a farmer cannot determine whether a plant is male or female until long after the growing process begins, which means that they end up devoting a lot of time to plants that are just going to be discarded.
However, thanks to new innovations in cannabis technology, there’s hope for these farmers.
Feminized Cannabis Seeds: What the Process Entails
More cannabis farmers are finding ways to feminize their cannabis seeds. In other words, there are ways to control whether the plants end up being male or female.
The most commonly used method is spraying the plants with colloidal silver. Interestingly, this product suppresses a hormone in the female plants that allow them to produce males, thus ensuring that only females are produced.
There is one other method that is not as commonly used, mainly because it’s more time-consuming, and it’s less certain that it will work. It involves stressing out the female plants during the growing cycle. In an effort to suppress the same male-producing hormone, the female plants’ light cycles and water cycles are interrupted.
What This Can Mean for the Future of the Cannabis Industry
As you can imagine, feminizing cannabis seeds can benefit the industry on a massive scale. Previously, farmers had to waste half of their crops due to them being male or hermaphroditic. Now, farmers can basically ensure that 100 percent of their crops are female, and therefore profitable. This allows cannabis farmers to save money, which allows them to thrive like never before.
It may also benefit consumers as well. If farmers can save money on cannabis cultivation, it brings the overall manufacturing cost down, and this may bring prices down as a result.
Feminizing cannabis seeds is a way to make cannabis products, specifically CBD products, more affordable while making cannabis cultivation more lucrative. This brilliantly innovative technique is dramatically changing the industry, and both farmers and consumers will likely feel the effects in the coming years. This is just another example of how the success of the hemp industry in the United States is leading to groundbreaking technological advancements that change the way in which we consume the plant for the better.