Cannabis Gone To Seed

Learn about the process of pollination and why you should avoid pollination of your female plants at all costs. Re-vegging is a process that allows you to get a second harvest out of a cannabis plant. Learn how to re-veg weed plants from Leafly. What causes seeds in buds while growing cannabis? What does it mean to find seeds in your marijuana buds? Is it something to be worried about? This is something that happens while buds are

How To Tell If Your Female Cannabis Plant Has Been Pollinated

Pollination of your female cannabis plants will make them produce seeds and spend less energy on producing quality buds. But when you recognise the signs of pollination early, you can avoid putting time and resources into a poor harvest.

Cannabinoids, terpenes, phytochemicals, organic cultivation

Biotechnology – Breeding – Genetics – Bioinformatics – Biostatistics

Contents:

  1. How to tell that a female plant has been pollinated
  2. How to avoid pollination of your female plants
  3. How to spot male cannabis plants
  4. How did your indoor weed plants become pollinated?
  5. What to do when your females get pollinated?
  6. Can you smoke pollinated females?
  7. How to avoid the issue of pollination
  8. Can you grow the resulting seeds?
  9. Why you should avoid buying seedy weed

There is a good reason why most growers keep male plants away from their females: Pollination from males causes the females to develop seeds. As a result, females focus their energy on seed production, rather than on growing you some fine-quality bud. This seedy and unfortunate final product can be avoided by implementing a few basic techniques.

Obviously, no one wants to smoke seedy weed. When you grow cannabis and learn how to identify male plants and signs of pollination, you can remove these plants to save your remaining females. Likewise, recognising a pollinated female early allows you to start again before it’s too late, rather than finishing a grow that will only result in a poor-quality harvest.

Never underestimate just how far cannabis pollen can travel. This microscopic genetic material can spread within a radius of 3–7.5 miles (~4.8–12.1 kilometres). However, during rough weather, it can ride the wind over distances of 30 miles (48km). When growing outside, you have more to think about than males on your own property. Growers in the next town that aren’t paying attention to sexing could put your plants at risk if you don’t put additional measures in place.

How To Tell That A Female Plant Has Been Pollinated

Among the early signs that your female has been pollinated is that her bracts become larger. Bracts are small, leaf-like structures that protect the female’s reproductive parts. These are the sites from which the flowering buds appear. Do not confuse the bracts with calyxes.

A good test to see whether the bracts have swollen is to take a pair of tweezers, grab one bract, and open it up. If there is a seed inside, you have a pollinated plant.

Another indication of pollination can be the colour of her pistil hairs. When a female has been pollinated, the previously white hairs will soon shrivel and become darker.

You can also tell if pollen has fertilised a female plant by paying close attention to the pistils—the flowers’ reproductive organs. These hair-like structures change in colour over the course of the normal flowering phase from white to dark orange or red. In unfertilised flowers, the entire pistil will undergo this change. However, following exposure to pollen, only the tips of the pistils turn dark, whereas the “stalk” remains white.

How To Avoid Pollination Of Your Female Plants

Pollination requires the presence of males or intersex (hermaphrodite) plants, which are females that will also produce pollen. The first thing you want to do to keep the risk of pollination low is to remove as many males or “hermies” as as you can. Especially during the first three weeks of flowering, it’s important to frequently check for possible male specimens in your garden.

The typical cannabis grower normally doesn’t have a reason to keep males, and will want to get rid of them as soon as they are spotted. Cannabis breeders, on the other hand, may want to keep males along with their crop of female plants. In such cases, the breeder will normally separate the sexes to avoid any accidental pollination. They may grow females in one tent and males in another. When grown outdoors, such as in a garden, the males are often kept in the most remote corner of their growing area, as far from the females as possible. Even then, because of the wind carrying around the pollen, there is always some risk of accidental pollination.

How To Spot Male Cannabis Plants

To determine the sex of your cannabis plants, you will have to wait until the pre-flowering stage when plants begin to put their energy into reproduction. Female cannabis plants show their gender signs later than males. At the location where they will soon grow their buds (the nodes between the stalk and the stem), females will show wispy white hairs.

