Ever wondered, what’s the difference between autoflower vs. feminized vs. regular seeds? Here’s how they differ, the similarities & some home grow pointers. In the current cannabis seed market, it is possible to buy both regular and feminized seeds. But, what's the difference between regular and feminized seeds? Do you know the differences between feminized and regular cannabis seeds? ❤️ Here you can see the advantages and disadvantages of each one ✅ Come in now!
Autoflower vs. Feminized vs. Regular Seeds: What Is The Difference?
If you’ve ever browsed the web looking for cannabis seeds, you’ll know there are various types out there. The most common choices to pick from are autoflower vs. feminized, not to mention old-school regular seeds.
But how do you know which one to choose? Join us as we discuss these three seed variants, their similarities and differences, and some of our top suggestions.
What are autoflower seeds?
Before we jump into feminized and regular versions, what are autoflower seeds? Auto seeds are named for their ability to flower automatically, without the need for changing light cycles.
Autoflower cannabis seeds are made by crossing an indica or sativa with a lesser-known subspecies, ruderalis, known for this autoflowering trait.
Looking at autoflowering vs. feminized seeds, autoflowering seeds are easier to grow—if you have experience—and fast to flower; the whole growth cycle typically lasts about 10 weeks. Some can be faster—check our report on the “fastest autoflower plants” to get to know them.
These plants tend to be smaller, have little to no lighting schedule needs, and are more resistant to pests, fungi, and temperature fluctuations.
In the past, most autoflowering strains were low yielders with low THC levels. Luckily, due to extensive breeding, autoflower marijuana seeds can now produce more generous yields and more potent buds.
|Light cycles don’t need to be changed or monitored.||Lower yields|
|Compact and small, ideal for growers with limited space.||Lower THC levels make it less potent than most photoperiod strains.|
|Easy to grow and have hardy genetics.||Difficult to clone—usually, new seeds are required every growing season.|
|Due to its speedy growth, you can have a continuous supply all year round as multiple harvests are possible.||Plants tend to be leafier with fewer buds.|
|CBD levels tend to be higher.||–|
|Due to genetics, the plants are less susceptible to mildew, pathogens, mold, fungi, and pests.||–|
What is a feminized seed?
You now know about autos, but what is a feminized seed? Feminized seeds are genetically modified to maximize the chances of developing into only female plants—around 99% turn out to be fems. Breeders produce feminized seeds by inhibiting the hormone ethylene in female plants, using colloidal silver or other chemicals during the flowering stage.
Feminized seeds produce greater, more potent yields and bigger plants. The moderate difficulty level makes it great for beginners and experienced growers alike. One of the few things to be mindful of is the lighting schedule needed to activate the flowering stage.
|Produces high yields, and seedless buds tend to have a better terpene profile, higher cannabinoid content, and are more potent.||Small chance of plants turning into hermaphrodites due to environmental stress or bad genetics.|
|Eliminates the need for gender profiling and the 50:50 genetic gamble.||The flowering stage is dependent on lighting but can be delayed as needed.|
|High guarantee of producing female plants only.||Not useful for breeding.|
|Significant reduction of accidental pollination as there’s no need to sift out the males in the pre-flower stage.||–|
What are regular seeds?
Cannabis is a dioecious species, meaning that different plants either have male or female reproductive organs. Regular seeds have a 50/50 chance of growing into males or females. Pollen from males fertilizes females, creating a new generation of seeds, making regular seeds popular among breeders.
Regular seeds are untouched and as nature intended. If consumption is your main goal, the females are what you’re after as they produce resin containing the highest concentrations of terpenes, cannabinoids, and other compounds.
Using feminized seeds vs. regular seeds means you have more control over the plant gender, whereas with regular seeds, you have to germinate more seeds to account for the males.
The she-weeds should remain unfertilized if you want to ensure the production of high potency buds. To prevent accidental pollination, you must identify and remove the males in the pre-flower early vegetative stage. Regular seeds tend to be used by breeders and more skilled and experienced growers.
|Needed for creating new strains and breeding.||Germination of seeds is unpredictable, with a 50/50 chance of males or females.|
|Use mother plants to make a continuous supply of stem cuttings. Thereby retaining the best parent traits in these clones.||Being a photoperiod means the vegetative phase can be delayed.|
|A pollen bank can be set up by breeders using pollen from male plants.||Accidental fertilization could take place if males remain in the grow room.|
|Many different strains are available, from classics to modern hybrids.||Need to germinate more seeds to account for the males.|
|No chemical or genetic modification makes them cheaper than other seed types.||Misidentification of males and females could lead to problems.|
What is the difference between autoflowering, feminized, and regular seeds?
