This article compares the pros and cons of the three types of marijuana seeds: regular seeds, feminized seeds, and autoflower seeds. Everything You Need To Know About Different Types Of Cannabis Seeds Cannabis cultivation can be complicated, especially if you don’t already have commercial growing experience. There are light A Guide to Different Types of Cannabis Seeds Cannabis seeds are a huge part of the legal marijuana industry, and for any collector starting out, there’s a lot of knowledge to pick up. On the
Dissecting the 3 Types of Cannabis Seeds: Regular, Feminized, and Autoflowering
When deciding to grow cannabis, the first place to start is with the seeds. Most seed banks will give you the option to choose the type of seed you want for each strain. Cannabis seeds are divided into three distinct categories: regular, feminized, and auto-flowering. The kind of seed you choose ultimately depends on your experience growing cannabis, and how well you understand the process. Each seed-type comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.
Let’s break down the three types of cannabis seeds to help you get to know the pros and cons of each.
Regular seeds are the result of sexual reproduction between a male (pollen-producing) plant and a female (ovule bearing) plant. In Cannabis cultivation, these seeds are usually the product of hand-pollination. A breeder hand-pollinates a female plant using pollen collected from a male plant. The seeds produced by these hand-pollinations are similar to the seeds produced by wild populations of cannabis.
Advantages of regular seeds
They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Many expert growers suggest that beginners use regular seeds for their first few cultivation attempts. Beginners are more likely to make mistakes, and regular seeds are inexpensive and easy to replace. Regular seeds are also popular among plant breeders, who need both male and female plants to experiment with selective breeding. Regular seeds are also available in a variety of strain combinations, such as indica-dominant or sativa-dominant.
Disadvantages of regular seeds
There is a 50% chance the seed produces a male plant. It can be hard to differentiate male plants from female plants until they are at least 3-4 week old seedlings. You could end up with male plants in a greenhouse full of females. Male plants are usually undesirable unless you are trying to breed new strains or collect pollen for future use (“pollen banking”).
When female Cannabis plants are “stressed” they sometimes begin to produce pollen. Stressful conditions for a female Cannabis plant include inadequate water, intense heat/UV light, intense herbivory, or insufficient access to male plants. Growers have learned to take advantage of this natural phenomenon to produce “feminized seeds.” If a female Cannabis plant is subjected to stressful conditions (or chemicals are applied to the plant to mimic stressful conditions), the female plant may produce pollen-bearing flowers. Pollen is harvested from those flowers and used to pollinate the female flowers of the same plant (self-pollination). Once the female plant has pollinated itself, it is almost guaranteed to produce seeds that will only grow up to be females (due to the lack of Y chromosomes involved in reproduction).
Advantages of feminized seeds
While reliable empirical evidence is lacking, some growers report that >98% of feminized seeds produce female plants. If your primary goal is to produce seedless female buds and you do not want to worry about accidentally growing male plants, this may be the best option for you.
Disadvantages of feminized seeds
Feminized seeds are more expensive than regular seeds. They would not be suitable for anyone hoping to collect pollen or breed new strains.
The most popular varieties of Cannabis are Cannabis ssp. sativa and Cannabis ssp. indica. However, there is a third subspecies of Cannabis, C. ruderalis. Ruderalis evolved to survive and reproduce in the long-winter climates of Europe and Russia. Spring and summer are very short in these regions, so ruderalis developed fewer light requirements to trigger seed germination and flowering. Seeds that contain ruderalis genetics do not require a change in light cycle to germinate or begin flowering, so they are described as “auto-flowering”.
Advantages of autoflowering seeds
These seeds produce small plants that flower very quickly, which may be an advantage if you do not have a lot of time or growing space. The short stature of these plants may also be an advantage if you are trying to grow plants under a legal height limit. You also do not need an elaborate cultivation plan or lighting system. Plants grown from auto-flowering seeds often produce flowers that are high in CBD but low in THC, making them a good option for medicinal cannabis users.
Disadvantages of autoflowering seeds
The plants produced by autoflowering seeds are often characterized by flowers with very low THC content. These seeds produce small plants, so they may not be a good option if you are trying to produce large quantities of buds.
Whichever type of seeds you choose, you can still grow high-quality cannabis plants. Some seeds involve more hands-on care than others, but depending on how much work you want to invest in the process, all of the cannabis seeds we mentioned can get you bountiful yields. When choosing a seed type, keep in mind things like your grow space, your budget, and how much time you’re willing to invest in the grow.
Everything You Need To Know About Different Types Of Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis cultivation can be complicated, especially if you don’t already have commercial growing experience. There are light cycles, humidity, watering schedules, pesticides, and harvest dates all to consider. However, the arguably most important decision takes place before ever planting.
Growing marijuana plants starts with selecting the right seeds for your operation. Choosing the wrong seeds could have disastrous results depending on a cultivator’s overall goals. Here’s a brief overview of the common types of marijuana seeds and how to use them.
How Cannabis Reproduces
First, it’s essential to understand how cannabis reproduction takes place. Cannabis is a dioecious plant, which means both male and female versions of the plant exist. When growing male and female weed plants together, male cannabis plants pollinate females, causing them to produce seeds.
