Regular cannabis seeds VS feminized seeds, what re the differences besides sex?
Regular cannabis seeds are produced by crossing true female plants (XX) with true male plants (XY). Feminized cannabis seeds are produced by inducing pollen in otherwise female plants (XX) and crossing them to true female (XX) plants to produce seed. In feminized seed production no “XY” (male) genes are involved in the equation, so all the seed offspring turn out 100% female.
This is an oversimplified explanation for regular cannabis seeds vs feminized seeds, as it only explains the “sex” part of how they are different. The most important thing(s) you should know, as far as differences go, is that both types of seed are capable of producing better yields and quality versus cloned plants. That’s because seed plants have never had a problem before, ie insects, disease pressures, etc. Cannabis is an annual plant–it’s not natural for it to try and live forever as a clone. Eventually, genetics get tired and should be started from seed.
If started from regular seeds, besides have a percentage of male plants, there will be some variation in the offspring, ie usually a few different “kinds” of related plants from the same pack of seeds–it’s up to the grower to choose which ones they may want to keep or clone from. Note true F1’s (first cross) tend to have less variation versus F2s (a cross of a cross).
If started from feminized seeds of good quality, there will be little to no variation in the plants that result–they will essentially grow like clones and be all female plants–with all the advantages of being started from seed.
However, if you plan on cloning plants, feminized seeds aren’t a good choice. That’s because the process used to create pollen in an otherwise female plant (btw, there are a lot of different ways, some much better than others for stability) makes the feminized seeds created great for production plants, ie better than clone, but does not make them very good for replicating over and over by way of cuttings. Plants started from regular seeds are the better choice if you want mother plants to clone from. Just be prepared to dedicate a crop to finding you new mother plant because of the variation that will emerge from the same pack of regular cannabis seeds.