GoogleWeed: Seeds vs Clones

2017 Current

The debate about weed continues today with potential prospects wondering which is better:


A brief introduction about both is necessary to explain the differences that most people will care about. 


Seeds have been the primary source of cannabis startups for generations and past that since evolution itself dictated that our good green earth should get a little greener.  Seeds are essentially an embryo encapsulated by a bio degradable shell of protection.  They are easy to transport and very discreet and for this reason can be sent anywhere in the world fluidly.  Seeds are mostly resilient to changes in temperature and other atmospheric conditions, however just like anything they need to be stored correctly.  The main issue cannabis growers face in today's seed market place is germination rate.  Not all seeds are good seats and the way they are stored over time can present challenges with germination resulting in low success rates.  Ideally, when you have a healthy plant producing seeds you should be achieving 90- 100% success across all your seed pops.  Another issue that presents is a plants "gender identity."  Ideally a crop of seeds should produce or 6 to 4 ratio of females to males, however many factors can influence this ratio and that causes further seeded confusion.  Throughout cannabis history, unstable genetics have caused hermaphrodite plants that will display inappropriate behaviors during the course of flowering, and these issues can potentially ruin an entire crop and possibly ruin neighboring crops up to miles away!  It is very important to examine the reputation of the breeder and reliability of the genetics used in producing new seeds or strains. 

The process of feminizing seeds involves introducing synthetic chemicals (such as gibberellic acid) to stunt the plants natural hormone levels. 

Plants grown from seed can be less than predictable. Like children, they may resemble one parent or both, but rarely are they a perfect mix. A clone is a cutting from a plant, and will have the exact DNA, therefore the exact same properties as the mother plant. Apr 6, 2016

Another reason that starting plants from seeds is optimal is because it's simply what is natural to the cannabis plant itself. ... A clone is incapable of growing a tap root and may never be as strong and healthy as a plant grown from seed, which will develop its own tap root.Oct 23, 2013


Clones on the other hand have a hidden identity that must be played out during the course of flowering. As long as they are obtained from a legitimate source the genetics should be stable and clones will reliably flower as 100% female.  Illegitimate sources or breeding techniques can perpetuate unstable mother plants which will in turn create genetic copies that are not desirable as clones.  The main proponent of clones is the grower that wants a fast start reliably, and at the core of this issue, breeder integrity stands alone.  In theory clones can be male or female just as easily as seeds can, however most growers automatically assume there clone crop came from a reliable female source and drop their guard on this issue, whereas seeds obtained from anyone are always suspect to gender discretion.  


One category of seeds in particular that stands apart is the auto flower subsection.  Auto flower strains are always available as seed-only, and currently cannot be replicated as clones viably. 

Potentially in the future science will expand in areas of 3-D printing, allowing tissue cultures to be produced and plotted via genetic code printers.  Currently Germany is working on solutions to this very thing but I believe that's another article entirely. 

Abstract Somatic embryogenesis has been defined as the initiation of embryos from plant 
somatic tissues closely resembling their zygotic counterparts (Ammirato, 1983).

Somatic embryogenesis is an artificial process in which a plant or embryo is derived from a single somatic cell or group of somatic cells. Somaticembryos are formed from plant cells that are not normally involved in the development of embryos, i.e. ordinary plant tissue. (Wiki, 2017)

Auto flowers strains come naturally as seeds that will begin flowering the second they sprout a set of leaves. For this reason they are typically much faster finishers (under 60 days), require less grower assistance, and idolized as the most convenient way to flower outdoors.  Because of the shortcuts auto flower strains utilize in their 60 day (or less) start to finish cycle, potency is always affected negatively and this is the central drawback that growers tend to discriminate against.


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