Before choosing your marijuana strains you should reflect on what kind of results you are looking for. The buds may vary greatly in look, smell and effects. So think first what it is you want to achieve because it will largely determine what kind of plants you want to be using.
Are you looking for medical or recreational (non-medical) use?
Do you want more mental or physical effects?
What kind of appearance or smell are you looking for?
What timeline and harvest cycles are you looking for?
In this article we will walk you through all steps of deciding what it is you need up to finding the perfect breeder and seeds for you.
Weed Seeds Determine Your Results: The Basics
When first starting out selecting strains can seem complicated. So many different breeds, variations and options to choose from. I remember not knowing which seeds to pick and later not knowing which breeder to buy from. The options can be overwhelming when starting out!
You are probably looking for a strain that grows quickly, is easy to grow, produces much bud and has high potency. But wait… there is more to it!
First: There are male and female cannabis plants. Only female plants carry the buds and cannabinoids you are looking for. If you want to make sure to only receive female plants buy feminized seeds.
However: Male plants are needed for breeding!
Your cannabis cultivation will look and feel different depending on the seeds you choose. Let’s talk about sativa, indica and auto-flowering strains next.
Sativa Strains tend to…
- grow tall (especially in the flowering phase)
- be heat-resistant (but unable to cope with cold)
- grow into long buds
- have a more easy, upbeat effect
Indica strains tend to…
- grow short
- be better in cold (but worse in heat)
- grow into dense buds
- have a more heavy, relaxing effect
Auto-Flowering Strain tends to…
- be a mix of Indica and Sativa
- be small
- have a short cycle of 2 to 3 months (which makes them great of starting out)
They are called auto-flowering because they flower automatically without needing a switch of lights for budding and flowering stage.
By the way: If you want to test new strains you can start out with a single grow box and take it from there if you like the plants.
In-Depth Information to the Effects of Cannabis
The effects of marijuana are determined by the cannabinoids. When buying seeds your breeder should be able to give you information about the levels of cannabinoids. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers though. Because every plant is different and the way you grow, harvest and dry your buds will lead to different results.
The most famous cannabinoid is THC which is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol. It is the main cannabinoid and causes the "typical" mental effects like feeling uplifted and euphoric.
Cannabidiol (short: CBD) does not have psychoactive effects and is often used for medical treatments. Cannabinol (short: CBN) does cause mental effects but is more easy than THC.
Rule of thumb for medical use:
Against anxiety or seizures, choose low THC and high CBD. Make sure that THC stays low as a high level might actually cause anxiety! Examples: Stardawg, White Fire Alien OG, Juliet or 303 OG.
Against pain, choose a strain with a mix of pain-relieving cannabinoids. Some people prefer patches or pills with CBD only. Examples: Northern Lights, Chemdawg, Godberry or White Widow.
Against nausea or lack of appetite, choose marijuana strains with high THC.
Rule of thumb for recreational use:
For more psychedelic effects or higher energy use high THC, low CBD. Sativa strains might be great for this. They will make conversations easier. However: Super high THC levels might cause anxiety for some people. Examples: Casey Jones, Golden Goat, Lemon Skunk, Sour Diesel.
For an easy effect choose medium THC, medium CBD.
For sleeping or sedative effects choose high THC and medium CBD (which you can create by harvesting later or letting the strain dry up in the sun). Indica strains might be good for this. Examples: Bubba Kush, White Rhino, Granddaddy Purple, BC God Bud.
Where to Get the Good Stuff for Your Cannabis Cultivation
Are you ready for your own production? Let’s create a list of potential strains!
Start with a list of characteristics and effects you want. Take this as a starting point for brainstorming and researching potential weed seeds.
Now you will want to narrow this down and start to research breeders.
Use the websites of seed banks to start. Choose the features you want. Decide next if you are looking for regular or feminized seeds. Decide if you are looking for regular or auto-flowering seeds. Study the strains suggested to you, make a list of factors you like.
- Google the strain name and the word "grow" or "grow cycle". Look at images of each strain on Google images. Click to the pages to find grow journals. Bonus: Check Youtube for video journals!
- Always make sure to ask for documentation about cannabinoid levels. Just naming a certain strain with a breeder will not make sure you receive the levels you are looking for.
- Choose quality of effects before appearance. Sure some buds are just perfect and will look like the gorgeous, stick buds you see magazines. But for your production to have the best chances of strong commercial success, make the effects you want a priority!
At this point your research should have narrowed down to just a few potential cannabis plants. Now it is time to order your strains!
Make sure to order the marijuana strains from a trusted breeder and not a new one. Also established strains will be a safer bet on how the plants will turn out. Newer strains might be less stable and could grow a lot different from the pictures and videos you found during your research.