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CANNABIS 101: UNDERSTANDING WEED SEEDS

Marijuana plants come in many shapes and sizes. Different flavors, aromas, effects, and numerous other characteristics need consideration when searching for the best-fitting strain. At Overgrow, we stock over 150 varieties from professional breeders – Dinafem, Humboldt Seed Organization and Oni Seed Co.
By OG Team

Finding the right cannabis seeds is especially challenging when dealing with different morphologies, THC-to-CBD cannabinoid ratios, recreational versus medicinal values, diverse bud yields, indoor versus outdoor cultivation, varying “highs” and growing “dagga” in wide-ranging South African climates.

Before choosing between an indica, sativa, or balanced hybrid, the first decision to make is whether you want regular, feminized, auto-flowering, or CBD seeds. Our goal is to make things a little easier for you by simplifying the “information overload”.

SKIP AHEAD TO:

  1. Quick Background
  2. Regular
  3. Feminised
  4. Autoflowering
  5. CBD and CBD Autos
  6. Seed Descriptions

Quick Background on Seeds

In nature, marijuana follows an annual growing cycle. As winter draws close, females begin to wither and die, dropping seeds to the ground. These then germinate in spring and soak up the summer sunshine, before flowering around autumn, once the photoperiod (amount of light received) dips to roughly 12-hours. We follow this natural season when growing outdoors, while we try to mimic (and manipulate) the environment indoors to make growing all year round possible. But without expert breeding knowledge, weed would be very different from the version we know today.

Common vegetable varieties like tomatoes are ‘monoecious’ (male and female sex organs on the same plant; can self-pollinate) and have been genetically stabilized over decades. Cannabis is mostly ‘dioecious’, meaning plants can be male or female, with males pollinating females to produce seeds (though “hermaphrodites” do exist too). Importantly, it’s seedless ‘sensimilla’ females that produce the high-potency bud we all know and love. To grow these coveted flowers in large amounts, females need to be separated from males to avoid pollination, which would leave you with seedy buds.

World-class breeders like Dinafem, Humboldt Seed Organization and Oni Seed Co undertake challenging and lengthy breeding projects to provide us with weed seeds that have stable genetics and grow into cannabis plants that have outstanding features and deliver premium-quality flowers. Let’s dive deeper into regular, feminized, auto-flowering, and CBD types.

Regular Seeds

If bred correctly, regular seeds contain the most stable genetics. They are mostly used by breeders and experienced growers who have time for extra admin. Each seed will to grow into either a male or female plant, just as nature intended – it’s a 50/50 chance, a coin flip. If grown together, females risk being pollinated by males to start producing seeds, taking energy away from juicy bud production. This is why “regulars” are well-suited to growers who know what they’re doing.

It’s impossible to tell the genders apart until plants mature enough to start producing reproductive organs. The sex usually becomes apparent when “pre-flowers” are produced around week 4. By week 6, one can confidently “sex out” males and choose to kill them off or store them safely away from females. This practise is best-suited to skilled growers. Rookies beware: not catching a male in time may compromise the entire harvest, causing females to produce seedy buds.

Regular cannabis seeds’ value is obvious. Not only are regulars the most natural seeds around, but without them, there would be no feminized varieties, as there would be no reproduction. They allow breeders to carefully and meticulously create genetically supreme marijuana specimens, which benefit both sides of the industry, medical and recreational.

The sky is the limit when it comes to modern cultivation, as world-class strain genetics are available at the simple click of a button. Experienced growers who know how to deal with males or fancy a go at breeding something new, these are for you. Shop for regular seeds.

Feminized Seeds

At Overgrow, we provide every type of marijuana seed available, in order to fit the needs of every type of grower. With feminized marijuana seeds, the growing process is kept simple. Thanks to modern breeding abilities, these seeds guarantee growth into bud-producing, female plants at a near 100% success rate.

You save time by not having to hunt down males and there’s no risk of females being pollinated to produce seeds in their highly-coveted flowers. This allows you focus your energy on giving each lady exactly what she needs in order to deliver precisely what you’re after, the best yield possible.

When compared to other seed types, this variety is generally the most popular:

  1. Less time-consuming and without the pollination risk associated with “regulars” (as explained above).
  2. Rich levels of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), compared to high-CBD options (discussed later).
  3. Larger plants means heavy-yielding potential, compared to “autos” (next on our list).

