The good and the bad about autoflowering cannabis

Published Feb 24, 2021 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / kulbabka

When it comes to growing cannabis, it can be hard to decide where to begin. You’ve got to get good, sturdy pots, set up the ideal growing space, and then settle on some of the best cannabis seeds that money can buy. While browsing for options it’s not uncommon to come across autoflowering cannabis, and for the most part, it seems to be the ideal solution, but there are some pros and cons to these particular varieties, and here you’ll find some of the most important ones to consider.

Benefits of autoflowering cannabis

If you’re going to pay more and search harder for these gems, then you’ll need to know exactly why they’re worth the investment. These are some of the very best reasons that so many people chose to grow autoflowering cannabis seeds.

  1. Autoflowering cannabis is often smaller than its competitors, and this trait comes from the Ruderalis genetics that is used to create them. That is especially true when it comes to Sativa strains, which are known to tower over Indicas, and it’s an excellent feature for indoor cultivators who are short on space.

  2. Autoflowering cannabis plants are much hardier than your average variety as they are better equipped to handle things like mold or pests and far more likely to survive an attack.

  3. Autoflowering cannabis seeds can bloom into a full-blown adult plant that is ready to harvest in as little as 30 days, which is only 1 month. Other varieties typically take months before you can dry and smoke them, and that’s a really long wait.

  4. Autoflowering cannabis is, just as the name implies, automatic, which means that it goes through each growing phase regardless of the amount of light it has. This is perfect for growers who don’t want to have to dial their grow lights back and forward and then back again every few weeks just to trigger a natural process.

  5. Autoflowering cannabis strains make it possible to maximize yield while still staying safe within the range of what is legal to grow for personal use.

The downsides of autoflowering cannabis

We always love to cover the benefits of any kind of cannabis or related product, but like anything out there, we’ve got a few cons that you might want to know about before getting started.

  1. Autoflowering cannabis seeds are always way more expensive than others, often doubling or even tripling in price.

  2. Since Autoflowering cannabis strains are smaller, the yields they produce also end up quite a bit lower than what you might expect from regular strains.

  3. Autoflowering cannabis varieties require genetics from the Ruderalis to create, but unfortunately, these powerful strands of DNA are known to produce less than ideal amounts of cannabinoids like THC.

  4. Autoflowering cannabis plants will grow so fast that it can be hard to notice any sort of problems until it’s too late, and by then, most of the damage has already been done, and it’s impossible to reverse.

  5. Autoflowering strains don’t clone well at all. In fact, more than 90% of these kinds of plant cuttings will die before they ever have the opportunity to grow roots, which means that you have to buy new ones each and every year to get things going again.

In the end which type is better really comes down to your individual needs. So, while for many, autoflowering cannabis truly is a holy grail that offers loads of benefits, in some cases, they can be difficult to work with, which is why they are most often recommended for more knowledgeable cultivators.

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