Cannabis cultivation is, no pun intended, a growing market. When you crunch the numbers, it soon becomes obvious that even if you spend a four-figure sum on preparing your grow room, it will soon pay for itself given the ever-rising cost of weed dispensary prices.
However, that’s not to say that growing your own is straightforward. If the closest you’ve come to cultivation is helping Grandma with her tomato plants as a kid, you’ve some learning ahead. It’s important to take things one step at a time, though, and while there are likely to be all sorts of things on your shopping list, cannabis seeds are the most fundamental.
People tend to go one of two ways here. They either assume the most expensive seeds are the best and choose those or they take an ‘if in doubt, do whatever is cheapest’ approach and go to the other extreme. The former is a bad idea for beginners, as the most expensive seeds are likely to produce more exotic strains that really need expertise — not the best plan for your first experimental crop.
There’s sound logic in the second approach, but take care and don’t over-economise. For example, it’s worth spending a little more to buy your seeds from a reputable source, like one of the big-name online seed shops, so that you can be confident you know what you are getting.
Take the strain
There are dozens of different cannabis strains out there, and that means just as many types of cannabis seeds available online. We can’t discuss the merits of every strain here, but, before you even think about narrowing it down, you must decide on whether to grow a sativa or indica.
To a large extent, that’s a matter of choice. Conventional wisdom states that indicas are a little more forgiving for the novice grower, and there is the additional plus point that they take a little less time to grow. If you have your heart set on a specific sativa, then don’t be afraid to go for it. But if you have no strong preference either way, indica is the way to go, at least with your first crop.
Autoflowers and feminized seeds
Finally, the two terms that cause the most confusion among cannabis seed buyers. Let’s deal with the easy one first. Always buy feminized seeds. One of those false economies we mentioned earlier is to buy ‘regular’ seeds, meaning they will produce a mixture of male and female plants, but you won’t know which is which until they start to grow. At that point, any males must be removed, or they will ruin everything when the females start to bud.
Autoflowering seeds have been bred to grow more easily and, as the name suggests, to start flowering at the right time, even if you get the light conditions wrong. They make growing far more straightforward, and they are ideal for beginners. The only downside is that they do not produce the biggest plants with the highest yields, so, once you’ve got some experience under your belt, you might want to progress to photoperiod seeds instead.