Cannabis Gone To Seed

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Every smoker has had the thought cross their mind: Could I grow my own weed? Before undertaking this endeavor, here's what to look for, and how to do it. Re-vegging is a process that allows you to get a second harvest out of a cannabis plant. Learn how to re-veg weed plants from Leafly. Early flowering is an occasional headache for outdoor growers, but usually there are clear reasons and easy solutions. Our guide explains more.

Can You Plant the Seeds from Your Cannabis Buds?

You’re preparing your bud, getting ready to grind it down, and you lift it up a bit to admire its color and… what’s that? A little speck, either green or brown, sitting right in your bud! Are my buds bad?

Well, worry not, those are just marijuana seeds. It seems pretty obvious if you think about it – marijuana is a plant, and plants have seeds. Simple, right?

However, every smoker has had the thought cross their mind on this seed discovery: Could I grow my own weed?

Well, before you can consider whether or not you can plant those assorted seeds, you need to know what to look for, and how to do it.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Why Are There Seeds in My Marijuana Buds?

First of all, you need to understand why there are seeds in your bud to begin with.

Contrary to what most people think, what you’re smoking isn’t actually the rolled up or dried leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant. You’re actually smoking small flower buds.

It does seem rather odd, considering the prolific nature of the marijuana leaf in stoner culture – we even have images stretching back thousands of years, documented in ancient texts, of the marijuana leaf.

However, the leaf isn’t actually very interesting. It just absorbs sunlight and feeds the plant. According to the United Nations report* on cannabinoid levels between both male and female plants, the large leaves of some specimens only contain about 0.3% THC and 0.7% CBD, meaning you’d be hard-pressed to get any kind of high from the leaves.

No, it’s actually the flowering buds of the marijuana plant that get you high. When the plant is preparing to flower, thus allowing itself to germinate and spread its seeds so as to propagate itself, it creates these small bunches of buds – known as a cola – that are the beginnings of the flower buds.

These little buds are where all the THC and CBD are concentrated, divided between a variety of different parts of the bud. When the plant is harvested, that cola is all mixed together and dried, giving you your whole piece of bud.

However, sometimes a marijuana plant is harvested just a bit too late. Perhaps it got the chance to develop a bit longer than it would normally, or maybe the grower was just trying something new.

Regardless, the small seed of the marijuana plant is born, and it managed to make its way into your bud.

Now that we know what they are, how do we choose and use them?

What Do the Seeds Look Like?

You might be tempted to jump right in and start growing your new seeds. Not so fast though, you’ve got to pick the right seeds.

Take a look at your seed and make sure it’s the right color. It should be brown and entirely whole, not split apart or otherwise damaged.

If it’s green or yellowish, that means the seed had only just begun to grow before it was harvested, making it little more useful than the rest of the bud for growing plants.

If it’s brown and whole however, you’ve got yourself a healthy marijuana seed.
Now what? Do you just plant it and watch it grow?

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Next Steps: Germinating Your Marijuana Seeds

Before you can do any kind of planting of your seed, you first need to germinate it.

Germination is the initial process in a seed’s life, when it starts to transform for a hard, brown little shell into a living plant.

To germinate a marijuana seed, it takes a little more love and care than with some other plant seeds.
Firstly, take a plate or some other surface with a divot in it and lay a wet paper towel across the plate’s surface.

Lay your lovely brown seeds on the paper towel, making sure to give them as much room as possible.
Cover it with another piece of wet paper towel and cover the whole thing with another plate of equal size. This should make a handy little clam-shaped house for your germinating seeds.

What happens to the seeds is that they are tricked into thinking they have been successfully buried into soil.

Water activates the growing enzymes within the seeds, encouraging it to strip off its protective outer layer and start creating roots to lay into the ground.

The reason we don’t just put the seed into the soil is that marijuana seeds can be a bit particular – they require conditions to be just right, otherwise, they’ll fail to germinate and simply sit there. By putting them in a little protective case made of paper towels and plates, the seeds get the perfect environment to germinate.

Even using the towel and plate method, it’s possible that around a quarter of your seeds still won’t germinate.

The germination process can take up to around 10 days, but most will begin the process after 2-3 days. Any that don’t show signs of opening up and spreading roots can be safely thrown away.