Once you know what each seed type offers, you’ll need to know: what is the difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds? How do they differ from regular types?
It’s best to compare cultivation skill level, flowering period, average grow speed, and yield size. Here’s a comparison table to simplify the process.
|Cultivation||Easy (With previous experience)||Easy to moderate||Moderate|
|Plant height||Small to medium||Medium to tall||Medium to tall|
|Start flowering||2-4 weeks after planting||When receiving 12/12 hours of light & darkness||When receiving 12/12 hours of light & darkness|
|Vegetative phase||Flowering phase starts based on age.||Photoperiod, vegetative phase can be extended as desired||Photoperiod, vegetative phase can be extended as desired|
|Average time – seed to harvest||10–16 weeks||12–24 weeks||12–24 weeks|
|Suitable for cannabis pollen||No||No||Yes|
|Suitable for cloning||No||Yes||Yes|
Are autoflowers less potent?
When autoflower seeds first appeared on the grow scene, they were generally considered less potent. The Ruderalis subspecies responsible for the autoflowering trait have very low levels of THC and, therefore, low potency.
So are autoflowers less potent? Fast forward to the present, we can thank breeders for crossbreeding Ruderalis plants with strains that are extremely high in THC. Due to their dedication, autoflower plants can have similar potency.
Some autoflowering strains are even as potent as feminized strains. Generally, though autoflowering strains tend to be less potent, luckily, autoflower plants can still produce a quality harvest.
Autoflower vs. feminized vs. regular seeds: which to choose?
It’s important to note that not one seed type is necessarily better than the others. Choosing the best option for you depends heavily on what you want from the plants. Several factors influence what seeds you choose from autoflowering seeds vs. regular or feminized.
Some of the factors include your preference, purpose, skill level, yield size, and available resources. Questions to consider are:
What is your skill level?
If you’re a beginner, our advice is to use feminized seeds. The cultivation process for feminized vs. regular or auto is way more streamlined, increasing your success rate in producing a great harvest.
On the other hand, regular seeds are ideal for veteran growers or those wanting more experience. Autos are easy to grow but are unforgiving to newbie errors due to the quick flowering times—so a little gardening knowledge is a must.
Indoor or outdoor cultivation?
When looking at indoor or outdoor cultivation, the biggest difference between autoflowering and feminized plants is that auto plants tend to be smaller and bushier. This characteristic makes auto strains ideal for indoor cultivation. Feminized and regular plants generally grow taller and bigger, working better outdoors.
Keep your growing situation in mind when selecting your seed type. If you have limited space, time, and a little knowledge, autoflower seeds might be the easiest way to ensure a bumper harvest. If space isn’t an issue, you might want to consider regular or feminized seeds, meaning bigger harvests.
Remember to pick the best outdoor auto seeds if you ever choose to grow them outside.
What is your purpose for growing?
Feminized seeds are great for those seeking bountiful yields and maximum potency. With the chances of males appearing minimized, feminized plants have the best potential of producing canopies full of potent colas.
If speed is your goal, autoflower strains are the way to go, with their shorter life cycle and resilient genes. The difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds is that auto plants can’t handle stress, negatively impacting quality and plant health. Whereas regular and feminized plants respond well to high-stress training.
If breeding new and exciting strains is your dream, regular seeds are the answer. Regular seeds are more natural and produce genetically sturdy clones. Feminized strains are easier to raise, but interesting hybrids are out of the question. On the flip side, regular plants can be unpredictable and produce smaller yields as the male plants get culled.
What are the differences in lighting demands and harvest times?
Many growers choose seeds depending on the length of the grow cycle. Autoflowering plants have no lighting demands and flower based on age. This factor makes autos great for multiple year-round harvests.
Feminized and regular seeds have strict lighting demands and only begin flowering once their lighting schedule is changed. You have to account for this lighting demand and adjust as needed when growing outside.
Auto vs Feminized vs Regular: 9 best strains you should try
Whether autoflowering or feminized vs. regular seeds, each grower has their own opinion on which is best. It boils down to available space, personal preference, and growth expectations.
If you’re a little overwhelmed by all the technical cultivation talk, don’t worry! Here are 3 of the best sellers in each seed type category to help you along the right path.
Homegrown Cannabis Co. provides numerous autoflowering cannabis seeds, many of which are feminized. Here are three of our top sellers.
