Why Does My Weed Have So Many Seeds

In this series, we hope to explain all the pertinent Cannabis plant facts at-a-glance. Start educating yourself on the Cannabis plant. What causes seeds in buds while growing cannabis? What does it mean to find seeds in your marijuana buds? Is it something to be worried about? This is something that happens while buds are 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.

Breaking Down the Cannabis Plant

We wanted to start our blog with some Cannabis plant basics. In this series, we hope to explain all the pertinent Cannabis plant facts at-a-glance. There is so much information and so much science out there and we aim to guide you through it all. In today’s information age, it’s hard to know where to start with educating yourself on the Cannabis plant. With our collective decades of experience, we decided it’s best to start from the beginning; the plant itself.

Cannabis is like every other plant. Its growth cycle starts from a seed, grows and matures over time, and ultimately flowers and then repeats the cycle until it dies. The flowers are the most desirable part of the growth process and it is no different for Cannabis. Once a cannabis plant flowers, those flowers produce resin glands that contain cannabinoids and terpenes. These flowers are what is being harvested and ultimately used or processed into different medicine and other consumable items. What we call flower, pop culture calls “bud,” “weed,” “ganja,” “pot,” etc.

Parts Of the Cannabis Plant

Flower

The flowers contain the CBD and terpenes that cause you to get high and give people a number of other benefits, interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Flowers only grow on the female plants. This is what is dried out and ground before being smoked.

The cola on the cannabis plant is a cluster of buds growing closely together, almost in a bunch. Small colas can be found up and down the low branches, but the main cola almost always sits at the top of the marijuana plant.

Pistil

The pistil is where the reproductive parts of the flower sit. They contain a lot of thin strands that look a bit like hair, called stigmas. They collect the pollen that is carried from male plants. The stigmas that can be found within are white when the plant is young but eventually turn yellow through the weed plant stages.

The pistil is all about the reproductive system of marijuana.

Bracts

The bracts are what can be found around the female’s reproductive area. They are green, with leaves in a sort of “tear shape”. They have a number of resin glands, that actually hold the highest number of cannabinoids within the marijuana plant.

Calyx

Inside the bracts, on the female cannabis plant, is the calyx. This is a see-through layer that protects the ovule. You can’t see it with the naked eye.

Trichomes

Trichomes are small but form an important part of marijuana anatomy. They make a crystal-like covering for the buds of the cannabis. Trichomes actually come from glands on the leaves, stems, and calyx of the female or male cannabis plant.

Trichomes protect the plant from anything in the wild that could harm them. They secrete terpenes and both CBD and THC.

The node is where a branch grows from the stem of the cannabis plant. Or where one branch stems off and creates another. Some nodes contain buds, but not all of them.

The nodes play an important role in the sexing of a cannabis plant and telling a male cannabis plant from a female cannabis plant. More on that later.

Fan leaves

If you see clothing or accessories with a cannabis leaf on them as decoration, this will be from the fan leaves. They actually just capture light and don’t have a lot of resin within them. On a cannabis Sativa plant, the leaves tend to be further apart and more sparse.

Sugar leaves

Sugar leaves are where the resin is usually held. They’re small leaves where the buds form, and you can use them in a variety of cannabis products including pre-rolls, or to make THC and CBD extracts.

This is a term you’re probably familiar with. The stem is the same part of a cannabis plant as any other plant, and it gives structure and stability to the other parts of the marijuana plant.

The top of the stem can be cut off to encourage weed plant stages where the marijuana plant grows more branches and more buds.

How to tell male from female cannabis plants

To check the sex of a cannabis plant, you need some understanding of marijuana anatomy.

See also  Black Seed Oil Weed

You should check in between the nodes. These are the parts of the marijuana plant where the branches spring off from a stem. On male plants, pollen sacs can be found here. On a female, stigma develops so they can catch the pollen.

You can see pre-flowers from around the fourth week of cannabis growth. In week six, it should definitely be clear what sex the plants are.

For a male marijuana plant, you’ll find small sacs growing. On females, you will find bracts on the cannabis plants. This is where the hairs that catch pollen will eventually start to grow.

How to propagate cannabis plants

There are numerous ways to propagate cannabis plants so that more will grow in the future.

Cloning

Cloning is not as daunting as it sounds. You don’t have to do it in the lab. This is where you take a cutting from a cannabis Indica or cannabis Sativa plant and put it in the ideal growing conditions in soil or hydroponics.

It’s relatively simple and reliable. It also means that you know what type of cannabis plant is going to grow, and you will have taken cuttings from a healthy “mother”. Cannabis clones are going to take all you liked about the mother plant and create another generation that grows in the same way.

Clones are delicate, and you need to get good at understanding an active vegetating cannabis plant so that you can make a clone, there is definitely a skill involved in picking the cutting, making the cutting itself, and replanting it. You probably won’t get it 100% right the first time around.

Seeds

Seeds don’t need you to grow from an initial plant, you can buy seeds and plant them just like you would any other plant, fruit, or vegetable. It takes a little longer for them to grow this way.

Seeds don’t always germinate, so there is a real art to growing your own marijuana using seeds.

One good thing about seeds is the fact that they haven’t been exposed to diseases or a bad growing environment. You can also buy feminized seeds if you want, which guarantee a certain percentage of female cannabis plants.

Another positive thing about seeds is that they can easily be shipped and transported, and you can buy a number of varieties of cannabis. You might even be able to germinate your own strands.

