Auto-flowering, feminized, traditional? Find out which cannabis seeds are best for your grow. Understanding the Different Varieties of Cannabis Seeds Cannabis seeds are to marijuana what grapes are to wine. Each seed gives birth to a marijuana plant, but there are countless varieties with Different types of weed that have varying effects on the body. Learn about the different types and the effects that they have.
Cannabis Seeds Explained
T here’s something liberating about having the freedom to grow your own medicine from cannabis seeds. Cannabis, in particular, has huge therapeutic potential thanks to its many strain variations allowing for targeted therapeutic relief.
Of course, buying marijuana seeds is not as simple as purchasing a packet of tomato or marigold seeds. Quality cannabis seeds are more costly, harder to come by and may produce unwanted male plants come flower time. Not only that, cannabis seedlings and plants need more diligent attention to produce an optimum yield requiring the grower to be invested in both time and money for a successful grow. It is because of this that prudent cannabis seed selection is recommended.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Cannabis Seeds
First and foremost, it’s important to know which type of cannabis strain you’re interested in growing. This means determining whether you want to grow indicas for pain relief and sleep disorders (which grow smaller and quicker making them ideal for indoor grows), sativas for anxiety issues and mental stimulation (which grow taller over a longer period suggesting they be grown outdoors), or hybrid strains which reside somewhere in the middle. Carefully consider your therapeutic goals and grow environment when making this decision.
Additionally, you need to consider which type of seed you want to start from. Specifically, you’ll need to decide whether to start your grow from regular seeds, feminized seeds or auto-flowering seeds. This decision can affect many aspects of your grow so consider your options carefully.
Traditional, Feminized and Auto-flowering Marijuana Seeds: Key Differences
On the surface, there is no distinguishable difference between traditional, feminized and auto-flowering seeds, but deep within them buried in their genetics are some major differences that can affect your grow – and your budget – in a few important ways.
Traditional seeds are the same ones you’ll find in the bottom of a stash of green or on the discount shelf at your local dispensary. They are the product of a male plant pollinating a female and may produce either male or female pot plants at maturity (as a reminder, only female plants produce buds that will get you high). It is estimated that only a 66 percent of traditional seeds will be female and it’s virtually impossible to determine sex until the flowering phase. If you do find a boy amongst your girls at the dawn of the flower phase, act fast! Boys will pollinate girls quickly resulting in seedy weed.
Feminized seeds are seeds that have been specially designed to produce female plants. Properly produced feminized seeds should net female plants roughly 95 percent of the time. They also tend to grow more quickly and are less finicky about their grow environments which significantly reduces the likelihood of seedy weed or hermaphroditic plants.
Many different methods have been used to produce female seeds in the past, many of which involve the stressing of female plants to encourage pollen production. Though previous methods have increased the likelihood of hermaphroditic qualities being passed down through generations, new methods involving different types of silver have been effective at eliminating such outcome.
Auto-flowering seeds are a product of genetic manipulation, as well, but their goal is different: by cross-breeding various cannabis strains with cannabis ruderalis strains, breeders have been able to create cannabis strains that automatically flower after only three weeks. Of course, because of their ruderalis heritage, these plants grow much smaller than other strains (they usually top out at less than two feet, in fact) and fare well in outdoor environments where a variable light cycle will not affect them.
Because they flower automatically, these strains can usually produce two full harvests within a single grow season. Clones cannot be taken from auto-flowering plants, however, so multiple seeds will be required for multiple harvests.
Auto-flower seeds cannot be cloned, choose feminized or traditional seeds if you want to clone your plants.
Understanding the Different Varieties of Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis seeds are to marijuana what grapes are to wine. Each seed gives birth to a marijuana plant, but there are countless varieties with their own distinct differences. There are hundreds, if not thousands of different marijuana strains today with more popping up on a constant basis.
Exploring the Different Types of Cannabis Seeds
Each different cannabis seed will produce a uniquely different plant. Each strain has its own flavor profile, aroma, resin content, cannabinoid and terpene balance. Where the plants are grown, how they are harvested, processed and a variety of other factors decide how the bud will turn out.
Comparing marijuana strains to wine is a great way to better understand the small yet important differences.
Indica and sativa are two major differentiating factors among cannabis plants; these parallel the red and white wine varieties.
