If you’ve decided to grow indoor cannabis from seed this year, one of the first choices you’ll need to make, along with whether to grow in soil or a hydro system, is among different types of seeds. While during prohibition, growing from seed usually meant using whatever bag seeds you were able to scrounge, legalization has brought a wealth of choices when it comes to starting your marijuana garden. Not only can you select a strain that has specific qualities to suit your individual taste, but you can also choose seeds that produce mostly female plants or plants that flower without having to maintain a particular light/dark cycle. Here are some things to consider when you start shopping for cannabis seeds.
What are you looking for in a strain?
This is one of the first questions you should ask yourself. Do you want a strain that has specific medicinal benefits? If so, do some research to find out what strains, cannabinoids, and/or terpenes other patients with similar conditions or symptoms have found helpful. Leafly provides a convenient tool that you can use to begin your search, and ailment-specific patient forums can be excellent sources of information, giving you input directly from patients with needs similar to your own. Generally speaking, however, many patients favor high-CBD strains (either with or without significant THC levels) for a wide range of therapeutic properties.
For adult users without specific medical needs, strain selection is more a matter of personal preference. If you’re an experienced marijuana user, you probably have some idea of what makes a strain stand out in your mind. Do you prefer particular flavors or fragrances? Do you like an energetic, cerebral high or a mellow body buzz? If you buy marijuana from a dispensary, what varieties typically attract you? Are you someone who appreciates the purity of landrace strains, or do you like to try the latest and greatest hybrids? Do you have an indica or sativa preference? Whatever your priorities, make sure that whatever seeds you choose match them. If all goes well, you’ll have LOTS of this bud, so select strains that you’ll love!
Regular, Feminized, or Autoflowering Seeds?
Depending on what is available in your area, you may be able to choose among regular, feminized, and autoflowering seeds. Each type has its own advantages and drawbacks, and which is best for you will depend on your experience, growing environment, and personal preferences.
Regular seeds, as you may guess, are the most common. These are what the vast majority of female plants will naturally produce when pollinated. When you plant regular seeds, you can expect approximately half of your seedlings to be male and half to be female. This means that it’s very important to keep an eye out for the first signs of sexual differentiation so you can pull the male plants and prevent them from filling your buds with seed. Regular seeds are widely available and are less expensive to buy than feminized or autoflowering seeds. Some growers also believe them to be heartier than feminized seeds and less likely to become hermaphroditic.
Subjecting female plants to particular types of stress can cause them to become create their own (male) pollen in a frantic effort to reproduce. The seeds that these hermaphroditic plants produce are overwhelmingly female. Cannabis breeders have refined this practice in order to produce feminized seeds, which will produce nearly all female plants. You can occasionally get a male or a hermaphrodite from a feminized seed, however, so you’ll still need to keep a watchful eye out once flowering begins.
Contrary to popular belief, autoflowering seeds are not actually a particular type of seed; they are the seed of a particular type of hybrid. Cannabis ruderalis is a Russian variety of marijuana that is distinct from the more widely known indicas and sativas. To survive in the short Russian summers, ruderalis evolved a short growth cycle – around 10-14 weeks from germination to maturity. Rather than being signaled by photoperiod (the amount of daylight vs. darkness the plant receives), ruderalis varieties automatically begin to flower after 5-7 weeks of growth. As a result of this quick life cycle, however, autoflowering plants remain relatively small, reaching only 1 to 2 feet in height. This can be ideal in small indoor grow spaces, however, and outdoors, it’s possible to get two crops per growing season out of these fast-maturing plants.
Nature’s Gift Shop in Pueblo West carries a variety of regular seeds from Rezen8. Click here to check out our current selection. While you’re waiting for you own harvest to be ready, stop by and check out our stock of quality buds. Click the button below, and receive a coupon for a 4-gram eighth. That’s a free half gram of any bud in the store when you buy an eighth!
Image: By Jorge Barrios (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMarijuana_seeds.jpghttp://www.cannabistutorials.com/weed-seeds-feminized-seeds-vs-autoflowering-seeds-vs-regular-seeds/