Male plants won’t show hairs at these nodes, but will develop little sacs of pollen. These pollen sacs will look like little balls. These balls can appear on their own or in clusters, depending how far into the pre-flowering stage the plant is. At some later stage of growth, the pollen sacs will burst open, spilling the pollen and possibly pollinating your females.

How Did Your Indoor Weed Plants Become Pollinated?

You grew cannabis in the isolation of an indoor grow tent. You played it safe, and routinely checked each of your plants for signs of pollen sacs. Yet, somehow, your female plants still became fertilised and started to produce seeds. How, how on Earth did this happen?

Well, there are multiple causes to consider. First, you may have served as a vector for pollen enter the growing space. These microscopic particles can easily cling to the fibres of clothes and nestle themselves into your hair. If you deal with male plants in a separate growing space, you may have brought pollen into your female-only grow tent.

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Second, your plants might be stressed! Environmental factors that induce stress can force female plants to develop sex organs colloquially known as “bananas”. These are essentially pollen sacs on female plants. They form mostly as a result of stress from light leaks, which causes plants to go into survival mode and pollinate themselves.

These pollinating structures are hard to spot, and growers often miss them. Unlike mixed-sex plants, or “true” hermaphrodites, that display obvious female and male organs separately, bananas occur on female buds. Additionally, bananas aren’t entire pollen sacs. They are only the inner portion, or anther. From a distance, growers could easily mistake the shape and colour for pistils. Because they lack the external sac, bananas immediately start spilling pollen onto the flower and cause rapid fertilisation.

What To Do When Your Females Get Pollinated?

Spotting male cannabis plants and pollinated females early can save you from investing further time and effort into an entire growing season that will be for naught. Most of the time, the best course of action is to get rid of the males along with your pollinated females and just start a new grow.

Can You Smoke Pollinated Females?

Absolutely! While you wouldn’t welcome the sight of seedy buds in a dispensary, you can indeed smoke fertilised flowers. Although a last resort, you certainly don’t have to discard your seedy bud. You’ll still get to enjoy some tasty terpenes and mind-altering cannabinoids; it just takes a bit more work.

After harvesting seedy buds, you’ll need to remove them from the flowers. You can do this by hand or with a pair of tweezers, making sure not to miss any. Alternatively, you can lightly grind your flowers, enough to shred away flower tissue but without breaking up any seeds. Then, remove the seeds as they become dislodged.

You can also slice up your flowers to remove the seeds. Use some trimming scissors to chop your buds into smaller pieces, removing the seeds as you go. You can smoke this material, or perhaps combine it with your trim and make some dry ice hash.

However, keep in mind that some people are sensitive to cannabis pollen, just like people react to the pollen of other species. If you experience pollen allergies, you might want to give smoking fertilised buds a miss.

Of course, you should always aim to protect your flowers from pollen in order to produce the finest sinsemilla possible. Seedy buds just don’t compare to unfertilised flowers. Check out the main reasons why it doesn’t rank as high below.

Poor Taste Fertilised flowers divert their attention away from pumping out sticky resin and toward seed production. This results in fewer tasty terpenes, which underpin the unique flavour and aroma of each cultivar.
Lower THC Levels A reduction in resin also means lower amounts of cannabinoids such as THC . You’ll experience less potency from seedy buds than those that churn out resin all the way up until harvest time.
It Can Cause Discomfort Seeds can ruin the smoking experience. For one, they make the smoke extremely harsh and can irritate the throat when combusted. Seeds also have a tendency to pop when exposed to heat, which can leave the end of your joint blown out.
Poor Taste Fertilised flowers divert their attention away from pumping out sticky resin and toward seed production. This results in fewer tasty terpenes, which underpin the unique flavour and aroma of each cultivar.
Lower THC Levels A reduction in resin also means lower amounts of cannabinoids such as THC . You’ll experience less potency from seedy buds than those that churn out resin all the way up until harvest time.
It Can Cause Discomfort Seeds can ruin the smoking experience. For one, they make the smoke extremely harsh and can irritate the throat when combusted. Seeds also have a tendency to pop when exposed to heat, which can leave the end of your joint blown out.

