By The 420 Gardener at Island Herbz
Cannabis seeds are the foundation of any successful cannabis cultivation. However, not all cannabis seeds are the same. They come in different varieties that have different characteristics and effects on the growth, yield, and quality of the cannabis plants and buds.
In this article, we will compare and contrast four types of cannabis seeds: photo period, auto flowering, feminized, and regular. We will explain what each type means, how they are produced, and what are their pros and cons for growers. We will also provide some tips on how to choose the best type of seed for your needs and preferences.
What are Photo Period Cannabis Seeds?
Photo period cannabis seeds are the most common and traditional type of cannabis seeds. They produce plants that depend on the amount and duration of light they receive to start flowering. This means that they need a specific light cycle to switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage.
The vegetative stage is when the plant grows in size and develops leaves, stems, and branches. The plant uses light as its main source of energy to perform photosynthesis, which converts carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen. The plant also uses light to regulate its hormones, which control its growth and development.
The flowering stage is when the plant produces buds, which are the resinous flowers that contain cannabinoids and terpenes, the compounds that give cannabis its effects and aroma. The plant uses darkness as its main trigger to start flowering, as it senses that the seasons are changing from summer to autumn, when the days get shorter and the nights get longer. The plant also uses darkness to produce ethylene, a hormone that stimulates bud formation and maturation.
Photo period cannabis plants need at least 18 hours of light per day during the vegetative stage to grow healthy and strong. They can stay in this stage for as long as the grower wants, depending on the desired size and shape of the plant. The grower can also use various techniques to train, prune, or clone the plant to optimize its yield and quality.
To induce flowering, photo period cannabis plants need 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness per day. This mimics the natural change of seasons from summer to autumn, when the days get shorter and the nights get longer. This signals to the plant that it is time to produce buds before winter comes.
Photo period cannabis plants usually take at least four months from seed to harvest, depending on the strain and the growing conditions. They can produce multiple harvests per year if grown indoors with artificial lighting, or one harvest per year if grown outdoors with natural light.
What are Auto Flowering Cannabis Seeds?
Auto flowering cannabis seeds are a relatively new type of cannabis seeds that have become very popular in recent years. They produce plants that do not depend on light cycles to start flowering. This means that they flower automatically when they reach a certain age or size, regardless of the amount or duration of light they receive.
Auto flowering cannabis seeds are created by crossing regular indica or sativa strains with ruderalis strains. Ruderalis is a subspecies of cannabis that originates from cold regions such as Siberia and Central/Eastern Europe. Ruderalis plants have adapted to harsh climates by developing the ability to flower automatically without waiting for seasonal changes.
Ruderalis plants have low THC levels and high CBD levels, which make them less psychoactive and more medicinal than indica or sativa plants. They also have a short stature and a fast life cycle, which make them ideal for stealth growing and quick harvesting.
Auto flowering cannabis plants usually start flowering after 2-4 weeks of growth, and finish flowering after 6-10 weeks. They have a short life cycle of around two months from seed to harvest. They can flower under any light schedule, even 24 hours of light per day.
Auto flowering cannabis plants inherit some traits from their ruderalis parent, such as low THC levels, high CBD levels, short stature, and fast life cycle. However, they also inherit some traits from their indica or sativa parent, such as potency, flavor, aroma, and appearance.
What are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?
Feminized cannabis seeds are cannabis seeds that produce only female plants (or about 99.9% female). They are created by inducing female plants to produce male pollen sacs that contain only female chromosomes, and then using this pollen to fertilize other female plants.
Female cannabis plants are the ones that produce buds, while male cannabis plants only produce pollen sacs that can pollinate female plants and cause them to produce seeds instead of buds. Therefore, most growers prefer female plants over male plants, as they want a bud-producing crop without seeds.
Feminized cannabis seeds eliminate the need for growers to identify or remove male plants from their crop, which can be difficult and risky. This saves time, space, and resources, and ensures a sinsemilla (seedless) harvest of potent buds.
Feminized cannabis seeds are usually more expensive than regular seeds due to the special breeding process they undergo. They also have less genetic diversity and stability than regular seeds due to their lack of male chromosomes.
