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What Are Marijuana Seeds? A Comprehensive Guide
As ironic as it may sound, getting involved with marijuana has slowly become a very low-key trend across the whole world. It actually wasn’t too long ago when cannabis and all sorts of marijuana-related products were criminalized and looked down upon by the majority of both US and Canadian citizens. However, while this negative stigma is still alive and present today, there has definitely been a shift in the people’s mindsets with regards to cannabis and what it really is.
In fact, interest in marijuana today has reached an all-time high as communities have slowly started to embrace the benefits and advantages that weed can bring! As such, we feel it is necessary to give you guys a brief idea of where cannabis comes from: the marijuana seeds.
What Are Marijuana Seeds?
Just like any other type of plant out there, cannabis plants directly originate from the cultivation of marijuana seeds. These marijuana seeds (or weed seeds, if you will) act as the carriers of all the genetic traits and qualities that different cannabis strains are known to have. As seed breeders and producers develop more seeds by having their weed seeds go through pollination, the resulting outcome contains qualities from all parent strains used throughout the breeding process.
What Do Cannabis Seeds Look Like?
If you were expecting marijuana seeds to have some sort of iconic profile that distinguishes them from other various types of plant seeds, then you might be a little disappointed. Marijuana seeds are basically small, brown pellets that are covered in a firm outer shell that acts as an additional layer of protection for the organisms during the whole cultivation process. Regardless of which type of marijuana seed you grow, I can assure you that they will all look exactly the same.
Cannabis Plants: Genders and Sexes
Since we are on the topic, I would just like to point out that weed seeds are generally assumed to sprout cannabis plants that are dioecious in nature. Now, imagine how human beings are classified based on their sex: males and females. Well, cannabis plants behave the same way in the sense that they are distinguished as either male (used for breeding) or female (used for developing consumable buds) plants. Hence, they are dioecious in nature.
However, a recurring trait that many growers experience is their cannabis plants developing hermaphroditism which causes them to convert to a monoecious species of cannabis. What this basically means is that a singular plant will contain both male and female reproductive organs! Think of it as a hybrid type of marijuana plant.
Also, an important note! When growing marijuana seeds, make sure to keep male and hermaphrodite plants away from your females. Failure to do so may cause the pollination of males to contaminate your females! Try researching a little more on this topic for a better growing experience.
Types of Marijuana Seeds
There are different types of marijuana seeds that growers may choose to cultivate in their cannabis gardens. While the amount of choices may seem overwhelming especially to beginner growers, always make sure that you opt for the seed type that suits your garden the best.
Generally, the three (3) main types of marijuana seeds are: autoflowering seeds, feminized seeds, and regular seeds. Each one of them offers their own sets of benefits and drawbacks so choose wisely!
Cannabis plants are naturally known to be highly dependent on the patterns of sunlight that they absorb in order to be able to produce potent and resinous buds for harvest. While this has been the accepted standard for growing weed buds for as long as cannabis cultivation started, a new trend has suddenly taken over the weed scene by storm. Yep, we are talking about the use of autoflowering seeds.
Autoflowering seeds, unlike its photoperiod counterparts, do not depend on much sunlight in order to produce healthy cannabis buds. Instead, they automatically start producing flowers once they reach a certain level of maturity during the cultivation process, making them ideal for growing areas with less-than-ideal conditions and climates.
This quality is taken directly from the Cannabis Ruderalis species of marijuana. It is a certain species of weed was first discovered in places with extreme growing conditions and harsh climates. This forced it to develop the ability to adapt and stay resilient despite the limited sources of light that the cannabis plant was given. Ruderalis genetics, however, are inherently low on THC and aren’t usually consumed by itself. Instead, ruderalis genes are crossbred with high-THC strains to create autoflowering seeds.
Now, the very first photoperiod type of seed that we will talk about is the feminized seeds variety. Unlike autoflowering seeds, photoperiod seeds rely a great deal on the amount of light that they are exposed to during the flowering stages in order to be able to produce colas and buds. During the flowering stages, the most general pattern of light given to photoperiod seeds is 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness in order to simulate the natural conditions of the environment.
