Regular vs. Autoflowering vs. Feminized marijuana seeds. The differences, advantages, and drawbacks of each kind. Read before you buy marijuana seeds USA.
Cannabis seeds come in a hodgepodge of varieties and options. Feminized seeds, regular seeds, autoflowering seeds—there are endless possibilities for the marijuana grower to buy. With many states in the USA offering legal recreational and medical marijuana programs and other countries around the world moving forward in legalization efforts, getting the best cannabis seeds and strains to suit your growing needs is a primary consideration
I. Regular Seeds
Regular cannabis seeds are made when pollen from the staminate male cannabis flowers fertilize the pistillate female cannabis flowers. This reproductive process yields seed. Side note: intersexual cannabis plants known as “hermaphrodites” bear both staminate and pistillate flowers.
The fertilized female cannabis plant forms seed during its flowering cycle. These seeds contain the genetics of the parent plants combined.
Similar to other dioecious plant varieties, the cannabis plant is decidedly male or female from birth, although it doesn’t show any visible clues until the plant is established.
In Cannabis Cultivation
Sensimilla is the main objective in legal medical marijuana and recreational cannabis cultivation. It is the unfertilized (seedless) flowers of the female cannabis plant. In order to obtain sensimilla, pollen from male cannabis plants must not come into contact with a female cannabis plant during its flowering cycle.
Sprouting regular cannabis seeds results in separate male and female plants (or hermaphrodites)—in many cases, the offspring is even predominately male. However, in sensimilla cultivation, the females are kept for flowering, while the males are culled or used for separate breeding programs.
Advantages-Drawbacks of Regular Seeds
A wide range of top expert cannabis cultivators swear by only using regular seed. Regular cannabis seeds are reliable to breed with and often possess superior genetic strength. When breeding cannabis with regular cannabis seeds, you are assisting in furthering the genetic line in a way that’s been in place since its inception.
On the other hand, imagine yourself in the United States, currently living in a state that allows for legal recreational or medical cultivation of marijuana. Many states and counties in the USA have strict plant limits that the cannabis cultivator must follow. If only allowed to grow 7 plants on a property and you have 7 regular seeds to start with, there is really no way of knowing how many male or female marijuana plants you’ll end up with. This is the main advantage of using feminized seeds in cultivation.
As is the case with heirloom vegetable and fruit seeds, locally bred seed strains acclimatize to the climate it’s grown in. A selectively bred line can also be refined by careful choosing of desired traits. (large plants, big buds, high THC/CBD, quick flowering, etc.).
Regular cannabis seeds are the tried-and-true standard for strain breeding, although, in modern times, feminized seeds, regular seeds, autoflowering seeds, and clones are all employed.
Regular Seed Options
C. sativa, c. indica, c. ruderalis, c. afghanica—all species and subspecies of cannabis—are available in regular seed form in a wide range of strains/varieties. Potent high-THC sativas, heavy-hitting high-CBD indica strains, the latest & greatest candy A-grade hybrids… even autoflowering strains are for sale as regular seeds.
Some of the most prominent breeders offer their selection in regular seed form. Ken Estes‘ famous Grand Daddy Purple strain and seed company specializes in regular cannabis seeds and swears by the quality genetics of regular seed strains. The legendary DJ Short’s Blueberry is for sale as regular seeds, a staple of cultivators and breeders for decades. The Real Seed Co. offers a large selection of landrace cannabis seeds—localized indica and sativa strains from around the world that give strength and resilience, among other special qualities. Landrace strains such as Afghani, Thai, Colombian, etc., have built the foundation for much of today’s top-shelf candy hybrids.
Don’t forget local sources for regular pot seeds. Cannabis growing culture started with regular seeds being bred, collected, and shared. Many local and small-scale breeders take their job seriously and produce serious gas.
Some of the finest gems in the weed strain world have been discovered from the mystery bag seed, namely Sour Diesel. (However, finding an unsuspecting seed in a crop of mostly seedless bud is a hermaphrodite red flag—tread with caution.) For those who are riding on their harvest to come out well, perhaps the safest bet is to choose a popular strain from a respected breeder, as its flowering time, yield, and plant issues are likely already well documented.
The Real Deal
Whatever kind of cannabis you’re looking for, regular seeds will be an all-access pass to the genetics of that variety—something you can make your own seed with. If you ever wanted to breed your own cannabis strain and make seeds buy regular seeds—you won’t regret it!
When selecting what regular seeds to purchase, make sure you can answer a few basic questions:
- Where has this seed strain been grown?
- Is this seed strain selectively bred by a reputable source?
- Is this a hybrid, landrace, or IBL strain?
- What is the genetic lineage of this cannabis variety?
- What is the flowering time of this strain, and will it be suitable for my environment?
- Is this seed strain true-breeding?
