How to pick the right marijuana strains to grow

Published Apr 14, 2019 09:12 a.m. ET

The most important thing to do before browsing marijuana seeds to grow is considering what your personal reasons are for wanting to produce it. Are you seeking a medical marijuana strain that will be beneficial for health reasons or more of a recreational buzz? Do you enjoy an intense cerebral effect or a lighter more energetic high? What kind of size and time constraints that you must work within will also be relevant factors in your decision?  Here, we will explain how to approach each of these topics including what you might expect from particular types of marijuana strains and seeds.

Marijuana strains

This is where the breakdown of what Indica, Sativa, Hybrid, and Autoflowering marijuana seeds will provide in terms of a plant’s physical appearances, effects, and growth rates. Growing marijuana is much simpler than assuming how a particular strain might affect you, so the expected outcomes are more of a general rule of thumb and recommended guidelines. There are many marijuana strains that will produce results outside of the norm, so these tips are not consistently accurate for all types.


Appearances: Indica marijuana strains tend to provide a most robust short and bushy appearance that produces large dense colas. Their average height is 2-3 feet.

Climate: Indica strains will thrive in cooler weather and tend to do poorly in extreme heat.

Effects: Consuming Indica strains tend to result in a more intense cerebral based high that is sedative.

Lifecycle: Growing marijuana using an Indica strain seed will require an average 14-18 week growing cycle.


Appearances: Sativa strains tend to grow tall often reaching and exceeding 6 feet tall. They also produce more narrow elongated buds.

Climate: Sativa marijuana strains are heat resistant and excel in warmer climates, and rarely succeed in colder temperatures.

Effects: In general, Sativa strains tend to have a lighter more energetic full body sensation that leaves your mind clear to focus.

Lifecycle: Growing marijuana using Sativa strain seeds will require an average 14-18 week growing cycle.


Appearances: Hybrid strains are made up of three different groups. Sativa dominant, Indica dominant, and 50/50. Those that carry more Sativa genetics will visually resemble that species, and the same is true for Indica dominant strains. Even hybrids will display a sort of happy medium between the two different types.

Climate: Hybrids are much less susceptible to both high and low temperatures as well as many common pests.

Effects: The effects of a hybrid strain will generally be dependant on its genetic components, with Sativa dominant hybrids being lighter, Indica dominant hybrids feeling more intense, and even splits being somewhere in between the two.


Lifecycle: Growing marijuana using Sativa strain seeds will require an average 14-18 week growing cycle.


Appearances: Autoflowering marijuana seeds will be smaller no matter what type of strain you choose. They will grow much faster resulting in a more modest 3.5-foot average height.

Climate: The temperatures of a hybrid will also depend on the genetics within it.

Effects: The effects of autoflowering marijuana strains tend to be more intense, cerebral, and potent with higher than average levels of THC.

Lifecycle: Growing marijuana using autoflowering marijuana seeds will only require an 8-10 week growing period.

Effects continued

The desired results that you would like to achieve will depend heavily on your best choice of marijuana strains and seeds. If you are seeking a strain for medicinal purposes, then you would likely benefit most from a CBD producing marijuana plant. For those who are looking for a recreational high, high levels of THC may be what you need. Though both Indica and Sativa have stereotypical effects, what most influences how one will affect you is found in the cannabinoid content. There are two primary active cannabinoids that are produced by cannabis.

THC- THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary active psychoactive cannabinoid and is almost entirely responsible for producing the euphoric effects that consumers feelafter using cannabis. The more THC that a particular marijuana strain produces, the greater the chances of it resulting in a couch locking sedative cerebral based high.

CBD- CBD or Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is produced by both hemp and cannabis plants. It is mainly used for medicinal purposes but has shown to have other benefits. CBD will interact with a user’s CB1 receptors before they absorb the THC which can often tone down many of the effects that THC would otherwise have. This is thought to be the reason for the entourage effect, where certain marijuana strains contain such high levels of this cannabinoid that it ceases to have much impact on the consumer. Marijuana strains with high amounts of CBD which be much more likely to provide a relaxing light and energetic high alongside health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties that are excellent for some medical conditions.


Another essential element to choosing the perfect marijuana strains to grow is knowing which terpene profiles that you might enjoy and searching marijuana seed databases accordingly. Terpenes are seen in many different plant species and are most commonly found in fruit producing plants with strong aromas like orange trees, and other fruit bearing plants. They profoundly influence the taste and aromas of a plant and come in a wide variety including citrus, pine, nut, earth, mint, berry, and hundreds more. Since you will probably be either smoking or eating your cannabis, you will want to settle on a scent that you will like. Doing so provides an additional aromatic effect which can be calming on its own which enhances the sensations that you will experience.

Marijuana seeds

Another option you will often see when browsing marijuana seeds for purchase is feminized seed. When you grow cannabis, the only viable plants for a quality product are females. A regular seed will have a 50/50 chance of producing a female plant, and a feminized weed seed will have a 95% or higher chance of resulting in a female. With most regions restricting the number of plants per household, the additional cost may be worth investing to achieve the best possible chances for a successful harvest.

In conclusion

Growing marijuana is a very personal journey that will differ significantly from one person to another. Though you might be one of the lucky ones who react well to any type of cannabis, not everyone is so fortunate. That is especially true for those who are seeking the treatment of specific health conditions with as little impairment as possible. Choosing perfect weed strains may take some time and experimentation to build confidence in so be patient. Since growing marijuana is such a lengthy process, it is often recommended to start with more than one type at a time to increase your chances of producing a product that will work well for you. Just be sure to check your local area's regulations to find out how many you can experiment with first.



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