Cannabis Seeds for First Time Growers: Guide

If you are new to this, the variety of marijuana seed you choose will be decisive for the success or failure of your crops. There are strains that will forgive you for many errors, while there are other delicate ones where an error can result in plants with little production.

In this guide we will review basic information to take into account when choosing seed varieties to have excellent results with the crop you are planning. And I recommend some specific ones for each situation.

There are too many varieties of cannabis today. So how do we start to choose?

First of all, answer these questions — The type of seeds to purchase will depend on your answers.

  • In what environment are you going to grow, outdoors or indoors?
  • What is the weather like in your city?
  • How much time and work do you want to dedicate to it?
  • What effects do you expect when consuming?

You don’t need to read everything, you can directly jump to my seed recommendations for beginners that will be explained with their respective characteristics, but if you want to get inside the reason for these recommendations you can examine some of the following sections.

marijuana-indica-sativa-ruderalis

Cannabis species

Sativa, indica and ruderalis are species distinct from the ‘cannabis’ genus. There are several differences, from size, leafiness, leaf shapes, to psychoactive effects and flowering time. Although today there are no seeds that are only indica or only sativa, in the details of the varieties you will be able to read the percentage of each genetics.

northern-lights-90-percent-indica
Northern Lights – 90% Indica

Indica

  • Size — They are recognizable for their short stature and their leafiness. They are ideal plants for indoor (and stealth crops) reaching maximum heights of 1.5 meters or much lower applying techniques that we will see later.
  • Effects — Indicas have an effect that we could call ‘corporal’. By smoking it you will feel your muscles relaxed, and a good strain may leave you unable to get up for a while. It also acts as a sedative to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and help sleep. It can be used to help release stress and anxiety.
  • Time — Cannabis indica tends to flower much faster than Sativa, once it reaches its ideal height it puts all its energy into producing buds.
  • Production — They have very good production in relation to their size and times. With dense and heavy buds.
  • Climate — Regions away from the equator at least 30 degrees south or north is the ideal climate for this type of marijuana. This includes Uruguay, central Argentina, central Chile, southern United States, Spain and almost all of Europe, among others.
amnesia-haze-70-percent-sativa-30-percent-indica
Amnesia Haze – 70% Sativa

Sativa

  • Size — They are the largest of the three, and can reach heights of more than 4 meters. They are more spiky, less leafy, and the space between the nodes of the main trunk — where the branches and buds come from — is much larger.
  • Effects — Cannabis sativa tends to produce a “cerebral” effect, you are going to feel energetic, euphoric and accelerated. It generates motivation, greater focus or attention, inspires and helps creativity, generates a feeling of well-being. These effects can be accompanied by anxiety and even paranoia in certain people — including myself.
  • Time — They need more time in the flowering stage, and continue to grow during this stage. Especially during the first week they hit a ‘lug’.
  • Production — Sativas have very good production in outdoor cultivation. The size and the extra time leads to a large number of flowers. However, in indoor crops, where the maximum height is determined by the distance from the light, the production is notably lower.
  • Climate — Originating in equatorial regions, they need many hours of sunshine during their growth stage, and a minimum temperature of 20ºC, below which it can cause problems in their roots. Do not forget that humid climates with low temperatures incite the multiplication of pests and fungi to which this type of marijuana plants are vulnerable. They are ideal for growing in countries in northern South America, Central America, Mexico and equatorial regions of Africa and Asia.

Ruderalis

This cannabis species grows little and reaches its flowering stage rapidly, being native to extreme climates such as Nepal, Russia or northern Europe. It has a limited production, with little THC content. It is not a variety that is marketed for recreational use, and we will not cover it for the most part.

It is worth noting: autoflowering plants were created from the cross ruderalis with indica and sativa. Thanks to its accelerated flowering given by its genetics and the power and production of the other species, the best of both worlds is obtained.

marijuana-seeds

Seed Types

Another factor to take into account in case you do not know what you are talking about when the terms “Regular”, “Feminized”, and “Autoflowering” are mentioned.

Before we continue — Cannabis plants have Sex

  • Females are the ones that produce the buds that we smoke.
  • Male plants produce other flowers — without psychoactive effects.
  • Finally there are hermaphrodites, which have flowers of both sexes.

