Owing to the steady legalization of marijuana in recent times, growing your own cannabis has gained popularity. The plant itself has various uses and functions. Besides its recreational use, some may use it for its medicinal properties. But if you’re planning cannabis yourself, you first need to learn about the different types of seeds and which ones best suit you.
Whether you’re an amateur or an experienced farmer, it is essential to learn all that you can about the plants you want to grow. We are here to help you with that. By the end of this article, you will know all there is to know about marijuana seeds and how to choose one based on your needs.
A cannabis farmer knows that there are generally three kinds of cannabis seeds available in the market – Regular seeds, auto-flowering seeds, and Feminized seeds. Here’s a brief explanation of each:
Crossing a male with a female plant is how regular seeds are produced. They can be either male or female. It’s hard to tell the male-female ratio when it comes to regular seeds. The plants present their sex only after flowering starts. With regular seeds, you can get the full expression of its genetic lineage.
These seeds are produced by female plants growing male flowers. This is made possible by letting the plant soak in light during the dark. This can also be achieved by spraying the flowers with colloidal silver, which would bring chemical changes to the plant.
Autoflowered seeds are produced by crossing Cannabis Ruderalis with modern-day strains. Cannabis Ruderalis have different lifespans as they only grow close to the polar regions. They don’t require as much light as other strains to produce a decent yield.
Whether a seed would grow to become a male or female plant was always a gamble. The ratio of male to female is an even split when cultivating with regular seeds. However, only the buds found in female plants are infused with sufficient amounts of CBD and THC. Male plants would eventually pollinate the female plants and impede their yield. This is why male plants are culled immediately after being identified.
Developed in the 90s through genetic engineering, feminized seeds only grow to become female plants. This has completely revolutionized the means of producing marijuana. Because of this, growing cannabis is much less wasteful, and production has grown exponentially.
Feminized cannabis seeds are photoperiodic. Their yield depends on the amount of daylight they absorb in a set amount of time. Naturally, they start blooming during the edge of summer. But indoors, the amount of light they are introduced to can be manipulated. Most cannabis strains take about 60 to 70 days or even longer to mature. However, it is possible to get yields sooner by growing fast-flowering strains of feminized seeds. These strains can produce yield in 6-7 weeks.
Cultivating feminized strains requires a 12/12 hours schedule of sunlight, which can be an issue if you are growing them outdoors. They can reach up to 2-3 meters in height. Indoor growers would start controlling the amount of light the plant is getting when it reaches half of the desired length. The plants need a sufficient amount of sunlight, but then again, keeping them out for too long will make the buds moldy and moist.
The optimal temperature for these strains is 21 degrees Celsius. Relative humidity of 40%-50% is preferable. Too much deviation could lead to stunted growth of the plant. Nutrient-rich soil can greatly enhance the growth of these strains. The macronutrients needed are:
The micronutrients that you will need to look out for are:
- Copper, etc.
If you think the soil does not contain enough nutrients, then you easily amend it by adding in components like:
- Worm castings
Feminized seeds need to be able to absorb these nutrients too. Water with a pH 6-7 is optimal for nutrient absorption. Tap water can be fixed to this pH level by adding in store-bought pH up/down products.
When autoflowers were first introduced in the early 2000s, they weren’t very potent, and their yield was weak. But over the years, they have proved themselves to be one of the most sturdiest kind of seeds. Autoflowering seeds are now used to serve all sorts of users with different demands.
Autoflowering seeds are produced by crossing ruderalis with indica or sativa. The ruderalis subspecies are not very useful in themselves as their buds don’t produce THC. However, this particular type of cannabis does not require much sunlight. Crossbreeding it with regular cannabis gets us auto-flowering seeds that produce great yield without the need for that much light.
Autoflowering seeds are non-photoperiodic, which means that the bloom of the strains does not depend on light hours. The plants bloom on their own after two to four weeks. You can expect to wait around 10 weeks between planting and harvest. 10 weeks is the expected life cycle of auto-flowering seeds.
These strains are also feminized so they rarely produce male flowers. The plants themselves are relatively small with the height ranging from 30 to 100cm. Outdoor plants can produce around 80-200g per plant of yield.
The seeds need the same nutrients as feminized seeds but in smaller portions, since the plant themselves are quite small.
Feminized cannabis seeds have both ups and downs. Here’s some of them:
- Feminized seeds get you a higher yield compared to regular seeds, which is the main attraction. Since they are engineered to produce only female plants, they eliminate the chance of waste
- Because of being low maintenance, they don’t require much of your time or space
- The buds produce high amounts of THC, meaning increased cannabinoid potency
- You no longer need to worry about pollination as they only produce female flowers
- The growth and eventual harvest of feminized seeds are easily predicted. So you will always know the best time to harvest
- They don’t offer much genetic variety
- Feminized seeds cost significantly more than regular cannabis seeds
- Since the seeds are feminized, it eliminates the possibility of cross-breeding and growing your own seeds
- The seeds are very sensitive to the environment. Very specific requirements must be met if you want to get a proper yield
You will find a long list of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to autoflowering seeds. Here, we have listed a few of the more notable ones.
- The seeds are not photoperiodic, which means their yield is not directly correlated with the amount of sunlight they get
- They have faster lifecycles. A full growing cycle takes around 10 weeks, sometimes as little as 7
- Autoflowering seeds are small even when fully grown. This makes them ideal for discreet planting
- These strains are much more resilient and require less nutrients to fully flourish
- They produce relatively lower yields owing to their small size and shorter lifespan
- The yield is less potent in THC content
- You cannot produce high-quality clones with autoflowers
- Due to their fast growth, they have almost no time for recovery. So, they are not very easy to experiment with
After knowing all there is to know about feminized and autoflowering seeds, all you have to do now is which of these best serves your needs. You also have to keep in mind that certain environmental requirements need to be met if you want the marijuana seeds to last. This can be a hectic task as both of these seeds show promising results.
Autoflowers are easy to grow and are very low maintenance. If you don’t have past experience growing cannabis, then autoflowering seeds may be the safest option. The growth cycle is relatively short, and they won’t take up much of your time or effort.
On the other hand, feminized seeds offer you better yield with higher potency. You only need to be careful about their light schedule. If you can manage that, then growing feminized seeds should be simple.
Cannabis serves an assortment of purposes. If you want to grow them for yourself, you should obviously look into different types of seeds and their attributes. After reading through all this, you are well-equipped to choose which cannabis seeds meet your demands.