It’s the age-old question: seeds or clones? This is the question you’ve been asking yourself now that you’ve made the decision to grow your own cannabis. There are countless articles on the internet that claim one is absolutely better than the other; but is it true? Let’s take a journey through the debate of seeds vs. clones and come to our own decision depending on what works best in each of our own particular settings.?
⛳ Cannabis Seeds
Buying Cannabis Seeds
Before marijuana became commonplace in many countries, the only way to acquire cannabis seeds was through mail order purchases through websites generally in the Netherlands. But now thanks to a seemingly larger acceptance of marijuana, cannabis seeds are much more accessible than in the past..
If you’re lucky enough to reside in a country or state that allows you to purchase cannabis seeds legally, then you’re in for a stress-free time. On the other hand, if you’re from a country that outright bans the purchasing of cannabis seeds, then it will take a bit of extra effort from you to acquire your prized seeds.
There isn’t any time wasted if you only need to walk to a store to purchase your marijuana seeds. This streamlined process means you can get straight to germinating your seeds to begin their long cycle of life.
If you purchase marijuana seeds online, then you’ll need to wait for the package to ship and account for the days wasted while your seeds are in transit. Also, if you’re located in a country that doesn’t allow cannabis seeds, then your shipment is threatened until it reaches your doorstep.
There are a large number seed brands available considering there are numerous seed breeders. These unsung heroes take the time and effort to create unique strains for you and me to partake in. Hours upon hours of breeding and even more hours of outright patience eventually net a breeder with a complete seed line. It’s this final seed that we’re able to buy and grow for ourselves.
Weed seeds can cost between 40 and 170 € for a pack of 10 seeds. It depends on the exclusivity surrounding the breeder and availability. Cannabis seeds are no small investment, but they do offer us a wide variety of options that will be discussed later.
The Advantages of Using Cannabis Seeds
- Buying your own cannabis seeds opens a plethora of options in the world of marijuana. Your horizon is entirely open, and the endless list of cannabis strains is at your disposal (as long as your wallet is as well).
- Growing cannabis plants from seed means that you can search for strains that will work for you, either due to your growing environment or medical needs. Looking for a cannabis seed that will grow short and bushy? Perfect, you’ll find loads of these in marijuana seed catalogs. Searching for a strain that will give you that electrifying high with no ceiling? Of course! All you need to do is search for it, and you’ll eventually find it in seed form.
- Another advantage to growing cannabis plants from seed is that you can rest assured that you’re growing verified genetics. In my experience, a significant problem in the cannabis industry is that dispensaries often sell customers cannabis products that aren’t the strain that they claim it is. This is an ongoing problem in legalized states such as California and Colorado, where the weed you buy is named something popular so that it sells quickly.
- When you buy your own cannabis seeds, you know what strain you’ll be smoking, guaranteed. Buying your own cannabis seeds is the most responsible thing you can do as a grower because you are fully aware of what it is.
- Other advantages to using cannabis seeds are specialized varieties, such as feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds. These are unique because feminized seeds are guaranteed to become female once they reach maturity. Autoflowering seeds don’t require the 12/12 light cycle to begin flowering, they just need to reach a certain age. These are great options to use in particular circumstances, such as lack of time and lack of space.
- Possibly the most important advantage to using cannabis seeds is for phenotype variation. A cannabis plant’s phenotype is responsible for its characteristics, such as a purple tinge, massive flowers, pungent smell, or overall size..
- It’s an advantage as a grower to view a strain’s variety of phenotypes. If you find a particular phenotype that you love because of its unique characteristics, then you can turn it into a “mother” and take clones from it to keep this specific phenotype alive and in production. You can even clone feminized seeds once they’re mature. Cloning marijuana is a common practice but will be discussed in-depth in a different article.
The Disadvantage of Cannabis Seeds
- There are, of course, disadvantages to using cannabis seeds. The pitfalls found in growing cannabis seeds stem from increased growth times, a lack of uniformity, and the potential for males (unless you intend to make your own weed seeds).
- When growing cannabis from seed, we’re faced with hurdles to clear before the first leaves sprout of the seed. Germination is a tedious process, and if not careful, can end with a wasted seed. For most of us, germinating marijuana seeds is a stressful moment until the first leaves break free from the soil and begin establishing their root system.
- Beyond the germination process is the length of time to go from sprout to harvest. Cannabis seed packs always display a flowering time, usually between 9-11 weeks. The process from seed to sexual maturity takes upwards to 3 months. For most growers, especially production-oriented growers, this is far too much time to spend on vegetative growth and not on the flowering cycle. So before you ask how long it takes to grow weed: 4-6 months in total!
- Uniformity is also a significant downside to cannabis seeds. Each seed in a 10-pack carries its own unique phenotype. Depending on the lineage of the strain, the parents of it may offer widely differing characteristics in their offspring. This makes for a difficult situation in the grow room, especially if you have 10 different phenotypes that are all different sizes. Most growers prefer to keep an even canopy for light exposure and to pinpoint any problems.