Feminized cannabis seeds are created by using one of the following methods:
- Silver thiosulfate solution (STS): This is a chemical solution that is sprayed on female plants to block their ethylene production, which causes them to produce male pollen sacs instead of female flowers. The pollen from these sacs is then collected and used to pollinate other female plants, resulting in feminized seeds.
- Colloidal silver: This is a suspension of silver particles in water that is sprayed on female plants to inhibit their ethylene production, which causes them to produce male pollen sacs instead of female flowers. The pollen from these sacs is then collected and used to pollinate other female plants, resulting in feminized seeds.
- Rodelization: This is a natural method that involves stressing female plants by leaving them in the flowering stage for longer than usual, which causes them to produce male pollen sacs as a last resort to reproduce. The pollen from these sacs is then collected and used to pollinate other female plants, resulting in feminized seeds.
What are Regular Cannabis Seeds?
Regular cannabis seeds are cannabis seeds that produce a mix of male and female plants (about 50/50). They are created by allowing male plants to pollinate female plants naturally or artificially.
Regular cannabis seeds require growers to identify or remove male plants from their crop before they release pollen, which can pollinate female plants and cause them to produce seeds instead of buds. This adds time, space, and resources, and increases the chance of accidental pollination and seed production in female plants.
However, regular cannabis seeds also have some advantages over feminized seeds. They have more genetic diversity and stability than feminized seeds due to their full complement of chromosomes. They also allow growers to breed their own strains or preserve the genetic diversity of cannabis by selecting and crossing the best male and female plants.
Regular cannabis seeds are usually cheaper than feminized seeds due to their natural production process. They also have more natural and original traits than feminized seeds due to their pure indica or sativa genetics.
Regular cannabis seeds are created by using one of the following methods:
- Open pollination: This is a natural method that involves allowing male and female plants to grow together and pollinate each other randomly. This results in regular seeds that have a wide range of genetic variation and unpredictability.
- Controlled pollination: This is an artificial method that involves isolating male and female plants and selectively pollinating them with a desired pollen source. This results in regular seeds that have a narrow range of genetic variation and predictability.
How to Choose the Best Type of Cannabis Seed for You?
There is no definitive answer to which type of cannabis seed is better, as it depends on your preferences, goals, and experience as a grower. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best type of seed for you:
- Growing: If you want a simple and easy growing process, you may prefer auto flowering or feminized seeds, as they do not require any changes in light cycles or special techniques. They are ideal for beginners or stealth growers who want a fast and easy harvest. If you want more control and flexibility over the size and shape of your plants, you may prefer photo period or regular seeds, as they allow you to manipulate the light cycles and use various techniques. They are ideal for experienced or adventurous growers who want to customize their crop.
- Yield: If you want a bigger yield, you may prefer photo period or feminized seeds, as they ensure that all plants are female and produce buds. They also allow you to maximize your growing space and resources by avoiding male plants that would otherwise take up room and consume nutrients without producing buds. They are ideal for commercial or personal growers who want a large quantity of buds. If you want a faster yield, you may prefer auto flowering seeds, as they have a short life cycle and can flower under any light schedule. They are ideal for impatient or seasonal growers who want a quick turnaround of buds.
- Potency: If you want a higher potency, you may prefer photo period or regular seeds, as they have more time to develop resinous flowers that are rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. They also have more genetic diversity and stability, as they are derived from pure indica and sativa strains. They are ideal for connoisseur or medicinal growers who want a high quality of buds. If you want a lower potency, you may prefer auto flowering or feminized seeds, as they have less time to produce resinous flowers. They also have less genetic diversity and stability, as they are derived from crossing indica and sat
We hope this article has helped you understand the differences between photo period seeds and auto flowering cannabis seeds, as well as feminized and regular seeds. Each type of seed has its own advantages and disadvantages for growers, depending on their preferences, goals, and experience. The best way to find out which type of seed suits you best is to try them out for yourself and see the results.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at Island Herbz. We are always happy to help you with your cannabis needs.