In the wild, this ensures the plant propagates. However, cultivators attempting to grow potent marijuana will want to avoid pollination. The high-quality buds available in modern dispensaries are known as sensimilla, which means without seeds. These are female plants that haven’t been pollinated. By avoiding the fertilization process, sensimilla plants grow to produce more resin and, therefore, more overall cannabinoids and terpenes. If you’re growing dispensary-grade marijuana, it’s essential to remove any male plants from your crop before they have an opportunity to pollinate. One way to avoid male plants is to use feminized seeds.
What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
Female plants will attempt to pollinate themselves by growing characteristically male pollen sacs if left in a flowering state for too long. Using the pollen from these hermaphroditic plants to flower other female plants is known as rodelization, and it can help eliminate the potential for male plants. A female plant pollinated from a hermaphroditic female will produce feminized seeds—seeds extremely unlikely to carry male genetics.
Another way cultivators create feminized seeds is by spraying their female plants with a chemical called colloidal silver or silver thiosulfate, which encourages the plant to develop pollen sacs.
Whether you create your own feminized seeds or purchase them from wherever you buy cannabis seeds, remember that feminization is not fool-proof. Feminized seeds may still occasionally produce male plants, so be on the lookout to ensure an overlooked male plant doesn’t pollinate your entire crop.
What Are Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds?
Most cannabis plants are photoperiod, meaning that they require specific light cycles to transition from their vegetative stage to their flowering stage. This is done either by seasonal outdoor planting (typically starting around April) or through artificial light manipulation indoors.
However, autoflowering seeds will move to their flowering stage upon maturity, regardless of the light cycle. Autoflowering seeds come from a rare strain of cannabis called cannabis ruderalis, which evolved in northern climates with long summer days. Ruderalis plants typically have lower cannabinoid percentages, so most autoflowering seeds are crossed with a conventional sativa or indica strain.
Autoflowering seeds generally produce smaller plants that have lower total yields, but for some cultivators, this is outweighed by the benefit of reliable harvest times and the ability to grow outdoors year-round.
How To Germinate Seeds
Regardless of whether a cultivator uses regular, feminized, or autoflowering seeds, cannabis seeds need to be germinated before planting.
Seed germination refers to the process by which a seed sprouts. For many plants, seeds will germinate after being planted. However, germinating cannabis seeds requires a special approach since the seeds are so fragile.
There are several ways to germinate weed seeds. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is by placing your seeds between two moist paper towels and letting them sit in a warm location for a few days. You’ll know the seed is ready once it sprouts a white tail.
What Are Cannabis Clones
Not all commercial cannabis plants come from seeds. Sometimes, cultivators can create a clone.
It starts by taking a clipping from an existing cannabis plant. Then, that plant is transplanted into new soil, where it can take root and create an entirely new plant. Plants that are grown in this method will be genetically identical to the original plant that it was clipped from. Not only does cloning plants help save money on seeds, but it also allows cultivators to replicate desirable genetic profiles more consistently.
Tips For How To Grow Marijuana
Once you’ve selected the seeds that will best fit your operation, following these four tips can help maximize yields and better your chances for a successful harvest.
A Guide to Different Types of Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis seeds are a huge part of the legal marijuana industry, and for any collector starting out, there’s a lot of knowledge to pick up. On the market today, there are various different types of seeds that have their own backgrounds and distinctive qualities.
You may have heard of feminized seeds or seeds bred to have certain genetic qualities, but what does this mean in real terms of the product? Here’s a spotlight on feminized seeds, autoflowering seeds and regular seeds.
Feminized cannabis seeds have been bred by top brands over the last generation to have no male parts and when grown, create a 95%-plus female yield. In recent years, these have become a really stable option and have a range of benefits. Investing in feminized options means that you can germinate more plants in the same sized space as the male plants are no longer taking up room; male plants do not produce bud and are typically destroyed to make way for more female plants.
Created through genetic selection over many crops, feminized plants produce their own resinous buds and do not need pollinating. They also don’t require specific temperatures and lights, as you might expect. In essence, as man has intervened, they’ve been made easier to grow as they’re a hybrid — taking only the best elements available through nature.
If you have limited space or simply don’t want to waste time with male plants, these cannabis seeds are a good choice; all the results with none of the hassle. They are also known for growing faster and producing bud with higher levels of active cannabinoids.
Similar to feminized seeds, autoflowering strains are easier to grow than regular seeds because they don’t require such specific light and temperature environments and can even mature in as quickly as 10 weeks. Their unique appeal comes from their ability to automatically flower and shifting from a vegetative state over time and with age. Although they aren’t all female, they also don’t require any removal of male plants so can also be considered a low maintenance option (however, you may also want to remove male autos to be on the safe side). Another distinctive quality is that autoflowering plants are normally shorter in height.
Autoflowering examples are also a lot older than their feminine counterparts and have existed in some form for thousands of years. Typically quite low in strength, breeders have increased the active agents with genetic selection so they are now as strong and potent as regular seeds.
Regular seeds, standard seeds or perhaps even the seeds that started it all; before feminized and autoflowering were developed, you just had regular seeds which were roughly 50% male and 50% female. As a result, the yield was also 50/50 so double the work was needed to get the same amount of marijuana.
For experienced cannabis seed collectors, regular seeds are a more authentic approach but if you’ve never used them, it’s best to go straight in with feminized seeds as they’re more straightforward and rewarding. Regular seeds require more attention and care in terms of lighting and temperature, and of course time must be invested in removing the male plants and cultivating the female instead.
Perhaps a good exercise in learning about marijuana and trialing germination skills, they’re not for the faint-hearted but are a more natural option where you earn every bud with hard graft.