Ask Cheri

How to Grow Cannabis for Seeds 

By Cheri Sicard
September 27, 2023

Dear Cheri,

Can you address how to grow cannabis for seeds?  In other words I know the goal is usually no seeds, but what if I do want seeds in my marijuana?

How to grow cannabis for seeds is great question.  Thanks for asking it.  

Before we begin I want to say that growing marijuana for seeds is more of an advanced growing technique.  And if you hope to create new designer strains, that is a very advanced growing technique and beyond the scope of what we are talking about here. 

Most beginner growers or even more advanced home growers are not going to bother with growing cannabis for seeds.

That said if you do want to know how to grow cannabis for seeds, let’s discuss some sex in the garden as that is what it takes. 

Especially if this is your first time growing for seeds we recommend you start with two plants of the same strain.

You will need:

  • A male marijuana plant
  • A female marijuana plant of the same strain

Now Mitch stresses that you should have plants with good genetics.  Otherwise, why bother?

 He also says the plants need to be grown from regular seeds, meaning non feminized seeds.

Next decide if you want to pollinate all your plants for seed or just one. 

If it’s the latter you need to isolate the male plant as soon as it is identified lest the entire crop go to seed.  And if the plant’s energy gods towards making seeds, it does not go towards making buds. 

Yes, you have an either or choice, do you want dank buds or do you want seeds?

Growing cannabis for seeds

Males marijuana plant, illustrating an article about practical uses for them

The female plants will start to produce flowers while the male plants like the one picture above will produce pollen sacs.  Mitch says there are two main ways people “have sex with their plants,” meaning make sure that they pollinate:

  • You can clip off some of the newly opened pollen sacs from the male plant and shake those over the flowers of a female plant.
  • A more advanced technique involves getting some pollen on a tool, say a Q-tip, and strategically placing it on the buds.

Again, most casual home growers are better off purchasing seeds and/or clones and won’t be looking for seeds.

One other note, if you are growing outdoors in proximity to other cannabis plants, say a neighbor’s, growing male plants could easily pollinate their crop along with your own, so exercise caution, as I don’t know any grower’s who would be happy with that outcome.


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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

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