Watch out! —One male or hermaphrodite can pollinate your entire crop. The pollinated buds become sacks full of seeds, and the psychoactive quality drops considerably.

Regular Seeds

If you are growing for smoking —or consuming in any other way— you’re going to want to avoid regular seeds.

You will not have control over the sex of your plants, they produce males and females equally. Choosing these seeds will result in you having to get rid of half your crop for being the wrong sex.

It is impossible to determine the sex of the seed in advance, for this you will have to wait for the flowering stage.

In general they are used by experienced growers to obtain flowers of both sexes and create their own seeds.

Feminized Seeds

They were created to obtain only females and therefore are the most popular among growers.

Growing only feminized seeds you make sure that 100% of your harvest will result in seedless buds.

Furthermore, feminized cannabis seeds tend to produce more uniform plants – similar to each other – than regular seed females.

Autoflowering Plants

2 to 4 weeks is what is needed from germination to flowering. Also called ‘automatic’, they begin their flowering process when they reach their ideal maturity and height, not depending on the daylight hours, they will flourish even if they receive light 24 hours a day.

Typically a marijuana plant needs a change in daylight hours to begin its flowering process — outdoors this occurs in late summer when the days become shorter.

Complete their harvest cycle in just 60-90 days. The speed with which they develop is their greatest virtue. In comparison, a sativa may take 90 days to complete its flowering stage only.

These will produce small crops that are already short in stature — shorter still than a regular indica — but production will be very good in relation to the time needed. They are ideal for indoor crops, discreet plantations, balconies and terraces.

They are feminized seeds! It is worth mentioning that the autoflowering characteristic does not determine this aspect. Most of what we can buy today will be feminized.

thc-cbd-effects-according-to-components

Effects according to its Components

THC and CBD — cannabinoids — are the two components you’ll see in descriptions of marijuana strains. These compounds work in different ways in the human body, depending on the type of cannabis plant the concentration of one or the other predominates, although both are always present.

The THC: CBD ratio of each variety is genetically determined. But the abundance of these compounds in your crops will vary depending on the conditions in which you grow them, including humidity, temperature and the nutrients you get from the soil.

The descriptions below are a summary so as not to overwhelm beginners. Later we will see this topic in depth including other cannabinoids such as CNB, and something that is not much talked about, the terpenes of the resin and how they modulate the effect of THC.

THC: Energetic

THC — tetrahydrocannabinol — is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. He is responsible for producing the ‘hit’ that makes you feel energetic, euphoric and accelerated. Also in certain people it can generate anxiety and paranoia.

Most varieties have been bred to produce as much THC as possible by seed banks.

CBD: Sedative and pain reliever

CBD — cannabidiol — does not have the same psychoactivity as THC. Instead, it offers analgesic, anxiolytic and sedative properties.

High CBD cannabis is considered to have a wide range of potential medicinal applications. While writing this book I have devoted myself to studying the subject and I conclude that I am not able to speak about it.

If I can say that great advances are being made by highly qualified people, and if you are interested I encourage you to do your own research and consult professionals who are studying the subject — they are many and easy to find online.

Growing Environment: What to consider

In this section we are going to study which environment will be best for you, and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each one. If you want to see specifications and how to grow in these environments later you will find a specific chapter on this.

Popular opinion is that indoor marijuana is better than outdoor marijuana. Indoor-grown buds tend to be more aesthetic and smell-rich, while outdoor-grown buds for one reason or another — rain, wind — tend to be low-odor and not visually beautiful.

But this does not really mean anything, that they look and smell better does not imply that they have more power or are of better quality. When outdoor buds are good … they are truly good. Both options are excellent and it will be up to you where you prefer to plant.

outdoor-marijuana-crop

Cultivating Outdoors

Soil

In case of planting directly in the ground you will have to see the quality of the soil. Leafy soil — which forms naturally — is generally very acidic for marijuana.

Ideally, you will have to prepare the soil with natural fertilizers before starting to germinate the seeds. When cannabis roots directly into the soil it produces the best harvests and has better growth, generally.

Pots

The other option is to plant in pots. They have the advantage that you can transport them — for example, bring them into the house on a high wind night — but they need to be watered regularly.

