If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Not so with autoflowers.
If you want to grow a cannabis plant as fast as possible and ask yourself a question “Are autoflowers a waste of time?”, rest assured: this type of weed is excellent in every respect. Besides very short flowering time, autoflowers offer good yields, high potency, and a connoisseur smell and taste. Entire seed banks, such as Fast Buds, focus exclusively on autoflowers and feel no need to expand to other niches.
Why the controversy then?
The autoflowering genetics aren’t yet two decades old. The first seeds became available to growers worldwide around 2003. Old-timers may remember that the first variety on the market was Lowryder. Even that first auto was remarkable in many respects, mostly because it was the only choice for people who had tiny grow rooms or wanted to hide a small marijuana plant or two between rows of tomatoes.
The breeder of Lowryder, the now legendary Joint Doctor, probably wasn’t too ambitious about the quality of the buds. He needed them to make smokers high and not be too harsh on the throat and lungs. As for the aroma and flavour, they were anything but remarkable.
Truth be told, even photoperiod varieties of that era were kind of subpar in the taste department when compared to many mouth-watering hybrids of recent years. With today’s competition, even autoflowers must come up to the highest standards.
So let’s bust some myths about autoflowers being a waste of time and list the features that make them unique.
- Autoflowering cannabis is small and low-yielding. Wrong! It was a remarkable achievement of breeders that they could produce genetics that take the same amount of time from seed to harvest as the old-school Lowryder, but grow a couple of times bigger and bring correspondingly bountiful harvests. If you compare some traditional feminized varieties and their autoflowering versions (by the same breeder) the difference is there, but not very significant. And if you grow a modern auto next to some feminized classic, the former may well put the latter to shame.
- Autos produce less THC and other cannabinoids. Wrong again! Today, they are more potent than many old-school varieties. 25% THC is astounding by any standard, and some of the autos contain even more.
- The flavor of autos is just meh. Again nothing further from the truth. Innumerable reports show how an autoflowering strain or other becomes the favourite for a grower with decades worth of experience.
- Autoflowers are easily stressed and then remain dwarfish. Not true in most cases. Caution is advised because autos really have only 10-11 weeks to finish their entire life cycle, and shock is something they can well do without. However, you can find thousands of grow journals where people have applied high-stress training to their autoflowers and they never skipped a bit.
Impressive, right? And don’t forget that autoflowers also offer something that photoperiod strains just can’t:
- you don’t need to buy a timer,
- there’s no need to make your grow tent light-proof,
- you don’t have to worry about light pollution outdoors,
- the harvest time comes several weeks faster,
- you can grow autoflowers in any warm season,
- in some climates, you can have several harvests per year.
So, are autoflowers a waste of time? Not by a long shot. On the contrary, they let you save time and still get an awesome product at the end of the day.