The 3 Different Types of Cannabis Seeds

There are three different types of weed seeds available to the cannabis grower: regular, feminized and auto-flower cannabis seeds.

Weed seeds can be male or female, and even hermaphrodites, but you won’t be able to tell the difference when looking at seeds in real life or by looking at pictures of male and female seeds. Nonetheless, understanding the differences between these varying cannabis seeds and their sex can save your entire harvest.

The following is a brief explanation of each type of seed so you can determine which is the best option for your garden.  

Regular Cannabis Seeds

Regular weed seeds are produced by crossing a male plant with a female plant. The resulting seeds can become either male or female cannabis plants. When growing from regular weed seeds, it is unknown how many seeds will grow into male or female cannabis plants until the plant reaches the flowering stage, at which point, the plants will begin to present their sex.

The main difference between male and female cannabis plants is that only female plants produce the psychoactive flowers we consume, whereas male plants produce pollen that can present cultivators with issues. When male plants fertilize female plants, the resulting flowers are full of seeds and contain less THC, so typically, growers will destroy male plants as to avoid compromising the entire grow. 

Despite the challenges male plants can present to grow operations, male plants pass down genetic traits to their offspring and play an important role in the genetic diversity of cannabis strains. While female plants produce the desired flower, regular seeds offer growers the opportunity to experience the full expression of that strain’s genetic lineage. 

Feminized Seeds

Feminized weed seeds are genetically mutated to only produce female plants and maximize the production of the desired flower or bud. Many cannabis cultivators opt for feminized seeds because it significantly reduces the likelihood of the harvest becoming compromised by male plants.

Feminized seeds are produced by manipulating the plant’s genetics.  When female plants are placed under certain stressful circumstances, they can produce “male” flowers containing pollen. This pollen can then be used to fertilize a different female plant, and all of the resulting offspring should end up being female.

This can be achieved through various methods. For example, by introducing light at set times during the dark hours of flowering, or by spraying the flower sites of a female plant with Colloidal Silver to produce a chemical change in the plant that produces male flowers with pollen. 

Auto-flower Seeds

If you are new to growing cannabis, auto-flower seeds might be the right choice for you. Auto-flower seeds are bred in a way so that after a certain amount of time, the plant will automatically begin to flower when they reach a certain maturity regardless of the light-cycle they have bee exposed to. This usually occurs around ten weeks from seed, as opposed to flowering in accordance with the daily light schedules. 

Auto-flower strains are crosses of modern day strains with Cannabis Ruderalis strains. Cannabis Ruderalis is the 3rd subtype of cannabis, the other two being Indica and Sativa. Cannabis Ruderalis is typically found closer to the North and South Pole, and have a very different lifespan compared to strains originating closer to the Equator. 

Due to the lack of sunlight for extended periods of time at both the North and South Pole, Cannabis Ruderalis strains have developed to the point where no matter how much light is present, they will finish out their life cycle–auto-flower seeds inherited this trait.

If you want to keep learning about cannabis seeds, you won’t want to miss our blog with 12 helpful tips on sprouting cannabis seeds. If you’d rather skip the seeds and learn how to care for clones, check out this blog.

If growing sounds too complicated, don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. Shop the best weed strains at KindPeoples Soquel and KindPeoples Ocean. If you’re in Southern California, be sure to shop the best weed strains at our sister-store, Highway Cannabis in Marina del Rey.