Breeders love to mix favorable traits to create novel strains, delivering a world of marijuana “hybrids” right at your fingertips. Just one example is Blueberry Cookies, where the vibrant and fresh Blueberry pedigree has been marvelously blended with the world-renowned Cookies lineage.

As with all things in life, you’ve got to “take the good with the bad” – in other words, there are pros and cons to everything. On the downside, feminized seeds tend to grow a bit slower than auto-flowering types. Compact indica-dominant strains with short internodes can be prone to diseases like mold and fungi. The size of some “sativas” can be problematic when indoor space is limited or outdoor discretion is necessary (especially with giants like Moby Dick).

Their gorgeous aromas can be extremely strong, which can attract unwanted attention if indoor air filters and outdoor guerrilla methods are not employed. Inexperienced users and persons with low THC-tolerance should be wary of their extreme potency. Of course, some of these cons apply to other seed types too.

But if it’s hard-hitting cannabis you seek, with relative ease and in bountiful amounts, look no further. In our feminized catalog, you’ll find everything from 707 Headband to White Widow.

Take note: All auto and CBD varieties discussed below are also feminized!

Quick note on medical THC:

THC is the cannabinoid that binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and is responsible for producing the famous intoxicating effect or “high”. It’s concentrated in the sticky, mushroom-shaped trichomes.

The psychoactive effect provides great recreational benefit, like uplifting cerebral euphoria and blissful physical relaxation. But THC also offers significant medicinal value, aiding neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Its speciality, though, lies in cancer treatment. Specifically, it helps cancer patients by:  

It’s important to note that cannabis is used as an adjunct to conventional medical cancer treatments and experts warn that delaying treatment can have serious consequences.

Auto-Flowering Seeds

Bubba Kush Autoflowering cannabis seeds

Strain name:
Bubba Kush Auto

Seed type:
‘Auto’ or Autoflowering

Strain type:
Hybrid (indica-dominant)

“Autos” are hybrids that have been bred with the key addition of especially hardy ruderalis strain genetics. The main three assets of auto-flowerers are speed, stealth, and disease-resistance. A predetermined growing cycle (about 3-months in total) means they begin flowering as soon as they reach maturity – typically around 2-4-weeks after germination, regardless of the photoperiod (amount of light). This makes them particularly valuable for outdoor growers in cold climates with shorter summers, as well as those seeking multiple harvests in a single season.

Generally, their small size is ideal for stealthy growing in tight spaces, like city balconies or small cupboards. Their ruderalis genes and super-fast speed make them unlikely to encounter diseases like mold or pests. Thanks to genetic breeding and the emergence of hybrids, ruderalis strains are now rich in psychoactive THC. Though you do get CBD-rich versions too (in our CBD seeds catalog), offering both mild and non-psychoactive effects.

They don’t have as much time to flourish as regular or purely feminized strains and deliver smaller yields. But they can still yield impressively, particularly through employing tactics like SOG (Sea of Green). Although there’s less time to fully benefit from SCROG (Screen of Green). Cloning auto-flowering seeds is challenging and ultimately not worth the effort because of their automatic flowering nature.

They are very easy-growing and ideal for rookie gardeners. But they do tend to be unforgiving of mistakes as they have little time to recover, for example, from pruning or transplant shock. Their demanding light cycle can also ramp up electricity bills when grown indoors.  The following growing guidelines apply to autos across-the-board:

  • One pot from start to finish.
  • 1/3 coco coir substrate mix.
  • 20/4-hour light/dark cycle (indoors).
  • Water lightly but often – no puddles!

This way, roots will remain oxygenated and plants will be able to maximize nutrient uptake, which will translate into yields of the highest order.           

Shop our auto-flowering catalog now for everything from Amnesia XXL Auto to White Widow XXL Auto.

CBD and ‘Auto CBD’ Seeds

In recent human history, cannabis breeding has largely focused on cultivating strains rich in psychoactive THC. Fortunately, “hemp” has been cultivated for commercial purposes, like textile materials, for thousands of years. This allowed CBD-rich strains to make a comeback in light of mounting medicinal evidence.

ln recent years, marijuana seeds have been bred to offer varieties that are loaded in cannabidiol – a cannabinoid coveted for its medicinal value and its ability to antagonize (counteract) the psychoactivity of THC.

