This is an Aurora Indica plant I grew. It stayed very short but buds were thick and dense! The buds had very strong Indica effects.
Auto-flowering plants have some unique qualities:
- Ready to harvest 2-3 months from seed – quickest time to harvest of any strain of cannabis (though there are some auto-flowering strains that have been bred to take longer and get bigger, most are ready to harvest in 3 months or less)
- Autos don’t need special light periods – “Regular” (photoperiod) plants need 12 hours of darkness each day in order to make buds, while autos will make buds and be ready to harvest no matter what light schedule they receive. This can be helpful if you can’t avoid light leaks, or if you want to keep your lights on all the time (for example if you need your lights on to keep plants warm)
- Tend to be higher in CBD – Many auto-flowering strains have 1% CBD levels or higher. This can make buds more relaxing with more of an anti-anxiety effect, while reducing some of the inner “racing” mental effects some people get from cannabis. This means that auto-flowering strains can be a good choice for medical marijuana patients, or those who’d like to get extra relaxed from their buds. However, these days there are also some very high THC, low CBD auto-flowering strains which provide more of a psychedelic “in your head” experience, especially those that have been hybridized with Sativa and Haze strains.
- Need your full attention – Auto-flowering strains are generally pretty easy to grow, but you’re on a strict time schedule. During the first 6 weeks, it’s incredibly important you pay close attention to your plants and react quickly to any problems. If an auto-flowering plant runs into major problems during the first part of its life, you may end up with tiny plants and tiny yields because an auto-flowering plant stops growing bigger after about 6 weeks. However, when nurtured through the first few weeks, these strains can produce surprisingly high yields in a short amount of time.
- Very important to pick a good breeder – the ancestor of all auto-flowering strains was a type of wild hemp which had tiny buds and very low levels of THC. As a result, the original auto-flowering strains were generally poor yielding and far less potent than photoperiod plants. Luckily, we now have dedicated breeders who put a lot of focus on breeding auto-flowering strains (Mephisto Genetics, Sweet Seeds, Nirvana, Dinafem & Dutch Passion are some of the best known auto breeders, though lately there are many new ones appearing on the scene). As a result, there are newer auto strains that have been carefully bred for many generations to be just as potent as their photoperiod counterparts. When you choose a good strain you’ll be very happy with your results. Yet because there are poor genes out there, it’s important to choose a trustworthy breeder as unscrupulous breeders may sell seeds that that end up making tiny buds with little potency!
An example of a Black Jack Auto just before harvest at 75 days old.
When it comes to growing cannabis with CFL grow lights, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help make things easier for you. Photoperiod or auto-flowering strains are both suitable for growing with CFLs, and you can make CFLs work with any strain. However, if possible you want to choose a strain that naturally stays short because CFLs don’t have a lot of light penetration and need to be less than a foot (30 cm) away from your plants to be the most effective. In order to maximize yields with CFLs, you always want to train your plant to grow short and flat, so many bud sites can be close to the CFLs.
Example of good strains for grow boxes
Although they’re generally hardy, in some ways auto-flowering strains can be tough for a beginner because they don’t leave a lot of time for mistakes. If you mess up in the first 3-6 weeks, you can sometimes end up with a tiny plant and small yields at harvest and unfortunately there’s really nothing you can do about it at that point.
- Quick – Papaya is ready to harvest about 8 weeks after you initiate the flowering stage, so with a 3-4 week vegetative stage you’re looking at smoking your buds in possibly less than 3 months from germination. Although a short-flowering photoperiod strain like Papaya is not quite as fast as the fastest auto-flowering strain, it’s close and much more forgiving in case you mess up!
Good for Grow Boxes
How much of a difference is there between strains? Which ones are the most potent, and what about yields?
This butter kit, however, makes it easy to infuse herbs into butter. It has its own heating unit and thermostat, which ensures that the product and butter are at the ideal temperature throughout the process.
Maui Wowie can help you feel super relaxed, yet energetic and creative. It reduces fatigue, too, making it great for days when you need to be productive.
“Essentially people are using these terms as catchalls for effect, but they’re not all consistent with those effects. Some indica makes some people wired, not couch-locked, for instance.”
White Widow improves your mood, gives you energy, and relaxes you all at once. It’s said to help reduce pain and stress, as well as feelings of depression. If you’re feeling fatigued, White Widow might help you stay energized and alert.
But if the terms indica, sativa, and hybrid are essentially useless categorizations, are strain names also meaningless?
The grow kit includes a trimming tray, a microscope for examining the buds to determine whether they’re ready for harvest, three types of pruning shears, a disinfecting spray for your tools, a drying rack, and gloves.
A highly energizing, mood-lifting strain, Sour Diesel is great for giving you a burst of productive energy. It also has notable destressing and pain-relieving effects.
Cannabis use is on the rise in the United States. A 2018 study notes that, while cannabis use among teens has decreased, American adults are increasingly using cannabis on the daily.
Northern Lights is another relaxing, sleep-inducing strain. It’s also known for its mood-lifting effects, and it can be used to relieve insomnia, pain, stress, and depression.
Not all cannabis is created equal. Different strains of cannabis produce different effects, and thus can be used for different reasons. If marijuana is legal in your state and you’re looking to try it, but not sure which strains best suit your needs, we’ve got you covered with this beginner’s guide.