If you browse through seeds being sold at a dispensary or an online store, you will immediately see feminized seeds, regular seeds, and autoflower seeds. A vital part of understanding how to buy cannabis seeds is understanding the differences between these categories that refer to the sex or maturation process of the seeds.
Another question to ask yourself is whether you want to be an indoor grower or an outdoor grower.
At the same time, there are some potential drawbacks to buying seeds online. For one, some weed-legal locations, including the US, still outlaw buying and shipping seeds across state or national borders. There are also issues of reliability. If you want to do business with an online cannabis seed bank, take some time researching the company. Make sure it’s reputable and has good customer reviews.
Here are a few questions you should ask before making a purchase:
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.
Outdoor growing inherently carries a different set of concerns, including the length of the outdoor growing season and other big variables. If you plan to grow marijuana outside, you should probably spend a bit more time researching the specific cannabis seeds you want to purchase to make sure they will thrive in your unique climate and environment. On the other hand, some cultivars thrive better outside and deliver better yields. And there are those who swear that weed grown outside under the sun simply tastes, smells, and smokes better.
The law is the first thing to take into consideration when planning to grow cannabis. Before doing anything else, double and triple check the laws in your area related to purchasing cannabis products and growing weed at home. This is important because the legal status of both cannabis products and home cultivation will dictate where and how you can buy cannabis seeds.
Even one weed plant can produce a lot of buds come harvest time, so make sure you grow a strain you like. Note strains you enjoy when you pick something up at the dispensary or smoke with friends, and look for seeds of it when you want to start growing.
If you grow some seeds and like the results, try growing another strain from that same breeder and see how it goes.
Feminized and autoflower seeds will cost more because more breeding work was put in to creating them and they take less time for the grower to get buds.
What’s the difference between regular, feminized, and autoflower seeds?
If you want six total cannabis plants to harvest for buds and are growing from regular seeds, start with about 4 times as many, or 24 seeds. Some won’t germinate and some will turn out to be males, and then you’ll want to discard down to the six best phenotypes. If growing feminized seeds, you can probably start with about twice as many seeds in this case (about 12); a couple won’t germinate, and then discard down to the six best phenotypes.
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.
Breeders talk about “unstable genetics,” meaning that a seed’s origin is unknown. Make sure that when you buy a packet of seeds that it or the breeder who produced them can list where the seeds came from and how they were crossed and/or backcrossed to get the seed that you hold in your hand. If you can’t get a seed’s history, it could be anything and the result of poor breeding practices.
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.