Autoflowering cannabis strains have transformed home cultivation for millions of growers worldwide. The key difference between a regular cannabis strain and an autoflowering cannabis strain being that the latter is not affected by changing light cycles.
When a typical cannabis plant reaches its vegetative stage, it continues to grow and develop for as long as natural conditions allow. When the nights begin to draw in and the cannabis plant detects that the autumn is approaching, it automatically shifts its focus from vegetating to flowering. At which point, it begins producing flowers/buds.
With autoflowering cannabis, the plant is automatically programmed to switch from its vegetative to its flowering stage at a certain point in time. At which point, it will begin flowering - irrespective of light/dark cycles at the time.Even at the height of the summer, therefore, an autoflowering strain will begin flowering when its genetic programming tells it to.
But just as is the case with all types of cannabis, autoflowering strains have their fair share of supporters and critics. Ultimately, it depends on your intentions, along with your priorities for your cannabis grow.
What Are the Benefits of Growing Autos?
The biggest advantage of growing autoflowering cannabis is the comparatively rapid life cycle of the plants. Depending on the specific strain you choose, an autoflowering specimen can significantly reduce the time needed to produce a good harvest. In fact, autos can be so fast that it is perfectly possible to achieve several harvests during one season. If your intention is to produce as much cannabis as possible as quickly as possible, autoflowering strains are the way to go.
In addition, you won’t need to worry about altering lighting cycles indoors, to replicate outdoor conditions. Rather than carefully controlling light-dark cycles, your plants will automatically shift to the flowering stage when they are ready.This can make autoflowering strains ideal for amateur growers.
Last but not least, the fact that autoflowering strains spend comparatively little time vegetating means they typically remain short, compact and discreet. Ideal for anyone who has a very limited amount of space to deal with, but would still like to produce a decent harvest.
What Are the Disadvantages of Growing Autos?
Most of the disadvantages of growing autos concern potential plant sizes and yields. For example, if you have plenty of time and space to play with, you could be looking at a much bigger and better results with regular cannabis strains. The more time you allow your plants to grow and vegetate, the bigger the final payoff stands to be. With autoflowering strains, there are strict limitations on both plant sizes and yields, irrespective of the lighting cycles and general conditions they are exposed to.
There’s also anecdotal evidence to suggest that autoflowering plants produce average THC levels somewhat lower than those of their regular cousins.Whereas an autoflowering plant may produce between 18% and 20% THC, this could reach 25% or even 28% with a comparable normal cannabis plant.However, there is no specific scientific basis for this theory - all such suggestions remain anecdotal until verified.
A Case of Personal Preference…
In any case, it’s perfectly possible to cultivate quality cannabis using normal seeds or autoflowering seeds. It’s just that the latter tend to pave the way for a somewhat easier ride, while promising the fastest possible results. If these are your priorities, it’s probably in your best interests to focus on autoflowering seeds for your cannabis cultivation project.