Autoflower cannabis plants mature and start producing buds after a certain amount of time, rather than when the amount of light reduces, as is normal in most cannabis plants. Autoflower strains are usually the result of Cannabis ruderalis bred with another strain.
“I grew and harvested these autoflowers in less than three months!”
“This weed is surprisingly potent for being an autoflower.”
What are autoflower cannabis strains?
When growing outdoors, cannabis plants from regular seeds begin to flower, or produce buds, as fall approaches and the sun goes down earlier and earlier. This reduction in light triggers the flowering phase and bud production in cannabis plants. In indoor growing, growers can control the flowering cycle by manually reducing the daily amount of light plants receive from 18 hours to 12 hours.
A type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis developed in extreme northern climates thousands of years ago, and because of its harsh environment and lack of sunlight throughout the year, it adapted to begin flowering after a certain amount of time, rather than a reduction in light—it automatically flowers, hence the name “autoflower.”
What are the benefits and disadvantages to autoflower cannabis?
Autoflower cannabis plants are known to have low levels of THC. Today, ruderalis plants are usually bred with other strains to get a higher potency in addition to a short grow time. There are autoflower versions of many popular strains. For example, “Blue Dream Auto” is Blue Dream crossed with a ruderalis plant, which aims to maintain a lot of Blue Dream’s characteristics while making it quick to grow.
Another drawback is that autoflower varieties are crossbred more, and adding ruderalis genetics can potentially dilute the gene pool and lessen the characteristics of a strain.
On the other hand, autoflowers are great for beginning growers because you don’t need to worry about the changing of the season. Autoflowers also grow quickly, and you can usually fit in two harvests in the time it would normally take to grow one regular harvest.