Bestselling Regular Seeds Online
II. Autoflowering Seeds
Autoflowering seeds are the outcome of various cannabis sativa (c. sativa) subspecies being crossed to cannabis ruderalis (c. ruderalis). Cannabis ruderalis is a species of cannabis whose growth cycle is not triggered by day length alterations (non-photoperiodic); it is not affected by photoperiod or seasonal changes.
In 1942, c. ruderalis was first scientifically discovered in southern Siberia by a Russian scientist, Janischewski. The general consensus is that c. ruderalis originated from Russia. However, similar c. ruderalis populations have long been seen growing in the wild in other parts of the world.
Normally, cannabis ruderalis is not grown for recreational use, as its low THC levels are on par with hemp, and it rarely grows over two feet in height. Consuming pure genetic c. ruderalis does not lead to any psychoactive effects. Ruderalis resin’s CBD content surpasses its THC levels, which has given the subspecies and its “autoflower” hybrid offspring a place in the medicinal marijuana community.
In Cannabis Cultivation
Cannabis seed breeders worldwide are crossing c. ruderalis to the subspecies of c. sativa: c. indica, c. afghanica and sspc. sativa. Through these efforts, breeders have locked down the autoflowering trait, resulting in what we now know as autoflowering seeds.
Autoflowering seeds open up a spring of possibilities for the cannabis cultivator, who can now grow and harvest new hybrids of popular weed strains from seed under a perpetually ON, up to 24 hour light cycle.
Crossing c. ruderalis to potent strains of marijuana has led to the rise of autoflowering genetics—plants that produce higher, competitive levels of THC, CBD, and other c .sativa cannabinoids/terpenes due to their shared genetics of potent recreational & medicinal marijuana strains.
Advantages-Drawbacks of Autoflowers
Autoflower varieties are sometimes not the easiest to grow, as they require long light hours and high-intensity lighting for best results.
Cannabis breeders are continually improving their lines of autoflowering seeds. Early on, autoflowering strains were not very desirable for the serious cultivator. Growers were faced with small yields off of puny plants with low-THC… which paled in comparison to a short-flowering full-blooded indica or sativa.
Step into modern times, and the autoflower world has changed drastically. Cannabis hybrids with ruderalis genetics are coming out shockingly potent and yielding profitably. Cultivators are getting rapid, regular harvests of top-quality marijuana using these easy to grow, quick bud plants.
A wide selection of autoflowering varieties are ready to harvest in just two months from germination. Hence the phrase “60-day wonder”. This speedy shipment of the dank has been the key to success for many indoor grow operations.
Autoflowering Seed Options
Almost all of the top most popular hybrid strains today are available in autoflower form. From White Widow to Northern Lights and even Haze plants, the list of autoflower strains is growing rapidly. Indica-leaning genetics, sativa-leaning genetics, you can get whatever you’re looking for in auto seed.
A US breeder known as the Joint Doctor released the first commercial autoflowering hybrid—the original Lowryder. We can see its influence in a huge portion of the autoflower varieties on the market today. CBD Crew, a collaboration between Mr. Nice Seedbank and Resin Seeds, sells medical autoflowering seeds, which grow cannabis plants selected for high CBD (cannabidiol) content. Another company, Sweet Seeds, has created a vast seed catalog of colorful and ultra-fast autoflowering strains with some variants exhibiting photoperiodism.
Marijuana cultivation that is restricted by square feet instead of plant quantity is where autoflower seeds really shine. The plants can be set up to yield perpetual harvests under an 18 to 24 hour light cycle.
Outdoor growers may consider supplementing artificial lighting to increase the day length. In a setting such as the Alaskan summer, which tops out at 24 hours of visible sunlight during the summer solstice, autoflower strains are able to grow big fast. Growing marijuana in Hawaii and other tropical/subtropical areas without long days, adding artificial lighting is recommended for best results.
Due to their compact nature, many autoflower strains perform well in a SCROG or SOG setup, closely spaced indoors. Others grow into wide bushes that require more space.
Autoflowering cannabis strains are for sale in both regular and feminized seed form.
Bestselling Autoflower Seeds Online
III. Feminized Seeds
As its name suggests, feminized seeds are cannabis seeds that have been specially bred to ensure virtually all female cannabis plants. This “feminizing” process is accomplished by triggering one female cannabis plant into producing rogue pollen to fertilize another flowering female plant. The resulting seeds all have XX chromosomes.
To get a female cannabis plant to produce pollen, the plant must be “shocked” or stressed to bring out the hermaphroditic trait. The shock can be done in a few different ways:
Rodelization is an old-school technique with varied results. Basically, rodelization lets sensimilla (seedless) female plants go far past their normal harvest time frame. In certain phenotypes, going that into old age triggers its survival instinct. The plants then exhibit a hermaphroditic trait, pollen sacs, which are collected and used to breed with other females/clones.
