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Choosing Cannabis Seeds
6 min

How To Choose The Right Cannabis Seeds

6 min
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Growing your own weed from seed has endless benefits including quality control, reduced costs and a sense of pride and accomplishment. Use this guide to pick the right seed for your needs.

These days, most cannabis growers won’t have any trouble finding a selection of high-quality cannabis seeds to choose from. Many seed companies are now catering to all kinds of customers, from medicinal cannabis users to old-school ganja aficionados. On the other hand, the sheer number of varieties available is enough to make your head spin. So, if you want to grow cannabis, how do you go about finding the right seeds? Our guidelines for choosing cannabis seeds can help you make a decision!

PRE-CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE PURCHASING CANNABIS SEEDS

PRE-CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE PURCHASING CANNABIS SEEDS

When it comes to selecting the right seeds for you, there are various factors to keep in mind to help set you up for success. It’s all about what you need, what you want, and what you have (space, energy, etc.).

  • HOW AND WHERE WILL YOU GROW?

Before buying your seeds, there are a few quick ways to narrow down your choices. First, start thinking about how and where you will grow your weed. This means, are you growing indoors or out? If so, what’s the climate like? Are you opting for hydro or soil? Do you have experience training cannabis plants, or growing them at all? All these questions can help you hone in on the perfect strain for your operation. Obviously, the amount of space you have, whether growing indoors or out, will also largely determine which specimen you select. We all would love to grow towering ganja trees of distinction, but sometimes the space simply doesn’t allow.

  • MAKE A WISH LIST OF WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IN A STRAIN

This part is a little more fun to consider; what does your dream cannabis look like? Do you want a strain to help you find relief from certain symptoms, or to act as inspiration for some fun times ahead? Do you appreciate an energising buzz, or prefer to relax on the couch? And then there’s flavour to consider—are fruity strains your thing, or would you rather something more dank and spicy? You get the idea! You can make a “wish list” so you know what to look for when choosing your seeds.

  • CHECK THE SEED DESCRIPTIONS!

A reputable seed company like Zamnesia will always provide helpful information on their cannabis seeds so you know exactly what you’re getting. This way, you have an idea of the effects and flavour a strain will have, whether it is easy to grow, what yields you can expect, and how long it will take until harvest.

YOUR CANNABIS SEED SELECTION CHECKLIST:

Below is a comprehensive checklist of the variables to consider as you're buying your seeds.

1. SATIVA, INDICA, HYBRID: HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR WEED TO MAKE YOU FEEL?

SATIVA, INDICA, HYBRID: HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR WEED TO MAKE YOU FEEL?

The first thing you will likely want to look at when choosing a strain is what effect it has. For this, it helps to have a grasp on the three main types of cannabis seeds: indicas, sativas, and hybrids. Here is a quick rundown on their different effects and growth profiles. Keep in mind that most modern cultivars are some sort of hybrid, combining the effects of various strains in different ratios.

  • Indica

Indicas are primarily enjoyed at night; they induce a pleasant, physically relaxing effect that is best described in one word: stoned. Strong indicas can be so relaxing indeed that they catalyse what’s known as “couch-lock”, a state of near-immobility as a result of the aforementioned physical sedation.

During growth, indicas normally remain quite squat, rarely exceeding one metre in height and featuring short internodes. If you want to give some excellent indicas a shot, check out Northern Lights or Blue Mystic.

  • Sativa

Then there are the sativas. These cerebral and energetic strains are known to produce a significant head buzz that is euphoric and uplifting. Some sativas are even described as “psychedelic” due to their effect on cognition. These strains are obviously not ideal if you want to chill or go to sleep, but they make for an excellent smoke before hikes, creative projects, and social endeavours.

Pure sativas are capable of reaching massive heights of over 3 metres, and appear as tall and majestic trees. Try Kees’ Old School Haze and L.A. Amnesia to experience everything sativas have to offer.

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  • Hybrids

Since most modern strains on the market are some sort of hybrid, it’s important to pay attention to the ratio between indica and sativa genetics. For instance, you may find strains composed of 70% indica and 30% sativa, which are referred to as indica-dominant hybrids. These strains will likely still induce a deep, physically relaxing effect thanks to the heavy indica influence, but the sativa effects help balance out the experience. The same rule applies to other genetic ratios.

Hybrids appear all along the spectrum in terms of growth; some are compact, others spindly, but rarely do they exceed 2 metres indoors. To experience high potency in hybrid format, check out Liberty Haze and Boy Scout Cookies.

Of course, it’s not just genotype (genetics) that plays a part in strain selection—chemotype, or chemical makeup, is something to consider as well. THC and CBD, not to mention terpenes, ultimately play a huge role in a strain’s final effects profile.

2. MEDICAL OR RECREATIONAL CANNABIS: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

Many people these days consume cannabis not (only) to enjoy a good high, but for medicinal purposes. Some use cannabis for treating pain, others dose the herb to relieve anxiety or get to sleep. Which ailment you’re looking to soothe does play a part in which strain you should select. After all, some medicinal strains, like those rich in CBD and low in THC, will not catalyse a high at all, instead offering exclusively therapeutic benefits. Other medicinal strains contain high levels of THC in order to treat the symptoms of specific conditions, like appetite loss for example.