1. Bruce Banner autoflower cannabis seeds
Bruce Banner autoflower is as massive and potent as the green superhero it’s named after. It hits both the brain and the body, sending you into a deep state of relaxation.
- Lineage: (OG Kush x Strawberry Diesel) x ruderalis
- THC: 21–26%
- Terpenes: Camphene, d-limonene, myrcene
- Flowering Time: 8–10 Weeks
- Yield: Medium–high: 17.5-21 oz./m2 indoor; 2.5-5.5 oz./plant outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Sweet, berry, earthy, diesel
- Effects: Creative, energetic, focused
- Medical: Anxiety, depression, pain relief
2. Gelato autoflower cannabis seeds
Gelato autoflower cannabis seeds are the cream of the cannabis crop; this cultivar has incredible flavors and potent THC levels. A great pick-me-up with an uplifting and euphoric effect alongside the initial energy surge.
- Lineage: (Sunset Sherbet x Girl Scout Cookies) x ruderalis
- THC: 19–21%
- Terpenes: Limonene, myrcene, terpinolene
- Flowering Time: 8–10 Weeks
- Yield: 14-17.5 oz./m2 indoor; 2-3.5 oz./plant outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Sweet, blueberry, orange, woody
- Effects: Creative, uplifting, hungry, relaxed
- Medical: Anxiety, arthritis, migraines, muscle spasms
3. Sour Diesel autoflower cannabis seeds
Easy to grow and ideal for limited spaces, Sour Diesel autoflower is robust, zesty, high in THC, and a great all-rounder. Able to induce an energizing high, this strain helps keep you focused and motivated.
- Lineage: (Chemdog 91 x Super Skunk) x ruderalis
- THC: 16–23%
- Terpenes: Myrcene, limonene, camphene
- Flowering Time: 8–10 Weeks
- Yield: 12.5-14 oz./m2 indoor; 2–6 oz/plant outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Diesel, lemon, skunk, herbal
- Effects: Relaxing, energetic, focused
- Medical: Depression, stress, inflammation
Hopefully, your question “what is feminized seeds?” has been answered. Our store offers various feminized strains, three great options being:
1. Shishkaberry Kush feminized cannabis seeds
Shishkaberry Kush feminized has the fragrance and flavor of a fresh fruit platter, making it one of the tastiest feminized cultivars. Easy to grow virtually anywhere this cultivar contains high levels of THC and is popular in the medical community.
- Lineage: Blueberry x Afghani x OG
- THC: 16–21%
- Terpenes: Camphene, d-limonene, linalool
- Flowering Time: 8–10 Weeks
- Yield: 16 oz./m2 Indoor; 17.5-21 oz./plant Outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Berry, earthy, pungent
- Effects: Relaxing, mood-booster, euphoric
- Medical: Insomnia, depression, nausea
2. Strawberry Cough feminized cannabis seeds
This sativa-dominant cultivar, Strawberry Cough feminized, is named for its delicious prominent strawberry flavor and, true to its name, is prone to make you cough. This award-winning bud sharpens your sensory awareness, making you feel happy, peaceful, and uplifted.
- Lineage: Strawberry Fields x Old Haze
- THC: 19–23%
- Terpenes: Myrcene, alpha-bisabolol, pinene
- Flowering Time: 10–12 Weeks
- Yield: 14 oz./m2 indoor; 14 oz./plant outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Strawberry, sweet, spicy, earthy
- Effects: Calming, mood-booster, uplifting
- Medical: Anxiety, depression, fatigue, nausea
3. Green Crack feminized cannabis seeds
Famous for its unique smell and effects, Green Crack feminized plants have incredibly high THC levels. This potent cultivar gives users an amazing energy boost—not for the faint of heart.
- Lineage: Skunk #1
- THC: 17–25%
- Terpenes: Limonene, terpinolene, camphene
- Flowering Time: 7–9 weeks
- Yield: 21 oz./m2 Indoor; 28-42.5 oz./plant outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Tropical, citrus, sweet, earthy
- Effects: Creative, energetic, happy
- Medical: Fatigue, appetite, migraines, anxiety
Now that we’ve covered autoflower vs. feminized, all that’s left are regulars. Whether you want to breed new strains or keep your growing experience all-natural, there are several regular strains to choose from. Homegrown Cannabis Co. has some well-known regular seeds, including:
1. Blueberry regular cannabis seeds
The fruity punch of Blueberry regular is well-loved among those with a sweet tooth and those looking for an uplifting, relaxing, cerebral buzz. Naturally resistant to diseases and pests, these plants can provide generous yields once fully grown.
