If you are a complete beginner, before you even buy any marijuana seeds, let alone plant them, you need to understand the different types of weed seeds and their characteristics. There a three main types of marijuana seed, regular, feminised and autoflowering, each of these will then fall into a sub type, Indica or Sativa but can also be a hybrid of the two. Each strain will give you a very different plant so it is important that you know the differences and have decided what you want to get from your grow before you purchase any seeds with your hard earned cash.
Regular cannabis seeds
All seeds in nature will grow to become regular seeds, when a regular seed is planted it will either grow into a male or a female plant. Put simply males produce pollen sacks and females produce the bud that we use to smoke. With regular seeds you have on average a 50/50 chance of getting a male or female plant, therefore if you grow ten regular seeds, you’ve guessed it, you are likely to get around five female plants and five male plants. Now remember if you want to grow a nice bushy plant with lots of smokeable bud you DO NOT want a male plant growing along side your lovely ladies. This can lead to pollination of the female plants and cause them to hermie meaning your grow is basically ruined. So if you are going to grow with regular seeds make sure you read how to spot the early signs of a female and a male plant and also when you need to start checking for the first signs.
Feminised cannabis seeds
Feminised seeds look exactly the same as regular seeds, however they have gone through an artificial process (usually being spayed with colloidal silver) to make them produce a female plant. With feminised seeds you will grow a female plant 99% of the time, which means you no longer need to worry about spotting the signs of a male or worry about having your crop potentially ruined. Typically feminised seeds will be a lot more expensive, however if you are a beginner or simply don’t want the worry of frequently checking for male plants then feminised seeds are the way forward. On the other hand if you want to do things the organic way or maybe fancy trying your hand at breeding then regular seeds may be right for you.
Autoflower weed seeds
Autoflowering seeds come from the Ruderalis family, unlike regular and feminised seeds that require a change in their light cycle to begin flowering, flower automatically. The reason for this is that autoflowering varieties have been crossed with a ruderalis. Ruderalis is a type of marijuana plant that in its original environment grew in very harsh environments such as Siberia and Russia where days are much shorter. Therefore to cope with the shorter days the plant begins to flower automatically once it is around 20-30 days old. Lots of beginners prefer autoflowering strains for this exact reason and the fact that because they flower much earlier they can be ready from seed to harvest within as little as 6.5 weeks.
You may be reading this thinking why doesn’t everyone just grow autos? Well they do come with their drawbacks, remember nothing comes that easy. Firstly Ruderalis plants were typically very short stocky plants and do not have very big yields, therefore anything that is crossed with it is likely to also carry these traits, hence why autoflowering strains are smaller, yield less and they are also much lower in THC than their normal Sativa and Indica relatives. However that being said if you are looking for a fast, easy grow and you willing to sacrifice a little on the yield and THC percentage then auto’s maybe the right choice for you.
Characteristically indica strains are shorter and bushier with fat leaves and will typically grow somewhere between 3-4 feet tall, lots of people growing indoors may prefer indicas because they find it easier to maintain a short plant with limited room. Typically the high produced from an Indica is a very relaxing and heavy body stoned feeling, what some describe as a ‘couch lock’ high. It is because of the hard hitting sedative effect of Indica strains that they are often used by people suffering from insomnia or looking for pain relief. Some of the most famous Indica dominant strains that you are likely to have heard of are Aurora Indica, White Widow, Northern Lights and Girl Scout Cookies to name but a few.
Sativa’s are much taller and thinner with much longer leaves and tend to have long branches that grow almost straight up, outdoors they can grow an impressive 25 feet. The high you will get from a Sativa will be much more uplifting and energetic than that of an Indica and is often described by people as giving them a creative cerebral buzz, which is why musicians and artists have often come up with their best work while smoking Sativas. Sativas are often chosen by people that prefer to be active while high and so is more commonly smoked by people during the daytime. Some well known Sativa strains you may have heard of are AK47, G13 Haze and Amnesia Haze.
Not all strains are classed as a Sativa or Indica, there are also plenty of hybrids which are a mixture of the two, this is the result of crossbreeding an Indica with a Sativa. Most strains you will buy from online seedbanks will be hybrids, it simply means they contain both Indica and Sativa genetics and usually there will be a graph of some sort or an explanation showing the percentage of each type. Hyrbids make great strains as they offer the best of both worlds, I personally don’t like heavy Indicas but I do like hybrids that are around 60% Sativa 40% Indica and so contain some of the Indica effects but also the uplifting high of a Sativa. One important thing to note if you purchase a hybrid strain is that the plants produced can vary quite a lot with their characteristics. This is due to the fact that it holds both Sativa and Indica genetics so from 10 plants it is possible that you will have 7 with the Sativa dominant genes and 3 that are slightly shorter and bushier that will contain more of the Indica traits.
Hopefully if you are a beginner and looking at purchasing some seeds online you have found this article useful and now feel a little more confident about exploring the world of cannabis. Please bear in mind that I have only touched on the very basics of understanding the different types of cannabis seeds here for complete beginners, so if you would like to expand your knowledge of this subject have a read of my other articles that will go a little more in depth on marijuana seeds and how to grow them.