Growing Marijuana: Understanding the Different Types of Seeds

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Written by editor

Growing marijuana for the first time can be exciting, but it can also feel intimidating. After all, there are hundreds of different strains out there and just as many seed banks. Instead of trying to cover all of the different types of strains, focus on something a little simpler. Before choosing strains, growers need to choose what type of seeds to buy.

Regular Marijuana Seeds

Regular marijuana seeds are just what they sound like. They’re ordinary seeds for growing marijuana. That doesn’t mean these seeds won’t grow healthy plants that produce amazing pot. It just means they were produced through the ordinary process of pollination and require a full season and the right levels of light to produce a crop

Plant breeders who want to produce regular seeds do so by isolating one female marijuana plant from the rest of the crop, then exposing it to pollen from a male plant of the same strain. The pollen from the male plant induces the production of seeds in the female plant, and those seeds are then sold to future growers. They have a 50/50 chance of producing hemp instead of marijuana plants, but if they were produced by reputable breeders, the plants grown from regular seeds should be true to type.

Feminized Marijuana Seeds

Feminized marijuana seeds are produced using a slightly different process. Instead of allowing a male plant to pollinate a female one, growers can induce female plants to herm out, usually by subjecting them to stressful growing conditions. The female plants then start producing pollen, just like a male plant would, and it can be used to pollinate another female plant. Because the resultant seeds don’t contain any male genetics, the seeds are guaranteed to produce marijuana plants instead of hemp.

Autoflower Marijuana Seeds

Autoflower seeds can be either regular or feminized. What distinguishes them from the other two types already described is that they contain genetics from not just one or more Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plants but also ruderalis genes. Cannabis ruderalis plants contain very little THC, but they do feature a favorable trait.

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While regular and feminized seeds require a full growing season to produce buds, autoflower seeds grow much faster. They don’t need a different light cycle to switch from veg to bud, and they’re usually hardier than photoperiod plants. The tradeoff is that plants grown from autoflower seeds tend to be smaller.

There are two primary reasons a grower might want to purchase autoflower seeds. The first is growing outdoors in an area that has a very short growing season or a harsh climate. The second is growing indoors year-round, at which point the smaller stature of autoflower plants is a benefit rather than a drawback, and it allows growers to harvest multiple crops every year for a steady supply of bud.

The Importance of Buying High-Quality Seeds

Regardless of whether growers want regular, feminized, or autoflower seeds, it’s important to purchase them from a reputable seed bank, not from a random grow shop or, even worse, a local friend who just wound up with some seedy buds. Starting out with high-quality seeds is the only way to wind up with healthy plants that produce heavy yields of THC-rich buds. It’s worth spending a little more money to ensure the season will start off on the right foot.

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About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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