- Lineage: Thai x Purple Thai x Afghani
- THC: 15–20%
- Terpenes: Myrcene, limonene, eucalyptol
- Flowering Time: 8–10 Weeks
- Yield: High, 21-24.5 oz./m2 indoor; 24.5 oz./plant outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Sweet, blueberry, vanilla, woody
- Effects: Relaxing, focused, uplifting
- Medical: Arthritis, anxiety, depression, stress
2. God Bud regular cannabis seeds
This indica-heavy cultivar induces a warm, peaceful state of relaxation. God Bud regular is one of the most potent regular strains able to produce buds with up to 30% THC. They’re also known to reward you with some of the largest harvests.
- Lineage: Hawaiian x Purple Skunk x Unknown Canadian Strain
- THC: 24–30%
- Terpenes: Limonene, terpinolene, camphene
- Flowering Time: 8–10 Weeks
- Yield: High, 19.5-21 oz./m2 indoor; 35.5 oz./plant outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Sweet, chocolate, pine, woody
- Effects: Calming, giggly, hungry, relaxed
- Medical: Insomnia, pain relief, anxiety
3. Tropic Thunder regular cannabis seeds
The cultivar has a chocolaty kick alongside a tropical sweetness, best for nighttime use. Known to produce a psychedelic high, Tropic Thunder regular chases away depression, stress, chronic pain, and insomnia.
- Lineage: Hawaiian x Purple Skunk x Unknown Indica
- THC: 20–24%
- Terpenes: Myrcene, limonene, camphene
- Flowering Time: 8–10 Weeks
- Yield: 16 oz./m2 indoor; 16 oz./plant outdoor
- Taste/Aroma: Chocolate, earthy, skunk
- Effects: Happy, relaxed, talkative
- Medical: Arthritis, migraines, stress, insomnia
Know the difference, make an informed choice
Now that you know the difference between feminized and regular seeds vs auto, the ball is in your court. Take the time to carefully consider your needs, resources, and preferences and, of course, the yield and potency you’re after.
With high-quality seeds, you can expect decent harvests regardless of the seed type you choose. At Homegrown Cannabis Co. we have a wide variety to pick from, no matter what seed types you’re looking for. Head over to the store and select your next batch.
If you still have some doubts, head over to our Homegrown Forum and chat with other home growers about how they choose their seed types.
About the author: Derek LaRose
Also known as Kronic from The Cannabis Kronicles, Derek LaRose is a young ambitious cultivator and a staple educator for indoor cultivation.
What is the difference between regular and feminized seeds?
In the current cannabis seed market, it is possible to buy both regular and feminized seeds. But, what’s the difference? Beginners could purchase seeds without understanding the real difference. Further, we explain the main characteristics of each of them and how they can influence cultivation. This is done in order to evaluate which are the most suitable cannabis plants for your needs. Regular seeds are completely pure and natural and produce both female and male cannabis plants. Feminized seeds are seeds obtained from Cannabis plants treated with special agronomic techniques. In this case, the plants produced from these seeds will express only the female sex. The first seed company to introduce feminized seeds to the market was “Dutch Passion” in 1998.
Both of these seeds have their own qualities that make them unique.
Thus a real revolution in the cultivation of cannabis seeds began. Today, we find several seed companies on the market that offer a wide range of feminized seeds in their catalogs. And, in some cases, there are companies that sell exclusively this type of product. The reason for this commercial strategy is quite obvious: most cannabis growers are not interested in hybridization and their only goal is to produce large quantities of top quality marijuana. This means that the ultimate goal is to grow only female cannabis plants. Buying feminized cannabis seeds avoids wasting time and being overwhelmed by frustration (there is nothing worse than growing numerous cannabis plants for several weeks and then discovering that half of them are male when the target initial was to get only female plants). When introduced to the market, the feminized seeds initially showed a rather poor quality, receiving heavy criticism from the public (given the high percentage of hermaphrodite Cannabis plants that developed from these seeds).
Feminized seeds and the methods
However, over the years, the seeds and the methods used for their production have reached very high levels, becoming a real art. The quality of the feminized marijuana seeds that you find on the market today is extremely high and the chances of a hermaphrodite plant developing are almost zero. When feminized seeds were introduced to the European market in 1998, a real revolution began which inevitably led to a lack of interest in regular seeds. Today, over 95% of the European cannabis seed market is occupied by feminized seeds. In the United States, however, regular seeds continue to have an important market, still managing to cover a large part of the sector.