How To Avoid The Issue Of Pollination

There is, of course, a way to avoid the issue of pollination altogether for the home grower. As a result of innovation in the modern cannabis industry, feminized seeds are now available in a wide variety of new and legendary strains. Unlike with regular seeds, you won’t need to even worry about identifying or separating males during your grow. As long as your feminized seeds are sourced from a reputable retailer, all seeds will grow into plants with smokable bud. With this knowledge, it is up to you to decide what kind of seeds will suit your growing parameters and personal goals as a cultivator.

Can You Grow the Resulting Seeds?

Your flowers went to seed, so why not make the best out of the situation by germinating them and growing more plants? You can certainly do this, but it might not end well. Good cultivars are created through intentional breeding. This allows growers to lock in desirable traits and rule out bad characteristics. The resulting seeds from these operations are genetically stable and consistent.

If your plants become accidentally pollinated, however, growing the progeny will be a gamble. You’ll likely end up with an unreliable variety with poor productivity, inferior flavours, and undesirable effects. However, if you have the time and resources to spare, you can always give it a go. You might end up with something special!

However, you should avoid growing seeds from a plant that self-pollinated. Specimens that developed hermaphrodite traits will pass this on to the progeny, so you’ll experience the same situation again.

Why You Should Avoid Buying Seedy Weed

As stated, you should avoid buying seedy weed because of the inferior taste and effects, as well as the harsh smoke. Bottom line—spending money on seedy buds means you’re getting ripped off. Just as you wouldn’t be too pleased to receive a bag filled with stalks, seeds also add to the total weight of the bag, meaning you’re getting less cannabis for the price you’d normally pay.

How to re-veg marijuana plants

Cannabis is an annual flowering plant, its life cycle limited to just one season. In the wild, it grows from a seed, flowers, and dies, all between spring and fall. Once a female plant dies, it will drop seeds, which are responsible for carrying genes through to the next growing season.

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But it’s possible to hack this process to give cannabis plants a second growing season. A grower can manipulate a plant and force it to revert from the flowering stage back to the vegetative stage again. This process is known as re-vegging, or regeneration, and it allows you to harvest buds from a plant, then grow the same plant again for a second harvest of buds.

Cannabis has a short-day photoperiod, meaning it transitions from a vegetative period to a flowering period—when it starts growing buds—because the amount of light it receives reduces. This happens outdoors as autumn approaches and days become shorter. Indoors, growers “flip” weed plants into the flowering stage by manually reducing the amount of light they get each day.

Altering a cannabis plant’s photoperiod schedule after harvest will allow you to re-veg it.

Benefits of re-vegging cannabis plants

Reduce vegetative periods

A cannabis plant that has undergone a full growing season will have a complex and robust root system. If re-vegging a weed plant, it will move through its second vegetative phase quicker if it has a mature root system, whereas clones or seeds will take longer to establish roots.

Eliminate mother plants

Growers will sometimes keep mother plants, which are plants that always stay in the vegetative stage for the purpose of cloning only. But keeping mother plants takes time and space. Re-vegging allows you to get rid of mother plants, freeing up space in your grow for plants that only produce buds. It also saves time and resources, as you won’t have to tend to mother plants.

Increase yields

The process of taking a clone from a flowering plant is a re-vegging technique known as “monster cropping” (more below), and it can produce more vigorous and bushier plants. If done correctly, monster-cropped clones have the potential to create plants with higher yields the second time around because of an increased vegetative mass, stronger stems and branches, and more nodes for potential buds.

Cloning/Preserving a phenotype

If cloning a weed plant, growers usually need to take a clone of a plant before it begins flowering. But if a grower neglects to for any reason, that phenotype, or the genes of that specific plant, will get lost. Re-vegging is the only way to preserve an exact replica of a particular phenotype once it has transitioned into the flowering state.

