10 Things to Know Before Purchasing Cannabis Seeds
Purchasing cannabis seeds is a big step towards growing a healthy commercial or personal crop. There are hundreds of strain varieties, and how you select the appropriate seed depends on a number of factors. The style of grow, personal preference, odor of plant, durability of plant, flowering cycle, effect of high, cannabinoid concentrations, size of the plant at full size, whether it is feminized and whether or not it is an autoflowering strain should all be considered.
1. Style of Grow
The first thing to consider when selecting a strain to grow is the style of grow that is being used. Some plants grow better in different scenarios. Autoflowering plants work really well in a sea of green scenario, since they have a tendency to stay small and bud quickly no matter what the light conditions are. Outdoor growing might require plants that are more resistant to mold and pests, like a Skunk strain. A skunk strain with a little ruderalis would make the most resistant plant and is great for beginners.
Using a Low Stress Training (LST) method is an easy way to save space, and not risk too much stress on a plant when pruning it into a bush. Bending the plant over, almost like a tomato vine well lso create an even budding scenario, so even the lower parts of the plant produce large amounts of bud. Pin down the plant below every other cola using something as a bread tie and it will stay low and spread out. This also evens light distibution.
2. How Much Space is Space Available?
In an indoor setting, plants that are too big will cause a problem, again autoflowering or changing the light cycles while the plants are still a manageable size. This ties in several factors of growing, since one bushed plant can provide a similar amount of bud of several small plants. Depending on how patient a grower is, a plant be pruned into a bush and provide more bud per plant. This is especially important in areas where there are restrictions on the number of plants that can be grown by an individual or business, so knowing the local laws is a must as well. Some grow styles take advantage of space better than others.
3. Odor of the plant
The odor of a plant is pretty important as well. Just because it is Legal to grow marijuana in some areas does not mean that you want everyone in the are to know that your are growing, so more pungent strains might not be optimal. Other fruity strains might accent a garden well, and be a little more discreet.
This especially true for indoor grows, but odors can be solved using an ozone machine can be used to eliminate the odor. Be careful not to come in contact with ozone levels that are too high however, this has been shown to have adverse effects on the skin via hydrogen peroxide formation. The best bet is good ventilation in the grow box or grow room, to evacuate the smells and ozone while circulating fair amounts of CO2.
4. Know the length of time to produce mature Flowers
Knowing when the bud is ripe for picking is a big advantage as well. Not investigating the flowering length can lead to a growing letting a plant flower for too long, or picking it too soon. This will cause perturbations in the THC content of the bud and will not lead to maximum production of the plant. Most plants are listed with the length of their flowering cycles on the packaging or on the website of the seed bank.
If buds are left on the plant for too long, they start to decay, taking with them the cannabinoids which start to degrade from THC into other cannabinoids and byproducts that are non psychoactive and have fewer medicinal benefits. Picking the bud when it is ripe is mandatory
5.Who is the Target Audience?
Personal preference goes a long way in deciding what strains to grow as well. No one wants to grow a bunch of bud that they do not want to smoke. In contrast in a commercial setting, one needs to consider the relative popularity of the stains that dispensaries sell and put personal preferences aside. It’s important to give the people what they want as a business owner, because while you might love your Thai Land Race blends, your customers might be looking for something different.
When selecting bud for a business, remember to diversify. Having a high for all occasions is important to many customers. Some prefer to be social, while others like a heavy introverted high and both of those individuals might like both kinds of highs given the right conditions. Keep track of what sells the best, what people ask for the most and a little market research cannot hurt either.
6. Expected THC, CBD and CBN Levels
Cannabinoid concentrations are really important to many consumers. Some people like high levels of THC with relatively high Cannabinol, while others may prefer less THC and more CBN and CBD. Everyone has a personal preferences on the high that they experience, and this is a direct reflection of the complicated mix of chemicals in the plant. CBN seems to down regulate the high by reducing psychoactive effects, but this can help with the anxious feeling that people sometimes have while smoking, and can be used in those who experience stress normally.
These numbers are important to consumers, and are only going to become more important as the marijuana industry starts imposing more standards. Bud will need to be tested before going to market, and the levels of these chemicals will be on display just like an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) percentage. This helps consumers pick the marijuana that they really want, and be more scientific with their exploration of strains and effects.
7. What are the Terpenes of the strain?
Looking at the terpenes of the specific strains can tell what the marijuana will smell like and smoke like as well. Plants with more Mycrene tend to result in faster highs. Borneol is traditionally used as a sedative to ease stress and is also present in some strains. Cineole, also known as Eucalyptol, is believed to be one of the major differences between Indica and Sativa strains, and is one of the chemicals responsible for the uplifting feeling caused by certain strains of marijuana.
In order to preserve these chemicals, the buds need to be dried and cured properly. The terpens generally evaporate at lower temperatures than the cannabinoids, and heat above 85 degrees will cause the delicate aromatic chemicals that give marijuana it’s fruit smells, skunk smells and other aromas that make the plant so diverse. As a result of diverse breeding, nearly every combination of smells in the marijuana world can be grown.
8. Are the Seeds Feminized?
Choosing a feminized strain is usually a good choice, because you will not have to worry about growing male plants. These seeds guarantee that you will get yields and have to worry about pollen fertilizing a female plant and producing seeds instead of bud fat sticky buds. In a commercial sense, these seeds are basically mandatory. With less males to worry about comes less work as well. No more sexing plants, or stunting their growth by switching between vegetative and flower growth.
9. Is it an Auto-Flowering Variety?
Auto-Flowering strains have become very popular and make growing marijuana even easier. Ruderalis, a Russian and eastern European strain has been introduced to the indica and sativa world, bringing with it a timed flowering cycle. The Ruderalis plant begins flowering based on age instead of light, and will still grow flowers when there is more than 12 hours of light is available.
In addition to auto-flowering, ruderalis also brings with it a durability that adds mold resistances to the plants. Extensive breeding has also brought about the super-auto-flower which will grow to a larger size before it starts flowering. These strains are revolutionizing outdoor growing, since three or more reliable crops can be harvest a year, depending on the latitude.
10. Is it Legal For Me to Grow
Choosing the amount of risk you want to take when choosing a pruning regiment is nothing compared to the risk of growing in an are where it not legal to do so. Growing still brings harsh penalties to most citizens in the United States and abroad, and those should be investigated and considered before growing.
The amount of risk you are willing to absorb is on you, but everyone who grows knows how rewarding the process can be. If you really love growing it, consider moving to a state where it’s legal or supporting a legalization campaign near you. With the state and federal pieces in place, we might not have to wait much longer either as the Obama Administration seems to be leaning towards decriminalizing the drug. Maybe if we could get Surgeon General who supports the cause, in addition to the DOJ’s Vanita Gupta, everyone might be able to grow and consume soon.