What Do Weed Seeds Look Like

Growing cannabis clones has both its advantages and disadvantages. The best method depends on your personal preferences, needs, and plant growing skills. Seeds of the same strain can produce different looking plants. These are called phenotypes, and to solve the problem, you must pheno-hunt. We show you how. How do cannabis seeds work? Learn how to store your seeds, how long you can store them for, how to germinate them and their internal biology.

Differences of Cannabis Clones versus Seeds

If you are planning to grow your own cannabis, whether it’s one plant or many, there are two main ways to start the plants. This can be done either by seed or by cloning. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

The technique you use to grow your marijuana can depend on several factors. One consideration is what your end goal is. Are you looking to produce an abundant crop to be harvested and sold or enough for you and your friends to enjoy? Your skill level at growing plants should also be considered, especially if you are going to be marketing your harvest.

The best way to decide which technique is right for you is by first knowing the differences in cannabis clones versus the seeds.

What are Plant Clones?

Clones are grown from a central plant and are genetically identical to their parent. They are created by taking a cutting from the parent plant. This is usually a piece about several inches long from a healthy branch. That piece of limb, or cutting, is then allowed to grow roots. This is often done by placing the cutting in water until sufficient roots are grown and the plant can be put into a pot with soil or placed in the ground.

The best clones are the ones created from a healthy mother plant. The plant should be fast growing with a strong, and robust root system. It should also generate abundant harvests that are known to produce high-quality buds.

Growing Cannabis from Clones

Growing cannabis from clones instead of seeds is done for several reasons. It’s a quicker method of cultivation. The cannabis clone is already germinated and just needs to take root. Growing a plant fast also means economical. Less time spent waiting for the plant to mature means a quicker harvest, and if you are a seller this equates to the faster a product can be marketed.

With a clone, you also have an excellent idea of what the mature plant will turn out like. They are predictable in the quality of the buds they will produce. This is a good thing when it comes time to harvest. You know what kind of cannabis product you will be getting. Another benefit of growing cannabis from clones is if the parent plant has pest resistant qualities so will the clone. A plant resistant to bugs makes for a stronger plant and a better marijuana harvest.

On the other hand, cloning a plant does have a few drawbacks. Plants grown from seeds have the ability to adapt to changes in their environment, and so does each future generation of the plant. This adaptability helps the lineage of the plant be strong enough to grow in different environmental conditions. A cloned plant is exactly the same genetically as its parent and can’t change its own genetics to adapt to a changing environment.

Also, coned plants generally produce a smaller harvest than one grown from a seedling. The clone tends to be a much weaker plant, with a root system that doesn’t grow as strong and deep as the seedling’s does. Another issue may be the parent of the clone may not have had bug and pest resistant qualities in its genetic makeup. This can make the cloned plant susceptible to damaging infestations.

Growing Cannabis from Seeds

There are two types of seed strains, stable and unstable. As the name states, a stable seed strain lineage always has the same qualities. The grower or breeder will start with both a male and female plant and breed them until the specific desired qualities are stabilized in the plant. The new plants in the breed’s lineage will have most of the same desired traits, along with a few genetic variations.

An unstable seed strain often produces plants more quickly, but there is no consistency in their traits and quality of their harvests. The plants that do grow are not a reputable strain. Most cannabis dispensaries won’t buy products from plants grown from unstable seed strains.

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Cannabis plants grown from stable seed strains are a much healthier plant than ones grown from clones. The seedling has a much stronger root system, starting with a taproot. This is a root that grows vertically downward for a considerable distance away from the seed. It forms a strong anchor that is able to reach rich nutrients deep in the soil. A robust, healthy plant creates a more significant yield of the product. With cannabis seeds, you also have a much greater variety of plants to choose from.

The disadvantages of growing from a cannabis seed include not knowing the specific qualities of the plant until it reaches maturity. Growing a plant from seed takes more time to cultivate. Seeds are very delicate in their early stages of growth and need more skill to grow. When growing a plant from seed, you won’t know if it’s male or female until it’s fully grown.

A female plant grows the flowers or buds, and a male plant creates the seeds. The female is the plant you want for harvesting your marijuana product.

Which are better for Starters?

