Starting a cannabis farm requires a lot of planning. Not only do you have to plan, but you also require a great deal of determination to see your plant through the seedling, vegetative and flowering stages. Well, don't be scared. You can get your desired plant yield on your first trial if you have just the right information. Over the last few years, many people have started cannabis cultivation. In 2019 alone, the global cannabis cultivation market was estimated to be worth about $123.9 billion. From 2020 to 2027, this value is expected to grow consistently at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3%. This translates to more cannabis cultivation operations and the commercialization of weed products.
Regardless of your purpose for cannabis cultivation, there are steps to follow in cannabis farming. It all starts with selecting the right seed to grow. As one of the oldest plants ever cultivated by man, cannabis has survived centuries of history. Today, there are over 700 strains of cannabis developed through several years of plant study and in-breeding projects. However, all these strains belong to one of the three different types of cannabis seeds categories –regular, auto-flowering, and feminized. Therefore, your first decision as a new cannabis farmer will be to select the right type of seed for you. Making this decision requires a lot of consideration and comparison.
This review has compiled a guide explaining the different cannabis available today and why you should consider planting them.
1. Regular cannabis seeds
Regular cannabis seeds are the standard, non-engineered seeds. These seeds have equal chances of emerging into a female or a male cannabis plant. They are not optimized in any way or modified to influence the yield or character of the plant they develop into. Since they can produce male cannabis plants, regular seeds are popular among cannabis farmers who develop new cannabis strains. Pollen produced from the male seeds fertilizes a predetermined female flower, giving birth to a new generation of seeds.
With regular seeds, anything goes. The plant yield and character may be very different across a similar family. They can also exist as Indica-dominant types, Sativa-Dominant types, or in high CBD and high THC variants. The regular cannabis seed has genetics traced back to landrace ancestors first cultivated in the mountains of India to the beaches of Jamaica. Many experienced cannabis farmers have also attempted to get improved regular strains from two other regular strains. When these attempts succeed, the new strain expresses the qualities of the parent strains.
Do you think regular cannabis seeds will be perfect for your planting operation? It all depends on what you want. If you desire to have a farm full of both male and female cannabis seeds, then planting regular cannabis seeds is your best bet. With your garden full of both sexes, you can experiment and create your strains. But, of course, farming cannabis doesn't have to be boring, even for a novice.
Combining these plants can give you customized varieties with unique traits. You can then proceed to develop only the strain with the trait you desire. Many commercial cannabis formers take cuttings from their plant. Suppose your plan to do this; growing out regular cannabis seeds is also your best bet. By cloning your plants, you skip the germination phase to produce fully viable clones of your regular cannabis plant. You might require help with this, though.
Should you plant regular cannabis seeds?
There exist no definite answers to this single question. It all depends on your target for planting the seeds and their compatibility with your planting operation. One of the biggest advantages of planting regular cannabis seeds is that you can produce many strains without specialized experience in cannabis farming. The processes involved in regular cannabis seeds cultivation are relatively compared with feminized and auto-flowering seeds. Since there is also an equal chance of producing both male and female plants, you can have a large repository of different strains, with both modern and classic genetics on the same piece of land. Ever heard of a pollen bank? You can also create one using your male plant population.
As you might expect, there are also many cons to growing regular seeds. These include misidentifying the sexes. The planting operation can also be very unpredictable as your seeds do not carry any genetic engineering to help through the different growth stages. The yield ratio and plant output rate can also be very unpredictable. You might also have to construct separate grow tents for both sexes. The accidental addition of a male plant in the female grow room might result in fertilization of the female flowers.
2. Feminized cannabis seeds
As the name suggests, feminized cannabis seeds were created to increase the chances of growing only females. By planting feminized seeds, you get a female plant 99.9 percent of the time. The possibility of germinating a male plant is almost eliminated. That means no pollen sacs but many flowers. To start with, feminized genetics is made by crossing one female plant with another. The fertilized female produces a generation of feminized seeds. How is that even possible? How can female cannabis plants produce pollen sacs needed to fertilize another female plant? The answer lies in plant genetic engineering.
