For most cannabis strains, the flowering period will last about 7-9 weeks, although some sativas require even longer for their buds to mature.
With the stretching of cannabis in early flowering, you may possibly want to think about training techniques such as low stress training (LST). This is where you bend the stems down and away from the centre of the plant so you can get an even canopy for a more efficient use of your grow lights. This can help you obtain much better yields later on.
As your plants become more picky, you should check for potential deficiencies that could manifest in various ways, such as discoloured, yellowing leaves or loss of leaves entirely. At the same time, you should also check your plants for signs of possible overfeeding (“nutrient burn”) that could show up around this time as well. Nutrient burn will usually show in the tips of the leaves becoming discoloured. If this happens, you need to cut down on feeding.
To properly feed your plants once they start to flower and to initiate the first signs of growing buds, you should check your nutrient manufacturer’s schedule. It is normally around this time at week 2 where you will have to increase flowering nutrients to help your plants reach their maximum yield potential.
At week 4 of the flowering stage, your cannabis plants will likely have stopped growing altogether and are now spending all their energy on growing buds. There will still be white hairs sticking out from the buds, but the buds themselves will become bigger and fatter with each day. With more and larger buds growing, your plants will now produce more trichomes, making the odour a lot more noticeable at this stage.
Your cannabis plants have still not entirely stopped growing and will now be about 50% bigger than what they were just three weeks earlier. Although still stretching a bit, the stretch will now gradually slow down and soon come to a complete halt.
At the locations on the plant where you previously saw some hairs, you can now see the first signs of real buds developing. There still won’t be many resin glands and trichomes on your plants, which means that the smell won’t be too pungent yet either.
In the very first weeks of flowering, your cannabis plants will be in the transition stage. Thinking that winter is not far away and that she will soon have to carry a big load of bud, your plant will likely grow rapidly. Some strains can almost double in height during this time. Because of the fast growth that your plant is undergoing now, this early flowering phase is also known as the stretch phase.
While your plant is putting in quite some overtime to gain size and height, she will grow a number of new leaves mostly at the top of the main colas. Your cannabis plant is busy growing “green stuff,” like leaves and stems so she can become stronger and sturdier.
What happens during the flowering phase of cannabis? Learn about flowering week by week. This guide will help you maximise flower production and THC content.
Cannabis cultivars coming from the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the planet – Africa, South and Central America and Asia – are normally called Sativa strains. These strains are then naturally found in countries like Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica (Central and South America), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam (Southeast Asia), Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Congo (Africa) and Nepal or India (South Asia), among others. Over time and generations, these Sativa varieties have developed specific traits that differentiate them from the others, either due to environmental conditions or breeding selections.
Although experienced growers grow them indoors using different techniques such as the SCROG (Screen of Green), LST (Low-Stress Training) or others, it is easier to grow them outdoors, where they can easily reach 4 meters in height when planted in the ground. Obviously, wild cannabis strains are not adapted to artificial lights, so if we are growing pure Sativas, which have probably never been grown indoors, the best option is often doing it outdoors. The only serious handicap found in Sativa plants is their long flowering stage; when grown outdoors, some plants won’t be ready to be harvested before December, so depending on climate conditions their culture can be really hard. On the other hand, if we grow them indoors, they can take 10-20 weeks to complete their flowering cycle, increasing the risk of pests and diseases. It should be noted that, generally, Sativas are very resistant to molds but weak against insect attacks, especially spider mites.
Over time, and thanks to the first travellers to Asian countries, seeds from Indica strains coming from Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. were brought to the West – along with new Sativa lines – thus enabling breeders to start developing the first hybrid varieties between their classic Sativas and the new Indicas brought from Asia. Basically, and since most Sativas were mainly grown outdoors, the first goal of many of these breeders was shortening the size and flowering period of their well-known Sativas, creating new strains more suitable for indoor cultures.
Cannabis Sativa plants usually have much higher THC content than Indicas, what promotes their psychedelic effects.
Sativa plant enjoying the sunlight
On the other hand, some strains or phenotypes may cause anxiety, tachicardia or paranoia in different grades. Medicinally, Sativas are often used to combat depression, eating disorders and many other medical conditions, while they are obviously not recommended to treat insomnia or anxiety.
One of the main reasons why Sativas are the favourite strains of many growers is their stimulating and uplifting “high”. Sativas are, by far, the most psychedelic cannabis species. As we mentioned before, the “high” induced by Sativas is perfect for performing almost any kind of activities, far away from the “stoned” feeling often caused by Indicas. Sativas are perfect for socialization, artist creation, writing or reading, etc, usually inducing a happy and inspiring effect.
The main phenotypic features of these strains are the long internodal distance, tall size, large and thin leafs with very narrow leaflets and long flowering periods that may range from 10 to 20 weeks, what makes their cultivation difficult for unexperienced growers, especially in indoor growing spaces. Almost all commercial Sativa strains have been crossed with Indica genetics to control these features, especially flowering time and size. Before the development of the first hybrid strains, Westerners basically smoked tropical Sativas smuggled from Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, etc. They were highly appreciated for their “high”, an energizing and inspiring effect only found in this type of strains, which is perfect to smoke during the day while we perform our daily activities.
Cannabis Sativa strains are known for their long flowering periods, tall size and very special effect, happy, creative, cerebral and especially psyche