Cultivation Basics - Seeds, Strains, Indoor/Outdoor

Strains and choosing your seeds

Nowadays we can purchase our cannabis seeds online and there is a multitude of sites to Choose from, many of them being extremely well known and reliable. Only the un-pollinated female marijuana plant can produce high quality buds that contain no seeds. A pollinated marijuana plant will still produce buds but these buds will be full of seeds and the THC content won't be as high, ultimately it won't be much fun to smoke! The idea is to buy high quality feminised seeds from a reputable source that will produce a completely female crop without any hermaphrodites (keep watch for these crop ruining ‘hermies' and remove them immediately if you find any). Don't worry too much about ihermies' as they are relatively rare and can be dealt with by simply throwing the plant out.

The individual characteristics of strains can vary massively, particularly in growth size, cannabinoid potency and yield. Some strains perform better indoors than outdoor, whilst some are more susceptible to problems such as mould. Clearly, we all want the highest yield and over the past few years due to the successful process of creating hybrids through selective "breeding" by seed producers, we are currently seeing yields like never before. Yield isn't the only important factor, for lighter energetic highs choose a strain that is sativa dominant. If you're looking for a stronger more intense high you'll require a strain that is indica dominant. Indica plants tend to have tightly packed buds, a high THC content and produce above average yields. There are Sativa dominant strains available that are big producers, although a strain with a balance of both Sativa and Indica will generally give all round great results. Indica has become very popular with its extremely high THC percentage and reliable high but whichever strain you choose the basic growing process remains the same.

The amount of time spent in the vegetation cycle is generally the gardener's choice however flowering times will vary from strain to strain, other factors such as light and temperature can also affect the flowering period. Most strains have a flowering period of 8 to 10 weeks although some strains can take as long as 14 weeks. As a general rule sativas take a little longer to finish than Indicas and sometimes require a slightly extended flowering cycle. Further to your standard strains, there are now auto flowering strains available offering as little as 6 weeks flowering time. A 6 week flowering cycle may seem very tempting but there are a few cons to this massive pro. First of all, when cultivating auto flower plants the gardener has no choice over the length of the vegetation cycle (more on this later) and overall, auto-flowering cannabis plants produce a much lower yield. It is usually assumed that an extra 3 or 4 weeks spent on veg and flowering time is well worth the return in yield.

The two cannabis subspecies indica and sativa have their own unique highs but more often than not these species have been cross bred to create a new strain with specific attributes.


Originating from India, Cannabis Indica plants have a tendency to grow short and thick. The leaves of the indica plant appear thicker with "fingers" closer together than the sativa plant. When properly cultivated, an indoor Indica plant can be grown to between 4 and 5 feet tall. However, if left to grow naturally an Indica plant would be around 3 feet in height. The Indica plant is known for producing very large, dense colas with high concentrated THC levels and strong sweet scents.

Indica has a powerful high that can turn unwary users into "couch potatoes" and is ideal for a night in.  It has a strong relaxing effect, not unlike a sedative. Not only is it very enjoyable indica is great for pain relief and acts as a muscle relaxant, as well as being the perfect sleep aid.


The Cannabis Sativa plant can grow much taller than indica varieties, often surpassing 18 feet. Sativa plants typically tend to have fewer branches than indicas as they grow up instead of out. The leaves of the sativa plant appear sparse when compared to those of indica plants and they appear slightly thinner and more spread out. Sativa's can have a flowering cycle of up to 13 weeks and is well worth the extra effort as these plants can produce by the pound!

Sativa is generally considered to have an energetic and stimulating effect. Users feel alert, awake, creative and happy. Due to the usually mixed ratio of CBD and THC, Sativa is preferred by most daytime users and is known for deep earthy scents and lighter hints of pine. Sativa has been recommended for the treatment of some behavioural conditions due to its positive effect on temperament and has been accredited to helping those who suffer from eating disorders.

Indoor or Outdoor

Some strains like to be grown outdoors whilst others prefer the protection of a controlled environment in an indoor setting such as a grow room or grow tent. The discussion is definitely not "indoor vs outdoor" as to get the highest yield from certain sativa strains requires a "no ceiling" environment and is best suited to an outdoor setup.

For most horticulturalists, the question whether to grow marijuana either indoors or outdoors is decided by the climate of the country they live in as well as the limitation of one crop per year. But even with favourable weather conditions, there are also a number of dangers inherent to outdoor cannabis cultivation that include law enforcement, thieves, bugs and water supply.

The yield from a successful outdoor harvest can be enormous not to mention very high in quality. Many producers prefer this natural method as the extra space and natural sunlight produce resin rich buds and flavourful aromas. Ultimately outdoor growing requires less work and less money to get off the ground. This method is usually used in rural areas, unfortunately for growers who live in cities, outdoor cannabis cultivation is often not a possible option. For most would be marijuana growers indoor cultivation is the only feasible method available for successfully growing cannabis of any variety. Grow kits, indoor grow tents and business' that supply these items are becoming more widespread and mainstream. Nothing is left to chance during an indoor grow and dedicated gardeners are producing the highest quality results imaginable. Temperature, airflow, watering systems and light cycles need to be monitored as well as nutrient pH levels and daily growth in order to get the best out of your crop, but the attention pays off every time.

Outdoor cultivation greatly depends on your location and the security risks and drug laws in your Country. The UK, for instance, doesn't really support outdoor cannabis cultivation due to the lack of truly wild areas, not to mention all the rainy days. But in areas like America's 'green triangle' the Conditions are perfect for outdoor cultivation and the reported sizes of the crops grown there and their mega yields makes growing cannabis outdoors ideal for both the grower and plant alike.

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