Now that you’ve got yourself some germinated seeds, what’s next? How do you turn a plate full of damp seeds into a full-blown marijuana plant?

Planting the Seeds

Once your seeds are germinated, you can plant your miniature weed plants into a small soil pot, being careful not to overcrowd them. A small quantity of high quality of soil – marijuana needs a crazy amount of nitrogen, potassium and other nutrients to flourish – in a small pot is sufficient.

Keep the soil moist and allow the seeds to begin to sprout.

After a few days to roughly a week, the seed will begin to spread out its roots and start to shoot up towards the sun. You’ll likely even see the very beginnings of tiny marijuana leaves!

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Once you’ve got those handy leaves, it’s time to transfer them into a bigger growing vessel.
Get a common plant pot – something in the 5-gallon range is pretty standard – and fill the very bottom of it with gravel.

This gravel helps provide a good base for the soil, as well as providing drainage.

The rest can be filled with high-quality soil and, once given adequate fertilizers, the marijuana seeds will start to grow!

Now, just treat your marijuana plant as you would any other plant. Keep it watered, keep it fed with a high nutrient liquid fertilizer and make sure it gets enough sunlight.

If you’re planning to grow cannabis indoors, away from prying eyes, and then make sure you have an adequate UV light setup to make sure it gets enough sunlight. Don’t forget to make sure the room where it’s kept is hot and humid enough!

There’s a reason that marijuana is usually grown outdoors in humid, jungle-like climates!

Some Notes of Warning

Only a few things can go wrong when you’re growing your own marijuana plants from the seeds in your bud. They’re not the worst things to ever happen, but they should definitely be considered.

#1 Knowing What You’re Getting

It’s not a frequent problem if you’re buying from a trusted marijuana supplier, but it’s possible that the seed in your bud isn’t exactly the same weed strain you think it might be.

Some unscrupulous sellers sometimes mix in small amounts of other buds to help bring up the bulk of their strains, whether through lack of availability or because they think it might improve the quality.

Though it is rare, it’s possible you might go to all this effort of growing a marijuana plant from your bud, only to find out that it’s not the right strain at all.

This is part of the reason why people generally prefer to buy their seeds from a reputable seed seller, due to the fact that you are more likely to know what you’re getting.

The other reason is…

#2 Seed Survivability – It Might Be Too Dry!

As part of the process of preparing marijuana buds for consumption, the bud is sun-dried over a period of days – or using a dehydrator – so as to concentrate the flavors and cannabinoids, as well as make it a lot easier to smoke.

During this process, it’s possible that the seeds might suffer damage and not be entirely usable. It’s possible that, after putting that time and use of your valuable plates into trying to germinate your seeds, none of them will bloom.

That’s okay though, you can just try again!

So Can You Plant the Seeds from Your Marijuana Buds?

If you’ve followed all these steps, you’ll have managed to turn a lone seed – depressingly isolated, hiding in your bud – into a fully grown marijuana plant!

Enjoy harvesting your new marijuana and keep an eye out for new seeds in your freshly harvested buds.
Given some time, you might find yourselves planting the great-granddaughter of your first seed!

A final note: Make sure you check the laws of your local area – certain municipal governments have different laws about growing marijuana when compared to just imbibing it. Make sure you’re not breaking any laws with your hand-grown marijuana – you wouldn’t want it taken away from you after all your hard work!

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

How to re-veg marijuana plants

Cannabis is an annual flowering plant, its life cycle limited to just one season. In the wild, it grows from a seed, flowers, and dies, all between spring and fall. Once a female plant dies, it will drop seeds, which are responsible for carrying genes through to the next growing season.

But it’s possible to hack this process to give cannabis plants a second growing season. A grower can manipulate a plant and force it to revert from the flowering stage back to the vegetative stage again. This process is known as re-vegging, or regeneration, and it allows you to harvest buds from a plant, then grow the same plant again for a second harvest of buds.

Cannabis has a short-day photoperiod, meaning it transitions from a vegetative period to a flowering period—when it starts growing buds—because the amount of light it receives reduces. This happens outdoors as autumn approaches and days become shorter. Indoors, growers “flip” weed plants into the flowering stage by manually reducing the amount of light they get each day.

Altering a cannabis plant’s photoperiod schedule after harvest will allow you to re-veg it.

