Choosing between autoflowering and feminized cannabis seeds is a bit like choosing between apples and oranges. They’re both appealing and have their own unique benefits, but are also very different in many ways.

Relaxation of cannabis cultivation laws across America has fuelled a spike in the number of people growing their own weed from scratch. The satisfaction of growing quality cannabis at home is easy to understand - particularly when considering how much cheaper it is than shopping at a dispensary.

But which of these two types of cannabis seeds is better for home growing?  Should you set up with a bunch of autoflowering seeds, or are feminized seeds the way to go?

 

What Are Feminized Seeds?

As the name suggests, feminized seeds are those that have been specifically engineered to exclude males from the equation. As male cannabis plants don’t produce anything particularly smokable, it’s worth keeping them out of the mix entirely. With a probability rate of around 99%, all feminized cannabis seeds you buy will produce female plants.

 

What Are the Benefits of Feminized Seeds?

The most obvious benefit of feminized seeds is the potential to produce more generous yields by exclusively growing female plants. In addition, photoperiod feminized strains can also be ‘held’ in the growth stage for as long as you like, enabling you to work on their strength and size before switching to the flowering stage.

If you know what you’re doing and have plenty of time and space to play with, feminized seeds open the door to exceptional yields and no wasted money on male plants.

 

What Are Autoflowering Seeds?

By contrast, autoflowering strains are those that have been engineered to automatically switch to the flowering stage at a predetermined time.  Irrespective of the conditions the plants are exposed to, they will automatically start to flower at a relatively early juncture.

 

What Are the Benefits of Autoflowering Seeds?

One of the biggest benefits of autoflowering cannabis is its simplicity. Rather than having to manually adjust lighting cycles to prompt your plants to start flowering, they automatically do so when the time is right. Likewise, there’s no waiting around for the seasons to change and trigger the flowering process, if growing outdoors. 

What’s more, the fact that the plants are ‘programmed’ to start flowering at an early stage means that the overall seed-to-harvest time can be significantly reduced.  In some instances, it can take just seven weeks to transform a bag of cannabis seeds into a crop of harvest-ready plants. 

 

Are Autoflowers Less Potent?

This is often a point of heavy debate, though doesn't actually have a concrete answer. This is because the ‘status’ of a strain as autoflowering or otherwise doesn’t necessarily have any impact on its potency.

Instead, it’s a case of the quality of the seeds to begin with and the conditions the plants are exposed to along the way. Auto strains can therefore be just as potent as their feminized cousins.

 

Which Produces the Better Yields?

Last up, there’s also technically nothing between the two where final yields are concerned. On one hand, you could argue that yes - photoperiod feminized plants can grow much larger than a typical auto, thereby producing more generous yields as a result.

But at the same time, it’s also worth factoring in the time taken for the buds to be ready. Autos may produce smaller yields, but they do so exponentially faster than typical photoperiod strains. 

In which case, it’s a race that’s too close to call. 

If you’ve plenty of time, space and patience at your disposal, photoperiod feminized strains are fantastic. If you’re short on all three, set yourself up with autos and you won’t regret it. 

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