A Guide To Colloidal Silver

Discussion in 'Breeders Paradise' started by EverythingsHazy, Mar 27, 2015.


    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    A Guide To Colloidal Silver
    Ok, so a lot of people around here have been asking the same questions about Colloidal Silver over and over, and I don't blame them. The information is generally scattered, and if you manage to find a good post here and there, chances are you will find a few more contradicting it, making it difficult to sort the useful information from the myths.

    What is Colloidal Silver:
    Colloidal Silver the mixture of pure distilled water, and pure (0.9999) silver. It is created by running current through silver electrodes that are placed water, which causes microscopic particles of silver (colloids) to break off and become suspended in the water.

    How does Colloidal Silver work on cannabis plants:
    Many people believe that Colloidal Silver spray works by burning, or otherwise stressing a female plant, forcing it to "hermie", or make pollen sacs. This is completely false. As you will see later in this post, real Colloidal Silver doesn't harm the plant in any way, shape, or form.

    Colloidal Silver works by being composed of particles so small, that they can easily pass through the plants cells. Once the Colloidal Silver particles are in the plant, they bond to the existing copper molecules. Normal female cannabis plants, use these copper molecules to produce the hormone Ethylene, which is what "tells" them that they are supposed to make normal female flowers (calyxes with pistils). When the Colloidal Silver bonds with the copper molecules, this is inhibited and the plant instead produces pollen sacs.
    *Note: These are still female flowers. Just female pollen sacs. Not male flowers.

    Why are seeds made with Colloidal Silver "feminized":
    First of all, "feminized" is a bad term. That implies that something was done to the seeds to cause them to turn out to be female. This is not the case. All of the pollen you collect from a Colloidal Silver reversed plant will be completely normal except for one thing. There is no chance of it carrying a Y-chromosome because it was created by a female plant and female plants have double X-chromosomes. Therefore, when you use this female pollen (all x-chromosomes) on a female flower, it forms a double x chromosome offspring (a female).

    Store-bought "Colloidal Silver":
    Why is "Colloidal Silver" in quotes? It is in quotes, because most of the stuff you buy that is pre-made, is either:
    A) Not real colloidal silver
    B) Very little real Colloidal Silver with other stuff added.

    This means it is usually very weak, and not very effective. Often times, the particles in these mixtures are far to large to permeate the plant's cell walls, or not pure silver. Either way, the stuff will most likely sit on top of your plant's surface, and burn/suffocate/deform it. If you end up getting pollen sacs to form, it MAY be because of the limited real Colloidal Silver in the mixture you bought, or because the burning effects of the spray stressed the plant to the point of making emergency pollen sacs (hermie). Often times these plants look burned and in overall terrible condition. They also usually produce a lot of pistils even on the sprayed areas, amongst the forced pollen sacs.

    Can you use store bought "Colloidal Silver" spray and get Female Seeds? Yes.
    Should you? No.
    Why? You risk just killing your plant without getting any reversing, sterile pollen sacs if you do get any, and still very little pollen if you manage to get some that is viable.

    How can I tell if my Colloidal Silver is real:
    Pour your”Colloidal Silver” mixture into a clear glass with smooth walls, and shine a cheap laser pointer through it. You should be able to see the entire beam (it reflects off of the silver micro-particles), and also a lack of floating debris (often black bits). This is called the Tyndall Effect.

    It should look like this. (Note the ppm. Some store-bought stuff says 240+ but the beam is barely visible if at all, let alone multiple times brighter like it should be.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    What does a Colloidal Silver generator look like / How do I make my own:
    Colloidal Silver generators can be either bought, or made. If you decide to buy one, aim for the one with the lowest possible voltage between (5-30v) and try to stay under 1000mA. The weaker current will help create smaller particles even though it takes a bit longer (only hours so it doesn't matter).

    It can be made from a simple cell phone charger with the end cut off and stripped to look like this.

    The exposed wires would then be taped (using electrical tape) to silver electrodes (pure .9999 silver wire), which would need to be kept apart (they can't touch), and spaced evenly/parallel in the water without touching the bottom or sides. A distance of 1-4" is best depending on your generators power.

    You will also want to run an air pump with aquarium tubing and an airstone in the generator jar to keep the water moving around which will do these three things:

    1. Prevent/slow down buildup that forms on the wires during the generating process.
    2. Stir the solution to keep the silver particles from bunching up and agglomerating around the electrodes which will create larger particles, and possibly cause the solution to turn amber any time from when it is being made, to the next few days.
    3. Allow for a creation of higher ppm Colloidal Silver (you only really need 15 but can use up to 40 if you want to spray less than 3x daily).

    A store bought Colloidal Silver generator often looks like this:

    And is run like this for 5-15 hours: (Note the air pump + air stone in the jar)

    Throughout these hours, the wires will get discolored (esp the negative electrode which will turn blackish) and some buildup may collect on them as well (once again, the negative electrode is most drastically affected by this). Simply unplug your generator, remove it from the water, and wipe the electrodes clean. You can use a paper towel only, but it helps to have one of those green, non-metallic Scotch-Brite scrubbing pads (no chemicals added such as soap or anything). You should do this every 30-60 minutes or when you see buildup forming. The first few hours may only cause a rise in ppm of 1-2 if that, and little discoloration on the wires, but as time passes, and the ppm rises, the process speeds up exponentially. By the end, you may have to wipe your wires every 15-20min depending on your generators power level.