CBD’s therapeutic potential is vast. Evidence is growing for its ability to relieve symptoms like anxiety, inflammation, seizures, spasticity, pain, depression, psychosis, skin disorders, and insomnia. It’s being used to treat debilitating neurodegenerative disorders like multiple sclerosis and treatment-resistant epilepsy in Dravet syndrome. It also has offered great potential to curb alcohol addiction and boasts outstanding anticancer effects.

THC:CBD cannabinoid ratios range from the mildly psychoactive 1:1 to more gentle 1:2. More balanced ratios mean more mild, gentle, and pleasant effects You even get some incredibly-rich CBD, near-zero THC choices. These offer boatloads of therapeutic potential with no unwanted psychoactivity. Though rookies and those with extremely low tolerance levels should always be cautious. Check out our Dinamed options, if you’re after near-zero THC.

CBD-rich strains come in the larger, purely feminized range as well as ‘CBD Autos’, which have added auto-flowering traits, like being smaller but faster. Many have common, delicious “orangey” organoleptic traits. Although thanks to modern-day breeding abilities, there are always exceptions to “the rules” laid out by seed categories.

Find all CBD varieties here, from Amnesia CBD to White Widow CBD Auto.

Understanding Seed Descriptions

When reading through the description of each strain on our website, you’ll notice that we describe several key characteristics. It's useful to understand why we use these categories and what you can expect them to explain. 

Firstly, each strain contains the main characteristics “in a nutshell” at the top of the webpage. There's brief info on THC and CBD percentages, sativa and indica genetic influence, indoor flowering time, outdoor growth height, indoor and outdoor yield size, as well as an image of the exquisite bud you’ll be able to grow.  Then, if you scroll down, we offer more detailed information via the following categories:

Description:

Each strain is as unique as a snowflake. But this gives a general summary of what we believe to be the most important and interesting characteristics of each particular strain. We try to answer questions like: “What is its make-up?”, “What makes it stand out?” and “Who would love it?”

Morphology:

Here you'll find characteristics about the structure of the plant (like size, shape, internodes, leaves, colour, main cola, etc.) and its genetic origin (if not already described above). For example, we describe how the Blueberry lineage offers an exquisite night-time flowering display.          

Yield:

The overall size and quality of the harvest, as well as characteristics of the buds – like size, shape, density, and resin-content. You’ll often hear descriptions like “thick, heavy and elongated cannabis flowers, completely covered in sticky trichomes”.

Aromas and flavors:

How the unique deliciousness of each strain interacts with one’s palate. Sweet fruit, zesty citrus, gassy fuel, earthiness, incense, spices, woodiness, you name it. If you think the descriptions alone are a feast for the senses, wait until you indulge in your own homegrown cannabis!

Effect:

What you can expect to experience – the “high” or psychoactivity. Indicas are thought to be more physically relaxing (causing sedation or “couchlock”) and sativas more cerebrally stimulating (invigorating and euphoric). But this is not always necessarily the case.

Cultivation:Cultivating weed plants

It’s safe to say that marijuana plants generally love abundant sunshine, warm environments, and aerated soil. But they vary in terms of size, smell, disease-resistance, indoor versus outdoor inclination, preferred indoor grow method, feeding and watering schedules, favorable climate, etc. Some require less effort, perfect for rookie growers. Some thrive with SOG or SCROG. Auto-flowering varieties have similar growing requirements “across-the-board”.

We also try to list the awards of the most prestigious strains. You’ll notice that we refer to our beloved marijuana strains in the feminine gender – lady, girl, queen, etc. Please take note that this is not sexism on our part, we are literally describing feminized (female) weed seeds and plants.

When it comes to searching for the perfect strain, the varieties are seemingly endless. Remember, expert breeders make it their mission to blend unique qualities (like vibrant colours, disease-resistance, fast-flowering genetics, and unexpected tastes and smells) into world-class end-products. You should always buy seeds from reliable breeders with proven track records to ensure consistently high-quality cannabis. That’s why we only stock products from two of the most elite breeders on the planet - Dinafem, Humboldt Seed Organization (HSO) and Oni Seed Co.

This is the first of four articles in our 'Cannabis 101' series. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of seed types, take the next step and find out How to Choose the Right Strain to fit your needs.

We’ve also created an epicenter of information to guide you along this entire process and provide loads of valuable info. Find out about strain types, compounds like terpenes and flavonoids, the entourage effect, current legislation, growing, breeding, genetics, and much more in The Ultimate Guide to Buying Weed Seeds in South Africa

You can also contact us if you have any questions.



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