Benefits of re-vegging cannabis plants

Reduce vegetative periods

A cannabis plant that has undergone a full growing season will have a complex and robust root system. If re-vegging a weed plant, it will move through its second vegetative phase quicker if it has a mature root system, whereas clones or seeds will take longer to establish roots.

Eliminate mother plants

Growers will sometimes keep mother plants, which are plants that always stay in the vegetative stage for the purpose of cloning only. But keeping mother plants takes time and space. Re-vegging allows you to get rid of mother plants, freeing up space in your grow for plants that only produce buds. It also saves time and resources, as you won’t have to tend to mother plants.

Increase yields

The process of taking a clone from a flowering plant is a re-vegging technique known as “monster cropping” (more below), and it can produce more vigorous and bushier plants. If done correctly, monster-cropped clones have the potential to create plants with higher yields the second time around because of an increased vegetative mass, stronger stems and branches, and more nodes for potential buds.

Cloning/Preserving a phenotype

If cloning a weed plant, growers usually need to take a clone of a plant before it begins flowering. But if a grower neglects to for any reason, that phenotype, or the genes of that specific plant, will get lost. Re-vegging is the only way to preserve an exact replica of a particular phenotype once it has transitioned into the flowering state.

Disadvantages of re-vegging cannabis plants

Difficulty

Re-vegging is hard to successfully pull off, even for seasoned growers. It takes a few weeks for new growth to appear so you might be wasting time and space waiting for new growth only for it to not happen.

Smaller yields

Most growers who re-veg say that yields decrease the second time around. So while re-vegging may cut down on the amount of time it takes to grow a plant, it might not produce as much.

Stress on the plant

The re-vegging process is highly stressful on a plant and even if it does re-veg successfully, aberrations often occur, such as unusual leaf growth and hermaphroditism. Re-vegged plants are more delicate and must be given more attention and care.

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Types of re-vegging

There are a few ways a cannabis plant can revert from its flowering stage back to a vegetative stage.

Post-harvest re-vegging

Probably the easiest method, this will allow you to harvest a plant for buds and then re-veg it for a second growing season. This is typically done with indoor plants, as you’ll need to control the amount of light they receive.

How to:

When harvesting a weed plant, leave a few healthy buds and branches intact at the base of the plant. Reset the plant’s photoperiod back to a vegetative schedule: 18 hours of light/6 hours of dark a day (as opposed to the 12 light/12 dark schedule it had when flowering).

Also, change the plant’s nutrient regimen, giving it nutrients more conducive to early-stage growth. It will need more nitrogen for root and leaf development, as opposed to the high amounts of potassium and phosphorus it likely received during flowering.

Post-harvest re-vegged cannabis plants often take a little bit of time to take off at first and some strains may not even be receptive to this method at all. Early growth on a re-vegged plant may exhibit stress-induced mutations like single-fingered leaves and odd node patterning, but these issues should go away after a few weeks if re-vegging is successful. Plants that re-veg successfully can display increased vigor after the initial transition.

Monster-cropping clones

As mentioned above, cloning a plant while it’s in the flowering stage is called monster cropping. To successfully do this, take clones from the lower branches of a plant when it’s in the second or third week of flowering.

How to:

Take a clone as you normally would, but be sure to remove all visible flowering nodes from each clone. This will improve the clone’s ability to root out by halting flower production within the cutting.

As with post-harvest re-vegging, monster cropping may result in stunted and mutated growth at first, but with proper care and training, this method can produce massive plants with increased vigor and foliage growth.

Accidental re-vegging

Cannabis plants will unexpectedly revert back to vegetative growth if there is a disturbance in their photoperiod schedule—for example, if they receive 12 hours of light a day for a while, and then start to get more than that.

This can occur both indoors and outdoors, usually because of a light leak or a light timer malfunction when growing indoors, or from planting outside too early in the season when growing outdoors.

Even the tiniest of changes in a cannabis plant’s light cycle can cause it to flip back to a vegetative state, and some plants may even turn hermaphroditic, growing both male pollen sacs and female flowers.

Why is my outdoor cannabis plant flowering too early?

Occasionally outdoor cannabis growers experience problems if plants go into bloom far earlier than they should. Without the vital climatic support of warm weather and intense sunlight, early bloom is unwelcome and confusing for the grower, often resulting in small plants and poor yields. There are a few reasons why this could happen. The good news is that the solutions are easy to implement.