    Once the ppm has reached the desired level (tested with a TDS meter), the generator is removed and the mixture is filtered through a 2 unbleached coffee filters, into another jar. This should filter out any larger silver particles that can and probably will form around the wires during the generating process, as well as any dust or anything else that may have found its way into the jar while the Colloidal Silver was being made. When you are done, you shouldn't see anything floating around in the mixture. It should look like pure water, except that a laser beam shows up when you shine it through.

    What is a plant treated with Colloidal Silver supposed to look like:
    It should look normal until a couple days after spraying, when you may see some unusual flower growth. After about 2-3 weeks, the plant will be growing almost exclusively pollen sacs, and should look just like a regular male with clusters of "balls" lacking many stray pistils.

    The following plant was completely doused all over (including the tops and undersides of the leaves) 2-4x daily with homemade Colloidal Silver, and it wasn't burned in the least bit.
    Pollen Sacs

    Q&A / Troubleshooting:
    Q: When should I start spraying my plant?
    A: If it is a photoperiod plant, start spraying a week before flipping the lights to 12/12 (or whatever flowering schedule you use). If it is an auto wait until you see pistils and then start spraying the day the first couple appear. Even if you bought the seeds as autofems, I still recommend waiting until you see the first couple pistils because there is always the chance that you were send seeds with males in them and you wouldn't have any way of knowing until you started popping males out of your "female seeds".

    Q: Why is my Colloidal Silver amber/yellow/grey colored?
    A: The silver particles are slightly larger than they would be in a clear solution. They can still work for cannabis reversal, but I don't recommend ingesting the stuff. Amber/yellow is the first color you should notice. As it begins to get darker, or greyer, that means the the particles are larger and larger. The plant above was reversed with only amber Colloidal Silver as a test and it worked fine.

    Q: How do I fix that color problem?
    A: Add an air pump and an air stone to your generator jar, and clean the wires more often (every 30min, or when you see buildup forming). Discoloration on the wires (esp the negative electrode turning dark) is fine and expected, but if you leave it for too long you will notice that more and more silver particles build up on the negative electrode and start breaking off and floating around your mixture causing it to be cloudy and lower quality.

    Q: How long does Colloidal Silver last / How do I store it:
    A: Colloidal Silver remains at the desired potency for at least a month.
    It should be kept in glass (plastic can attract the silver particles and ruin the mixture), and in the dark.

    Q: Can I only spray one part of the plant to force pollen sac to form there and only there?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Can I then take that pollen and pollinate pistils somewhere else on the same plant, or will that cause hermies?
    A: Yes. properly made Colloidal Silver does not carry over into the pollen or the seeds created using it, nor does it cause unwanted changes in the plant, its DNA, its offspring (and their DNA), etc. If you used a low quality spray and ended up stressing the plant to the point that it "hermied", and then used that pollen, you would be inadvertently selecting for the low stress tolerance gene that allowed the reversal, but if you start with solid genetics, and a good quality spray, you should have nothing to worry about.*

    *Here are actually some posts by members on here (who have experience using pollen from a plant to pollinate its own pistils). I asked around to get a few different perspectives and see if I was missing anything, but they all agreed. (If anyone posting below would like their quote removed, feel free to pm me.)





    *Disclaimer: This post in no way promotes the cultivation and/or breeding of cannabis illegally.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015

    HighLowGrow Well-Known Member

    Great write up Hazy. I have a drawer of old power supplies I'm going to check out here in a second. I'm going to start gathering things and make one of these puppies. Think I'll go with silver wires. Now where to buy them. I saw them on Amazon yesterday for like $18 + a little shipping for two 6" silver wires.

    Fease Well-Known Member

    Awesome. Thank you !
    EverythingsHazy likes this.

    2004play Well-Known Member

    Good write up
    EverythingsHazy likes this.

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys.
    Rob Roy and Gbuddy like this.

    NewtoMJ Well-Known Member

    That is a lot of really good information. My question is, do you know of any pre-made products that are of the quality you talk about?
    EverythingsHazy likes this.

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    Good quality pre-made products? I have never used Tiresias Mist, but I've read good things about it.

    @HighLowGrow has used it a few times, and has had some success, and his plants don't look all burnt and deformed after being sprayed.

    It would probably work fine, but you may need more than one bottle, depending on how resistant your plant is to "changing", and if you plan on working with multiple plants, you'd be spending wayyy more than necessary, for much less product. I'd say if you have to go with a store bought spray, from what I've heard, TS seems like one of the better options.
    Gbuddy likes this.
    Observe & Report

    Observe & Report Well-Known Member

    I believe Tiresias Mist is silver thiosulfate. Different stuff but has the same effect.