The specific genome of grape decides the type of wine produced; Merlot, Shiraz and Pinot noir are a few different types. But these types differ from vineyard to vineyard, year to year and even bottle to bottle. Marijuana is very similar in this respect, each strain, each grower, and each grow will yield a slightly different result.
We aren’t going to list all the different cannabis strains, but we will explain a few of the different types of cannabis seeds. From the regular old marijuana seeds that your parents grew, to the newer feminized and autoflower varieties that have become massively popular.
Autoflower Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis ruderalis , commonly known as autoflower, is one of the most popular types of cannabis used by home growers. Autoflower plants do not require a different light cycle in order to flower, meaning you can plant them virtually anywhere and harvest 7-10 weeks later.
Autoflower cannabis strains generally yield less than regular marijuana seeds, THC content is usually lower as well. However, the CBD content in autoflower strains is quite high, making them a perfect option for medical users.
Originating in Russia, cannabis ruderalis was first discovered in 1942 in southern Siberia. Breeders often mix cannabis ruderalis genetics with more potent indica and sativa strains, resulting in an easy to grow plant with a higher than usual THC and CBD level.
We recently had a chat with the folks over at Crop King Seeds and they told us their autoflower strains have quickly become one of their most popular sellers. With more and more baby boomers looking for alternative remedies for arthritis, chronic pain and depression, these easy to grow varieties are a perfect match for inexperienced and well-seasoned gardeners alike.
Feminized Cannabis Seeds
Marijuana plants can be either male, female or hermaphroditic. If you are growing cannabis to consume, and you aren’t a breeder, then you will want to make sure all of your plants are female. Male and hermaphrodite plants will pollinate the budding female plants and cause them to grow seeds instead of pouring their energy into growing lush, resinous buds.
It only takes 1 male to pollinate an entire crop of female plants, essentially ruining your yield. If you notice a male or hermaphrodite plant in your crop, it is important to remove it and isolate it from the rest immediately.
Feminized seeds will result in a female cannabis plant about 90% of the time, the outliers will be hermaphrodites. Regular seeds will have a 50/50 ratio male to female, making feminized seeds much more desirable to most growers.
Feminized cannabis seeds are created by breeding two female plants. Both the ‘eggs’ and pollen come from genetically female plants. This can be done a couple of different ways.
How Feminized Seeds Are Made
The natural way to create feminized seeds is to allow one female cannabis plant to stay in the flowering stage a couple of weeks beyond normal. The plant will begin to create pollen in a last ditch effort to produce at least a few seeds and reproduce.
Another way to make feminized seeds is to spray a colloidal silver solution on a female cannabis plant everyday for about 2 weeks right when it enters the flowering stage. This forces the plant to develop male pollen sacs.
There are also methods that intentionally stress out a female plant until it begins developing pollen sacs. These tactics are best left to the experts though as they are less reliable and harder to do.
Regular Marijuana Seeds
These are the seeds that most people know and love. Regular seeds require a bit more attention during their growth cycle, ensuring the light cycle changes to enter the flowering stage. They are also unpredictable when it comes to sex, expect a split between male and female plants, depending on how lucky you are.
High Times did a comparison between AK-47 seeds, testing the regular seeds vs the feminized seeds. Regular seeds resulted in a slightly taller plant, 34” to 40”, where the feminized plants were slightly shorter, 25”-34”. Despite the size difference the feminized seeds actually yielded more bud, about 12 grams more per plant on average.
There is still much debate as to whether or not regular seeds provide a more consistent genetic make-up. Some growers prefer to use regular seeds and cull the males, while other growers prefer the feminized seeds.
This is the first, and arguably the most important part of growing a cannabis plant. It is so important because it is easy to mess up and you will end up with useless seeds that won’t grow.
Using this ‘two-plate germinating process’ you can optimize your chances of a successful cannabis seed germination.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
- Take one large dinner plate and lay down a layer of moist (but not soaking) paper towel.
- Place your cannabis seeds on the paper towel, giving them plenty of space between one and other.
- Lay a couple more layers of damp (still not soaking) paper towel on top of the seeds.
- Place another dinner plate (upside down) on top. This will create a clam-shell, shielding the seeds from light. Be sure there is plenty of space between the plates so the seeds can get plenty of oxygen.
