When you start growing cannabis, you soon realize there are literally thousands of strains out there AND there are also different types of seeds as well. The two most common terms you may hear are Feminized and Regular seeds. But what do they mean and how important are they?

In this article, we'll look at the key differences between the two seed types and help you make the best decision from the very start of your grow.

What's the Difference Between Feminized and Regular Seeds?

Cannabis is a dioecious plant which means that it can be either male or female. All cannabis seeds in the wild are the same as regular seeds, which can grow into either a male or female plant. Feminized seeds on the other hand have gone through a process which alters their genetics so that they can only grow into female bud producing plants.

Regular Seeds

Regular cannabis seeds are naturally occurring and are produced by the cross-pollination of a male plant with a female plant. When a male pollinates a female, it produces seeds containing a mix of both male and female genetics, or both “X” and “Y” chromosomes. These seeds have a 50/50 chance of growing into either a male or female plant.

This can be a problem if you are only growing to produce buds.. Male plants do not produce flowers and can potentially pollinate female plants, reducing the quality and quantity of the flowers (buds). As a result, cannabis growers often have to identify and remove male plants to ensure a high-quality harvest from their female plants.

male pollen from a cannabis plant
Pollen from a female plant that has been treated with colloidal silver will not contain the Male or Y chromosome

Feminized Seeds

Feminized cannabis seeds have been specially bred to produce only female cannabis plants. By applying chemicals such as Gibberellic Acid or Colloidal Silver to a female plant, it forces the production of male flowers in a small area of the plant. The pollen that is collected only contains X chromosomes which can then be used to pollinate female flowers. By eliminating the presence of male genetics, feminized seeds ensure that nearly 100% of the resulting plants will be female.

Feminized seeds are highly popular among cannabis growers because they save time and effort. Growers can be confident that each seed they plant will grow into a female plant, which means they can focus on cultivating the plants for optimal bud production without the need to worry about identifying and removing males.

Pros and Cons of Growing Regular Cannabis Seeds

Pros of Growing Regular Cannabis Seeds:

  • Genetic Diversity: Regular seeds offer a broader genetic pool, potentially leading to unique new varieties.
  • Breeding Opportunities: With male and female plants, you can experiment with breeding and create your own unique strains.
  • Natural Growth: Regular seeds grow in a more natural way, allowing the plants to follow their biological tendencies without any chemical interference

Cons of Growing Regular Cannabis Seeds:

  • Risk of Pollination: If male plants are not promptly removed, they can pollinate female plants, leading to seeds in the flowers and reducing the overall yield and potency.
  • Gender Identification: Identifying the gender of regular cannabis plants can be challenging and time-consuming.
  • Space and Resources: Since both genders are present, you'll need more space and resources for cultivation.

Pros and Cons of Growing Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Pros of Growing Feminized Cannabis Seeds

  • Near Guaranteed Female Plants: Feminized seeds ensure that almost every plant (99%) you grow will be female, eliminating the need to identify the gender.
  • Space and Resource Efficiency: Without male plants, you can maximize your space and resources for the cultivation of female plants only.
  • High-Quality Buds: Female plants tend to produce larger and more potent buds, resulting in a better overall yield.

Cons of Growing Feminized Cannabis Seeds

  • Reduced Genetic Variation: Since all plants come from a feminized seed, there might be less genetic diversity among the crops.
  • Unsuitability for Breeding: Feminized seeds are not ideal for breeding experiments,  because they lack the male plants needed for traditional breeding methods.
  • Cost: Feminized seeds are often more expensive than regular seeds, which may impact the budget of some growers.

Who Should Grow Regular Seeds?

Regular seeds are best suited for more experienced growers who are looking to explore the breeding and are happy to identify and remove males if necessary.

If you have prior experience in cannabis cultivation and are interested in experimenting with breeding to create unique strains, regular seeds are an excellent choice.

Here are some other reasons why regular cannabis seeds are ideal for certain growers:

People looking for new strains: Regular seeds provide a wider range of genetic traits and characteristics compared to feminized seeds. If you value diversity in your cannabis crops and appreciate the natural variation among plants, regular seeds will cater to your preference. Naturally occurring mutations such as “cheese” or “Diesel” aromas came from mother plants without these traits and they created legendary new varieties.

Experienced Growers: Growing regular seeds can be more challenging due to the need for gender identification and the possibility of accidental pollination. Experienced growers who have honed their cultivation skills will find this aspect less daunting and can handle the complexities effectively.

“Organic” Growers: If you are looking to grow without the impact of chemicals and want a more natural approach, regular seeds are as mother nature intended.

Regular seeds are a great option if you are interested in cannabis genetics or if you are looking to grow on a budget. However, regular seeds are mainly used by breeders whereas feminized seeds would be recommended for hobbyist growers.