For the most part, medicinal strains tend to have a good dose of CBD with a mild THC concentration. Ultimately, however, what constitutes “medicinal” cannabis is up to you to decide. If you want to grow medical cannabis, check out these medicinal cannabis seeds.

Recreational cannabis is even easier to describe. This is the weed you toke simply for your own pleasure. If a great high is what’s most important to you, you’ll likely want a potent indica, sativa, or hybrid that has predominantly THC, perhaps with some CBD in the mix as well. Check out the powerful Gorilla Glue, the famous Girl Scout Cookies, and the spectacular Amnesia Haze—three super-popular and potent recreational strains.

3. REGULAR, FEMINIZED, AUTOFLOWERING, PHOTOPERIOD: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

When growing cannabis, the type of seed you choose is also of great importance. There are three types of seeds to select from: regular seeds, feminized photoperiod seeds, and autoflowering seeds.

  • Regular seeds

Regular cannabis seeds can grow into either a female or a male plant. They are not as popular as they used to be, although seasoned growers swear by them and say that they produce the best results. The disadvantage with regular seeds is that the average grower will need to swiftly identify the males and toss them out to prevent pollinating females. Then again, if you’re breeding cannabis, you will obviously require male plants.

  • Feminized photoperiod seeds

Feminized cannabis seeds do away with the hassles of male plants as they sprout only females. Since females are the ones that produce resin-rich buds, this is the choice most growers opt for. If you grow indoors, you control the growing stages of feminized photoperiod cannabis plants with a timer for your grow light.

During the vegetative stage, you grow them under 18–24 hours of light, then initiate flowering by switching the timer to 12 hours on, 12 hours off. “Photoperiod” basically denotes that plants will only flower once light exposure is reduced enough to mimic the natural change in seasons. This means feminized photoperiod plants grown indoors can technically be kept in the vegetative stage for as long as desired if given sufficient light.

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  • Autoflowering seeds

Unlike photoperiod cannabis, autoflowering weed starts to bloom on its own after about 4 weeks. The exact time can vary, but autos always flower according to time, not light exposure. Autoflowering seeds are also feminized, so they won’t produce males, but unlike with photoperiod plants, indoor growers aren’t responsible for changing the light cycle to initiate bloom. Growers can simply leave autoflowers under 18–24 hours of light for the whole grow cycle. This makes autos a great option for new growers who have yet to learn the ropes of indoor cultivation. Moreover, autoflowers have a much quicker seedtoharvest time, maturing in about half the time as some photoperiod strains.

Quick One Autoflowering and Sweet Skunk Automatic are fast-growing and will avoid the threat of autumn rains outdoors. Many autoflowers are also very compact, which makes them ideal for small indoor grows. Their disadvantages come in the form of reduced yield potential as well as reduced potency.

So, what type of seed is right for you? If you grow indoors under a grow light, you will likely want feminized cannabis seeds, either photoperiod or autoflowering. If your space is limited or you want to grow without worrying about switching your lights, autoflowering cannabis seeds could be the best choice. And of course, breeders looking to create novel cannabis varieties should stock up on regular seeds for their experiments.

4. CLIMATE: BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR EXPECTATIONS

Not all cannabis strains are equally suited to all climate zones. If you live in Northern Europe and you’re growing outdoors, you will want cannabis strains that are resilient to cold and rain, and those that finish their grow cycle quickly. Luckily, many of the strains bred to thrive in colder climates are naturally fast-growing and flower quickly. This way, you can harvest primo bud before mould and rot have the chance to spoil your harvest.

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But if you’re growing indoors, or outdoors where you have sunny and long summers, you won’t need to worry about how long a strain may take until harvest. Some breeders will even categorise seeds according to climate—but even looking at other metrics like flowering time and natural resilience can help you determine if it suits your specific climate.

5. EASY VS. ADVANCED

Cannabis strains can be easier or more difficult to grow depending on several factors. We already mentioned the photoperiod/autoflowering divide, but there are other variables too. Some strains are bred to be more robust, with better natural resistance against common pests, mould, and diseases. They can be less picky when it comes to nutrients and watering, and can tolerate grower error better than others. So if you’re new to growing cannabis, it can be best to choose a strain known for being fairly low-maintenance.

6. PRICE

Lastly, price is naturally a determining factor in which seeds you choose to buy. But be warned: you shouldn’t let bargain prices that seem too good to be true fool you, especially if you find such offers from unknown and less-reputable vendors. Many times, cheap cannabis seeds can be of low quality with poor germination rates and overall poor genetics. As a result of saving a few bucks, you will likely sacrifice yield and potency.

If you’re already spending a lot of time and effort on growing weed, not to mention money on growing equipment, it makes little sense to skimp where quality is most important. Get your seeds from a reputable seed company, and you will have complete confidence in your cannabis from day one.

Happy growing!

Georg

Written by: Georg
Based in Spain, Georg spends a lot of his time not only geeking out at his computer but in his garden as well. With a burning passion for growing cannabis and researching psychedelics, Georg is well versed in all things psychoactive.

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