Whether you choose cannabis clones or growing from seeds, it doesn’t matter, as long as you make a point of becoming good at it. A lot of manufacturers prefer to use clones as it gives a much more consistent result, and allows you to know the properties of the plant that will grow.

What causes seeds in buds while growing cannabis?

What does it mean to find seeds in your marijuana buds? Is it something to be worried about? This is something that happens while buds are forming in the flowering stage, but can be prevented with the right steps. Learn more below.

There’s a seed in my bud!

Sometimes you don’t see the seeds until they fall out of your buds

What causes seeds?

Seedy buds are the result of pollination. What does that mean? Cannabis buds are flowers. Like other flowers, they make seeds when pollinated. Cannabis buds get pollinated when they come into contact with cannabis pollen while the buds are forming.

Seeds happen when pollen gets on the hairs (pistils) of buds as they’re forming. In other words, seeds in weed are caused by pollination.

This bud is full of fat seeds because pollen got on the pistils during bud development.

Pollen typically comes from the pollen sacs of a male cannabis plant. Male plants spray pollen everywhere when their flowers are mature. Sometimes female cannabis plants will produce pollen (known as herming) due to genetics or stress. Any source of pollen, whether the plant is male or female, can pollinate buds in the vicinity and cause seedy buds.

If you’re not growing with feminized (all-female) seeds, about half the plants will be male and grow pollen sacs (male flowers) that release pollen. Unless you want seeds, male plants should be removed from the grow room immediately because they will otherwise seed all your buds.

Seeds are caused by the presence of male flowers while buds are growing. Male flowers release pollen that pollinates buds and causes seeds to grow.

Any time you see “bananas” or “balls” it’s important to separate that plant immediately to prevent possible pollination. These are the result of a hermaphrodite plant (“herm”) and these structures also release pollen.

Example of a hermaphrodite plant making seeds

You may notice a bunch of little yellow growths in these buds. They almost look like mini bananas. This plant is “herming” or growing male flowers that spew pollen everywhere. If this plant isn’t removed from the grow space, it will pollinate itself and all other plants in the area, causing seedy buds

See also  Weed Seeds Canada

This is the same plant. You can see that some of the pure white hairs have turned brown early. This is because those hairs were pollinated. If this plant were allowed to continue flowering, there would be a seed growing at the base of all those brown hairs.

You may not realize that seeds are forming while your buds are growing

But once they get really seedy, buds may look like they have huge plump calyxes/bracts (female flowers) or they may even be misidentified as pollen sacs (hermie/male flowers).

When handling the buds after harvest, you may see seeds or hear them as they fall onto the surface below

Does it mean the weed is bad? No!

If it’s very seedy the buds may not feel as potent, though a few seeds here and there won’t make much difference in bud potency. The main problem with seedy weed is that you are getting less smokeable bud for the amount of total mass there. If it is seedless, you will get more bang for your buck. Seedless bud (sinsemilla) is considered to be the highest quality and most potent type of weed.

Seedy weed is still good to smoke

However, cannabis plants waste energy developing seeds that could have been used to fatten buds. When a bud has lots of seeds, it often isn’t as big and plump as it would have if the plant had not been pollinated. Notice how all the mass of this bud is in the seeds. The rest of the bud is airy and small.

Are seeds good to grow?

I’ve seen some growers get impressive results with bagseed (seeds you find in a “bag” of weed), but overall results seem to be hit or miss. Plants can grow in odd ways and often either the yields or quality isn’t as expected. The problem is that seeds often don’t “breed true” to the buds that they came from.

“Found” seeds can sometimes produce excellent results

But sometimes the plants grow poorly or buds don’t turn out anything like the buds you found the seeds in

That is why many growers either stick to clones (which are exactly the same as the “mother” plant) or purchase seeds of a stabilized strain from a trustworthy breeder. Starting with stable genetics helps ensure each of the plants will grow the way you expect, and buds have the smell, yield, and potency you want.

If you’re not sure what strains to get, here are a few recommendations. These strains produce excellent weed and are generally easy to grow. These seeds are all feminized, which means they will only grow female plants (no pollen to worry about!) Click the links for more information.

    – top-shelf looks and smell with classic effects reminiscent of 90s buds but stronger. Easy to grow. – this version is MUCH more potent than regular White Widow. The buds tested between 24-26% THC. Don’t plan to do anything else that day ? – for those who are looking for a face melter. These buds test up to 28% THC and produce buds with quintessentially “American” looks and smell. The mental and physical effects may be too intense for most beginners. is a good choice for commercial growers with high THC up to 30%, big yields, and a short flowering time. is a potent Sativa hybrid with great yields and uplifting unique mental effects is an autoflowering strain that produces photoperiod-quality buds in about 70 days from seed to harvest.

Platinum Cookies is essentially a more potent version of the popular Girl Scout Cookies strain.

How can I tell if it’s a viable seed?

Good seeds are often dark and relatively hard. Very pale or white seeds that can be easily crushed between the fingers often don’t sprout. However, I have been surprised to find some very flimsy seeds sprout and produce amazing plants (we aren’t breeding them for hard seeds after all) so when in doubt, I highly recommend doing the true test to see if the seed is viable – try to germinate the seed and see if it sprouts.

The best way to tell if a seed is viable is to try to germinate it and see what happens.

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?

See also  Heirloom Weed Seeds

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.

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.