Differences Between Cannabis Feminized and Auto-flowering Cannabis Seeds

by sophiajames

When it comes to growing cannabis, choosing the right seeds is essential for a successful and rewarding experience. Two popular options that you may come across are auto flowering seeds and feminized seeds. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two types of cannabis seeds and help you make an informed decision based on your goals as a grower.

What Are Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds?

Autoflowering cannabis seeds are a great choice for beginners or those who want a hassle-free growing experience. These seeds are known for their ability to flower automatically, meaning they do not require a specific light cycle to trigger the flowering stage. This makes them ideal for growers who may not have the time or resources to closely monitor and adjust lighting conditions.

Autoflowering seeds are typically smaller in size and faster to harvest compared to feminized seeds. They are also more resilient to temperature fluctuations, pests, and fungi, making them a reliable choice for outdoor cultivation. These seeds produce female plants that yield smokable cannabis, making them suitable for both recreational and medicinal purposes.

The average time from seed to harvest for auto flowering seeds is between 8-12 weeks. This shorter growing cycle allows for multiple harvests in a year, as these seeds flower based on their age rather than light exposure. Typically, auto-flowering plants start flowering around 3 to 4 weeks after planting.

What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

Feminized cannabis seeds are a preferred choice for experienced growers who prioritize maximum potency and higher yields. These seeds are specifically bred to eliminate the chance of male plants, ensuring that every seed you plant will grow into a female cannabis plant. Female plants are sought after because they produce the desired buds that contain higher levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

Unlike autoflowering seeds, feminized seeds require a specific light cycle to initiate the flowering stage. Indoor growers can mimic the change in seasons by adjusting their grow lights to provide 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness per day. This triggers the flowering period, resulting in the development of dense buds.

Feminized plants tend to be larger and taller than autoflowering plants, and they produce higher yields. The pruning process is also easier with feminized plants, as they naturally produce fewer leaves compared to autoflowering plants. The buds of feminized strains are known for their density and resin production, which contributes to intense flavors and aromas.

Autoflowering vs. Feminized: Key Differences

Now that we have a basic understanding of autoflowering and feminized seeds, let’s dive deeper into the key differences between the two:

1. Origin

Feminized seeds were specifically developed to eliminate male plants from cannabis crops, as male plants do not produce buds. On the other hand, autoflowering seeds are the result of crossing sativa or indica strains with a Ruderalis gene. They are often recommended for less experienced growers due to their ease of cultivation.

2. Indoor vs. Outdoor Growing

Autoflowering seeds are more suitable for indoor growing, as they do not require a specific light cycle to initiate flowering. They can be grown under a consistent light schedule, making them easier to manage in an indoor environment. Feminized seeds, on the other hand, require a manual adjustment of the light cycle, which is easier to achieve in an indoor setup.

For outdoor cultivation, autoflowering seeds have the advantage of a shorter growing cycle. They can be planted earlier in the season and still reach harvest before the colder months. Feminized seeds require a longer growing period and may not be suitable for regions with shorter summers.

3. Flowering Period

Autoflowering seeds flower automatically based on their age, while feminized seeds require a specific light cycle to trigger the flowering stage. Autoflowering plants typically have a faster flowering period, ranging from 8 to 12 weeks. Feminized plants, on the other hand, may take between 12 and 20 weeks to reach harvest.

4. Size and Yield

Feminized seeds generally produce larger and taller plants compared to autoflowering seeds. They also tend to have fewer leaves, allowing more energy to be directed towards bud production. Autoflowering seeds, on the other hand, tend to be bushier and produce denser foliage. This can result in a larger number of buds, but they may be smaller in size compared to feminized strains.

In terms of yield, feminized strains often outperform autoflowering strains both indoors and outdoors. This is due to their morphology and physiology, which allows for the production of larger and denser buds.

5. Resistance

Autoflowering seeds are known for their resilience to over-fertilization, pests, and fungi. They are generally more robust compared to feminized seeds, making them a good choice for growers who want a more forgiving plant. Feminized seeds, on the other hand, require a higher level of care and attention to prevent issues such as nutrient burn or pest infestations.

6. Potency

The potency of cannabis depends on various factors, including the strain being grown and the care taken during cultivation. Both autoflowering and feminized seeds can produce high-quality cannabis with potent effects. It’s important to consider factors beyond just THC levels, such as terpenes and other cannabinoids, as they contribute to the overall experience.

Regardless of whether you choose autoflowering or feminized seeds, the quality of cultivation and care put into the plants will ultimately determine the potency and quality of the final product.

How to Choose the Right Seed

Choosing the right seed for your cannabis crop depends on your preferences, resources, and level of experience. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Growing Experience: Autoflowering seeds are generally more beginner-friendly due to their ease of cultivation and resilience. If you’re new to growing cannabis or have limited knowledge, experience, space, and time, autoflowering seeds may be the better choice for you.
  • Time and Space: Autoflowering seeds have a shorter growing cycle, allowing for multiple harvests in a year. If you have limited time or space, autoflowering seeds can provide a quicker and easier way to achieve a bountiful harvest. On the other hand, if you have more time and space available, feminized seeds can yield larger plants and potentially higher overall yields.
  • Yield and Potency: If your goal is to maximize yield and potency, feminized seeds are the way to go. They produce larger plants and higher yields compared to autoflowering seeds. Additionally, feminized strains tend to have denser buds with more resin production, resulting in more intense flavors and aromas.
  • Indoor vs. Outdoor: Consider the growing environment you have available. If you’re growing indoors, autoflowering seeds are a convenient option as they don’t require lighting adjustments. If you’re growing outdoors, autoflowering seeds can be advantageous due to their shorter growing cycle, allowing you to harvest before the colder months.

Remember that the quality of your seeds and the care you provide during cultivation are crucial factors in achieving a successful harvest. Whether you choose autoflowering or feminized seeds, ensure you invest in high-quality seeds from reputable breeders.

Recommended Autoflowering Seed: Northern Light Auto

If you’re considering autoflowering seeds, one reputable option is the Northern Light Auto from Royal Queen Seeds. This strain is derived from the famous Northern Lights strain, known for its exceptional quality and potency.

Developed by Royal Queen Seeds, Northern Light Auto is a versatile strain suitable for both discreet indoor growers and outdoor enthusiasts. It has a fast life cycle, with a harvest time of 10 to 12 weeks from seed to harvest.

Despite being an autoflowering strain, Northern Light Auto offers exceptional yields. It can reach a considerable height of 90-120cm outdoors and produce up to 200g per plant. Indoors, it can yield an impressive 550g/m².

Northern Light Auto maintains the classic attributes of the original Northern Lights strain, with a sweet taste and a calming physical effect. With a THC content of 14% and low CBD levels, it also holds promise for therapeutic use.

When selecting autoflowering seeds, consider factors such as strain genetics, yield potential, and desired effects. Research reputable seed banks and read customer reviews to ensure you’re purchasing high-quality seeds.


Choosing between autoflowering and feminized cannabis seeds depends on your goals as a grower and the resources available to you. Autoflowering seeds are ideal for beginners or those looking for a quick and easy growing experience, while feminized seeds offer larger plants and potentially higher yields.

Consider factors such as your experience level, time, space, and desired potency when making your decision. Remember that the quality of cultivation and care put into your plants will ultimately determine the success of your harvest.

Whether you choose autoflowering or feminized seeds, invest in high-quality seeds from reputable breeders to ensure a rewarding and enjoyable growing experience. Happy growing!

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