Who Should Grow Feminized Seeds?

Feminized seeds are an excellent choice because of their simplicity, efficiency, and potentially higher yields. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cultivator, feminized seeds offer several benefits that cater to different preferences and goals.

Here's a breakdown of who should consider growing feminized seeds:

Beginner Growers: If you're new to cannabis cultivation and seeking a straightforward and less complicated experience, feminized seeds are perfect for you. With these seeds, you won't need to worry about identifying and removing male plants, as every seed will produce female flowers.

Small-Scale Growers: For individuals growing cannabis on a small scale, feminized seeds are a practical choice. They allow you to maximize limited space and resources by eliminating the need to grow unnecessary male plants.

Home Growers: Growing cannabis at home for personal use can be more convenient with feminized seeds as they streamline the cultivation process and make it easier for hobby growers to achieve rewarding harvests.

Those Seeking High-Quality Buds: If your primary goal is to obtain potent and high-quality cannabis buds, feminized seeds are the way to go. Female plants typically produce larger, more resinous buds which leads to higher yields and better overall potency. This is because female flowers that have come into contact with pollen focus their energy on producing seeds, not the THC that we are all looking for.

Feminized seeds are recommended for anyone looking for a straightforward and efficient cannabis cultivation experience. Whether you are looking for better quality buds or want to streamline your growing process, feminized seeds are a reliable and user-friendly option for a successful harvest.

Can you tell what sex a seed is?

No, you cannot determine the sex of a cannabis seed just by looking at it. The sex of a cannabis plant is determined by its genetics which is not visible from the outside of the seed. Both feminized and regular cannabis seeds look identical and have no visual indicators to differentiate between male and female plants.

The sex of a cannabis plant becomes apparent only during the late stages of its vegetative growth or the pre-flowering phase. At these stages, the plant will begin showing certain characteristics that can help a grower identify its sex. Male plants typically develop pollen sacs, while female plants produce pistils, which look like small hair-like structures. However, these distinguishing features only become evident after the plant starts to grow.

For growers using regular seeds, it's essential to wait until the plants enter the pre-flowering stage to identify their gender accurately. On the other hand, growers using feminized seeds do not need to worry about sex identification as these seeds are specifically bred to produce only female plants.

Determining the sex of a plant from its seed is not possible by appeance.

Do regular seeds and feminized seeds grow differently?

Yes, regular seeds and feminized seeds grow differently due to their genetic makeup. The primary difference lies in the gender of the plants they produce.

Regular Seeds

Regular cannabis seeds can produce both male and female plants. When grown from regular seeds, there is an equal chance of getting male or female plants. As the plants mature, typically during the pre-flowering stage, their sex becomes apparent. Male plants develop pollen sacs, while female plants produce pistils. If you want to ensure a crop of only female plants, you must identify and remove the male plants to prevent pollination, which would result in seed production instead of bud development.

Feminized Seeds

Feminized cannabis seeds are specifically bred to produce only female plants. When you grow feminized seeds, you can be confident that nearly 99% of the resulting plants will be females. This means you don’t need to identify the sex of the plant and avoids the risk of accidentally ruining your whole crop. As a result, you can focus solely on cultivating the female plants, which typically produce larger and more potent buds.

Apart from the difference in gender, the growth and cultivation process for both types of seeds remains similar. The environmental conditions, nutrients, light cycle, and care requirements are the same for both regular and feminized seeds. However, with feminized seeds, growers can save time and resources by not having to identify and remove male plants.

Feminized vs Regular Seeds FAQ:

Are feminized seeds better for beginners?

Yes, feminized are the best marijuana seeds for beginners because they eliminate the need to identify and remove male plants, providing a simpler and more straightforward cultivation experience.

Are feminized seeds 100% female?

While feminized seeds have a very high success rate of producing female plants (around 99%), they are not always 100% female.

Are feminized seeds harder to grow?

No, feminized seeds are not harder to grow than regular seeds and are often easier as they eliminate the complexities of managing male plants.

Can feminized plants turn male?

In rare cases, feminized plants may exhibit hermaphroditic traits and produce some male flowers, but this occurrence is minimal.

Can feminized seeds turn into hermaphrodites?

While feminized seeds generally produce female plants, they can occasionally exhibit hermaphroditic tendencies under certain environmental stress factors.

How are feminized seeds made?

Feminized seeds are created through a process called "chemical feminization" or "colloidal silver method." It involves treating female plants with a solution that induces male flowers to produce pollen. This pollen is used to fertilize other female plants which then produces nearly all female seeds.


Choosing between feminized and regular cannabis seeds depends on your goals and experience level. Feminized seeds suit beginners and those seeking higher yields without male plants.

Regular seeds offer genetic diversity for breeding enthusiasts and experienced growers. Determine your priorities and grow with confidence in your next cultivation.