Sunlight

The cultivation area has to be very well illuminated by the sun, not only hours of light but also quantity. At least 6 hours of DIRECT SUN a day, more is better. If you live near the equator it is ideal to have flower pots on a sunny balcony.

Weather

The weather in your city should be warm during the growing season, and the longer the better. It is also important the amount of sunlight – cloudy days do not help – hot days, warm nights and low humidity in the air.

Strong winds and storms can break your branches, especially when they already have heavy buds. In this case, protecting them from the wind is your duty.

Time

Your plants will only flower when they detect that the days are beginning to get shorter — last days of summer when the daily hours of sunshine are less. You will have 1 single harvest per year, and depending on what season you plant, you may have to wait many months before harvesting.

Instead, the fastest harvest you can get is with autoflowering marijuana outdoors, between 70 and 90 days you will be cutting.

Insects and pests

It is likely that you have problems with insects that want to eat you, lay eggs, even make nests inside your buds. At the same time you are going to have natural predators that want to take care of those bugs that bother you.

Harvest

Your harvests are going to be much more significant than indoors, due to the space they have to grow and the unlimited sunlight.

Hiding them

You are going to need to keep them hidden from the view of the neighbors, thieves, and avoid problems with the law. Remember that Sativa cannabis can grow 4 meters or more, and Indicas grow up to 1.5 meters

Costs

Wherever you grow it will demand significant initial costs. Exterior costs may include purchasing substrate (soil), pots, fertilizers, repellents, seeds, tools, and extra materials.

The difference is that growing outdoors is not going to demand higher expenses once the process has started.

Work

They need less care, and although less does not mean little work. You have to take care of pests, water them and see that they are well fed, but Mother Nature will help you in many aspects, and having the same crop throughout the year, the work you will have to do will be much more relaxed than if you grew indoors.

Indoor crops

Artificial light

No lamp can reproduce the spectrum of sunlight, but there are good options that come very close. Any of this type lamps will give you good crops:

  • Special LED lamps for crops, emit violet light.
  • High Intensity Lamps. Includes metal halide lamps and sodium vapor lamps.
  • Energy saving lightbulbs. They come in many shapes and types, and you can buy them anywhere you would normally buy light bulbs.

Weather

The good thing about growing indoors is that you don’t depend on the outside climate. The bad thing is that you have to take care of yourself. You have to control temperature and humidity to create a stable habitat if you want a worthwhile harvest.

If you live in a damp city or your grow room is damp on its own — or very small — it is good to choose a marijuana strain that is resistant to fungi and disease.

Time

Another advantage compared to growing outdoors. By managing your daylight hours, you can grow your plants as much as your growing space allows, and also let them grow as little as you want and harvest as soon as possible.

Insects and pests

The positive side is that having no contact with the outside, it is more difficult for bugs to disturb. The negative side is that if pests appear inside the indoor, you will have a lot of work ahead applying repellents and natural poisons that do not affect the crop and constantly checking each leaf.

Harvest

Indoor buds are recognized as the ‘best’ products, as they are not conditioned by the elements, their aesthetic appearance, high percentages of THC, and their strong aromas stand out over those grown outdoors.

Also, growing indoors gives you the opportunity to harvest several times a year.

Plants size

The size of your plants will be determined by the height of the lamp. With high intensity lights you must leave a considerable distance to avoid burning the leaves, with LEDs and low consumption you do not have this problem, but the distance will be important so that the light reaches the entire crop uniformly.

As you may already know, due to their maximum height, Indica cannabis seeds or autoflowering plants are perfect for indoors.

Costs

Both environments will demand the highest costs at the start — lamps, substrate (soil), flower pots, reflective paper, extractors, tools — but in this case, energy consumption will prolong your costs throughout the cultivation.

Work

Continuous harvests bring continuous work together. You will always have things to do, pruning, trimming, watering, fertilizing, checking for pests, temperature and humidity control. Indoor cultivation requires more work and attention.

Recommended Seeds for Beginners

Finally we arrived! The recommendations will be divided by their main highlight and in each one you will have details indicating their characteristics. All this according to the questions we asked at the beginning.

In what environment are you going to grow, outdoors or indoors? What is the weather like in your city? How much time and work do you want to dedicate to it? What effects do you expect when consuming?

Quick to harvest

Autoflowering is the best option when we want to harvest as soon as possible. It is also possible to harvest some indica varieties in almost the same time using a photoperiod of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness throughout the cultivation.

