Follow your local laws, only germinate cannabis seeds if it is legal in your locale. It is illegal to germinate in many countries and this includes the UK.
If you have decided to grow, one of the most important decision you will make is the choice of genetics. The best cannabis strain for a beginner grower depends entirely on what you mean by “best” and “beginner”. When picking new genetics to grow, it’s essential to consider some key factors which can help you decide what is the best choice for your needs.
Firstly, are you growing for medical reasons or for recreation? What yield do you need? How much time and space do you have? How experienced are you with horticultural projects? The answer to all these questions should help you understand what you want to look out for when selecting your first seeds. For the sake of this article, let’s assume the individual looking to find their first strain is a complete novice and will have had no experience growing cannabis.
The ideal beginner strain will need to meet the following criteria:
1) Resistant to mold, mildew, pests and beginner errors
Your first grow will see you making lots of mistakes, and whether you realize it or not, this is having a direct impact on your grow and therefore final product! This can include over/under watering, light burn, nutrient burn and pH imbalance amongst a range of beginner growing issues. Having too high relative humidity is a big issue for indoor growers, especially in bloom when the flowers begin to fill your grow space – there is an increased risk of mold. Outdoor growers must worry about mold/powdery mildew in colder regions and pests in warmer climates, although outdoor cannabis grows can suffer from pests even in cooler areas such as Europe. These issues can be quite off-putting as often they aren’t the fault of the grower, therefore it’s important to not be discouraged, especially at the start of your growing career.
2) Fast flowering
Modern cannabis enthusiasts are fortunate enough to have the option between standard photoperiod cannabis strains (how cannabis exists in nature, sensitive to changes in length of day to trigger flowering) as well as autoflowering strains which flower after a fixed period – usually very short – due to their genetics having partial Ruderalis lineage.
3) Manageable height and size
This is a more significant factor for indoor growers, who are restricted in vertical and horizontal space, and often confined to the dimensions of their grow tent or their grow room. Outdoor growers have the luxury of letting the plants get to their true-to-nature. In one season, a cannabis plant can go from seed to a height of 5 meters or more before being ready for harvest. Naturally, this wouldn’t be possible indoors, in fact, most beginner growers will be limited to well below 2m, so it’s very important to consider height and growing patterns when choosing genetics.
If you remember from our ‘Sativa vs Indica vs Hybrid’ article, cannabis Ruderalis is a low-THC species of Cannabis native to Europe and Russia. Due to its geographical location, it experiences extremely short summers – a characteristic which can be exploited to create autoflowering strains. In addition to having shorter bloom times, cannabis Ruderalis is very hardy and can thrive in harsh conditions which means some autoflowers can have an inherited resistance to stress, pests or disease which makes them an ideal choice for first-timers!
Best strains for indoor growing
The biggest expense for indoor growers is electrical upkeep for lights, fans and any peripherals you may need, therefore the biggest priority for an indoor grower should be efficiency. Now we all know that we want to maximize the amount of bud and the best buds comes from the top colas. And the best colas come from plants which have had meticulous thought put into the grow process. You will want strains which are resistant to stress to allow you to train your plants into giving you better yields and some are better than others for this purpose.
Here are our top 3 indoor cannabis strains for first-time growers:
Peyote Cookies from Barney’s Farm – A feminized, photoperiod, high-THC strain from Dutch seed breeder Barney’s Farm, which crosses their legendary Cookies Kush with Peyote Purple to give an Indica-dominant strain which gives purple hued buds, dripping with potent resin. This strain stays true to its lineage and provides a heavy-hitting, couch lock high which can be sedative at higher doses, so this strain is ideal for medical users looking to combat loss of appetite or insomnia.
Glueberry OG from Dutch Passion – Glueberry OG is a three way cross between American classics – Gorilla Glue, Blueberry and OG Kush. This combination leads to a strong and potent, medicinal strain which can be used for a range of medical conditions, especially those benefiting from its anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. As well as providing sticky, dense nugs to fill your tent, this strain is the perfect combination of your favorite hybrids and will give a unique high accordingly.
