Growing Cannabis for Seeds
When we talk about cannabis the first place, we all go is to the gorgeous female plants that produce cannabinoid-rich buds that everyone loves. However, we have become so focused on the female cannabis plant that many of us consider the male plant to be a bad sign or even a waste of time and resources to work with.
However, we should keep in mind that the male marijuana plant is equally important as the female marijuana plants. The male marijuana plants job is to produce pollen, similar to other male plants, and this pollen will germinate the female marijuana plant and create the ever-important seeds.
Experienced breeders know the importance of the male cannabis plant and the pollen it produces. This pollen will allow for crossbreeding, strong hybrid plants that produce great weed. Without the pollen there would be no seeds of new weed strains for everyone to enjoy.
Cannabis Pollen explained
Almost all plants create pollen, and cannabis plants are no different. Pollen from plants of any variety is typically a fine powdery substance that has a yellow almost gold color. Within this powder are microscopic grains that are excreted by the pollen sacs of male plants.
Pollen in cannabis is used to fertilize the female cannabis plant and create new seeds. In their natural habitat cannabis pollen is transported on the wind. But, in a growing operation growers and breeders collect pollen from male cannabis plants and apply it to female cannabis plants when the flowers being developing.
This pollen is used to reproduce great strains of marijuana or create new strains of marijuana. The pollen can also be collected and stored for over a year.
How to collect Pollen from Weed
Collecting pollen is a fairly straightforward process. You will be able to tell when the pollen is ready to be collected. The male plants pollen sacs will appear full or you will even begin to notice the fine powder on leaves.
There are two primary ways to collect pollen.
- Gently remove pollen sacs from your male plants, dry them for about a week, and store the dried sacs in a Ziploc bag. You can then shake your Ziploc bag with the dried cannabis sacs and the pollen will be released and held in the bag. Afterwards remove the sacs and you will have a bag of cannabis pollen.
- You can also just agitate the pollen sacs while they are still on the cannabis plant, just hold your Ziploc bag underneath the sac that you agitate and allow the pollen to fall into it. Some sacs may fall into the bag, this is fine, just remove them.
Note: Do not go near any of your female pants after harvesting pollen until you wash your hands and change your clothes. Also do not house your male and female plants near one another. Doing either of these risks pollenating your female plants.
Store your cannabis pollen
Storing your collected cannabis pollen is not an overly complicated process. The biggest thing to remember is that moisture will render your cannabis pollen completely useless. The best ways to store your pollen is to keep it cool. If you place it in the refrigerator it will be good for up to three days. You can also place it in the freezer to keep it good for up to a year. It is recommended to use vacuum bags to limit the amount of moisture exposure.
Using your cannabis pollen
Cannabis pollen’s purpose is to create seeds or new strains of cannabis. After collecting your pollen, you may want to start pollenating right away. The best way to get started with pollenating your female plants is to understand their flowering cycle.
To start pollenating your female plants you will apply your collected pollen onto the female’s bud site. This is located around where the leaves of the plant meet the stem of the plant. Use a brush to apply the pollen, and the buds will begin to develop seeds which can be collected and grown into new cannabis plants.
Keep in mind that only the bud sites that have pollen applied will develop new marijuana plant seeds. You do not have to apply every bud site on a plant, instead you can spread out your pollen to several different female plants. Make sure that you apply pollen to the pistils (hairs) on the bud site, this will ensure that the bud site is well pollenated.
Collecting your seeds
After 4-6 weeks your pollenated plants will begin to develop seeds. Pollenated buds will look different from regular buds. They will appear more bulbous and are typically smaller. Start checking for seeds about 4 weeks after you have pollenated your plants. Where you see seeds, simply pick them out of the pollenated bud. A mature seed will have a hard shell and may appear tan or brown in color, some may even have a striping on them.
Keep you seeds in a cool dry place for a few years or use them immediately to start growing a new batch of plants.