Light cycle interruption is also used as a method of stressing female plants. This can be done in a controlled grow room by staggering the light hours sporadically, e.g., 10/14, 18/6, 8/16, etc., until hermaphroditic pollen sacs are formed. Note that this method and the rodelization technique do not work on all cannabis strains.
Colloidal silver (CS) or silver thiosulfate solution (STS) are the most reliable solutions for creating feminized seeds. Seed breeders across the globe employ the process, and it works for nearly all cannabis strains/varieties. Here’s a guide to making feminized seeds.
Spraying the cannabis plant (or a specific branch) with a silver solution allows tiny silver particles to absorb into the plant and bond to its copper molecules. Female cannabis plants use copper molecules to produce the hormone ethylene, which signals the development of their standard reproduction flower—calyxes and pistils. Obstructed by silver, the ethylene hormone is suppressed, and male characteristics are stimulated in the plant, thus producing pollen sacs used for feminized seed breeding.
Within two weeks of triweekly foliar application of silver spray, the female cannabis plant will likely produce viable pollen sacs that can be collected and used to fertilize another female clone or plant, thus creating feminized seeds.
In Cannabis Cultivation
Feminized marijuana seeds hold the biggest market for seeds online, accounting for the majority of seeds sold by the best cannabis seed banks USA. Their mass appeal is simple: people want reliable genetics that will grow up to become what they desire from cannabis—sensimilla.
Cannabis growers worldwide, particularly throughout North America, Canada, and Europe, are the biggest purchasers of feminized seeds. Cultivators and breeders can try new weed strains easily, starting from only a single feminized seed. Feminized seeds are a cheap ticket into prized marijuana genetics.
Advantages-Drawbacks of Feminized Seeds
Growing with feminized seeds gives you one big advantage right off the bat—you know the seeds will grow only female plants with buds. This can save you money in the grow costs related to males.
In the early days of feminized seeds, hermaphrodites were fairly common (especially banana herms in late flower). While the situation has improved in recent years, there is still a school of thought against breeding with feminized seeds for this reason, among others.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of feminized seeds comes from the huge catalog of marijuana strain varieties available now in feminized form. The vast majority of these seeds are not sold in standard 10-packs but broken down into smaller packages of five, three, and even single seeds.
Feminized Seed Options
Thousands of popular and fun cannabis strains are available in feminized form, giving the home grower a massive amount of options to choose from.
When searching for feminized seed online, consider the breeder, seed bank, and strain details. If you are growing indoors, find a flowering time that suits your schedule, along with bud quality, flavors, and yields.
Outdoor growers should select feminized seed strains that suit their environment. That means if you are in a warm damp area, selecting a mold resistant cannabis strain, such as a hardy sativa-dominant hybrid, will likely do better than an indoor-bred, mostly indica variety. If you are in a short summer dry location, use that to your advantage. “Rock bud” indica-dominant strains yield heavyweight buds from potent dank weed plants that flower and finish up quickly.
Legendary sativa/indica hybrid strains in feminized seeds are ready to ship worldwide from online seedbanks. Hard-to-find cult classics such as Cinderella 99 and Strawberry Cough are on the market from reputable breeders. Heavy-yielding champions like NYC Diesel, Skunk #1, and OG Kush are in feminized seed form and bred for optimum performance.
Feminized seeds are an alluring option for growers with strict plant limits. You can buy the exact amount of female seeds you’re allowed to grow.
For the buyer on a budget, feminized seeds can be bought in single seed quantities. Most of the top bestselling feminized seeds online can be bought in a “pick and mix”: single seed packs priced very affordably. This allows growers to try a variety of strains as single feminized seeds.
Feminized seed plants can be cloned and replicated indefinitely. To find a dominant female plant for cloning, buying seeds in packs of five, ten, or more is recommended.
Bestselling Feminized Seeds Online
Read next: Best Exotic Weed Strains List
Disclaimer: Before purchasing cannabis seeds online, make sure to read your country’s current laws and regulations and state/district. We do not promote or undertake in illegal activities.
What are your favorite strains? Let us know in the comments below.
6 thoughts on “USA Before You Buy Pot Seeds: The Best Regular, Autoflower & Feminized Seeds For You?”
Great article Jrock, written like a professional book
Thanks bro 😉
Great report, nice to know the etymology of the ruderalis. I had a Cannatonic plant that showed signs of ruderalis auto-flower by producing little popcorn buds on the main stalk at the same time it started showing trichomes on the sugar leafs before the flowers developed on the branches. then I switched from 24hr to 18hrs of Dual Arc MH/HPS and the trichomes exploded all over the plant.
That Cannatonic strain has been real popular lately, good to hear some feedback. Thanks Pamasaurus 😉
Nice to read a description of feminized seeds that makes sense and is readable. Information in other blogs is usually mixed and match with no form or progression. Good job laddie.
Thanks. Right on man 😉