- If you are germinating the seeds in a dark room, you can omit the second plate.
- Place the seeds in a warm room (around 21° C), be sure they are far away from any direct sunlight.
- Check the seeds everyday to ensure the paper towel doesn’t dry out. If it gets dry, simply mist it with water from a spray bottle. Again, be sure not to over-water the seeds because they will drown.
- The cannabis seeds should crack and start showing a root within about 3-days, but it could take as long as 2-weeks.
- Once the roots are a few millimeters long, it’s time to transfer them to a pot filled with soil.
- Make a small hole for the seedling to sit, you want the seed to sit a few millimeters under the soil. Place the seed down root first.
- Expect the seedling to pop through the soil after one to three days.
Once you decide which type of seed fits your preferred growing style, you can browse the massive catalogue of strains offered by the world’s top cannabis seed providers.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each style of seed, but for beginners we suggest opting for a feminized autoflower variety. This eliminates the need to be a pro in identifying the male plants that can ruin an entire crop and simplifies the growing process. Once you feel confident with your ability to grow and identify cannabis plants, branch out and experiment with different seeds and / or cloning techniques.
What are the Different Types of Weed?
By The Recovery Village | Editor Gretchen Pruett
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Trisha Sippel, PhD A licensed behavioral health or medical professional on The Recovery Village Editorial Team has analyzed and confirmed every statistic, study and medical claim on this page. | Last Updated: August 17, 2022
Weed is all derived from the plant, Cannabis, but the different species can have very different effects on people.
There are several different types of weed, or marijuana. Marijuana refers to the dried seeds, stems, leaves or flowers of the plant Cannabis. The specific type of weed is defined by the way the plant is prepared and what kind of Cannabis plant it is.
The main active ingredient in weed is the chemical Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC has psychoactive effects, meaning that it can alter mood, alertness, cognizance and cognitive functioning. Cannabidiol or CBD is also a large component of weed plants and has relaxation effects but does not have the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD is also thought to relieve pain.
Different Kinds of Weed Have Different Effects
The strongest types of weed tend to have a higher ratio of THC to CBD, meaning there is a lot of THC but not much CBD. When the ratios are more even, CBD can counteract the effects of THC. Therefore, the level of both chemicals in a strain of weed determines what effect it has on a person.
What types of weed are there? There are two major types of weed, which are determined by the species of Cannabis plant they are derived from. While weed originally came from these two strains, there are now hundreds of other hybrid strains that are a mix of the two.
Article at a Glance:
- Indica and sativa are the main types of weed that come from the cannabis plant.
- Indica is known for its relaxing effects, while sativa has energizing effects.
- Popular strains of weed include Sour Diesel, Purple Kush and Blue Dream.
- Hybrid strains of weed can provide both relaxing and energizing effects.
- Although marijuana has been approved for some medicinal uses, it can also have dangerous side effects.
Major Types of Weed and Effects
The two major types of weed come from two different species of the Cannabis plant: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. The different types of weed vary based on both the type of weed plant they come from and also in the effects they have on a person or the type of high that they give.
Recently, a third strain, Cannabis ruderalis, has also been used to make weed. It has lower levels of THC and is primarily used for medicinal marijuana. Additionally, hybrid strains have been made that are a mix of the two major species.
People who use marijuana will generally choose to use a type of weed based on the effect they want to have. While each type is known for its different effect, one person’s experience may vary greatly from another’s. The route of administration (i.e. smoking or eating) can also greatly influence the effect the type of weed will have.
While every person’s experience is different, there are some general effects associated with each strain:
Cannabis indica originated in the Hindu “Kush” region, near Afghanistan. Because it comes from a cold, mountainous climate, it tends to be shorter and have the appearance of a bush. The leaves are darker, fuller and rounder than the sativa plant. The buds tend to grow in clumps.
C. indica produces large amounts of THC and low levels of CBD and, therefore, it is considered a strong weed. It tends to be very relaxing or sedating, sometimes making people who consume it want to just hang out on the couch. For this reason, it is commonly used at night before going to bed. It creates more of a “body high” due to its relaxing effects.
