Cannabis can be mass-produced in one of two ways – either by cloning other cannabis plants or by using seeds to grow other plants. Both these methods have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, it’s really accessible and reliable to plant seeds and wait for them to sprout. Clones, on the other hand, are preferred by growers because they can propagate certain traits from the mother plant. If you have a specific typology of cannabis in mind, cloning would be a good idea.
But we digress. We should first see what each method entails, what their pros and cons are, and what you should choose in specific situations.
Pros and cons of cannabis seeds
Before we get into it, you should know that many growers prefer seeds simply because it’s natural and pure to do so. Moreover, there’s a certain type of satisfaction to see your buds growing wonderfully from the seeds.
Now, regarding the pros, planting seeds is:
- More accessible – This means you can get cannabis seeds anywhere on the internet. If you have a favorite cannabis store, get your seeds from there. You can get seeds from seed banks online even in countries where cannabis is illegal.
- Easier if you want to breed strains – You can totally start breeding unique strains by combining male and female cannabis plants from your seeds. This way, you’ll have even more seeds to plant in the next season. Using seeds to get more seeds sounds smart, right?
- Reliable – Using feminized seeds gives you a 99% certainty that your plants will all be female. You only want female cannabis plants because only these can be smoked. I’m sure you knew that, though.
However, each side has its downside, and cannabis seeds have quite a few, if we’re to be honest. Here they are:
- Slower to reach harvesting – Seeds take a few weeks to get from the seed stage to a mature seedling. You might not have the patience or disposition to wait so much, so this is a disadvantage.
- Seeds might be duds – Regardless of where you buy the seeds, not all of them will germinate. Unavoidably, you will waste some money on buying those seeds, and you can’t do anything about it. It’s a risk you have to take when using seeds to get cannabis.
- Hard to replicate the parents’ heritage – Even if you buy seeds of a particular strain, the seeds will develop different genotypes and phenotypes. They’ll have slightly different aromas, flavors, colors, and even yields.
Pros and cons of cloning cannabis
By cloning cannabis, we refer to the action of cutting specific parts of a vegetative cannabis female plant and planting it in the soil. You can expect the progeny to be identical in genotype and phenotype as the mother plant.
- All-female progenies – Using a cutting from a female mother plant to grow another plant will invariably result in another female plant. There’s no luck involved like with the seeds.
- Time-effective – When you plant seeds, you’ll have to wait for it to germinate before it grows into a seedling and move on. With clones, you skip the germination stage altogether. After you root the cutting and plant it in soil, it’ll start growing instantly.
- Easy to replicate the parent’s heritage – The reason this process is called cloning should give away this advantage instantly. A clone is completely identical to its parent. The cutting will have the same traits, flavor, yield, height, and color like its mother.
- Hard to get a clone – If you don’t have any cannabis culture at all, it’ll be pretty hard to start one with clones. Clones are illegal, so shipping them carries great risks. The only thing you can do is visit growers personally and getting a few cuttings.
- Bad traits carry over from the parent – A clone doesn’t only inherit the good things in its parent. It also develops the bad stuff as well, like genetic issues or some such.
- Much more vulnerable than seeds – Clones are very feeble in the beginning. If you aren’t careful with them, the stress and shock may kill them. You need to control the growing environment perfectly and provide optimal temperature, humidity, nutrition, and so on.
The eternal question remains – are seeds better than clones? We’d have to say that both methods emphasize different things. But we’d recommend beginners to start with seeds because the micromanagement and difficulties attached to cloning are only directed at veteran growers.