This is what feminized seeds look like
For most growers, feminized seeds are the ideal choice when buying a variety of cannabis: they produce excellent quality grass without the risk of running into some male plants. When a professional cannabis grower wants to produce his own seeds and create his own hybrids he needs to work with plants that show both male and female sex. This is necessary in order to pollinate female flowers with male pollen, thus obtaining new genetic crosses and new seeds. This is one of the main reasons why regular seeds continue to be grown.
In a sense, one could say that this growing market interest in feminized seeds could become very dangerous for cannabis communities, turning cannabis growers away from experimentation and dissuading newcomers to create new and interesting varieties. In fact, if we consider a seed company specializing exclusively in the sale of feminized seeds, a grower will never have the opportunity to exploit those particular genetics to create new hybrids. Fortunately, there are still some companies out there that are interested in maintaining this market, where normal growers are allowed to experiment with hybridizing cannabis through regular seeds. Most recommend the use of the seeds, especially for beginner growers.
Feminized Vs Regular seeds pros and cons
Feminized marijuana seeds have gradually displaced regular seeds as favorites in many countries. This is because these types of seeds offer certain advantages over normal or standard seeds. In this article we will take a look at the differences between them, why some are better for certain situations, and how to know which one to choose, do you feel like it? Well, let’s go see them…
⚠️ What is the difference between regular and feminized cannabis seeds?
At first glance one cannot appreciate the characteristics that differ between lifelong seeds, and the modern feminized ones. They are identical on the outside, it would be impossible to recognize if the plant comes from a regular or feminized seed.
However, in their genome they do have a big difference, and that is that feminized seeds only contain female chromosomes (XX). This is so because to create 100% female seeds it is necessary to pollinate a female with another female, that is, (XX) x (XX).
Regular seeds come from the crossing between a female (XX) and a male (XY) so their genetic information contains both sexes, and they will show one or the other depending on several factors.
The only difference is that from a feminized seed only female specimens should come out, while from a regular seed both female and male or even intersex or hermaphrodite can come out.
Hermaphrodite feminized seeds can also be found, but this is due to a bad choice of parents in the breeding of the variety, therefore, can we say that feminized seeds are good?
Many people ask us if they will have as much flavor as the others, or if they will come out strong, they even doubt if feminized seeds are less powerful, the answer is that they are completely equal to the normal ones, so if they do not come out good it is because of the production process or because of a bad selection of the parents.
image where you can see a seed of a regular variety compared to a feminized one*
Are feminized seeds better than regular ones?
It depends on what you mean by better. For growers looking for practicality and simplicity feminized seeds can be better, because they allow you to germinate just the right amount of plants you need at any particular time. With regular ones it is necessary to put approximately twice as many plants, so that when removing the males there are enough females to fill well the entire cultivation space.
With feminized varieties you can make better use of the growing space, as well as saving on substrate and products such as fertilisers, insecticides, etc. You also avoid the problem that can happen if at a given moment you forget to remove a male, or you don’t notice.
The most puritanical growers say that regular seeds contain more hybrid vigor than feminized ones. It really doesn’t have much to do, hybrid vigour is achieved by mixing 2 different breeds, and it is greater the further they are from each other. The same goes for feminized ones, whoever doesn’t believe me should cultivate a Moby Dick from Dinafem and think whether it is vigorous or not. From our point of view this is because some feminized strains on the market are S1, i.e. produced by the self-pollination of a cutting. Feminized seeds S1 may lose vigor due to inbreeding, but this also happens with regular seeds, you can see it in some landraces for example.
This is Moby Dick’s prizes list, its trophy room needs an extension to accommodate them all…
Bank: Dinafem Seeds
Genetic: Haze X White Widow
Phenotype: Hybrid Sativa / Indica
Harvest outdoor H.N: Mid October
Harvest outdoor H.S: Mid-April
Indoor production: 650 gr per m2
Outdoor production: 1500 gr/plant
Flowering period indoor: 60-70 days
THC: 17-22% – CBD: 0.01-0.2
The great majority of feminized genetics on the market come from elite clones that have been extensively tested as smoking weed. This is a great advantage, as it is easier to guess the features your offspring may inherit.
To know the breeding quality of a male cannabis plant there is only one way, to check the level of its offspring. On the other hand, when you cross 2 mother plants that you have already used to smoke you already know their qualities both in the crop and in the final product, so when you make feminized seeds it is easier to guess the result of the crossing.
Many people think that regular strains are better for creating seeds, or that feminized strains are not good for breeding, we have found that this is not the case, when a plant is sexually pure female it doesn’t matter if it comes from regular or feminized seeds.