Disadvantages of re-vegging cannabis plants

Difficulty

Re-vegging is hard to successfully pull off, even for seasoned growers. It takes a few weeks for new growth to appear so you might be wasting time and space waiting for new growth only for it to not happen.

Smaller yields

Most growers who re-veg say that yields decrease the second time around. So while re-vegging may cut down on the amount of time it takes to grow a plant, it might not produce as much.

Stress on the plant

The re-vegging process is highly stressful on a plant and even if it does re-veg successfully, aberrations often occur, such as unusual leaf growth and hermaphroditism. Re-vegged plants are more delicate and must be given more attention and care.

Types of re-vegging

There are a few ways a cannabis plant can revert from its flowering stage back to a vegetative stage.

Post-harvest re-vegging

Probably the easiest method, this will allow you to harvest a plant for buds and then re-veg it for a second growing season. This is typically done with indoor plants, as you’ll need to control the amount of light they receive.

How to:

When harvesting a weed plant, leave a few healthy buds and branches intact at the base of the plant. Reset the plant’s photoperiod back to a vegetative schedule: 18 hours of light/6 hours of dark a day (as opposed to the 12 light/12 dark schedule it had when flowering).

Also, change the plant’s nutrient regimen, giving it nutrients more conducive to early-stage growth. It will need more nitrogen for root and leaf development, as opposed to the high amounts of potassium and phosphorus it likely received during flowering.

Post-harvest re-vegged cannabis plants often take a little bit of time to take off at first and some strains may not even be receptive to this method at all. Early growth on a re-vegged plant may exhibit stress-induced mutations like single-fingered leaves and odd node patterning, but these issues should go away after a few weeks if re-vegging is successful. Plants that re-veg successfully can display increased vigor after the initial transition.

Monster-cropping clones

As mentioned above, cloning a plant while it’s in the flowering stage is called monster cropping. To successfully do this, take clones from the lower branches of a plant when it’s in the second or third week of flowering.

How to:

Take a clone as you normally would, but be sure to remove all visible flowering nodes from each clone. This will improve the clone’s ability to root out by halting flower production within the cutting.

As with post-harvest re-vegging, monster cropping may result in stunted and mutated growth at first, but with proper care and training, this method can produce massive plants with increased vigor and foliage growth.

Accidental re-vegging

Cannabis plants will unexpectedly revert back to vegetative growth if there is a disturbance in their photoperiod schedule—for example, if they receive 12 hours of light a day for a while, and then start to get more than that.

This can occur both indoors and outdoors, usually because of a light leak or a light timer malfunction when growing indoors, or from planting outside too early in the season when growing outdoors.

Even the tiniest of changes in a cannabis plant’s light cycle can cause it to flip back to a vegetative state, and some plants may even turn hermaphroditic, growing both male pollen sacs and female flowers.

What causes seeds in buds while growing cannabis?

What does it mean to find seeds in your marijuana buds? Is it something to be worried about? This is something that happens while buds are forming in the flowering stage, but can be prevented with the right steps. Learn more below.

There’s a seed in my bud!

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Sometimes you don’t see the seeds until they fall out of your buds

What causes seeds?

Seedy buds are the result of pollination. What does that mean? Cannabis buds are flowers. Like other flowers, they make seeds when pollinated. Cannabis buds get pollinated when they come into contact with cannabis pollen while the buds are forming.

Seeds happen when pollen gets on the hairs (pistils) of buds as they’re forming. In other words, seeds in weed are caused by pollination.

This bud is full of fat seeds because pollen got on the pistils during bud development.

Pollen typically comes from the pollen sacs of a male cannabis plant. Male plants spray pollen everywhere when their flowers are mature. Sometimes female cannabis plants will produce pollen (known as herming) due to genetics or stress. Any source of pollen, whether the plant is male or female, can pollinate buds in the vicinity and cause seedy buds.

