The pros and cons of clones versus cannabis seeds

Published May 24, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Rick_Thompson

When you first approach the idea of growing your own cannabis, it may sound like a relatively easy task, and it can be if you know what you’re doing, but few people realize just how many decisions must be made in order to have the experience you hope for. It all starts at the very beginning when you are forced to decide between a marijuana clone, or investing in cannabis seeds, and depending on who you ask, the answer to which one is better may differ, but the truth is that both have positives and negatives, and here, we’re going to lay them all out for you to ponder.

Marijuana clone

A marijuana clone is a simple cutting from a healthy mother plant, and though it does take following a few steps to have success with this method, there are plenty of benefits that come from choosing it as well, these include:

  • No germination necessary
  • Shorter plants
  • Less growing time needed
  • Strong genetics
  • An exact copy of another cannabis plant
  • Hardier plants
  • Guaranteed female (if cut from a female plant)

The cons are fewer and farther between, but they are still more than worth considering, nonetheless.

  • Expensive ($5-$30 each)
  • Difficult to find
  • Impossible to make without a mother plant
  • Legal vendors of marijuana clones are rarely storefront setups where you can view what you’re buying ahead of time
  • May be damaged in transit making mail purchases less than ideal

Cannabis seeds

Cannabis seeds bring us back to the basics, but there are still some pretty fantastic benefits and a few to this method of growing your own plants including:

  • Affordable ($1-$10 each)
  • The option of feminized seeds (guaranteed females with a slightly higher than average investment)
  • The option of autoflower (less growing time)
  • A much bigger selection of cannabis strains to choose from
  • Various legal vendor options that are reliable and licensed
  • Easy to buy through the mail in bulk

The cons of cannabis seeds can be short, but it can also be really long if you don’t invest in the right types, to begin with. The downsides of cannabis seeds vary greatly depending on the vendor, but these are all great things to consider before jumping right in and making a purchase.

  • No guaranteed females (if you don’t invest in higher priced cannabis seeds)
  • Longer growing period (if you don’t have access to autoflower strains)
  • Patience is necessary because a germination stage is necessary
  • Seedlings are weaker and more fragile than their counterparts until they are well established which can take anywhere from a week to three weeks

In conclusion

If you want a truly affordable marijuana clone, the best way to get it is through friends or family members that you can trust, but if you don’t have access to a reliable or affordable vendor, cannabis seeds will work just as well for getting a crop started. The biggest difference between the two that most growers report is the size difference, as some species of cannabis can reach over 6 feet tall, so the right one for you will highly depend on your budget and needs, rather than any one-size-fits-all kind of approach.

For some, cannabis seeds offer the true satisfaction of watching it mature in all of its wonderful glory, but for just as many, skipping the extra unnecessary step can be incredibly helpful and aid in the speed of their progress. There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to picking one to use, as each one comes with drawbacks and benefits that should all be considered long before you get your hands dirty and your money invested in the project.

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