Growing their own weed is something that every stoner aspires to do at some point of time, especially if they are regular stoners. There are a number of guides that you can find on how to grow weed online – including on our website. However, when you first look at it, you will like there’s a lot to do and wonder if you can actually do it yourself. But there’s one thing that we can tell you for sure – when you actually start doing it, its not as daunting a task as it first feels. For new growers, we recommend using autoflowering seeds and this is the reason as to why we are coming out with this article.
Are autoflowering seeds really worth it? There are mixed opinions on them as they seem to have a ‘limited’ potential. In this article, we shall understand in detail what auto-flowering seeds are, who should be using it, what are the pros and cons of using auto-flowering marijuana, where to get these kind of seeds from, as well as other different kinds of marijuana seeds that you might want to try out. We shall also be looking at the lighting aspect of growing weed in detail because honestly, that’s what autoflowering plants are all about!
Let us first begin by understanding the very basics of what these kind of seeds are:
What are Autoflowering Seeds?
Flowering is a delicate and technical process yet one of the best phases of the plant’s growth cycle. No matter what plant you are growing, flowering is a stage that most growers are eagerly waiting for because months and months of efforts lead to the glorious moments when flowers pop out of the buds. In the case of marijuana plants too, flowering is a very important process as this is the phase where the bud that you’ve been growing for so long finally matures.
Normally in most plants, flowering is a photoperiod-based process, which means that when the lighting conditions change after a few months, the flowering process is triggered. In the case of marijuana plants, when days get shorter and sunlight hours are reduced, this pushes the plant into pre-flowering and flowering stages. However, autoflowering seeds are a special variety of seeds where you can grow your plants and have them reach the flowering stage without having to change the lighting conditions!
This makes the task a lot easier for growers who are new to it and are not sure as to how to change the lighting. This is a luxury that modern growers get while they are growing their marijuana plants. These are genetically altered seeds which come from cannabis ruderalis. Here’s more information on these seeds:
Where do Autoflowering Seeds Come From?
When we take a closer look at the history and origin of these kinds of autoflowering marijuana seeds, they all trace their origin to cannabis ruderalis. Ruderalis is often referred to as the third major cannabis strain after the Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica strains. However, when it was examined scientifically most people have come to believe it is a variation of the Cannabis Sativa strain. Ruderalis basically grows in Eastern European nations and in some parts of Central Europe and Western Asia as well. Dutch and Canadian scientists started experimenting with this ‘third strain’ and eventually discovered the properties of it being an autoflowering strain which does not require a particular lighting condition to reach maturity!
While it sounds great on paper, there were some drawbacks that were noticed as well – but over the years it has been found to be a pretty great strain for growers who are just starting out and are not sure with how to manage the lighting conditions.
Pros and Cons of Autoflowering Seeds
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of using these kinds of seeds to grow your marijuana plants:
- The flowering phase of these plants is generally attained faster in comparison to other plants which are reliant on the lighting as well as the photoperiod. In about 7 to 10 weeks, the entire plant grows and the flowering also happens. Compare this to traditional plants and you will notice that sometimes the flowering process itself takes about 5 to 7 weeks.
- Another benefit of autoflowering variety of plants is that they do not grow really tall. On an average Indica plants can grow about 6ft while Sativa plants can grow beyond 10ft. These autoflowering seeds, however, result in a plant which is shorter and easier to grow. These plants typically grow about 100cm tall and are very short in comparison and are easier to conceal as well as maintain.
- Due to their light consumption needs being lesser than traditional marijuana plants you will not even need to provide a lot of lighting over here which means that you will be saving on the costs of electric bills as well which can often be quite high and one of the biggest expenses while growing indoor marijuana. An 18 to 6 lighting schedule (18 hours of light 6 hours of darkness) would work just fine while growing these autoflowering plants.
- Another thing about these autoflowering seeds is that the plants that grow from them are not as reliant on nutrients as other types of cannabis plants. Their needs aren’t as high because they can grow easily on any type of soil with minimal nutrient needs. Lastly, these autoflower seeds are more likely to generate plants which are high on CBD content. Using an autoflowering ruderalis plant as a parent plant for creating hybrids results in the offspring plant having a significantly higher amount of CBD% which is great for people who are looking forward to consuming marijuana for medicinal purposes as CBD is primarily the compound which helps people with medical needs.
- The biggest benefit of using autoflowering seeds comes when you look at the lighting. This can be something that not all growers (especially the beginners) would be comfortable with and they might make rookie mistakes in providing too much or too little light during the flowering stages. However, there’s no such problem when it comes to the autoflowering seeds as they grow on their own regardless of the lighting situation around them.
- One of the first things that people tend to point out as a problem with these autoflowering marijuana plants is that they provide lesser yields. The logic to this is simple – first off look at the size of the plant. It is much smaller than the average marijuana plant and hence it has lesser space to grow buds. Post that since it grows so quickly and doesn’t even need as many nutrients as regular plants, the reproductive capacity is quite small hence the yield is pretty low.
