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Published: April 17th, 2018
Categories: Cannabis Info
Autoflowering cannabis goes back a long way. A very long way. While cannabis strains are typically divided into indica and sativa categories, there is a third category called cannabis ruderalis. These are strains that flower naturally based on age, rather than on changes in hours of light exposure. Ruderalis strains grow into short plants in the wild, as they developed in the cold, mountainous regions of Russia and surrounding areas. These strains have been flowering on their own for thousands of years. Now, thanks to the innovative breeding techniques of the last few decades, seedbanks have been able to harness these ruderalis genetics to develop and stabilise fantastically potent autoflowering strains.
Again, ruderalis plants tend to be shorter in stature. If you're planning to grow a lot of plants discreetly, the smaller the better. Autoflowering strains are easier to manage because they won't grow tall, yet can produce very resinous yields much quicker than their photoperiod counterparts.
Photoperiod strains can take months of high maintenance vegetative growth before flowering. Autoflowering strains flower by themselves, with their entire life cycle completing in a matter of weeks! Although most autoflowering strains won’t produce quite as much bud as photoperiod cultivars, they will make it to harvest much quicker, allowing growers to achieve multiple harvests in the space of one year or even one season.
Autoflowering strains are especially beneficial for novice cultivators and those in less-than-ideal climates with short summers. Furthermore, most autos are hardy, resilient, and generally low-maintenance.
Most recently, breeders have created a new wave of super-robust and productive autoflowering strains—ones with comparable yields to photoperiod strains, and nearly as potent! If you are looking to grow your own autos this summer, here are 5 of the highest-quality cultivars you can plant.
Kicking off our list is a small autoflowering strain with lots of attitude. Monster Dwarf Auto is certainly a petite plant, only growing as tall as 40–70cm indoors or 50–90cm outdoors. However, this short stature is not indicative of sub-par genetics or yields. In just two months post-germination, you will harvest very pungent, very potent buds. By combining classic Skunk genetics with ruderalis, this strain delivers a trademark buzz throughout the body when smoked, vaporized, or made into edibles. Despite its size, Monster Dwarf Auto is known to produce up to 80g/plant outdoors—more than a respectable figure. If what you seek is a good supply of Skunky buds, Monster Dwarf is not to be missed.
CBD-rich strains are becoming increasingly popular. Although many of these strains won’t get you high due to their low THC content, the boosted CBD levels will induce soothing and therapeutic benefits. CBD is an anti-inflammatory cannabinoid that is now being bred into more strains in higher concentrations. Dinafem Seeds is particularly proud to offer their Dinamed CBD Autoflowering. This indica-dominant hybrid contains up to 14% CBD, and has a delicious, sweet taste with aromas of orange citrus. Like most autoflowering varieties, Dinamed will race from seed to harvest in just 70 days. Thanks to her slightly taller stature of around 110cm, this cultivar can churn out up to 100g/plant outdoors.
One of the best investments you can make with autoflowering strains is Royal Cookies Automatic. The thick, sticky buds of this plant will pack an impressive 18% THC content. Ruderalis genetics were combined with the now-iconic Girl Scout Cookies strain, which has already taken the US by storm, and is now moving on to the EU market. Naturally, this cultivar retains the same enticingly sweet aroma of a warm dessert. A nice biscuit smell with traces of cinnamon and mint will delight your senses as the strong high uplifts you. This bounty will complete its life cycle within 8–10 weeks. Growing this strain for yourself will be quite manageable. Indoors, plants can be as squat as 60cm and as tall as 120cm. This is the perfect size for newer cultivators seeking the rush of top-quality Cookies.
Do you like the sensuous citrus flavours of orange and lemon? Then you will really like smoking Tangerine Dream Auto. This strain comes from the uber-successful seedbank Barney's Farm. This particular strain won the 2010 Cannabis Cup with a euphoric high so strong, it has medical applications for chronic pain and stress. This is a flavourful hybrid combining indica, sativa, and ruderalis qualities. It is also easy to grow, offering citrusy harvests after 75 days from seed, tops. It won't grow much taller than 60–70cm either, so surely you can make some room for it. With that said, indoor growers should get ready to reap what they sow—that is, up to 500g/m² of tasty nugs.
There is another autoflowering strain that owes it genetics to Girl Scout Cookies. With its fantastic confectionery taste and high THC content, Girl Scout Cookies is simply a great addition to any auto. Combining its qualities with the ruderalis plant allows one to enjoy these qualities sooner. Take this delightful indica-dominant hybrid Cream Cookies. After 11 weeks, this strain will deliver an uplifting high unlike any other. The sweet cookie flavours of Girl Scout Cookies are combined with a luscious hint of vanilla cream. Users have also claimed to taste coffee, citrus, and earthy herbal tones in the rich palate of Cream Cookies. Grow your own and let us know how it tastes to you!