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Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds – The Simplest Way to Define it

autoflowering cannabis seeds the simplest way to define it

Autoflowering cannabis seeds are seeds that grow into autoflowering cannabis plants. They are related to the Ruderalis family of marijuana which is known to be physically short compared to other marijuana strains sativa and indica. Physically, autoflowering cannabis seeds look no different from other marijuana seeds but they are bundles of joy for the marijuana growers due to their near-perfect characteristics.

Cannabis ruderalis, from which autoflowering seeds come from is native to Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.  Although most people classify ruderalis as an independent specie of marijuana, some people believe that it is a subspecies of Cannabis sativa instead.

One of the proponents that cannabis ruderalis is a different species is Russian botanist D.E. Janischewsky. He made a physical comparison of the different marijuana types and concluded that ruderalis is indeed a different species. He also discovered that there are some feral or wild types of cannabis ruderalis in their natural habitats contain more CBD or Cannabidiol. According to the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

The unique environment in which the ruderalis thrives in, such as cold weather, light airy soil and little nutrients are also proofs supporting the proposition that it is indeed a different species.

Crossbreeds between cannabis ruderalis and cannabis sativa are considered as the most potent marijuana strains for recreational use and medical use They are used as pain relief and cure for depression, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, gut and stomach issues due to aggressive medications. Ruderalis and sativa crossbreeds are also strong, natural, anti-inflammatory agent.

AUTO-FLOWERING PLANT CHARACTERISTICS

Auto-flowering plants have unique characteristics that ultimately play to their advantage.

BIGGER AND QUICKER HARVESTS: Auto-flowering marijuana plants are known to grow fast which could mean that your seed could reach the flowering stage in 50-75 days or two and a half months. That is about four harvests in a year if all goes well in your crop.

Auto-flowering marijuana plants do not require a light cycle change and may remain in an 18-hour light cycle per day. This is advantageous because keeping the plants in an 18-hour light cycle will make them absorb more light leading to better yields.

HYDROPONICS-READY: Auto-flowering marijuana thrives in light airy soil but will thrive also in hydroponic systems and other materials such as rockwool, coco coir, deep water culture (DWC), aeroponics, super soil, etc.

SMALLER PLANTS: Auto-flowering marijuana plants are usually small and are very good for growers with limited growing space. They usually grow only about 10 inches to 2.5 feet tall but quality wise, they do not have any disadvantages against regular marijuana strains. 

FEMINIZABLE: Auto-flowering seeds may also be feminized as regular strains of cannabis.

NO PHOTOPERIOD CHANGE REQUIRED: Outdoor growers would be the people to benefit more from this ability of the auto-flowering plant as they could be planted even off-season compared to other regular plants. Photoperiodism is what makes regular cannabis plant change from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage, and the available length of daylight sun changes between the changes in season. But since auto-flowering plants change as they age without dependence of photoperiodism, a grower may choose to plant in some other convenient time for him or her. 

AUTO-FLOWER PLANT DISADVANTAGES

SMALLER PLANTS: We’ve mentioned having a small footprint as desirable but this could be seen as an advantage too. Smaller auto-flowering plants yield fewer buds because there is only enough space on each plant for buds to grow. Being small would mean a lot less yield per square meter of crop.

LONGER LIGHT CYCLES: This means that lights should run longer on indoor spaces even during the flowering stage, thus pushing the electricity consumption in this stage up to 50 percent more.

Running electricity for longer hours would also mean that indoor temperatures are also raised. This is to be countered with more ventilation or watering perhaps which will cost you more on your electricity bill. This problem could be magnified if you are in cultivating in a hot climate. Needing to run lights for longer periods of time will also expose you to the risk of having power failures just when you needed lights the most.

LOWER POTENCY: Regular marijuana strains from the Indica and Sativa types have different THC and CBD potencies and it is known that some contain as much as 21 percent of either ingredient. But since the auto-flowering marijuana plants are derived from the Ruderalis family of plants, they naturally contain lesser THC than the Sativa or Indica varieties even after breeding that made hybrids between the Ruderalis and other marijuana plants possible.

This will pose a challenge as many marijuana users use marijuana for recreational purposes to achieve the signature ‘high’ that could only be the result of marijuana.

ONE POT RULE: Cannabis Ruderalis is reported to be more fragile than most marijuana plants. Therefore, it is discouraged that seedlings are transferred to a larger pot in order to grow into the vegetative stage.

Transferring plants to bigger pots often subject the plant to what is called as root trauma or root damage. The roots of seedlings are very thin and fragile that the tiniest pressure will pull them off. This process sometimes exposes the plants to diseases and bugs. These will affect the auto-flowering plants more than any other plant.

Due to this, you will need to have your seed grow in a big pot from the beginning in order to accommodate future growth. This will be a problem in space management as seedlings often require very small pots and occupy very small spaces but having to plant a seed in a big pot from the beginning would truly be challenging especially for indoor growers.

Looking at the comparison between the strengths and weaknesses that they have, it is easy to see that auto-flowering cannabis is a wonderful plant that you may find suitable for your cultivation workflow and technique. Developments in breeding are also allowing us to have high potency varieties right now and more in the future.

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