Keep in mind that they need a lot of attention from you, especially during the first month. If you take care of them as they should, giving them the nutrients they need and being attentive to their needs, you will have great harvests. On the other hand, if you have serious problems during the beginning of their growth, it will be difficult to recover them in such a short time.

Foto de Sensi Skunk variedad de marihuanaFoto de Swiss Cheese variedad de marihuanaFoto de Auto White Diesel Haze variedad de marihuana
Sensi SkunkSwiss Cheese White Diesel Haze
Autoflowering – FeminizedAutoflowering – FeminizedAutoflowering – Feminized
Indoor and OutdoorIndoor and OutdoorOutdoor
Resistant to cool weatherResistant to moisture fungal growthFor warm / mediterranean weather
75-85 days full cycle75-85 days full cycle80-90 days full cycle
45-50 days of flowering45-55 days of flowering50-65 days of flowering
Indica 80%Sativa / indica hybridSativa 70%
Powerful relaxing effectRelaxed and joyful effectEnergetic and joyful effect
Seed bank: Sensi SeedsSeed bank: NirvanaSeed bank: Sensi Seeds

In case you cannot or do not want to buy online, take a screenshot to your trusted Growshop, and explain that you want a seed with similar characteristics.

Easy to grow

If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on them, or just feel like growing without stress, we’ve listed some cannabis strains that aren’t going to require too much attention from you, and can forgive you for some beginner mistakes. Although you will always achieve better results taking care of your plants as much as possible.

Autoflowering strains are excluded from this list. Photoperiodic plants (those that flourish when we increase the hours of darkness) will allow you time to correct mistakes that could otherwise be fatal.

Foto de Northern Lights variedad de marihuanaFoto de Papaya variedad de marihuanaFoto de Early Skunk variedad de marihuana
Northern LightsPapayaEarly Skunk
FeminizedFeminizedFeminized
Indoor specificIndoor specificOutdoor specific
Resistant overallDisease resistantResistant to cold weather
50-60 days of flowering50-60 days of flowering55-65 days of flowering
Indica 90%Sativa / indica hybridSativa / indica hybrid
Relaxing and happy effectRelaxed and energetic effectCheerful and energetic effect
Seed bank: Sensi SeedsSeed bank: NirvanaSeed bank: Sensi Seeds

Guaranteed power

In this section I have three highly potent, historical award-winning varieties to recommend you. These strains are characterized because their potency and their production are genetically guaranteed, but they must be given good care and sufficient nutrients so that they give everything of themselves.

There are hundreds of varieties that fall into this category. Since this guide is for beginners, I considered strains that are not over priced, resistant, and that feminized versions can be found.

Foto de Skunk #1 variedad de marihuanaFoto de Og Kush variedad de marihuanaFoto de Acapulco Gold variedad de marihuana
Skunk #1Og KushAcapulco Gold
FeminizedFeminizedFeminized
Indoor and outdoorOutdoor specificIndoor and outdoor
Temperate weatherDry weatherWarm / Mediterranean weather
45-50 days of flowering55 days of flowering70-75 days of flowering
65% indica, 35% sativa75% indica, 25% sativaMostly Sativa
Relaxing and happy effectRelaxed and joyful effectStimulating and energetic effect
Seed bank: Sensi SeedsSeed bank: DinafemSeed bank: Dinafem

Thank you for reading

For now we saw only the most basic. I know it may seem like too much information if you’re just entering this world, but once you internalize it — actually — it’s pretty simple. Every cultivator with some experience knows very well the topics that we talk about in this article.

Once you get seeds suitable for the crop you want to get, I recommend some methods to germinate marijuana successfully, they are all very simple and they assure you almost 100% of sprouts in all cases.

I will continue to publish guides trying to cover everything related to growing marijuana at home, if you want to find out when I am publishing sign up for the mailing list below.

You will see that as you grow more crops, it will be an incredible difference that this knowledge generates when harvesting – not to mention smoking.

Hope to see you here again!

Santiago @ Dr. Cannabis
Santiago @ Dr. Cannabis
I'm here to help out marijuana growers have a greater experience with their plants, and not loose their mind over the many problems and situations that often arise during the different stages of cannabis growth.
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