Summary:
When does cannabis start flowering outdoors?
Key reasons why outdoor plants flower too early
Pros and cons of early cannabis flowering outdoors
Can you reverse an early flowering cannabis plant?
Give love to your cannabis seeds and you’ll get it back

When does cannabis start flowering outdoors?

Normally, cannabis starts to flower in response to the changing seasons and the impending arrival of autumn/fall. This is an evolutionary safeguard to ensure that the plant has time to produce and ripen the cannabis seeds. This ensures the next generation of plants for the following season.

Outdoor photoperiod cannabis plants

Photoperiod feminised cannabis strains tend to enter bloom as they sense the day length shortening. Short daylight hours are an indication that the autumn/fall is approaching, the plants respond with hormonal changes triggering bloom.

Related:
Cannabis guerrilla growing, 10-point strategic plan

Outdoor autoflower cannabis plants

Autoflower strains initiate bloom at a point dictated by their genetic composition. This is usually around a month after autoflower seed germination, but on slower flowering autoflowers it can take up to 2 months. The grower isn’t able to initiate autoflower bloom by trying to artificially manipulate the grow environment or light hours. Instead the plants flower ‘automatically’ at a time of their own choosing.

Related:
Autoflower vs feminised outdoor cannabis growing

Outdoor regular cannabis plants

When planting regular cannabis seeds for outdoor growth the onset of bloom is the same as that when using photoperiod feminised cannabis seeds. Long hours of darkness, or a sense of decreasing day length, is sufficient to initiate bloom in regular cannabis strains.

Pro tip: How to detect early flowering signs for cannabis? Look for signs of pre-flowers where the branches meet the main stem. These give an early indication whether the plant will be male or female. Female plants show a calyx which may have a couple of hairs (pistils) growing out. Male plants, which may show their sex sooner than female plants at the same stage of development, produce small ball-like growths that look similar to miniature grapes.

Key reasons why outdoor plants flower too early

Even the best outdoor grows can have unexpected issues, such as early flowering. Usually the reason is simple to find.

Starting your plant too early

If you get your outdoor plants going early in the season, e.g. around March the dark overnight period is still long enough to force photoperiod feminised strains to bloom.

This can be an issue for the growers that were tempted outdoors a little too early in the season (perhaps due to a freak early heat wave). The best option is to ensure that you have a period of artificial light to break the period of overnight darkness.

A security light, or similar, which comes on for just a few minutes will do the job and ensure the plant remains in vegetive growth. With prolonged vegetive growth the plant can grow into a large size, especially if it was started early in the year.

In Europe many that grow at Southern Latitudes (Spain, Italy, Greece etc) will start their outdoor plants as early as February, perhaps with protection from a heated greenhouse/polytunnel (if local conditions are still a little too cold). Using artificial lights on for a small part of the overnight ensures the plants grow in veg mode even though the days have perhaps only 9 hours of light.

Outdoor growers that put their plants out in e.g. May often never see their outdoor plants flower too early. That’s because the number of daylight hours in May is significantly higher than March, making it easy for photoperiod feminised cannabis strains to settle into veg mode with the long summer days.

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Related:
Full collection of Dutch Passion outdoor cannabis seeds

Dark period exposure

Even though it may be warm enough to grow cannabis outdoors there may be insufficient light to allow vegetive growth. It’s one of the challenges for those growing in countries where the hot weather arrives slightly before the longer days.

It can also be a challenge for those with heated greenhouses/polytunnels who are keen to start their outdoor cannabis seeds as early as possible. Some strains can have slightly differing responses to the length of the day. One strain may grow in veg mode under a given day length, whereas a different strain may respond with early flowering.

Abrupt light cycle switch

The stress of a sudden change in light cycle can also shock a cannabis plant into early bloom. This could happen, for example, if a plant grown on a 24-hour indoor grow cycle was placed outdoors.

The sudden change in the amount of light hours can be stressful to the plant which may respond by flowering – even if outdoor light hours are more than 12 and the plant might normally be expected to grow in veg mode.

Again, the problem is easily solved by giving the plant extra artificial light during the evening. Perhaps by bringing the plant into a lit garage at night or arranging a security light to occasionally come on and light up the area where the plant resides.