Whether starting a plant from a seed or a clone is the better method, depends on several factors. The skill of the grower is essential. Seeds take more time, patience, and a bit more know-how than growing from a clone. For a newbie to gardening, growing a cannabis plant from a clone is the better option. If you do have some advanced gardening skills but just started to learn how to grow cannabis, growing the plant from a clone may still be the way to go…at least until you understand the unique techniques needed in the marijuana plants growing process.

Growing cannabis either from a seed or a clone has both its advantages and disadvantages. The best method depends on your personal preferences, needs, and plant growing skills. Either way, with some time, patience, sun, and water you can have your own cannabis plant or rows of plants in no time at all!

Why Seeds of the same Strain produce Different looking plants

Did you pop a bunch of seeds of the same strain, and yet every single one was different? Did you wonder if you did something wrong, or maybe the seed bank ripped you off?

Most likely, the truth is that you did nothing wrong, and the seed bank did not rip you off. Instead, you are looking at the phenotypic variety that can be expressed by the cannabis strain you selected.

What is phenotypic variety? Well in this article, we will explain how there can be variances among plants of the same strain. Before you select and maintain a mother for cloning, you must first ensure you have selected the right phenotype.

Growing from Seed can result in a lot of variation among your plants.

In this section, we will discuss how seeds produce different phenotypes. Later will discuss how to apply pheno hunting to your growing practices.

Seeds are the Children of Mother and Father plants

The act of breeding cannabis involves taking pollen from a male and fertilizing the female plant. This sexual conception will yield offspring that share traits of both the mother and the father. This is how new strain varieties are created.

The offspring of two plants should represent the traits of those two plants. But will it represent those traits equally? Or will it be dominated by traits of the father? Or the mother?

If there are multiple offspring, will they all share these traits equally?

Each Seed is a different Phenotype of the same Cultivar, Strain Variety

The concept of phenotypic variety is easy to understand when you consider that most brothers and sisters are both alike but different.

Your mom and dad had kids, and their kids were all different. Sure, there are similarities among all of them, but they are all different in one way or another.

Sometimes the differences among offspring can be stark. And sometimes, two parents had a group of kids, and they are turned out pretty similar. That happens too.

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And the same thing happens with cannabis. Every seed from a cannabis plant represents both the parent strain as well as its own unique identity.

Genotype vs. Phenotype

If we are to take the scientific language of biology and translate into cannabis, it goes a little something like this:

  • Genotype is the strain itself.
  • Phenotype is one individual version of the strain.

The genotype is the family name, say the “Smith Family.” John Smith and Pocahontas came together and formed the Smith family. The descendants that come thereafter will share the name “Smith” and will be members of the “Smith family,” but each will be a different phenotype with his or her own unique differences, along with shared similarities.

Why are there so many differences between phenotypes

There are several reasons why phenotypes can express differently. The first point we have already covered. The seeds of a cannabis plant are like children, and they will all have unique individual differences while sharing general similarities. There are other reasons, though.

One is that newer strains tend to have greater variation. This is because the breeder could have put the strain out even though it was a first generation.

Strains become more stable when they are replicated for many generations, but this takes years.

When a breeder crosses a male and female, and gets seeds, that is merely one generation. The seeds from this cross would be considered F1.

If the breeder were to pop those seeds, select a male and a female, and cross those two phenos, then we would have an F2. That is because we took seeds of the same strain, and crossed them again.

Anything less than an F1 will have great variation. But an F2 will not be as stable as an F3, and so on.

How Phenotyping applies to Cannabis Cultivation

At Smokey Okies, we popped a couple dozen seeds of Banana Cake. This strain was created by In-House Genetics, and crossed Seed Junky’s Wedding Cake with Banana OG.

We had a lot of phenos but we only kept two. Banana Cake #1 is a funky green pheno, and Banana Cake #2 is a deep, dark purple pheno with a sweeter nose.

Two seeds from the same parents and the outcomes are wildly different. See below for a picture of each pheno.

Another example is California Dream. See the side by side of these two phenos. One was an ugly plant that had massive yields. The other pheno was lighter on the yields, yet had a darker hue, with a nice contrast between purple and the orange pistils.

how to implement phenotyping into your growing practices. Until then, rest assured that you did nothing wrong to create this outcome of wildly different plants. It is a part of the nature of the plant.