Because of its sedative effects, indica is often used by people who experience insomnia. A recent study showed that more people found relief from insomnia and pain when using the indica strain, compared to sativa. This effect may be a result of the higher levels of THC.
Cannabis sativa originates from warmer climates, such as Mexico and South Africa, and tends to grow very tall with long, thin leaves. It will flower under certain light conditions, which requires darkness for more than 11 hours a day.
C. sativa has lower levels of THC compared to indica, and higher levels of CBD, giving it more equal levels of both chemicals. The sativa strains have energizing effects, and people often consume weed from these strains in the morning or afternoon. Some people claim that the strain allows them to focus more and be more creative. C. sativa is also described as giving a cognitive or “head high” versus the body high that is felt with indica.
Due to its mood lifting and energizing effects, sativa tends to be used by people who have depression or exhaustion. It has also been described to relieve some of the symptoms of ADHD and other mood disorders.
Hybrid strains are made by cross germinating the seeds of the two common strains of Cannabis in an attempt to produce effects of both. Most strains commonly grown today are hybrids rather than pure indica or sativa.
The hybrids are usually described based on the dominating effect they have. For example, a sativa-dominant strain will be more likely to provide energizing effects and a head high.
Cannabis ruderalis is another species that was first discovered in southern Russia. C. ruderalis grows shorter than the other two species of weed and has thin, fibrous stems with large leaves. It is also an autoflowering plant, meaning that it will flower depending on the age of the plant rather than the light conditions.
C. ruderalis has very low levels of THC compared to the other weed strains, making it rarely used for recreational purposes. It is more commonly used in medicinal marijuana.
Common Types of Weed Strains and Effects
There are certain types of weed strains that are more common than others and some that are coveted for their extraordinary effects. With the ability to make hybrids that blend the effects of both indica and sativa strains, there are now “designer strains” of weed that are bred for maximum quality.
New types of weed sometimes have interesting names, which are usually based on their effects, origin, or the way they appear or smell. Some examples include: Purple Urkle, Willy’s Wonder, Permafrost, Pineapple Express, Strawberry Cough and Island Sweet Skunk.
he following are some of the most common or coveted types of weed strains and the effects they are known to have:
Sour Diesel is a type of hybrid strain that mostly has the highly energizing effects of sativa, but also has some of the physical relaxation properties of indica. It is very potent in THC. The high usually results in a head rush.
It is named for the gasoline-like chemical smell that its flowers make. The medium-sized buds have yellowish-green leaves. It tends to have a sour or skunky taste that some people find unpleasant.
Sour Diesel tends to be used by people who have mild stress, anxiety or depression. It has also been reported to relieve body aches and pains. Some people use it to increase their appetite when they are experiencing a reduced desire to eat. In some people, the high from sour diesel can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of paranoia. This is most likely due to its high THC content.
Purple Kush is a pure indica strain that has a full and relaxing body high. It has a high THC composition.
The name “Purple Kush” comes from the color of its purple leaves and the fact that one of the strains it is derived from originated in the Kush region near Afghanistan. It is one of the most popular Kush strains used.
Because of its ability to induce physical relaxation, it is commonly used by people who have chronic pain, depression or anxiety. It is also used by people who want to relieve situational or temporary pain.
Blue dream is another hybrid strain of weed that is slightly sativa-dominant. It gives an energetic cerebral high that can increase motivation and heighten focus. Some people describe it as having relaxing and pain-relieving effects.
Its name comes from the fact that the origin of the strain is unknown, making it like a dream. It has a sweet taste that some describe as similar to blueberries and sugar.
People who have chronic fatigue, depression or a lack of appetite have described blue dream as having therapeutic effects that improve these conditions. People have also described it as relieving chronic pain and migraines.
Key Points: Types of Weed
Not all weed is the same. Here are some general points related to the many different kinds of weed:
- There are two main strains of weed: indica and sativa
- C. indica strains are relaxing and provide a body high
- C. sativa strains tend to be energizing and provide a cognitive high
- There are many variations of hybrid strains that combine aspects of both
Though some strains of marijuana have been described to have therapeutic effects and have been approved for medicinal use, the use of marijuana can result in dangerous side effects. Marijuana can be addictive.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder, The Recovery Village can help. To learn more about our comprehensive treatment plans, call The Recovery Village to speak with a representative.