CANNABIS SEEDS 101

Seeds are hugely important to the end result. Fortunately, high-quality cannabis seeds are now readily available to every enthusiast. On the other hand, there are so many options that choosing the variety that suits your needs can seem difficult. What are the differences between seeds and varieties? And what things should a seed buyer consider? You will find the answer to these questions in this article.

Why do seeds matter?

The genes contained in the seeds determine e.g. plant size, chemical composition and ability to withstand diseases. 

They are therefore quite essential for the outcome.

Seeds with a high quality genetic heritage yield strong and healthy plants, while poor ones are prone to diseases and undesirable traits (e.g., hermaphroditism).

For this reason, we warmly recommend investing immediately in quality cannabis seeds, as the bad you don’t get the first herb, no matter how good the equipment and framework.

Normal, feminized or autoflower?

At its simplest, cannabis seeds can be divided into three categories; ordinary, feminized and autoflowers .

The first important thing is to understand the differences between these.

Normal seeds

Hemp plants can be male (male), female (female) or hermaphrodites (both male and female).

Both male and female plants grow from ordinary seeds.

Of these, females are bred for use as medicine and intoxicants. Male plants, on the other hand, are utilized in seed production and processing.

Unless the aim is to produce seeds, males must be disposed of before they have time to spread the pollen.

If pollination takes place, seeds begin to grow in the sow flowers. This has a negative effect on the quantity and quality of the crop.

If you want to produce and make your own crossbreeds, ordinary seeds are for you. In other cases, the use of feminized seeds is recommended.

Feminized seeds

Only female plants grow from feminized seeds.

Because you don’t have to worry about males with these, they make the process much easier as well as save time, effort and space.

For this reason, feminized seeds are the recommended option for most home growers and the right choice if you want to get as easy as possible. 

However, feminized versions of not all varieties are available.

Autoflower seeds

Normally, hemp needs at least 12 hours of darkness a day for it to start flowering.

Autoflower varieties do not need this dark period. They begin flowering automatically based on age (usually around 2-3 weeks of age) regardless of the light period. 

If you are looking for a variety suitable for outdoor cultivation, autoflowers are the right option due to Finland’s short and bright summer. However, they can also be used in indoor education.

Autoflower varieties have developed tremendously in recent years, and today there are good high-yield alternatives for larger projects as well.

The cultivation of autoflowers differs somewhat from normal varieties. It is therefore worth reading them in more detail before starting the project.

Effects

The chemical compositions and effects of cannabis varieties differ greatly.

Where one variety relaxes and becomes tired, the other can become a very energetic state of being.

If you are looking for a variety with a certain type of effect, you should pay attention to the chemical composition.

Cannabis varieties

The cannabis varieties currently available on the market can be divided into three categories based on their cannabinoid composition:

TYPE ITYPE IITYPE III
THC dominantTHC / CBDCBD dominant
Strong psychoactiveSlightly psychoactiveNo narcotic effects

THC

The best known of the active compounds is psychoactive THC, which is the main cause of the narcotic effects of hemp.

Indeed, many processors have focused mainly on producing the strongest possible varieties, the strongest of which currently contain more than 30% THC.

Some examples of varieties with a high THC content:

  • Ghost Train Haze
  • Chemdawg
  • Girl Scout Cookies

Where these strong varieties are apt for users seeking strong psychoactive effects, they are certainly not suitable for everyone. 

Excessive doses of THC can cause, for example, anxiety and paranoia.

If you want to minimize intoxication or negative effects, we recommend exploring other, milder options as well.

So it’s not worth staring at a mere THC reading, as it’s just one part of the big picture.

CBD

Of the active compounds in hemp, CBD, or cannabidiol, has been of great interest in recent years.

This compound is known to have numerous medicinal properties, but no narcotic effects. With the interest, many varieties with high CBD content have entered the market.

These offer interesting options for those who want to enjoy cannabis but minimize the effects of THC.

There are two types of CBD varieties available:

  • Type II – Purely medicinal variations with high CBD and low THC. These don’t have narcotic effects, so for entertainment, these are a bad choice.
  • Type III – Varieties with high levels of both THC and CBD. These varieties have mild narcotic effects.

In addition to the two above, hemp is known to contain more than 100 different cannabinoids , each with its own unique properties.

Terpenes

In the context of effects, cannabinoids alone are often referred to. However, they are not the only active compounds.

In addition to cannabinoids, for example plant aromatic compounds, terpenes, are known to play a very essential role. 