Feminized seeds, as you can probably tell, are a type of cannabis seed that sprouts purely female plants. Female plants are the ones that will form and develop buds that people use for smoking and consumption. As such, they are the ones that many personal growers use but not so much for experts and producers as they aren’t ideal for new seed and strain breeding.
Lastly, we have the most tradition and natural form that cannabis seeds can come in: the regular seeds. Before the rise of feminized and autoflowering varieties, growers only had one choice: using these bad boys to cultivate their cannabis plants! While numerous innovations and new ideas have been introduced to the cannabis scene, regular seeds are still alive and well as they still serve numerous purposes to both growers and smokers alike. In terms of light, they are the other type of photoperiod seed. This means that, just like feminized seeds, they rely on the lighting patterns in order to be able to flower correctly and produce weed buds.
However, the main and most important difference between them is that regular seeds bring a 50%-50% chance of sprouting either male or female cannabis plants. Many people view this as an inconvenience as male plants, through their pollen sacs, may have the tendency to contaminate female plants and convert them into seed-producing plants instead of sprouting marijuana buds.
While this isn’t exactly among the three main categories of weed seeds, CBD seeds play a role that is just as important to the cannabis community as the others in its group. You see, one of the areas where people advocate for cannabis the most is the medical sector. That’s right, the health benefits and medical contributions that cannabis can bring to people are often the main reasons why cannabis legalization is so widely considered these days.
Throughout the years, people have found ways on how to make use of all the naturally beneficial purposes that cannabis has to offer. Well, one of them is through the consumption of CBD seeds.
Cannabidiol and CBD seeds:
As many of you may know, cannabis plants contain compounds known as cannabinoids. There are well over a hundred cannabinoids found in your typical marijuana plant but the two (2) main components responsible for the majority of a cannabis plant’s effects are the tetrahydrocannabinol (psychoactive effects) and cannabidiol (medical benefits).
Now, while many people usually smoke cannabis strains that are high in THC for leisure purposes, CBD strains act more as an alternative form of treatment for various health conditions and diseases. Of course, people have also found ways on how to make it a much more enjoyable experience all the while still providing them with high levels of CBD. This is made possible with strains that contain subtle amounts of THC or, in many cases,a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC!
Marijuana Seed Varieties
Another main topic that deals with marijuana seeds is their classification based on the different varieties and species. When in their seed forms, it is virtually impossible to distinguish cannabis based on their varieties. However, as they start growing into fully mature marijuana plants, you will start to notice that each species of cannabis has a unique set of traits and qualities that differentiate them from one another.
Now, how exactly do you tell them apart? Well, they are actually very distinguishable in just about every aspect! From their plant structures, flowering periods, growing demands, bud development, to their tastes, flavors, and effects, cannabis species will display characteristics that give them their specific and unique profiles!
Different Marijuana Seed Varieties:
Currently, there are three (3) main varieties that marijuana seeds come in: the cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. Furthermore, combining these species of cannabis also produce what are called cannabis hybrids, which are seeds and strains that incorporate the best features and qualities of its parent strains into one.
While each of these offer different things to users, they are all equally useful to the development of different strains in the market. Above, we have discussed the origins and functions of the cannabis ruderalis and how it is used to incorporate certain strains with autoflowering genetics. Now, we take a look at the two other types of marijuana seed varieties that are mainly used for consumption: sativas and indicas.
The Cannabis Sativa variety was the very first kind of cannabis that was discovered by some of the oldest civilizations known to man. As people would consider it one of the earliest forms of plants ever cultivated, people would often use the cannabis sativa for different purposes. Sativa (which also includes the hemp variety of marijuana) was first discovered to be indigenous to places across East and Southern Asia as well as different regions of Central America and Africa.
Plant Structure and Grow Info:
Cannabis plants that grow from sativa seeds will generally sprout tall and thin structures. The lanky form makes it easy for light sources to penetrate the different layers of leaves, exposing each plant part to the much needed amount of light. The usual heights that they reach can measure anywhere around 12 to 17 feet. Buds are also known to grow much bigger and chunkier, although they may weigh lighter due to them being less dense than indica buds. The overall hues of sativas also tend to be vibrant and light green.
