Have you ever wondered why some cannabis strains have seeds in them, while others are seedless? The presence of seeds in cannabis can affect the potency and overall quality of the buds, and may even impact the smoking experience.
In this article, we will explore the reasons why some cannabis has seeds and others do not, as well as the implications of seed presence for growers and consumers.
What Causes Seeds in Cannabis?
Have you ever found seeds in your cannabis? It’s not uncommon, and it can be a frustrating experience, especially if you were hoping for a seedless product. The presence of seeds in cannabis plants can be due to a variety of factors, including pollination and hermaphroditism. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions when purchasing cannabis.
Pollination occurs when male cannabis plants release pollen, which fertilizes the female plants’ flowers. When this happens, seeds will form in the buds of the female plant. Pollination can occur naturally through the wind, but it can also be intentional. Some growers intentionally pollinate their plants to create seeds for future crops or to develop new strains.
Hermaphroditism refers to the development of both male and female reproductive organs on the same plant. This can occur naturally due to genetic factors or as a result of stressors such as temperature fluctuations, nutrient imbalances, or light cycles. When a plant is stressed, it may develop male flowers that release pollen, resulting in self-fertilization and the formation of seeds in the buds.
In addition to pollination and hermaphroditism, factors such as temperature, humidity, and lighting can also impact seed formation. For example, high temperatures or low humidity can cause plants to become stressed and develop male flowers. Similarly, light leaks during the flowering stage can disrupt the plant’s natural cycle and lead to the development of male flowers.
Understanding the causes of seed formation in cannabis can help you make informed decisions when selecting products and can also aid in growing your own cannabis.
Seedy Cannabis: Good or Bad?
While some may see seeds in cannabis as a nuisance, others may not mind their presence. However, it’s important to consider the potential impact on the quality of the flower.
Impact on Flower Quality
When cannabis plants are allowed to produce seeds, they devote less energy to producing trichomes, which affects the potency and flavor of the flower. This is because the plant’s energy is divided between multiple functions happening at once. As a result, seedy cannabis may have lower levels of THC and other cannabinoids compared to seedless. The presence of seeds can also affect the texture and density of the flower, making it less desirable for consumption.
Seedy cannabis can be a valuable asset for breeders looking to develop new strains or stabilize existing ones. When two different strains are crossbred, the resulting offspring can have a range of characteristics from both parent strains. By intentionally pollinating a female plant with a male plant of a different strain, breeders can create unique hybrids with desirable traits. These hybrids can then be stabilized by breeding them with other hybrids or with the parent strains.
It’s worth noting that breeding cannabis requires a lot of knowledge and skill, as well as the ability to identify desirable traits and eliminate undesirable ones. This is why many breeders spend years experimenting with different strains and breeding techniques to create new and unique varieties of cannabis.
How to Identify Seedless vs. Seedy Cannabis
When it comes to identifying seedless versus seedy cannabis, there are a few key factors to consider. The following methods can help you differentiate between the two:
Smell and Taste Test
Seedless cannabis is often said to have a more potent smell and taste compared to seedy cannabis. This is because the seeds can dilute the overall aroma and flavor of the flower. If you notice a lack of potency in smell and taste, it could be a sign that the plant has seeds. Additionally, if you notice a nutty or earthy taste, it could also be a sign of seeds.
Trichomes are the small resin glands on the surface of the cannabis plant that contain the terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids. Seedless cannabis often has a higher concentration of trichomes, which can be observed under a microscope or with a magnifying glass.
Density and Size of Buds
Seedless cannabis tends to have denser and larger buds compared to seedy cannabis. The presence of seeds in cannabis can lead to smaller and less dense buds. The buds may also feel lighter and have a hollow sound when tapped.
The structure of the flower can also indicate whether the cannabis has seeds or not. Seedless cannabis usually has a tight, compact structure, while seedy cannabis has a more open and airy structure due to the presence of seeds.
When it comes to cannabis with or without seeds, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. While some people prefer seedless cannabis for its smoother smoking experience and higher potency, others may not mind the occasional seed and appreciate the potential for breeding new strains.
Additionally, the presence of seeds does not necessarily indicate poor quality cannabis, as it can still be enjoyable and effective. Ultimately, whether to choose seedless or seedy cannabis is a decision that should be based on individual preferences and priorities, whether it be quality or quantity.
References and further reading
- Bonini, M., & Guglielmone, A. (2018). Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer. BioMed research international, 2018.
- ElSohly, M. A., & Gul, W. (2014). Constituents of Cannabis sativa. Handbook of Cannabis, 3-22.
- Gilmore, S., Peakall, R., & Robertson, J. (2017). Trichome development in cannabis sativa. Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant, 53(5), 403-409.
- Hirsch, A. (2019). Growing and breeding cannabis: The complete guide. Workman Publishing.
- McPartland, J. M. (2018). Cannabis sativa L. and its subspecies sativa, indica, and ruderalis: Biochemistry, genetics, and implications for breeding and medical uses. Journal of Applied Horticulture, 20(2), 121-129.