Pros and Cons of Regular and Feminized Seedlings
Regular seed may be the standard weed type cannabis plant seed; but they also offer gardeners a slew of possibilities for experimenting with their growing medium. The primary reason they’re known as regular seeds is because they were originally in no way crossbred to create the much-ballyhooed hybrid cannabis plant that’s now available on the open market. Instead, the common “seed” was typically a normal member of the genus Cinnamomum that includes all manner of aromatic and tasty flowers. In a crossbreeding procedure, these flowers and “parents” are separated and a new set of desired qualities is introduced to the mix. When this new hybrid is ready to sprout, it does so with a vengeance!
The two most common hybrid types that crop up are the Sativa and the indica, with each having a specific set of desirable traits. While some of the characteristics of each strain can be found in hybrid cannabis plants derived from hybrid parent crops, there are some differences between the various strains that result. For instance, Sativa seeds are actually easier to germinate and make more compact buds, allowing for increased production in any given garden plot. Indica buds, on the other hand, are known for their resiliency and their ability to grow under low stressors, so that they’re great for outdoor gardens. Indicas also tend to produce more resin as a result of crossbreeding; and resin is the result of two distinct genes, one from the Sativa and one from the indica. The result is a potent hybrid that’s very versatile in the garden.
However, there are some pros and cons to both types of cannabis plants. Sativa, or “Harmica,” as it’s more commonly known, is considered by many to be the purest of the hybrids, exhibiting a lean toward herbalism over cerebral appeal. It’s also one of the most resilient types of cannabis, able to withstand difficult weather conditions and drought. It does, however, require more maintenance than some of the lighter-weight varieties.
While feminized (also called “onghaired”) sativa is prized for its hardier character, it may not be as forgiving as some of the feminized lines. When crossbred with indica or other feminized varieties, an autoflowering strain can sometimes suffer from “oiliness.” Some feminized plants have also been known to have low pollen counts, meaning that flowers aren’t as abundant as expected. The result can be flowers that have little aroma or color. Many times, autoflowering strains are blended with other lines to achieve a greater effect.
For those who prefer the best autoflowering seeds available, it’s recommended to stick with the regular seed varieties for purchase. Autoflowers can be shipped in regular seed trays, which ensure consistent harvesting throughout the year. In addition, most regular seeds can be stored for up to three months without any loss of flavor or aroma.
Of course, many of the cons of regular seed production are also present for autoflowers, too. One of the biggest problems is finding the right strain. While there are a variety of excellent genetics out there, many of them are still rather rare. Others are not as consistent in performance, meaning that they don’t work well for all applications. Many feminized strains, on the other hand, are extremely powerful autosuckers capable of producing large amounts of buds and producing high quality buds.
Additionally, the feminization process can introduce some unexpected variables into the mix. When a female cannabis seed is crossed with a male, or vice versa, it means that the outcome will be unpredictable. Many researchers theorize that genetics play a big role in determining the end results, but that remains to be seen.
Despite the pros and cons, autoflowering strains remain a popular option for growing cannabis. They are relatively easy to maintain, produce high quantities of buds in a short amount of time, and are a very cost-effective alternative to regular seed production. They can also be used outside the home in gardening and landscaping, creating exotic plants that are similar to or even better than their parents. The cons, while they may not outweigh the pros, definitely do not outweigh the overall benefits of female cannabis seeds. For many people, the decision between regular seeds and feminized cannabis seeds will come down to personal preference.