Growing your own cannabis is a rewarding experience in more ways than one, however it isn’t as easy as you might think. The first step is understanding the different types of seeds out there to make sure you choose the right ones for you. In this beginner’s guide, we will be looking at the types of seeds and strains so that you can make an informed decision.
The Types Of Marijuana Seed
There are three main types of marijuana seed, each requiring a different level of care and input from the grower:
Regular Cannabis Seeds
Standard cannabis seeds produce female and male plants as they haven’t been genetically or chemically altered. As a rough guide you should end up with half being female and half being male. While these seeds are simple to grow, they need to have their sex identified early as male plants need to be prevented from ruining the harvest by pollinating the female plants. Be aware, that even if you remove all the male plants, the female ones are still able to become hermaphrodites if there is too much stress placed upon them.
Feminized Cannabis Seeds
This type of seed guarantees that all the plants grown will be female as they have been created via a feminization process – carried out by Rodelization, or by spraying the plants with solutions of Gibberellic acid or Colloidal Silver. Feminized strains are unable to become hermaphrodites as long as they are grown in the right conditions. The great benefit of using feminized strains is that you won’t have to spend time and effort on identifying the plants’ sex and you’ll have a bigger yield overall, however if you want more diversity from your plants, feminized seeds aren’t the best choice since they only have one set of genes.
Auto-Flowering Cannabis Seeds
If you’re looking for an easy way to start growing your own, plants that are grown from an auto-flowering (Ruderalis) seed is a great choice since they need no specific light schedule to encourage them to flower. Auto-flowering varieties automatically enter the flowering cycle as soon as they reach a particular age and come in either regular or feminized versions to suit your requirements. Ideal for beginners who want an easy option which requires little attention, or for those who grow outdoors in the northern climate with its cooler short summers, auto-flowering varieties also flower more quickly enabling you to increase your yield through more harvests every year.
The Different Strains
When growing your own, you don’t only need to think about the type of seeds to plant, you also need to consider the strain you want to cultivate too. There are four main types of strains – Sativa, Indica, Hybrids and Ruderalis, each producing different effects.
An Indica plant will be wide, short and sturdy as well as highly aromatic. Growing to around 3-6 feet in height they are compact and ideal for indoor grow rooms. Their flowering period lasts just 8 to 12 weeks and because this strain contains a higher amount of resin, they’re ideal for making hashish. Indica produces a sleepy, sedating effect and is effective in treating pain and insomnia through its relaxing properties.
Thin and tall, Sativa plants can grow as high as 20 feet making them ideal for outdoor growing. They have a longer flowering period of around 10 to 16 weeks and their buds are loosely packed. Sativa strains make you feel energized, happy and uplifted. They are popular with artists because they boost creativity and are effective as an antidepressant. People who utilise cannabis for medical purposes also report that Sativa strains are excellent for dealing with neuropathic pain, headaches and low mood.
Ruderalis strains aren’t well known and are sometimes considered to be a Sativa subspecies although it has its own properties that sets it apart. Tall and thin, Ruderalis strains have higher CBD levels but low levels of THC and grow quickly. This plant thrives in colder climates. They are commonly used by breeders to produce hardy and strong hybrids and to produce Autoflower varieties of cannabis.
Hybrids are produced when breeders cross different strains of cannabis plant to create a strain that is more intense, more rapid to grow or which produces a bigger yield. The hybrid carries features of its parent strains and the idea of creating hybrids is to produce a perfect plant by combining the features of its parents together. There is an enormous range of hybrids available today with some being sativa dominant and others being Indica dominant and some offering an even mix of the two.
Cannabis has been around for centuries and has been traditionally cultivated for its fibers, as a food and for medicinal and religious purposes. Originally having evolved in Asia, cannabis spread thanks to human efforts, around the planet. Prehistoric people are believed to have spread the seeds around Eurasia around 10,000 years ago.
Between 500 and 2000 years ago it was also spread to Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Between the 16th and 18th centuries it was spread to America and Australia. The term “Land Race strains” refers to the varieties which have been found in specific parts of the world and which have developed features which allow them to adapt to the environment in which they are grown. Usually, land race strains take their name from their native region e.g. Hawaiian, Thai or Afghani, and those names are often found in the names given to the plants which have been produced using these strains in crossbreeding.
Phenotypes And Stability
There are two key elements which influence any cannabis plant’s structural formation – its environment and its genetics. The genetic makeup of the plant, or its genotype, supplies it with its blueprint for its growth, allowing for a spectrum of possibilities in terms of its physicality. The genotype’s physical expression is known as a phenotype i.e. the traits which the environment has caused to be taken from the genetic code of the plant.
Aspects such as its shape, color, resin production and odor are all examples of the phenotype characteristics which have been influenced by the plant’s growing environment. This means that there can be great variation in the quality of a plant produced from the same seed depending on the environment that it is grown in. Some seeds are much more stable and produce much more consistent phenotypes, meaning that less care needs to be taken in replicating an identical growing environment every time to ensure consistency.
Best Seed Banks
If you’re ready to start growing your own, you need to know where to buy your seeds. Here are some of our favorite seed banks. A full list of the best seed banks that ship to the USA can be found here.
Having been established online in 2003, Seedsman is one of the longest established and most trustworthy seed banks anywhere worldwide. Selling their own brands of seeds as well as 1500 different strains from around the world, Seedsman is a great place to find diversity and choice.
To save money on your order we have a page dedicated to Seedsman Coupons Codes
I Love Growing Marijuana
Established by Robert Bergman, an experienced marijuana grower from Amsterdam, I Love Growing Marijuana has been around since 2012 and offers an enormous range of quality seeds of different strains so that you can become an expert grower.
Check out our ILGM Coupons Codes.
Marijuana Seeds NL
Operating out of Europe these online power houses sell a wide selection of land races, regular and feminized seeds. There are a few autoflower varieties in the mix too with their selection getting bigger all the time.
Find out the latest offers and get our exclusive MSNL coupon.