However, if you are wanting to seize greater control over the outcome – what farmer doesn’t? – then you must implement phenotyping and pheno hunting.

How do Cannabis Seeds Work

How do cannabis seeds work? You might not think that this is important, but knowing how seeds work can give you important insight on how to store them and what the germination profess involved. Cannabis seeds are technically small, oval-shaped dried fruit, around 3-4mm long and 1.5-2mm wide. They’re covered in a very subtle membrane, and underneath that layer there’s a much harder layer which is the largest system of the embryo, covering it and protecting it.

On the inside of the seeds you can find a substance called albumen, which is a nutritional reserve that keeps the embryo healthy until germination; it’s also the seeds initial source of energy once it begins germinating.

Now, for the center of the seed, home to the precious embryo from which your new plant will grow from. It contains the plant’s genetic code alongside four other parts; the radicle, the hypocotyl, cotyledons and gemmules. The radicle is the embryonic root; this is the part of the seed where roots come from. The hypocotyl is known as the embryonic stage, and the cotyledons are in charge of those first few leaves that you can see once the seed germinates.

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Cannabis seeds, just like many other plant seeds, grow in pollinated flowers on female plants; seeds only contain the plant’s genetic code, so they don’t have any of the active principals in the plant, meaning that if you were to smoke it you wouldn’t get any sort of psychoactive or medicinal effect. They can be eaten however, as they provide an enormous amount of beneficial proteins, including Omega 3, 6 and 9. The aroma that comes from the seeds when burning isn’t pleasant at all, and if you’ve ever been smoking a joint that had a random seed in it then you know exactly what I’m talking about; they taste like some sort of burnt barbecue that ruins the taste of even the best, strongest tasting weed out there.

Germinating seeds correctly depends on different factors; the main one being how mature the seed is. Seeds that look too white, green or the skin seems to be coming off or not there at all tend to be too young still, although there are seeds of this stature that will germinate perfectly, depending on the strain. Strains like Somango, or hybrids that come from it, and Haze seeds are some of the whitest seeds you can find on the market; sativa seeds tend to be much smaller than indica seeds, like Thai seeds are generally much smaller than afghan seeds. In this case, size doesn’t matter at all; if a seed is smaller than others that doesn’t mean that it’s going to have issues germinating or that it will grow smaller plants. Smaller seeds generally have less protection, but they’re much easier to germinate. Seeds can take between 3-18 days to germinate depending on the conditions such as temperature, humidity, substrate composition etc. The longer the seeds take to germinate, the less likely that they are going to germinate. Sometimes if after a while it still hasn’t germinated, you can gently squeeze the seed to break the outer shell and if done right, you can help the root to leave the shell; if done wrong, you’ll end up completely squishing the seed and any chances of germination that it had.

During the time the seed is maturing various factors need to occur for the seed to be able to germinate in the best conditions. Seeds have a germination period of three years, which is the average time estimated that seeds can be kept in good conditions; it’s not the same to keep your seed in a fresh, dry area than in a hot and humid one. Humid areas will damage seeds, stimulating their metabolism with the humidity without stimulating germination which could even kill the seed off entirely. Water absorption is due to the water potential difference between the seed and its surroundings. Water reaches the embryo through all of the layers of the seed, which then activates the development of the radicle; once this process begins, seeds need more oxygen than water, so giving your seeds too much water might in fact “drown” them. This is why we highly recommend not germinating your seeds in glasses of water, as the oxygen-water ratio is nowhere near optimal for germination.

By lowering oxygen levels as well as temperature storage levels you can increase the life-span of your seed for up to 20 years. Another storage technique is to dehydrate the seeds around 2-5%; no more is recommended as it might affect the internal constitution of the seed. Temperature is extremely important as it regulates the activity of the enzymes during germination; during storage, temperature regulates the embryos metabolism.

Oxygen is found in nature in a concentration of about 21%; seeds tend to germinate in conditions with around 20-21% oxygen, and hardly any seeds can germinate with a lower concentration than that; the only plants that can really do that are marine plants and algae, which need 8% oxygen.

Now that you know how cannabis seeds work, you can store your babies for up to 20 years if you want to, and give them the perfect conditions in which to open up their shells and let the radicle take over growing the roots. Happy growing!