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CANNABIS 101: WEED SEEDS IN A NUTSHELL

Marijuana plants come in many shapes and sizes. Different flavors, aromas, effects, and numerous other characteristics need consideration when searching for the best-fitting cannabis strain. At Overgrow, we stock over 140 varieties from professional breeders – Dinafem and Humboldt Seed Organization.
By OG Team

The decision 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 feminized, auto-flowering, or CBD seeds. Our goal is to make things a little easier for you by simplifying the “information overload”.

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 ‘sinsemilla’ 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 and Humboldt Seed Organization 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 feminized, auto-flowering, and CBD types.

Feminized Seeds

Thanks to modern breeding abilities, these seeds guarantee growth into bud-producing, female plants at a near 100% success rate. At Overgrow, we don’t waste your time and energy with the ‘regular seeds’ variety because these germinate into roughly 50% males and 50% females. Although this might be useful for reproduction purposes, you don’t want to risk males pollinating females to produce seeds and ruining your whole harvest.

Let’s leave the breeding to the professionals, while you focus your energy on giving each lady exactly what she needs to deliver exactly what you’re after, the best yield possible.

Generally, this variety is the most popular for two main reasons:

  1. Rich levels of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) – 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.
  2. Their large size translates into heavy-yielding potential – we’ll discuss more on size later through different strain types.

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.

But if it’s hard-hitting cannabis you seek, 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 offers great recreational benefits but it has significant medicinal value too, such as reducing side effects of cancer treatment.      

THC can provide both uplifting cerebral euphoria and blissful physical relaxation. Though it offers more than just recreational enjoyment via powerful psychoactivity. It’s also highly-therapeutic, aiding neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. But this cannabinoid offers particular medicinal value for 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

Seed and strain terminology explained using Bubba Kush Autoflowering example.

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 outdoor 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, once characteristically low THC ruderalis strains are now rich in the psychoactive cannabinoid. Though you do get CBD-rich versions too (in our CBD seeds catalog), offering mild and non-psychoactive effects.

While they don’t have as much time to flourish as purely feminized strains and deliver smaller yields, 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). Because of their auto-flowering nature, cloning auto-flowering seeds is challenging and not ultimately worth the effort.

They are very easy-growing and ideal for rookie gardeners. But they do tend to be unforgiving of mistakes, which is why they have minimal time to recover 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, allowing CBD-rich strains to make a comeback in light of mounting medicinal evidence.

So, in 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, with growing evidence 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 perfectly balanced 1:1 to 1:2, with some incredibly-rich CBD, near-zero THC choices. The more balanced ratios offer mild, gentle, and pleasant effects. The lowest THC, highest CBD versions offer boatloads of therapeutic potential with no unwanted psychoactive effect. Though rookies and those with extremely low tolerance levels should still be cautious. Check out the 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. While each strain is as unique as a snowflake, it might be useful to understand why we use these categories and what you can expect them to explain.

Firstly, each strain contains extremely helpful, brief info on THC and CBD percentages, sativa and indica 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. The main characteristics “in a nutshell”. Then, if you scroll down, we offer more detailed information via the following categories:

Description:

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 can 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 homegrown cannabis!

Effect:

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

Cultivation:Cannabis cultivation requires differing experience levels and plants thrive under unique conditions.

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”.

Plus, we 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 describing feminized 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. To ensure consistently high-quality cannabis, you should always buy seeds from reliable breeders with proven track records. That’s why we only stock products from two of the most elite breeders on the planet - Dinafem and Humboldt Seed Organization (HSO). We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of seed types, you can take the next step towards choosing the perfect strain to fit your needs. We’ve created an epicenter of information to guide you along this process. This will guide you to find out more about different strain types, compounds like terpenes and flavonoids, the entourage effect, current legislation, growing, breeding, genetics, and much more. 

You can also contact us here or comment below if you have any questions.



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