Since the approval of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 or 2018 Farm Bill, there is a great increase in opportunity for the agricultural sector. This is especially important to legally farm industrial and medical hemp in many states in the US. An extensive range of CBD products is now being offered in the market. With this expansion of the CBD industry, the demand for hemp plants and seeds also increases.
Importance choosing the right seeds:
A crucial part of farming hemp is selecting the seeds to plant. It is important to choose the seeds with good genetic qualities for planting and growing hemp because it will determine the amount and quality of the CBD that will be produced. It will also determine the resiliency of the hemp plant to withstand different weather conditions, most especially the unfavorable ones.
Studies and experiments were conducted to determine the right biotechnology and breeding programs that will produce hemp plants for a higher yield of CBD. The gender of the hemp seeds is also an important factor to consider when growing hemp plants, whether it is intended for the production of CBD or other hemp products.
Naturally, a hemp plant has two genders like humans, there are male and female hemp plants. A significantly higher quantity of cannabinoids can be found in a female hemp plant compared to a male hemp plant.
The male hemp plant produces pollen that can fertilize female plants to produce seeds. Hemp grown from these seeds will also produce an equal number of male and female plants. That is not a bad plan if the hemp plant is being grown to produce grain or fiber. It is a different story if the hemp plant is being grown for CBD production. Only female hemp plants produce cannabinoids, and the purpose male plants serve is to pollinate female hemp plants to produce seeds. When a female hemp plant is pollinated, about 50% of its total mass and 30% of its total cannabinoid content is lost.
Using feminized seeds to grow hemp is an efficient way to make sure that plants are only female.
Feminizing plants has been a method used by agriculturists for a long time before it was applied to hemp plants in 1980. Plants with feminized genetics exhibit a fast-paced growing and flowering. This allows hemp growers to plant and harvest more efficiently.
Identifying the gender of the plant and removing the male plants is cost-intensive. It will require extra labor and time. Even a single male plant or accidental cross-pollination can significantly affect the amount of CBD that can be extracted. The female hemp plant can produce about 8-12% of CBD when there is no male hemp plant.
Feminizing seeds is a great solution to only getting females plants. Through this method, the sex of female plants is reversed. When this happens, the hemp plant would produce female plants with male flowers that produce pollen. It is different from regular male flowers because this only carries female genetics. When this is used to pollinate another female hemp plant, it removes the existence of Y chromosomes that produce male seeds, in this way, only female seeds are produced.
Using feminized seeds for growing hemp increases the chances of producing only female plants by 99%.
Ways to feminize seeds:
Spraying hemp plant with a silver thiosulphate solution.
This water-based solution hinders the production of ethylene. Ethylene is an important hormone produced by plants to promote flowering. By inhibiting ethylene, flower production in hemp plants are also prevented, allowing the reversal of the sex of the female plants.
The process of feminizing hemp seeds was studied in 1982, where silver nitrate and silver thiosulphate anionic complex were used. Other solutions that can affect the production of ethylene include colloidal silver, silver nitrate, colloidal silver, and benzothiadiazole.
Through the rodelization method.
A cannabis breeder named Soma created a method called Rodelization. It is a method that lets female hemp plants to have hermaphroditic traits, in which an unpollinated female hemp plant fertilizes itself by producing pollen sacs. This is genetic preservation that plants have in case of unfavorable reproduction conditions.
Feminized seeds are good mother plants.
It is recommended to use feminized seeds as mother plants for growing hemp intended for CBD. And even though they are special seeds, feminized seeds do not need any special attention. The same conditions used in growing regular hemp seeds are the same conditions feminized seeds exceed in. It is explicitly a good way to increase the quantity of CBD produced.