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 This article compares the pros and cons of the three types of marijuana seeds: regular seeds, feminized seeds, and autoflower seeds. Most novice cultivators get excited about choosing a strain to grow, but it’s also important to know about the different types of cannabis seeds on the market.
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.
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.
Different Types of Cannabis Seeds
Most cannabis connoisseurs pick up their beloved dry herb each week from the local dispensary and don’t think twice about where it came from, or what went into producing it, but home growing has become a popular movement amongst the 420 community in legal states. What typically starts out as a hobby or a way to save money on bud, often leads to an obsession over how to produce the highest quality, best tasting flower around. Cultivating cannabis isn’t easy and will require a lot of time and some knowledge about the plant’s life cycle, water, lighting, and nutrient needs, and building the proper grow setup to ensure an adequate environment. Most novice cultivators get excited about choosing a strain to grow, but it’s also important to know about the different types of cannabis seeds on the market.
3 types of cannabis seeds
The average 420 enthusiast may think that plucking out a seed from the bottom of the baggie is all it takes to grow a cannabis plant, but not all cannabis seeds are the same. There’s a reason that seed banks charge anywhere from just a few dollars to over $40 per seed for top-of-the-line genetics. Cannabis plants are dioecious, which means there are males and females, but only the female plants will produce the potent flower stoners are looking for. There is no way to tell if a cannabis seed is male or female until just before it flowers, so it is always a gamble to use a seed found in a stash. To figure out the sex, cultivators would need to invest in a grow setup and spend time and money on water and energy only to realize the plant is male and won’t produce buds. Though it may cost a little extra, it’s always a better idea to save time and money by purchasing cannabis seeds from a reputable seed bank.
The first step in narrowing down the huge variety of cannabis seeds is actually deciding between regular, feminized, or autoflowering seeds. From there, home growers can decide on a specific strain to try. Let’s take a look at the types of cannabis seeds to choose from.
Regular cannabis seeds
Regular cannabis seeds are completely natural and act as the seeds would in the wild. When purchasing regular cannabis seeds, there is a 50/50 chance that the seeds are female and will flower. Why would anyone want to gamble with their luck? Breeders use pollen from male plants to crossbreed with female plants and create new strains and more diverse genetics. These seeds are available in indica, sativa, high THC, and high CBD. Regular seeds are not recommended for novice home growers or those who are not trying to breed new strains as male and female plants need to be seperated.
Feminized cannabis seeds
The most common type of cannabis seeds are the feminized variety. This is because 99.99% of feminized seeds are females and will create flowers. Breeders invented feminized seeds by forcing female plants to create pollen by blocking the natural production of certain chemicals, then fertilizing the flowers from normal female plants with the female pollen. Feminized cannabis seeds are the most cost-effective since it’s almost guaranteed that the seeds will develop sticky dank buds.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds
The latest innovation to cannabis seeds are autoflowering strains. Cannabis plants begin flowering when there is a change in light. Indoor growers will switch the light schedule when they want their plants to flower. Autoflowering seeds contain Cannabis ruderalis genetics, so the plants will begin to flower on their own based on time rather than a change in light. Generally speaking, autoflowering strains will change from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage at around the two to four week mark. This type of cannabis seed is ideal for true beginners or those who want a fast flowering plant. Autoflowering seeds are designed to be easy to grow, remain relatively small due to their genetics, and don’t require a change in lighting.
Ready to give home growing a try? Visit Everything For 420 for a huge selection of popular indica, sativa, and hybrid feminized and autoflowering cannabis seeds.