Cannabis is a very complex plant that produces hundreds of different cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds that make each strain unique. The ratio of these chemical compounds varies among strains, and there are hundreds of various cultivars on the market. Knowing which cannabis seed type and strain to choose for your grow just takes practice and learning what type of strain you like the best.
There are basically three categories of marijuana seed types; regular seeds, feminized seeds, and autoflower seeds. Regular seeds produce both male and female plants, whereas feminized seeds always produce female plants (99.9% of the time), and autoflowers can produce male or female, but when bought from a seed bank are generally always female plants as well. Female plants are what you want unless you are an experienced or commercial cultivator. Only female plants produce nice big buds with high concentrations of cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Most growers must choose between growing with either feminized or autoflowering seeds. Both options have their unique advantages and disadvantages, and understanding the differences between them is essential for a successful and rewarding growing experience.
Photoperiod cannabis seeds require a specific light cycle to transition from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage. In nature, cannabis plants begin flowering when the days start to shorten during the fall season. Indoor growers can mimic this natural transition by reducing the light exposure to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Photoperiod plants usually take longer to grow, with an average flowering time of 8 to 12 weeks.
Advantages of Photoperiod Seeds
- Full Control – with photoperiod seeds, growers have full control over the vegetative stage. This control allows them to shape the plants according to their preferences through techniques such as topping, pruning, and training.
- Phenotype Selection – photoperiod strains often exhibit a wider range of phenotypes compared to autoflowering strains, providing growers with a diverse selection to choose from.
- Higher Yields – given the ability to control the vegetative phase, photoperiod plants tend to produce larger yields compared to autoflowering varieties.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are a relatively newer innovation in the cannabis cultivation world. Unlike photoperiod seeds, autoflowering plants transition from the vegetative stage to flowering automatically based on age, rather than a specific light cycle. Typically, autoflowering plants will start flowering after 2 to 4 weeks, regardless of the light cycle they receive. This feature makes them ideal for beginners or those who prefer a more straightforward growing process.
Advantages of Autoflowering Seeds
- Quick Turnaround -:autoflowering seeds have a significantly shorter life cycle, from seed to harvest, ranging from 8 to 10 weeks on average. This quick turnaround makes them perfect for growers seeking multiple harvests within a single growing season.
- Discreteness – due to their compact size and short growth period, autoflowering plants are well-suited for growers with limited space or those seeking a more discreet cultivation process.
- Light Flexibility – autoflowering plants do not rely on specific light schedules to initiate flowering. This flexibility allows growers to use 18-24 hours of light during the entire growth cycle, potentially resulting in faster growth rates.
The choice between photoperiod and autoflowering seeds ultimately depends on the specific needs and preferences of the grower. Photoperiod seeds offer more control over plant development and tend to produce higher yields, making them a favorite among experienced cultivators. On the other hand, autoflowering seeds are more beginner-friendly, provide quicker harvests, and can be grown with more flexibility in terms of lighting schedules.
Before deciding which type of seeds to use, consider factors such as your available space, desired yields, your experience level, and the number of harvests you would like to achieve in a year. Both types of seeds have their advantages, and with the right approach, you can achieve successful cannabis cultivation regardless of your choice.
As you get more familiar with growing different types of seeds, you can further your research and explore different strains within each category to find the perfect match for your cannabis growing journey. Always start your grow with quality cannabis seeds from The Seed Cellar.
The Seed Cellar is one of the largest online weed seed banks and features a brick-and-mortar storefront in Michigan with live telephone support. We can help you choose the best weed seeds online and find the best autoflowering or photoperiod seeds for you. Check out The Seed Cellar today for a wide selection of all pot seeds online in regular, feminized, and autoflower strains.