There are different types of seeds responsible for producing a cannabis plant. These are the regular cannabis seeds, feminized seeds, and auto-flowering seeds. Since these seeds have different qualities, they also grow at different speeds. Before we discuss their growth speed, let’s first identify the seeds one by one.
These seeds are produced by crossing a male and a female plant. A regular cannabis seed could either be a male or a female plant when it grows. However, this seed’s gender is unknown and unpredictable so a grower would have to wait until the flowering stage of the plant to determine its gender.
Non-autoflowers like regular and feminized seeds do not enter their flowering stages unless their light cycle changes. A regular and feminized cannabis plant can stay in its vegetative stage as long as 5 years if the grower prefers to invest in its vegetative stage.
These seeds are known to produce female plants that later on produce the desired flower and buds. Feminized seeds are produced by “stressing out” a female plant into growing male plant features like pollens. Using those pollens on female plants to pollinate them results in seeds lacking the male chromosomes. Another way to produce feminized seeds is through a chemical change in the plant’s Colloidal Silver which is responsible for producing male plants and flowers with pollen.
In some cases, feminized seeds are also genetically altered to produce female plants 97% of the time. According to an article by Suzy Seeds, these seeds are constantly checked and tested to make sure that there is a high chance of them producing a feminized seed.
These seeds will automatically flower regardless of whether they receive the right amount of light or not. Auto-flower seeds were produced by crossing modern-day strains with Cannabis ruderalis. But what is Cannabis ruderalis? There are three most common strains of weed: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Out of the three, Cannabis Ruderalis has the lowest THC and cannabinoid content that is why it is often not used for weed growing.
This strain is often found in the Earth’s Northern and Southern atmospheres. Those parts of the world often do not receive as much light as most plants need. For the Cannabis Ruderalis to survive, it adapted to the lack of light and developed flowering without a sufficient light source. Combining that strain to the modern-day strains produced auto-flower seeds. These seeds have enough THC and cannabinoid content for smoking but they also don’t need as much light to produce buds and flowers.
Out of the three types of seeds, auto-flowers grow the fastest. They only take 8-10 weeks to grow and produce flowers. To some extent, it could take a maximum of 12 weeks. According to Royal Queen Seeds, although auto-flowers do not need a light schedule unlike regular seeds or feminized seeds, some growers still choose to expose their auto-flower plants in a 16:8-hour ratio. For 16 hours, the lights will be turned on while the remaining 6 hours of the day, the lights will be turned off. Other extreme growers would leave the lights on throughout the 24-hour period to maximize growth and photosynthesis but this could be expensive at the same time.
Regular and feminized seeds take a longer growth time as they go through longer times per stage. For example, an average germination stage takes up a week. The vegetative stage, on average, also takes up a week to 4 weeks. This doesn’t include the time needed for the flowering stage to commence and finish.
You can check the growth time table found in the latter part of this article to see the different growth times depending on the cannabis strain.