More than 200 different terpenes and terpenoids have been identified in hemp, the most common of which are e.g. pinene, myrcene, linalool, beta-caryophyllene and limonene.

Unfortunately, the seed data rarely contain more detailed information about the terpenes of the variety.

However, the product information has often described the smell of an inflorescence from which some seeming conclusions can be drawn.

Sativa, indica and ruderalis

Hemp is a plant that has spread to almost the entire globe.

Plants grown in different climates and latitudes have over time adapted to their environment and developed into different ones.

There are generally three different types of hemp:

  • Cannabis sativa
  • Cannabis indica
  • Cannabis ruderalis.

Cannabis sativa

A species developed in the tropics near the equator, characterized by high THC , slow maturation, narrow leaves, and strong length growth.

Sativat are developed in areas where summers are long and for this reason ripen slowly and bloom for a long time (usually about 10-16 weeks). 

They are also characterized by a strong increase in length and the rains can grow up to 5 meters high in nature.

While there is some control over height growth indoors, other options should be considered for small spaces.

Cannabis indica

A bushy broadleaf species developed in Central and South Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

Compared to sativos, due to their short growth time and restrained height growth, they have been a popular alternative indoors.

Indicas bloom for an average of about 8-12 weeks and grow in the wild up to 2 feet tall.

Sativa varieties are often said to have more invigorating effects and indica varieties more relaxing.

In reality, these describe the appearance of the plant, not its effects . The reasons for the different effects of the varieties are the differences in the chemical composition of the plants, not their appearance.

Cannabis ruderalis

Ruderalis is a wild-growing variety in the northern parts of the world, characterized by its small size, rapid growth and low THC content.

The unique side of Ruderalis is the autoflower feature.

Where other species begin to bloom based on the light cycle, the ruderalis begins to bloom at a certain age regardless of the light cycle.

The current varieties are arranging hybrids, i.e. crossbreeds of the above.

Unprocessed native varieties are called Landrace varieties. However, these are believed to have been largely lost through breeding.

Growth characteristics

The different varieties also differ in terms of growth characteristics.

This should be taken into account if you are looking for a certain type, such as a variety that is ready as soon as possible or has a mild odor.

Yield

Many grow hemp in the hope of large harvests to get the most out of the time, money and effort spent on the project.

If this is your primary goal, it is really important to choose the right variety for the purpose, as there are huge differences between these yields.

A few examples of high-yielding varieties:

  • Big Bud
  • Cinderella 99
  • Northern Lights # 5 x Haze

Of course, just a high-yielding variety is not enough, but other elements should also be fine.

Important factors affecting the harvest include:

  • Growth environment
  • Sufficiently efficient lighting
  • Educational technology

With good technology, the right equipment and a lucrative variety, a skilled breeder can achieve results of more than 1.5 grams / watt (e.g. with a 400W spna lamp, 600 grams of finished dry inflorescence).

Growth rate

There are also significant differences in the growth rate of varieties. Cannabis blooms for about 6-15 weeks, depending on the variety. 

If it is important for you to get the herb ingested as quickly as possible, the best option to minimize growing time is to choose a variety that matures quickly.

In general, there are the best options among autoflowers if you are looking for a variety that will be completed quickly. The fastest autoflower varieties grow from seed to maturity in as little as two months.

The estimated flowering time of the variety is usually indicated in the seed product information.

Aroma and fragrance

Cannabis has a strong characteristic odor that can attract unwanted attention. The smell of a stairwell or neighbor is one of the most common reasons for uninvited guests to visit. 

To avoid excess odors, the most effective way is to invest in proper ventilation and an activated carbon filter.

If this is not possible, you may want to consider growing a low-odor variety. There are a few varieties that are known to have a mild scent.

Popular varieties with a mild aroma include:

  • Northern Lights 
  • Master Kush

Seed storage

Properly stored seeds remain usable for several years.

The seeds should be stored in a closed, airtight container protected from light and moisture. For example, film roll packaging and the like are perfectly suited for the purpose.

If the seeds are to be stored for a longer period of time, they are best stored in the dark, dry and cool at about 2-5 degrees Celsius.

The seeds should be kept completely dry to prevent mold and premature germination.

A good way is to put a dehumidifier in the same package as the seeds. Silica granules are commonly used to remove moisture. The dehumidifier should be replaced at regular intervals.

Summary

Seeds are of great importance for the end result and good cannabis is always backed by quality seeds (or cuttings). 

However, quality seeds alone are not enough, but other basic elements must be considered. We hope you found here what you were looking for.

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