Sativa strains are also used to growing in areas near the equator (which means longer periods of sunlight), which means that they can handle warmer temperatures better than indicas can. Because of this, sativa strains may take longer to flower than other cannabis species. The average flowering time takes around 12 to 15 weeks. They do, however, take shorter periods for the vegetative stage as sativas can grow their structures pretty quickly. Also, sativa strains are known to produce lesser yields in terms of grams per plant.
Probably the most distinguishable feature used to classify cannabis varieties is through their effects. Buds from sativa strains are often described as being able to produce happy, energizing, uplifting, and euphoric highs. Because it mainly deals with being mind-altering, users of sativa strains should expect trippy and cerebral sensations. It induces a more “uplifting high”.
Because of its effects, sativas are often used as daytime strains for people before heading out to work or starting their days. The extra energy boosts help them get through any stress and anxiety-driven situations that they encounter.
Cannabis Indicas, on the other hand, were discovered much later during the course of time. It was first found by French botanist Jean Baptiste-Lamarck who, during one of his expedition trips to India, came across another species of marijuana. Unlike the sativa and hemp varieties, this one displayed different properties and effects. In order to avoid any confusion with hemp and sativa, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck classified this species as the Cannabis Indica, named after the place in which it was discovered. Indica plants were also known to be very indigenous to places such as the Hindu Kush Mountain Ranges, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Nepal.
Plant Structure and Grow Info:
Indica strains display very small and stocky plant structures. It is often very bushy and dense, giving the plants an extremely compact look. Because of this, indica plants may need a little more trimming and topping in order to give them a clean form that helps expose the plant to light and air circulation. The heights of indica strains may range from around 3 to 9 feet in height, depending on the surrounding growing conditions. As for its colors, these plants generally display darker shades of green. Oftentimes, if grown in slightly cooler climates, hue of purple may be observed in certain strains!
Indica plants are capable of producing buds that are more frosty and chunky than sativas. The abundance of sticky resin and trichomes give these buds a very dense look, which is evident since they naturally weigh heavier than a sativa strain’s buds. Cultivating indica seeds will bring growers a shorter flowering period, which generally stretches from around 8 to 10 weeks. Indicas are capable of handling cooler climates better than sativas are.
An indica strain’s effects are described as causing more of a “physical stone” rather than getting high. As such, users can expect indicas to induce feelings of sleepiness, relaxation, calmness, and deep tranquility. One effect that is commonly associated with extremely hard-hitting indica strains is the feeling of couch-lock. This basically makes the whole body feel numb and droopy. As you start crashing down on your couch, you won’t be able to move or get up for many hours. Thus, the name “couch-lock”.
Indica strains mainly target the physical properties of a smoker, which means that you can expect strong body highs off of these. The soothing physical sensations and buzzes work great for finding peace during the night after a long day at work. This makes indica great for relieving any muscle tightness and soreness, as well as mitigate the various levels of pain and discomfort in your body.
Hybrid marijuana strains basically come from crossbreeding two or more strains in order to create an entirely new one! This has been an ongoing process throughout the years and it has seen some of the best and most premium strains be developed out of it.
Regardless of whether you choose indicas or sativas as parent strains, the outcome will still be considered as hybrid strains. You can basically crossbreed any strains together, which is what experts do in order to introduce new products to the market every year.
Now, how a hybrid plant looks, tastes, grows, and even its effects and highs will depend entirely on the parent strains that you choose to combine. While it will take certain qualities from each strain, breeders do have control over how much influence is placed into a strain. This is why we have what are called indica-dominant and sativa-dominant cannabis strains. Moreover, the implementation of cannabis ruderalis also gives birth to autoflowering hybrid plants.
How to Grow Marijuana Seeds:
Since we have discussed the different types of marijuana seeds and varieties in which they come, growers and users should have a brief idea of how cannabis is classified. Now, we move on to how marijuana seeds are grown. Now, there are two ways to go about starting your cannabis cultivation process. You can either use cannabis seeds as we have discussed or you opt for obtaining genetics through the use of clones.
These two methods are generally the same in the sense that they are capable of sprouting healthy and potent buds when done properly. They do, however, differ quite significantly in the way that they are being cultivated. So, which type of growing works best? What are the different advantages and disadvantages of each one? Let’s find out:
Types of Growing:
When you find yourself growing marijuana plants time and time again, you may have developed a certain liking for some specific strains out there. As such, this gives you a general idea as to how that strain grows and how long it takes to mature. Being so accustomed to some strains actually makes it impractical to continuously buy weed seeds, germinate them, and basically start from scratch when you can get a head start by using clones. What exactly do I mean by that? Let me explain.
