Cannabis seeds are available in four primary categories: regular, feminized, autoflowering, and CBD. Each type features its own unique advantages and disadvantages and appeals to different cultivators depending on their goals.
So from a seed you either got a male or a female plant. But most growers grow cannabis to harvest the buds which they can smoke, so they’re mainly interested in the female plants. For this reason feminized seeds have been created. First of all you need to know what type of seed to use for your crop. Autoflowering? Regular? Feminised? CBD-rich? Like with everything, there are no better or worse options, but rather it depends on your needs and circumstances. Taking into account your level of knowledge, where you live or the purposes of your crop, you will be better off with one type or another. Below we explain the pros and cons of each type of seed, so that you can make the best decision.
Regular genetics are completely natural. They are the result of how cannabis emerged in nature. There’s no tampering or tweaking involved.
Purebred regular genetics stem all the way back to landrace ancestors found all over the world, from the mountains of India to the beaches of Jamaica.
In its natural state, the marijuana plant is dioecious, that is, there are male and female specimens that breed among each other to create new specimens. Regular seeds are seeds that produce both male and female plants, where the grower has no control over their sex.
Although in recent years the proportion of users who choose this type of seed has fallen considerably, regular marijuana seeds continue to be the preferred option for some old-school growers, who wish to respect the nature of the plant in all aspects and, of course, by those who wish to make their own seeds.
Breeders have also created regular hybrids by combining the genetics of two different subspecies. This results in a progeny that expresses the traits of both parent strains.
– Breeding: Regular seeds make it possible to breed the plants making seeds with the males and females that emerge from a batch of regular seeds.
– Limited yield: The problem with regular seeds is that you do not have any control over the sex of the plants, meaning that after a month and a half of caring for them you may find that you have to get rid of half of your plants because they are males, thus reducing by half the potential yield of the crop.
If you want an even mix of male and female plants, then regular cannabis seeds are for you. Having both sexes at your disposal will enable you to create your own strains.
Feminized genetics are made by essentially crossing one female with another. Breeders use two techniques to force female plants to produce pollen. They then fertilise another female, whose flowers produce a generation of feminized seeds.
Feminised seeds emerged in the late 90s as a response to the need to grow seeds that guaranteed the development of female plants. At the beginning this type of seed produced cannabis plants with certain quality problems and instability, with plants that sometimes suffered from hermaphroditism. However, over the years feminised seeds have achieved extremely high levels of quality, as regards yield, effects or flavour, to the point that they have relegated regular seeds to a mere 10% market share.
– Cost effectiveness: Feminised marijuana seeds guarantee 100% female crops. That is, all the effort and care you invest in the plants will be rewarded because there will be no male specimens to discard.
– As they do not allow the development of male plants, feminised seeds are not the appropriate choice if your aim is to produce seeds.
If you want nothing but resinous flowers from your grow, then feminized seeds are for you.
After feminised seeds, starting in approximately 2008 autoflowering seeds, also known as automatic seeds, made their arrival. As the name indicates, they flower in a shorter period of time and require less care than regular or feminised seeds. Autoflowering marijuana seeds emerged as the ideal choice for less experienced growers, but as their quality parameters have gradually equalled their non-autoflowering cousins in aroma, flavour and effects, they have become a valid alternative for the most demanding growers. In case you were wondering, yes, the autoflowering seeds are also feminised.
– Speed: Without a doubt, the big advantage of autoflowering seeds is the speed with which they develop. The flowering periods change depending on the variety, but with any automatic variety you know that in two and a half months tops your plants will be harvested.
– Manageability: Although the differences in quality of autoflowering plants in comparison to the rest of the feminised plants are increasingly fewer, most of the automatic varieties are smaller in size, not only requiring simpler maintenance, but they are also ideal for discreet crops, on balconies or terraces. If your idea is to have a manageable marijuana plant, camouflaged among the flowers and pots on your terrace, autoflowering seeds are, without a doubt, your option.
– Ease: Autoflowering seeds are, in general, easier to grow, both indoors and outdoors. In indoor gardens it is not necessary to change the photoperiod, as the plants themselves change from the growth period to the flowering period by themselves. That is, regardless of the hours of light they receive, they will develop buds.
– Yield: As they are smaller in size, autoflowering cannabis seeds have the inconvenience of a smaller yield per plant.
You’ll benefit from autoflowering seeds if you want a harvest as soon as physically possible. Maybe you want to boost turnover, or set up and take down your growing operation within a small window of time.
You have probably heard a lot lately about CBD, the cannabinoid in vogue. CBD is present in some marijuana plants and, in addition to having many therapeutic qualities, it counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. Therefore, CBD-rich varieties of marijuana cannot only help people who suffer from insomnia, stress or more serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, but, in addition, it can enable a more sustainable recreational consumption of cannabis compatible with daily activities. As for its cultivation, you can find both feminised and autoflowering varieties rich in CBD.
Reduced psychoactive effect: As it acts as an antagonist of THC, CBD counteracts the psychoactive and side-effects of the former. To make a comparison with alcohol, a variety with high levels of THC would be like drinking spirits, while another rich in CBD would be like drinking a beer.
Therapeutic properties: CBD interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, activating and stimulating our natural response to pain, anxiety, stress, etc. Scientific research has found that CBD can bring many benefits to our body including:
- Reduction of nausea and vomiting
- Suppression of convulsive activity
- It combats psychosis disorders, and there have been studies and clinical trials which indicate that CBD can be effective for treating schizophrenia
- It combats inflammatory disorders
- It combats neurodegenerative disorders
- It combats anxiety and depression disorders
- Fewer side-effects: CBD counteracts the side-effects associated with THC, such as increased appetite, faster heart rate, poorer memory or an altered perception of time, among others.
A reduced psychoactive effect: what may be an advantage for some, can be an inconvenience for others. CBD causes the effects of marijuana to be less intense, much milder, and not everyone is interested in that milder effect.
You’ll love high-CBD genetics if you use cannabis for more therapeutic or holistic purposes. Many users experience great benefits with high-CBD strains, and others see success with strains that offer THC and CBD in equal quantities.
[Updated, originally published 15.09. 2017]
- Give your plants the best start, by purchasing seeds from Zenpype seed store. We are offering a wide range of award winning feminized Sativa, Indica and Autoflowering seeds and we ship worldwide.