Before getting the equipment you need to start your growing (grow tent, ventilation fans, grow lights etc.), take a step back and figure out what you want to grow! To grow for medicinal purposes, there is a wide variety of strains and seed types to get to know. The following is to help you decide the latter.
Your choice in hemp seeds is important because it will play into how much care you will need to put into them. So with that being said, here are the three types of seeds to choose from to start your grow.
Regular Hemp Seeds
Planting standard seeds will yield male and female plants. These seeds come to you completely natural and not altered in any way and usually consists of a 50/50 split of each sex. Growers choose these because they aren’t backcrossed and essentially inbred. Regular seeds are fine candidates to plant if you are starting out, but it does require you to keep an eye on what sex the plants are as they mature. This step is extremely important in the growing process because male plants will pollinate female plants, which will then create seeds instead of buds. The only way to really determine whether a plant is male or female is to inspect them during its pre-flowering stage.
Left: Female | Right: Male
Male plants are identified by pollen sacs found at the joints of its stalk, which is thicker than that of a female. Its stem is sturdier than a female’s because it grows taller, so it needs to be able to support the weight. Male plants also have fewer leaves than a female plant.
As opposed to males, female plants are shorter and have thinner stalks, more leaves, and buds. Another indicator during the pre-flowering stage is the set of small translucent hairs called pistils.
While it’s generally safe to assume a plant will be female if you see those small buds starting to form, it’s possible it becomes a hermaphrodite. This means the plant carries both male and female organs if it hasn’t been feminized. If you choose to start regular cannabis seeds, keep an eye out for the pollen sacs on your females. Treat any hermaphroditic plants as males and remove them from the rest of your female plants.
Seeds that are feminized are almost guaranteed to yield female plants that produce buds. These are made through rodelization, a process in which hemp plants are sprayed with with different solutions of colloidal silver or gibberellic acid. Feminized seeds save growers time and effort in raising their yield but are generally more expensive as a result. Because of its higher cost, it's all the more important to make sure you do not have males around your females.
Autoflower plants progress from the vegetative state to the flowering state with time, and not from light cycle changes. They grow quicker than other seed types, ready to harvest in about two and a half or three months. While its yields are not as potent, the short grow to harvest time makes it perfect for growers who don’t have as much time for growing.