Basically, the use of clones involves taking some cuttings from a female plant (also called the mother plant) and cultivating the said cutting instead of using seeds! What this does is that it makes an exact copy of the mother plant that sprouts from the cuttings. This makes it a very wise choice for people who usually just stick to one or two strains. This way, they can forego the germination process and skip directly to the more advanced stages of a cannabis plant’s life, thereby saving a lot of time.
Advantages of clones:
● The use of clones is actually a very basic process. While there is more to be discussed about this, it basically consists of taking some cuttings of the mother plant and simply introducing it to the growing medium of your choice.
● What you plant is what you get! Whatever qualities the mother plant contains, you are almost guaranteed to get the same things from its clones. This includes the tastes, potency, appearance, and everything else in between. If you take cuttings from a female plant, then you can be sure as heck that the clones will turn out female.
● As stated above, using clones is a very effective way of saving time in the cultivation process. Because cuttings are obtained from mature plants, cultivating them will basically transport you directly to the flowering stage. You can have a lot more harvests using clones.
● You basically get an unlimited supply of the same strain as long as you continue using clones in your gardens! That doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?
Disadvantages of clones:
● Obtaining cuttings from your mother plant can definitely cause stress to them. Additionally, if you do not know the proper ways of treating them, you might cause further damage to your crops. Remember, obtaining clones of your plants is basically like cutting off a part of their bodies!
● Because seeds are the more recognized way of cultivating weed seeds, it may be quite hard to convince growers to opt for clones instead. Also, weed seeds are actually very obtainable in many parts where marijuana is legal.
● Clones carry all the traits of the mother plant. Needless to say, they also carry the bad qualities and traits of the mother plant. So if you obtain cuttings from sick or unhealthy plants, your clones will undoubtedly turn out the same way.
● Being unaware of the proper way to plant clones may be quite confusing. Just like using seeds, clones require certain amounts of nutrients and light exposure.
People are definitely more familiar with the process of cultivating cannabis plants through the use of weed seeds. As many of you may know, the main stages that seeds go through are: the germination stage, vegetative stage, pre-flowering stage, flowering stage, and the harvest. Afterwards they also go through the processes of drying, curing and decarboxylation.
Of course, the use of seeds instead of clones also brings a number of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at some of them!
Advantages of seeds:
● Using marijuana seeds is the traditional way of cultivating cannabis plants. As such, people will definitely find this method of growing more attractive. It is also easy to learn and is practically safe to do without having to risk the health of all your other plants.
● If you purchase your cannabis seeds from reliable sources, then they may also guarantee you with high quality plants.
● The diversity of the choices of strains that you have is probably the biggest advantage that seeds hold against clones. If you are worrying about whether they turn out to be males or females, then you can opt for feminized seeds.
● Crossbreeding and producing new strains is made possible by the use of marijuana seeds. Using clones, on the other hand, will only give you copies of mother plants.
● The opportunity to start a fresh batch using weed seeds ensures that you have a clean slate with no worries of existing pests and diseases.
Disadvantages of seeds:
● There are going to be instances when your cannabis seeds will not sprout during germination. This basically renders them useless if you do not try salvaging the seeds. Even then, their quality might have deteriorated.
● Using weed seeds for cultivation will take a much longer process overall. This directly affects the number of harvests that can be made in a year.
● Using seeds also bears the risk of not knowing whether your plants turn out to be male or female (for regular seeds). This, in turn, increases the chance of the males contaminating the whole weed crop.
● While it is possible through the use of weed seeds, crossbreeding and developing strains isn’t exactly something that is done by the typical grower. Rather, it is usually performed by experts and producers.
Overall, I think that the use of either marijuana seeds or clones to cultivate cannabis plants is a decision that is entirely up to the grower. Because each garden is exposed to different conditions and circumstances, make sure to always choose the option that is comfortable for you! We hope that this guide on marijuana seeds helps you expand your knowledge about cannabis and its varieties. Happy growing!