When choosing what seed to plant in the field, we know that genetics can impact your harvest. Testing and harvest timing are equally important. But how can choosing the sex of your seed impact the return on your crop?

Phytocannabinoid rich hemp is dioecious, which is a fancy way of saying that it produces male and female reproductive organs on separate plants. A traditional field of hemp grown from regular seed is filled with both male and female plants, generally in equal numbers. The result at harvest is both female plants filled with seed initiated by the pollen-producing males, as well as the male plants which do not produce flowers. This may be good in an industrial hemp field when producing for seed and fiber, but it is not ideal in a CBD hemp field where production focuses on resin-rich flower.

What does this mean in a CBD hemp field?

When female hemp plants become pollinated, they begin to divert their energy towards making seed and away from resin-rich flower production. This leads to a decrease in total phytocannabinoid content within the harvested flower. Additionally, seeded material is less desirable to extractors as the seed oil produced during extraction inhibits crystallization. In short, when growing for cannabinoid-rich flower, pollen is not your friend!

A brief history: Dutch Passion Seed Co. breeders initially discovered feminized cannabis seed in the 1990s after letting female plants continue to flower a week or two longer once mature. This lead to the discovery that female cannabis plants produced small amounts of pollen at the very end of their life cycle in an attempt to reproduce and keep the genetic line alive. Fast forward to today, where the feminized seed production has been rigorously studied at the genomic level and when produced correctly can assist in reducing the cost of production and assist in maximizing your valuable acreage.

What does this mean for you, the farmer? At 99.95% feminization, this means that only 1 plant in 4,000 will be male. This significantly impacts the amount of labor needed to identify, cull, and remove male plants before they can pollinate the female plants. Also remember that when growing from non-feminized or “regular” seed, around ½ of your field will be males. That means growing Foundation Feminized Hemp Seed will double the number of viable plants in the field at harvest vs. growing non-feminized seed. That’s right, DOUBLE!

Foundation Seeds Feminized Hemp Seeds are 3rd party batch tested for feminization to ensure successful outcomes. We produce our seed indoors in a sealed, climate-controlled facility to avoid any cross-contamination from outside pollen sources. Our founders bred and have been working with the leading hemp genetics on the market and producing feminized cannabis seed since 2012. Look to Foundation Seeds for all your 2020 planting needs, be it seeds, organic plant starts, clones, or cuttings.