If you’re not growing with feminized (all-female) seeds, about half the plants will be male and grow pollen sacs (male flowers) that release pollen. Unless you want seeds, male plants should be removed from the grow room immediately because they will otherwise seed all your buds.

Seeds are caused by the presence of male flowers while buds are growing. Male flowers release pollen that pollinates buds and causes seeds to grow.

Any time you see “bananas” or “balls” it’s important to separate that plant immediately to prevent possible pollination. These are the result of a hermaphrodite plant (“herm”) and these structures also release pollen.

Example of a hermaphrodite plant making seeds

You may notice a bunch of little yellow growths in these buds. They almost look like mini bananas. This plant is “herming” or growing male flowers that spew pollen everywhere. If this plant isn’t removed from the grow space, it will pollinate itself and all other plants in the area, causing seedy buds

This is the same plant. You can see that some of the pure white hairs have turned brown early. This is because those hairs were pollinated. If this plant were allowed to continue flowering, there would be a seed growing at the base of all those brown hairs.

You may not realize that seeds are forming while your buds are growing

But once they get really seedy, buds may look like they have huge plump calyxes/bracts (female flowers) or they may even be misidentified as pollen sacs (hermie/male flowers).

When handling the buds after harvest, you may see seeds or hear them as they fall onto the surface below

Does it mean the weed is bad? No!

If it’s very seedy the buds may not feel as potent, though a few seeds here and there won’t make much difference in bud potency. The main problem with seedy weed is that you are getting less smokeable bud for the amount of total mass there. If it is seedless, you will get more bang for your buck. Seedless bud (sinsemilla) is considered to be the highest quality and most potent type of weed.

Seedy weed is still good to smoke

However, cannabis plants waste energy developing seeds that could have been used to fatten buds. When a bud has lots of seeds, it often isn’t as big and plump as it would have if the plant had not been pollinated. Notice how all the mass of this bud is in the seeds. The rest of the bud is airy and small.

Are seeds good to grow?

I’ve seen some growers get impressive results with bagseed (seeds you find in a “bag” of weed), but overall results seem to be hit or miss. Plants can grow in odd ways and often either the yields or quality isn’t as expected. The problem is that seeds often don’t “breed true” to the buds that they came from.

“Found” seeds can sometimes produce excellent results

But sometimes the plants grow poorly or buds don’t turn out anything like the buds you found the seeds in

That is why many growers either stick to clones (which are exactly the same as the “mother” plant) or purchase seeds of a stabilized strain from a trustworthy breeder. Starting with stable genetics helps ensure each of the plants will grow the way you expect, and buds have the smell, yield, and potency you want.

If you’re not sure what strains to get, here are a few recommendations. These strains produce excellent weed and are generally easy to grow. These seeds are all feminized, which means they will only grow female plants (no pollen to worry about!) Click the links for more information.

    – top-shelf looks and smell with classic effects reminiscent of 90s buds but stronger. Easy to grow. – this version is MUCH more potent than regular White Widow. The buds tested between 24-26% THC. Don’t plan to do anything else that day ? – for those who are looking for a face melter. These buds test up to 28% THC and produce buds with quintessentially “American” looks and smell. The mental and physical effects may be too intense for most beginners. is a good choice for commercial growers with high THC up to 30%, big yields, and a short flowering time. is a potent Sativa hybrid with great yields and uplifting unique mental effects is an autoflowering strain that produces photoperiod-quality buds in about 70 days from seed to harvest.

Platinum Cookies is essentially a more potent version of the popular Girl Scout Cookies strain.

How can I tell if it’s a viable seed?

Good seeds are often dark and relatively hard. Very pale or white seeds that can be easily crushed between the fingers often don’t sprout. However, I have been surprised to find some very flimsy seeds sprout and produce amazing plants (we aren’t breeding them for hard seeds after all) so when in doubt, I highly recommend doing the true test to see if the seed is viable – try to germinate the seed and see if it sprouts.

The best way to tell if a seed is viable is to try to germinate it and see what happens.