Autoflowering seeds have been genetically designed to produce a plant that automatically flowers without you needing to be fully on top of altering the light your plant receives. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
For the last 50 years of cannabis cultivation, crossbreeding has been the name of the game. As a result, there’s virtually no such thing as a pure indica or sativa anymore. Every seed you’ll consider purchasing is probably a hybrid. Classifying a particular cultivar or strain as indica or sativa usually means that its genetic makeup tends more toward one side or the other of the indica-sativa spectrum.
Many cannabis consumers like the idea of growing marijuana on their own — whether it’s recreational weed or medical marijuana. People often find it incredibly rewarding to smoke buds from their own marijuana plants, and many enjoy being able to nurture plants all the way from cannabis seed to final harvest. Growing marijuana can be accomplished by either starting with cannabis clones or by sprouting and planting cannabis seeds.
Finally, autoflowering seeds have more to do with the growth cycle of the marijuana plant than the sex of plants. Many growers consider autoflowers to be the best seed choice because they require less work and flower more quickly. When growing regular, or photoperiod, seeds indoors, you will have to manipulate the light your plant receives in order to trigger the flowering process. But autoflowering seeds have been genetically designed to produce plants that automatically flower based on their age rather than changes in the light, meaning less work for you.
If you live in a state where it is legal to grow weed at home and there are not many restrictions on home cultivation, then you’ll likely be able to buy cannabis seeds directly from your favorite licensed dispensary. In some cases, you may also have the option of buying from a brick-and-mortar or online retailer.
Remember, seeds must be germinated before planting and there is no such thing as an iron-clad germination guarantee. Always plan on a certain percentage of seeds failing to germinate or growing into weak, unviable plants. So plan on purchasing more seeds than you think you will need. As a general guideline, assume that at least 25% of the seeds you plant will, for one reason or another, not make it to harvest. For best results, buy and plant 25% more seeds than the number of mature plants you want to produce.
The difference between male and female seeds is important for growers. To get big harvests of smokable buds, you want only female plants. Male plants, on the other hand, can cause a lot of problems as they will pollinate the female flowers, which makes the buds produce seeds. While some people argue for the usefulness of male cannabis plants, most growers are primarily interested in big, seed-free flowers from female plants.
Seeds can come feminized, meaning you can just put them in soil and start growing for buds. These seeds are guaranteed to be bud-producing females and growing them cuts out the step of having to sex out plants and discard the males.
Navigating the cannabis seed market can be challenging when states have different degrees of legality. This guide will answer your questions on buying seeds so you can be on your way to growing your own cannabis.
If you buy a packet of regular seeds, they’ll come with a mix of males and females. A lot of cultivators prefer to grow these because they haven’t been backcrossed—essentially inbred—as much as feminized or autoflower seeds. You’ll need to sex out the seeds once their reproductive organs show during the flowering phase and discard the males—because they don’t produce buds and will pollenate females, resulting in seeded flowers.
Many world-renowned seed banks are overseas in the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and other countries where cannabis laws are less restricted. Seed banks provide seeds from a variety of different breeders.
Autoflower plants change from the vegetative to flowering state with age, not the changing of their light cycle. They have a short grow-to-harvest time and can be ready to harvest in as little as 2 ½ to 3 months from when you put the seeds in the ground. The downside is that, typically, they are less potent, but autoflower seeds are great for people who want to grow cannabis but don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it.
All of this information should be available to you when buying quality seeds.
Each seed bank will have its spin on the business and may have some specialties. Mix packs of cannabis seeds can be a good way to sample the things they are particularly proud of. It might be a good idea to pick a couple of seed banks and order small amounts from them.
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Crop King can help you find your favorite strain, offering sampler packs focused on different types of strains. That can make it a little easier to sort through their huge catalog.
Avoiding those pitfalls shouldn’t be too difficult. Knowing what you’re looking for is a great first step. Checking out the reputation of online seed banks is also a requirement.
The Lineup At A Glance
While you may not get into legal trouble for receiving cannabis seeds, that doesn’t mean everyone turns a blind eye. For a variety of reasons, it’s usually not a good idea to ship cannabis seeds openly.
Growing cannabis is usually done in one of two broad categories: indoor and outdoor  growing. While having a cannabis garden sounds awesome, growing outside may not always be an option. Growing indoors requires more gear. Both have advantages and disadvantages  .