Many cannabis growers out there today don’t realize that they may end up growing hemp autoflowering seeds as their main crop of plants. When buying autoflowering cannabis seeds, growers must be careful that they are getting the potency that they are paying for with autos. They can very easily end up with very low THC plants when buying and growing autoflowering cannabis if the plants were not bred correctly for high THC.
If the grower is looking for lower THC and high CBD this can also be an issue as the plants may be low in both. In this article we will detail why this could be the case and how to tell if you are buying the correct seeds that you are looking for when buying and growing Autoflowering Cannabis seeds.
Where do Autoflowering Seeds Come From?
Autoflowering seeds are a result of a hybrid cross between a photoperiod cannabis plant (sativa or indica cultivar) and a cannabis ruderalis cultivar. Once the hybrid strain is made with these two species of cannabis the rederalis genetics in the plant will create seeds that will no longer flower in 12 hours of lighting but will flower automatically after 3 to 5 weeks of vegetative growth.
That being said they will still flower under 12 hours of darkness like a photoperiod cannabis plant. This is not needed however and they can flower as well under 24 hours of lighting once they finish vegetative growth.
Is Cannabis Ruderalis Low Potency?
This type of autoflowering cannabis seeds are a low potency “weedy” type of cannabis. This cultivar of cannabis grew naturally along roadsides and typically contains larger amounts of CBD cannabinoids and THC types. Once a grower crosses Rederalis cannabis with a strain that has higher amounts of THC they can once again contain levels of THC that is close or similar to the higher THC cultivars they were crossed with.
However this is not a given for any autoflowering seeds cross, they can still contain the genetics of low potency cannabis ruderalis. This can be even more so the case with F2 generations. The F2 Generation of cannabis can have upto 25% recessive traits. This means that only 25% of this generation will be autoflowering crossed with a photoperiod cannabis plant. It also means that the majority of the plants will also be low THC in the F2 generation of seeds.
Why there are so Many Low Quality Autoflowers on the Market Today
It takes good cannabis breeding knowledge and selection in or to get quality autoflowering cannabis seeds. If the seeds are not properly tested, both for autoflowering, and potency there is a very good chance that the plants will be very poor quality. All growers of autoflowering cannabis should keep this in mind when they buy seeds from a seedbank or breeder.
Do Autoflowering plants produce Autoflowering Seeds?
This depends on the parent plants that you use when producing your autoflowering cannabis seeds. If the grower uses two purebred autoflowering parent plants to create seeds the resulting seeds will breed true for autoflowering traits. On the other hand if the breeder uses non-true breeding autoflowering plants there is a good chance that the majority of the plants could have recessive non-true breeding traits.
This is also true if an autoflowering cannabis plant was bred with a photoperiod cannabis plant.
Selective Breeding For Autoflowers
All is not lost however when you do not get a complete crop of autos in your seed offspring. You can grow out the resulting cannabis seeds then use them to select two of the strongest autoflowering plants to create more Autoflowering seeds. Every generation that you select Autoflowers, you will become closer to a stable crop of Autoflowering Cannabis.
Remember you will not just be selecting for autoflowering traits in each generation. It will be important to also select and test for other important traits in the offspring. Some of these traits would be potency of the buds, growth, and flowing times. You may also want to select for plant colors, size, yield, and smell of the plants. The best way to find these traits is by growing out the generations of seeds and using selection to stabilize the cannabis with the characteristics that you would like.
Be careful of Low Potency Cannabis Ruderalis Traits
All autoflowering seed growers should be aware of low potency ruderalis traits in the plants they are growing. Growers can only identify these traits by growing their autoflowering varieties and then testing the end harvested products to gauge the potency of the strain.
However the best way to know if you are working with low potency THC autoflowers is by having your bud tested for a cannabinoid chart. This is a chart that will break down all the cannabinoids that are present in the autoflowering buds. This is the best way to know if you are passing high potency traits to flowing generations of autoflowering seed generations.
We hope this article will help you to understand how easy it can be to end up growing hemp as a high THC autoflowering plant without even knowing it. When buying autoflowering cannabis seeds make sure to buy from a trusted breeder or you may end up with very poor and weak plants. As all autoflowering seeds are crossed with weak hemp type cannabis cultivars, keep an eye out for traits that you are not looking for in your plants and let the breeder know if you are having issues with their strains.