If you are considering growing new strains for the first time, you’re facing enough choices to make you lose sight of the forest for the ganja trees. That’s why we’re handing you a few simple guidelines to help you find the best cannabis seeds for beginner and veteran growers alike, no matter what your personal taste or grow purposes.
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Growing New Strains For The First Time
No matter how many grows you’ve completed, and regardless of the superb strains you may have harvested, every one of us knows that familiar nagging sensation… It’s the small voice in the back of your head whispering: “but what if that next harvest would be even tastier, even more potent and even bigger than this last one?” It is the same familiar voice you can hear whenever a spectacular new strain catches your eye, and you can just smell those fresh buds simply by looking at them.
This voice is the curious, playful grower you carry deep down inside; even if you always pick the same cannabis seeds that happen to tick all you personal boxes. It’s whispering in your ear, encouraging you to try growing new strains and tasting them for the first time. Let’s face it: there’s still so much out there to sow, grow, and savour; and besides, the grass will always be greener on the other side…
But how do you go about choosing new strains and growing them for the first time? How do you pick the best genetics to match your personal situation, grow setup, and taste? Which cannabis seeds are best for a beginner, and which are more suited for advanced growers? We’re handing you some quick guidelines to help you decide, letting you expand your palate and experience to make you an even more proficient ganja grower.
Will You Plant Indica Or Sativa Seeds?
Choosing between growing new indica or sativa strains for the first time is a complicated affair even for experienced gardeners. Firstly, the respective sativa and indica labels don’t necessarily tell you much about a plant, its behaviour, or its effects. Moreover, the distinction between these two ‘subspecies’ is not as clear as you may think.
These days, you won’t find any ‘pure’ indica or sativa strains out there: all the current strains are hybrid crossbreeds. Strain descriptions often list percentages of both genetic lines to give you an impression of their origins.
Nonetheless, it can be helpful to know roughly what you’re getting when you order indica or sativa-dominant cannabis seeds. The following basic properties are important to consider when you’re considering growing new strains for the first time:
Indica Cannabis Strains
- Grow with great speed and vigour in the vegetative stage;
- Usually have shorter flowering times than sativas;
- Often have shorter stature (convenient for indoor growing);
- Leaves are broader;
- Effects: more physically oriented, body buzz, stoned, relaxing, sleep-inducing;
- Medical: often used for pain, stress, aching muscles
Sativa Cannabis Strains
- Tend to grow and flower more slowly; stretch may continue in flowering phase;
- Can grow to huge sizes, especially outdoors;
- Narrow leaf structure;
- Effects: more mentally oriented, brain buzz, high, uplifting, creativity, activating;
- Medical: often used for low moods, fatigue and inspiration
Try Autoflower Strains?
These days, many growers select feminized autoflower strains by default when growing new strains for the first time. These special plants are nearly always female and start flowering by themselves within about 3-5 weeks. That saves a lot of complications regarding lighting adjustments, and it prevents accidental pollination of females by undiscovered male specimens (making feminized autoflower seeds some of the best cannabis seeds for beginner growers). In addition, they usually grow and flower at record speed.
Such rapid growth is great for anyone interested in harvesting more often, but especially when growing new strains indoors for the first time, you’ll appreciate plants that stop growing taller early by switching to flowering mode. This trait makes them perfect for growing in small tents or cramped grow rooms.
Growing Strains With New Flavours For The First Time
You could also opt for growing new cannabis strains for the first time based on their flavour and scent. If you do, focus your attention on terpene profiles: the subtle interplay of aromatic compounds that determines the taste of weed.
Over one hundred different cannabis terpenes have been identified so far. Depending on their complex profiles, terpenes make buds taste like anything from citrus fruit (limonene) to earthy tones (humulene), or add a spicy twist to your flower (caryophyllene).
There’s plenty of wonderful flavours to try out there. How about growing a cannabis strain for the first time that tastes like chocolate, sweet and creamy pastry, dazzling diesel fumes, or the wild aroma of berries, banana, pineapple, or other exotic fruits?
Interestingly, each of these terpenes adds its own delicate touch to the high caused by its strain’s flower buds. You can learn more about this in our blogs on cannabinoid and terpene profiles, or in the specific background blogs on all the main cannabis terpenes.
Choosing Strains By Grow Properties
A final option is picking new strains to grow for the first time by considering specific grow properties. That means working from a true gardener’s perspective. If you do, these are your most important factors and characteristics to take into account:
- Harvest yield: this is a rough indication of the amount of harvested weed to expect per plant or per square metre. Keep in mind, however, that a slow-flowering high-yield sativa plant may get you the same amount of bud you would harvest by growing two fast indica autoflowers consecutively over the same number of months. You’ll have fewer buds per plant, but that doesn’t matter if you can harvest after just half the flowering time;
- Flowering time: this indicates how long plants take to produce mature buds from the first signs of flowering. Sativas tend to flower more slowly than indica dominant strains. This will impact your planning when growing new strains for the first time;
- Stretch and size: ‘stretch’ indicates the extent to which (young) plants race up towards the light before they start to flower. Cannabis strains with high stretch properties tend to be impractical for growing in small grow tents, since they’ll soon reach your overhead grow lights, risking heat stress and failing to reach their full growth potential. Generally speaking, indica strains tend to have shorter, more compact stature than most sativa plants;
- Sensitivity: sativa strains, especially the non-autoflower photoperiod kind, tend to be more sensitive to temperature, humidity, and lighting fluctuations than indica plants. That is why we would recommend tougher indica cannabis strains when growing new variants for the first time without much prior experience;
- Resistance to mould and disease: when growing new strains for the first time, it is wise to consider their resistance to mould, disease, and pests. High-resilience strains are often the best cannabis seeds for a beginner, even though many of the most interesting exotic strains tend to be more sensitive. If you prefer one of the latter kind, it helps to know what to look out for to prevent getting into trouble.
As you can see, there’s plenty of choice out there when growing new strains for the first time. Fortunately, you have already made the most important decision: only use top notch cannabis seeds – but you’re going to be fine on that account as long as you stick with Amsterdam genetics seeds!