Related:
How to move your indoor cannabis plant outdoors

Pro tip: Some cannabis seed genetics are known to flower early. ‘Fast’ photoperiod feminised seeds (e.g. Think Fast) contain recessive (i.e. non-dominant) autoflower genetics, meaning you may be able to harvest a month earlier than usual. For outdoor growers with unstable late-season weather, ‘fast’ photoperiod strains along with autoflowers may be the best options.

Pros and cons of early cannabis flowering outdoors

Many people traditionally associate early flowering outdoor cannabis as a problem. A sign that the plant will be small, with lower yields than expected. But to some growers early flowering, if properly controlled, can be used to great advantage.

• Early flowering outdoor cannabis strains is a term often used to describe traditional outdoor photoperiod strains that finish earlier than usual. These can be very useful strains, especially if your late-season weather can be bad. ‘Fast’ photoperiod strains with recessive autoflower genetics such as Dutch Passion’s Think Fast finish in September in the northern hemisphere, that’s around a month earlier than many traditional outdoor strains. Perfect if you can’t guarantee the autumn/fall weather.

• Those that enjoy growing multiple successive outdoor autoflower harvests find it is a convenient, and fast, way to spread the risk. With 2 or 3 successive autoflower harvests each year, it’s not a disaster if one of those crops fail.

• Those that want to start their photoperiod feminised seeds in February will find that the long nights may force their plants into early bloom far too early in the season, resulting in poor growth and results.

Can you reverse an early flowering cannabis plant?

Thankfully you can! But prevention is better than cure. Take time to look at your grow situation and identify any possible causes. Would it help if you could improve the transition process when moving an indoor plant outdoors – perhaps adjusting light hours gradually? Are you trying to plant out too early in the year when the nights are simply too long? Is a particular strain repeatedly going into early bloom when the others are behaving themselves?

When to re-veg an early flowering plant outdoors?

If early flowering issues are something that you have seen before then it makes sense to initially grow your preferred outdoor cannabis seeds in containers, rather than rooting them directly into the ground. With your plant in a container, it is easier to move it to an area that receives additional artificial light to break the long night hours.

Those with indoor grow rooms can simply bring the plant to an indoor grow room. Autoflower plants can’t be reverted to vegetative growth, but cannabis plants grown from feminised seeds can be re-vegged. Just put them under 18-24 hours of light.

Those growing in a greenhouse or a patio/back garden may find some security lighting that comes on during the evening (even if only for 30min or so) will be able to break the bloom cycle. You will get heavier yields from an outdoor plant that was restored to veg growth after a premature (and undesired) flirtation with bloom. Some growers report that sativa strains may be easier to re-veg than indicas.

When not to re-veg an early flowering plant outdoors?

If your plants have only gone into bloom a month earlier than expected (as opposed to 2-3 months) you may wish to simply leave it to continue bloom rather than attempt a re-veg. The early finish may even be beneficial if you occasionally struggle with poor weather around the normal bloom time.

Related:
Top-10 tips for growing cannabis outdoors in cold weather

Pro tip: Make sure you can finish up by the end of the outdoor season. Being realistic, rather than excessively optimistic, about the length of your grow season is a key quality of the experienced outdoor cannabis grower. A few checks online will show you the likely dates of the first late-season frosts & general weather concerns.

If you do have doubts about your ability to finish photoperiod feminised strains in time, then autoflower seeds are the best alternative. Northern European growers in general, and UK growers in particular, can suffer especially difficult outdoor grow conditions. The following guide to growing cannabis outdoors in the UK contains numerous proven tips and advice for those growing in variable climates.

Related:
How to grow cannabis outdoors in the UK

Give love to your cannabis seeds and you’ll get it back

Many of the challenges of outdoor growing can be avoided if the grower is able to buy proven outdoor cannabis seeds. Not only should you have solid, reliable genetics which will behave and grow/bloom predictably. But you should also benefit from professional breeding techniques & natural selection which will ensure in-built genetic resistance to some of the common diseases.

Most importantly of all, professionally bred outdoor cannabis seeds will have what it takes to cope with variable weather and cool/grey conditions.

An outdoor grow will often be around a 5-6 month process, so it makes sense to invest time in research before you buy cannabis seeds. If you need some extra inspiration from those that have already grown Dutch Passion outdoor seeds then please check out the hundreds of grow reviews in the Dutch Passion blog site where you will find all the grow archives.

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