    Thanks for posting real info to counter the rampant "OMG chems!" ignorance that is rampant in Cannabis culture.
    Rob Roy and farmerfischer like this.

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    That's interesting. I haven't done too much research on either silver thiosulfate, or Tiresias Mist, but I've heard it (TM) works well for some people. It comes in such a small bottle tho, so you have to really get your timing and application down correctly so you don't run out before it starts making pollen sacs.

    And no problem. Trying to find a solid article on Colloidal Silver, without contradicting information was really difficult, and a lot of misinformation is being spread around, so I wanted to clear some of it up, and save others some time/trouble.
    farmerfischer likes this.

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    Remember to scrub your electrodes (wires) with a scotch-brite pad before every use, even if they have been just sitting around, because they get a layer of oxidation on the surface over time.

    The one on the right was just cleaned off.

    moondance Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    Very nice job, I may need this for some work I am doing, Thanks!
    EverythingsHazy likes this.

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member



    budolskie Well-Known Member

    Good info can't wait to.make sum pips

    WattSaver Well-Known Member

    Nice post thank you. I hope you don't mind a few questions. I've tried the process twice with a Maui girl I had around for 18 generations. I tried first with the store bought, it was a total failure, and the clone died after about 5wks of daily applications. Second time I built a generator and got the girl to throw ball but they had no pollen in them.

    my generator is powered by a 12v 600ma transformer. The silver anodes are 1" apart. The jar is only 2" deep, was thinking that using less water I'd get stronger CS in less time, not sure if this is the correct logic.

    So is 1" the correct spacing of the silver wire for my transformer size?

    I'm using fine silver wire (18ga) would a larger wire like 10ga be better?

    I use an air pump but not an air stone, does this really matter?

    Last you mention applying multiple times per day (up to 4) which is something I've never heard of, I've always applied once per day, could this be my only problem?

    Thanks in advance for any help

    My gen kit
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    Thank you, and you're welcome. No problem. Let me see how I can help out.

    To help better understand the problem, the following questions need answers:

    1. Did the CS you made "burn" the plant, or cause crinkled leaves, or any other deformities/damages?
    2. Were there still pistils growing where you sprayed, or did was the branch fully reversed?
    3. How big of a pot was your plant grown in? Males and reversed females need good nutrition, too, to produce healthy pollen.
    4. When did you harvest the pollen sacs? You should wait until they are opening on the plant. Any earlier, and they might be empty.

    Do you have any pictures of the reversed plant, and/or the CS you used?
    farmerfischer likes this.

    WattSaver Well-Known Member

    Yes I have photos in a single page post of the trauma
    I soaked the whole plant once a day. Not just a specific zone.
    When making I only cleaned a few times during the total duration. Then again that Maui might not have been reversible

    1. Did the CS you made "burn" the plant, or cause crinkled leaves, or any other deformities/damages?

    2. Were there still pistils growing where you sprayed, or did was the branch fully reversed?
    Second time it started to make female flowers on top of the sacs

    3. How big of a pot was your plant grown in? Males and reversed females need good nutrition, too, to produce healthy pollen.
    2.5qt the first time 2gal second.

    4. When did you harvest the pollen sacs? You should wait until they are opening on the plant. Any earlier, and they might be empty.
    I removed sacs at peak of formation,,,, opened and saw no pollen

    Do you have any pictures of the reversed plant, and/or the CS you used?

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    That can be part of your problem. While a male, or reversed female, doesn't need to be in a huge pot, with crazy powerful lights, to get pollen, you do want to keep it as healthy as possible. Sprays that burn the plant can mess up the male flowers too.

    Depending on the timeline of the male:female flower growth ratio changes, this could mean a few of the following things, an any combination of them):
    1. The plant wasn't fully reversed ever (if it had a mix of both the whole time)
    2. The CS was too weak and couldn't fully reverse the plant (at least not at one dose per day).
    3. You stopped spraying too soon, which caused the plant to revert back to a normal female, and ruined the pollen viability.
    4. The strain is very resistant to being reversed with CS.

    That's not bad. I'd suggest using at least 1gal, and probably not needing more than 2gal for a small, but healthy male plant.

    If you remove them before they start to open, they might have no pollen in them, and/or might have too much moisture which will cause all of the pollen to clump and be ruined when they are cut/pulled open. The best way to ensure you get mature pollen sacs, is to wait until you start seeing some open up, and then tapping the branch, with a plate or bag under the flowers. mature ones usually just fall right off. Anything that you have to pluck, is probably too young.
    Seedlin and WattSaver like this.

    taGyo Well-Known Member


    WattSaver Well-Known Member

    Many thanks for your reply. I really believe the Maui wasn't a good subject, it was as stable as a plant could get. But I do believe your comments on small particles has a lot to do with keeping the plant healthy, with my setup it only took a few hrs to get close to 100ppm, so I'm sure the particle size was larger. I'm going to space my electrodes a little further apart, and clean more frequently. I'll also reduce the amount of spray per application but increase the number of applications. It will most likely be 2016 before I try again. Thanks again for your post.
    ZoBudd and EverythingsHazy like this.

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