- Although it’s not mother nature’s fault for gifting me with male cannabis plants, I was only searching for the perfect female plants that will produce large, pungent and resinous buds. If what you’re after is just bud production, then you will need patience and a back-up plan if you get more males than expected.
- There’s also the potential with your cannabis plants turning hermaphrodite either due to problems in your environment or problems with a breeder’s method. After 4-6 months it will be devastating to find a plant that has turned hermaphrodite, with the threat to potentially pollinate the rest of your cannabis crop. The last thing you want to see in your buds is weed seeds.
👌 Cannabis clones
Buying Cannabis Clones
Even though in most European countries the purchase of clones is illegal, in some states in the USA and Canada it is possible to buy clones without problem, they are fast and cheap, but you don’t know if what you get is really what they say it is.
Once again, living in a country or state that allows the growth of cannabis plants will make it much easier to acquire marijuana clones. If you live in a country that bans growing marijuana, then you may find it more difficult to gain access to cannabis clones. Generally, knowing other growers helps, especially if they have extra clones to give you.
If you live in a legalized country, then there are many shops where you can buy cannabis clones. In most cases, cannabis clones retail for about $5-20 each, depending on size. There are additional costs, especially if the cannabis clone is a rare cutting or from a famous breeder.
The Advantages of Cannabis Clones
- Clones play an integral role in most marijuana production facilities. Their advantage of already being sexually mature plants, uniform, and guaranteed females is the most strong allure for utilizing cannabis clones in your garden.
- Cannabis clones are clones taken from a mother plant. The mother plant can be from a feminized clone or from a regular cannabis clone. These cuttings are usually lateral branches of the larger mother plant. These cuttings are then placed in small rockwool or equivalent cubes and left to develop their own root system. Then clones carry the exact same genetic material from the mother, which means the exact same phenotype.
- Since clones carry the exact genetics of the mother, they also carry the same age. Although they are significantly smaller, they can begin flowering immediately after they establish a root system. Being sexually mature means that you can save up to 2 months of vegetative growth and spend that time flowering clones. It’s possible to finish two production cycles at the same time it takes to grow one seed to its final harvest.
- Another advantage to cannabis clones is that you can make clones from these clones. This means you will have an endless supply of a clone as long as you keep a mother in a vegetative state (18/4 or 24-hours lights on). We will discuss how to clone a weed plant (mother) in a separate series.
- The most streamlined grow room has an even canopy. This is because light penetration is necessary to fill out all of those bud sites. This is why growing clones are advantageous because they will all grow evenly. It also makes adjusting your grow light as your canopy increases in height much more manageable.
- Considering the mother plant where your marijuana clones are from is female, then your clones will be as well. Knowing the sex of your cannabis plant before it begins to grow is crucial. This takes the guesswork out of growing from seeds (unless they’re feminized seeds).
Disadvantages of Marijuana Clones
- Clones aren’t perfect. The origin of a weed clone is susceptible to false advertising, and the potential for introducing pests and pathogens from a cloner’s garden is highly possible. Clones are susceptible to genetic drift over a long period, thus reducing the favorable characteristics once found in the mother plant.
- It’s a prevelant practice that marijuana clone shops employ: name a clone after a favorite strain to make it sell faster. This means that your garden is now filled with an unknown strain that will produce half-baked results. The only hope is that the marijuana industry becomes more regulated for marijuana clone shops to show valid proof of the origins of their products.
- The most significant disadvantage of buying clones is that you may potentially introduce pests and pathogens into your grow operation. You don’t know the practices of the grower that produced your clones, which means you may be buying an infected cannabis clone. Once you introduce spider mites or powdery mildew into your garden, you’ll need to throw everything away and start again once your room is completely sterilized.
- Although you can take clones of clones and keep a specific genetic line in production, there is the potential for genetic drift over long periods. This isn’t a common occurrence but it does happen, and it can impact the growth of your cannabis garden.
Now that we know the advantages and disadvantages of cannabis seeds and weed clones, we can now decide for ourselves on which of these two is best for our own particular setting. There is no perfect option between the two because the deciding factor is you! Cannabis seeds are necessary to introduce new and exciting phenotypes into the arena. Cannabis clones are great for speeding up the production process.
In the end, you must weigh your own options. Do you have time? Do you want variation? Do you want to get started as soon as possible? Do you want uniform plants? These are all question you need to ask yourself before buying clones or seeds. Once you decide, enjoy the process! There is more to growing cannabis than just the end product.
Here at PEV Grow, we offer a wide variety of seeds from countless breeders. Even if you’ve decided clones are your preferred method, taking a look into our selection may give you an idea for a future cannabis garden that’s full of variety.