Northern Lights from Royal Queen Seeds – Northern Lights is the quintessence of an Indica strains. For decades, it has been at the apex of a connoisseurs list of favorite strains and with years of testing and developing, Northern Lights is the perfect strain for any beginner. It has a short flowering period of between 7 to 8 weeks, the end of which sees the patient grower rewarded with ounces of dense, thick, resinous buds. This strain is excellent for night-time use and provides a good foundation to make edibles, concentrates and other cannabis extracts.
Best strains for outdoor growing
Unlike growing indoors, there are substantially less ongoing costs, especially with respect to how many man hours go into maintaining an indoor garden. The reduced workload with an outdoor grow will funnily enough also correspond to a bigger harvest. While indoor growers have complete control over when their plants switch to flower, outdoor grows are per-determined by seasonal changes, therefore plants can get much bigger in one season outside than they could inside.
The best outdoor strain for you will depend on your climate, so one of the most important factors to consider is the lineage of the genetics you will be using as they will determine how well your plant performs in your local climate. For example, Sativa plants tend to have longer flowering periods and tend to grow taller due to their genetic origin (equatorial, long summers) and so these would make ideal options for an outdoor grow if you live in a hot area with long summers. However, if you are growing in Europe, you will need a strain that has grown in cooler climates, these often tend to be Indica-dominant varieties. You will want a strain which is resistant to mold, mildew, pests and adverse weather to allow you to maximize your yields and as always, some are better at this than others.
The following strains will provide an excellent first-time outdoor growing experience:
Green Crack from Humboldt Seeds Organization – Legend has it that this Sativa-dominant icon was named by Snoop Dogg at the turn of the millennium. Its fast-growing, high-yielding nature has made it a must-grow for any enthusiast and with such strong genetics, even a beginner could get a beautiful harvest with minimal effort. Flowering times are as short as 8 weeks and outdoor growers can expect to be rewarding with a harvest of up to a kilo of dry bud per plant in the middle of October.
Critical+ 2.0 from Dinafem – Critical+ 2.0 (pronounced ‘Critical Plus’) sits on a fine balance between Indica and Sativa genetics. Its lineage makes it a resilient strain, ideal for outdoor and indoor growing alike. In addition to having many medicinal properties Critical+ 2.0 hosts a range of aromas to tantalize even the harshest of critics. It has a citrusy terpene profile with a soothing high which leaves the user relaxed and calm. The end of flower will see your garden fill up with buds stinking of lemon, grapefruit and pepper ready for harvest early October.
Super Silver Haze from Greenhouse Seeds Company – This strain speaks for itself – it is perhaps the most famous Haze to come out of Europe and was the winner of the High Times Cannabis Cup two years in a row; 1998 and 1999! Originally created as a cross between Haze, Skunk and Northern Lights #5, this strain brings together characteristics of each parent and provides a whopping 21% THC content. Its resinous nature makes it excellent for extracts and concentrates, particularly when paired with its exquisite, tropical terpene profile. Outdoors, this plant can get massive; you can expect heights of 3-4m with a similar sized canopy diameter. If you have the space and the sunshine, this is a must for anyone looking to grow outdoors!
Now that you’ve had a look at our favorite indoor and outdoor strains to grow, we want to hear about yours! The best way to pick your first strain is to make a list of strains you want to (and have the space to) grow, narrow it down to the serious contenders and then take your pick. Odds are you will pick something you love and that is what matters. The beauty is in the process and being able to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. That’s how we got our favorite strains, tell us about yours in the comments below!
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Remember: It’s illegal to germinate cannabis seeds in many countries including the UK. It is our duty to inform you of this important fact and to urge you to obey all of your local laws. The Vault only ever sells or sends out seeds, or seed voucher prizes for souvenir, collection or novelty purposes.