- There are some growers who tend to provide 24 hours of lighting to their autoflowering plants which means that they would actually spend more on lighting than they would while growing a regular plant which would be ok with 12 hours of lighting and 12 hours of darkness during the flowering phase. Lighting is something which can be both, a pro as well as a con while growing these kind of plants.
- Another thing that growers need to keep in mind about these autoflowering plants is that while they offer higher CBD, they offer somewhat of a lesser THC content compared to plants with a regular photoperiod. This makes them great for medicinal growers but not an ideal type of plant for people who want to grow plants for recreational purposes.
- Lastly, one final thing that growers must also know before they start growing autoflowering marijuana plants is that they are not the best option when it comes to growing clones, particularly because they have a really fast growing period. In addition to this, these plants don’t really handle stress that well and if you are trying to perform fimming or topping or any other stress inducing methods of growing weed on them, you must be very careful as damage to these plants can often be permanent and irreversible.
Where Can I Buy Autoflowering Seeds?
For those wondering where they can get their hands on some of the best autoflowering seeds, the best option is to get in touch with seed banks. Seed banks are basically genetic repositories which store and sell different kinds of plant seeds. Specialized marijuana seed banks such as Crop King Seeds and I Love Growing Marijuana are among two of the best names in the markets where you can get these seeds from.
These seed banks are among some of the best options to buy your mairjuana seeds from because they have years of experience in seed selection. These seed banks offer growers with some of the best varieties of seeds and they also offer you with special feminized seeds which are almost certain of germinating as well. Some seed banks even offer discounts, promotions and returns which is always a safe bet for growers. These seed banks are also very discreet and secretive in their operation and no one will ever know what you have ordered! Most of them also accept bitcoins and cryptocurrencies which means no one can trace the transaction back to you making them very secure to use.
Are Autoflowering Seed Worth It?
Totally. Especially if you are someone who is just starting off on your journey of growing the marijuana plant and want to grow it with minimal resources and minimal care. This plant grows fast, provides you with buds which are good enough (not excellent when compared to traditional indica or sativa, but not bad atoo), and ensures that you don’t have to spend too much time on technicalities like getting the lighting and nutrients right. Hence it is the best solution for beginners as well as for those growers who want quick results in a short time. In a maximum of 10 weeks the whole plant is ready and you get your weed! However if you are a total weed connoisseur who wants the taste and the THC right then you must go for the proper Indica/Sativa variants.
Buyer’s Guide for Autoflowering Seeds
There are some things that you need to keep in mind when you are buying autoflowering variety of marijuana seeds. However, these are some broad and common things that you could use while buying any type of marijuana seed.
- First off, make sure that the seed is hard in texture and is not pulpy. A hard seed is a mature seed and pulpy seeds are usually premature and have lesser chances of growing into a proper plant.
- Apart from the hardness of the seed you also need to take a closer look at the color of the seed. Make sure that the seed you are buying is brown or black in color and not green or yellow. The latter colors of marijuana seeds indicate ripe seeds which aren’t any good while growing.
- Make sure you know the CBD and THC concentration of the seed that you are buying. Also ensure that you are buying only feminized seeds because the male seeds will not be of any use for those growers who want to smoke the marijuana that they are growing using these autoflowering seeds!
These are three-pointers that every grower must take care of while buying autoflowering seeds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Autoflowering Seeds
Here are some of the most common and frequently asked questions about growing autoflowering marijuana plants that growers tend to have:
1. Are these as effective as regular plants when it comes to giving a ‘high’?
While these plants have a high CBD level, the THC levels aren’t as high. It will indeed give you a good high, but the kind of psychoactive properties that regular (Sativa/Indica) plants have is generally better in comparison to these ruderalis autoflowering plants.
2. Are there any side effects of smoking marijuana that grows from autoflowering seeds?
No there are no specific side-effects to smoking autoflowering plants. The side effects that you might face will be the ones similar to smoking a regular plant. These include red eyes, slow response time, dry mouth, hunger, etc.
3. Where can I buy the best autoflowering marijuana seeds from?
Check out some seed banks such as Crop King Seeds or I Love Growing Marijuana for getting the best kind of autoflowering seeds!
We hope that by this point in the article, you have completely understood what autoflowering seeds are and whether they are something that will benefit you. We have laid extra emphasis on the pros and cons of autoflowering plants and we hope that section helps you understand all the aspects of it in a better manner. To conclude, this is a godsend for beginners and a perfect option for those marijuana growers who want quicker results. If you have any more questions or would like us talk about a specific aspect of growing marijuana, do let us know in the comments below and we shall get back to you soon. Till then…
..Happy Growing! 🙂