To force a female plant to produce pollen, breeders use many methods. One involves stopping the production of ethylene in the plant tissues, forcing the female plant to produce pollen sacs. Various chemical agents, including colloidal silver, are used as catalysts for the process. Occasionally, female plants can also flip, relying on nature’s undying desire to procreate and produce oddly-shaped pollen sacs.
Although genetically engineered, feminized seeds also require adequate care during the different stages of growth. So, you need to learn a few proven growth strategies to help you through the growing stages. You should know that female cannabis plants prevented from fertilization will also produce flowers without seeds. Many marijuana users prefer a seedless cannabis flower.
If you prefer to see flowers on your cannabis plant and not pollen sacs, then feminized cannabis seeds are for you. Many farmers commercially grow cannabis strains for their flowers too. You will also have to learn how to deal with cannabis odor since you will have a room full of flowers. If you like to grow cannabis as a hobby, feminized seeds will help you save time too. You will save yourself the energy and time needed to sift males out of your growing space.
Why should you grow feminized cannabis seeds?
For starters, the equal chance of producing both sexes as with regular seeds is eliminated. You are guaranteed a grow room full of genetically engineered female cannabis plants. In addition to being cost-effective, you will also get big resinous buds and save time on many tendering processes. However, it is not always exactly smooth for farmers to plant only feminized seeds. Although the yield and output can be predictable, the plants can sometimes into hermaphrodites as a result of bad genetics or environmental stress. Feminized plants are also not suitable for breeding purposes. You get less viable clones, so in most cases, you can only start from the seed.
3. Autoflower cannabis seeds
These types of cannabis seeds can automatically transition into the flowering stage without any changes to their light cycle. Compared to other cannabis seeds, auto-flower seeds can properly move from germination to harvest with little or no external assistance. They are easy to grow, tend, and do not require the same level of complexity as regular or feminized seeds. Auto-flowering cannabis seeds are produced by using Cannabis ruderalis genetics.
This subspecies has the auto-flowering trait and adapt perfectly to the shorter growing seasons and extreme weather conditions of Central Asia and Russia. Instead of waiting on a change in light exposure to flowers, plants with the ruderalis genetics simply depend on age and time. Breeders find it exciting to work with auto-flowering strains, combining these genetics with other subspecies to create a new generation with desired qualities.
Auto-flowering seeds grow within a short period, making it possible to harvest a cache of cannabis in a very short time. If you are experimenting with cannabis cultivation and don’t mind spending extra cash on getting seeds, then auto-flowering seeds are made for you. You can set up a grow room in no time and take down your growing operation within a small window. If you only have a small growing space, auto-flowering seeds produce a short plant that fits right into small enclosures. This explains why discreet cannabis farmers choose to plant auto-flowering seeds. They grow fast into short plants and can be concealed outdoors with other regular plants.
Why should you grow auto-flowering cannabis seeds?
There are many reasons you should consider growing auto-flowering seeds. They are compact, require little space, and smoothly transition into the flowering stage. These qualities make auto-flowering seeds suitable for guerilla growing and beginner-friendly. In addition to all these, they are also higher in CBD. If you grow a room full of high CBD plants, you are sure to get more investment returns as they are heavily in demand for medical CBD. However, the auto-flowering plant produces less THC and is not as potent as other seeds. They are difficult to clone and can sometimes give a lower yield.
So, what do you think?
There are many pros and cons to growing the three types of cannabis seeds. You have to consider their compatibility profile and check if they fit right into your growing operations. You can get an improved yield on these seeds if you understand how to fertilize cannabis plants and the growth requirements needed. You can also check our seed bank for improved cannabis seeds that are easy to grow and give a high harvest yield.