Without seed

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

Hey Ngaio, what can I do or make with the resin I clean out of my pipe? It’s a bit rough to smoke.

—Hobo Hash

Yeah, do me a favor and make sure you throw that away. This isn’t the ‘90s. Unless you live in Idaho, Nebraska or some other godforsaken place where weed is scarce, there’s no need to save the resin and tar scrapings from your bongs and pipes.

First of all, it just tastes terrible. Horrible. Like cannabis-infused mud. Secondly, it is not good for you at all. Yes it has some THC and you will get high, but you are essentially smoking tar and leftover burnt stuff. Tar is never good for your lungs. Just go to the dispensary and get some good weed. Or mooch off a friend for a while. I’m glad we had this talk.

I keep hearing about “feminized” seeds. What does this even mean?

—Gin Dirin Klusion

OK, pay attention, because this is gonna be on the final exam:

The cannabis plant generally has two genders. The males create the pollen, and the females create the sticky goodness that contains all the THC and stuff that gets you high. If male pollen manages to find a female cannabis plant, it will create a bunch of seeds. Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, all the commercial cannabis had seeds in it. Ask your parents or grandparents about scooping out the seeds on an album cover before rolling a doobie.

Sometime in the ‘80s, people figured out that if they kept the boys out of the garden, the female plants would thrive and create wonderful delicious buds. Most of the time, people ensure that their cannabis plants are females by using clones. But for people who like to grow from seed, finding the male plants before they have a chance to create pollen and ruin all the beautiful sinsemilla (Spanish for “without seed") in the garden can be a challenge. Especially in a small garden, if you can only grow six plants and four of them turn out to be boys, you have just wasted a lot of time.

Enter feminized seeds. There are various techniques that growers use to force a female plant to make pollen. (Spraying a female plant with gibberellic acid is a common one.) Pollinating a female plant with pollen from a female plant creates seeds that will be mostly female. Some growers don’t like feminized seeds because every once in a while, a rogue branch will turn into a male and start pollinating everything before anyone notices. But for the most part, people can grow great weed from feminized seeds. And now you know. Next week, ask me about auto-flowering and cannabis ruderalis.