There are thousands of cannabis strains available for the aspiring bud grower. However, this abundance of choices can be confusing for novices, who just want an easy plant to hone their skills. A plant that is resistant to disease, mold, insects and, ideally, requires little care. So, in this article, we are going to examine some of the easiest strains to grow for beginners.
Strains, Strains, Strains!
It doesn’t take much browsing through any seedbank’s website or your local dispensary (you lucky bastard) to realize that there is an abundance of marijuana strains. Potent, high-yielding, fruity, sour, fast-flowering, tall, short, are only a few of the myriad adjectives that can be used to describe cannabis.
This “strain overflow” is the result of years of careful, selective breeding from all over the world. Cannabis nowadays is nothing like cannabis in the ‘70s, when varieties with THC levels of 15% were considered extremely potent. Our collective tolerance levels have raised, and so have our expectations regarding private cultivation.
Choosing Your First Strain
Depending on how informed you are about cannabis genetics, this can quickly turn from a headache to an exciting safari. The first things you should look at when choosing a newbie-friendly strain are:
- Hardiness (resistance to disease, mold, and insects)
- Yield (how much flower the plant will produce)
- Autoflowering v. Photoperiod (can you afford the time to regulate the light intake of your plants?)
- Potency (how strong do you want your strain to be)
The same rules apply whether you are an indoor or an outdoor grower. Outdoor plants will always yield more product (so long as they are not exposed to extreme weather), while indoor growers can rest easy knowing their plants are always protected. However, this shouldn’t make so much of a difference.
Plants are living beings, and as such, they need care and attention. Especially indoors, you have to water them, adjust lighting and climate, or even train them to increase yield. And that’s all before reaching harvesting time, where you should be extra careful. However easy, marijuana growing is a commitment, and high yields don’t just come on their own.
However, we realize that not everybody has the time nor the willpower to invest in their cannabis crop. Although taking care of a basic garden is not a big deal, some people want to be as hands-off as possible. And this is where an easy cannabis strain comes into play.
Before choosing a hardy strain, you should take into account the following factors:
- Conditions of grow room, if growing inside
- Climate and environment, if growing outside
If you are growing indoors, use a thermometer and a hygrometer to check the conditions of your grow room before moving the plants. Depending on the relative humidity, you should get a strain that is resistant to particular extremes. For example, if humidity is high, then a mold-resistant plant is the best choice.
Also, the smell is an important factor in indoor grows, so check the odor levels of your chosen strain. Although it can usually be fixed with a filter gel, the stench of marijuana can become overpowering in larger grows.
Let’s be honest here: You can’t expect the highest yields possible when everything’s on autopilot! Every strain will perform better with proper training and nutrients, but that requires at least some time investment. Setting aside 20 minutes of your time for your plants each day will work wonders for their productivity. However, breeding advancements have made it easier to find strains that perform reasonably well on their own.
Autoflowering v. Photoperiod
When looking for the easiest strains to grow, you might be tempted to go immediately for a feminized auto-flowering variety. And why not? They will grow fast, they are resistant to disease, they are (almost) guaranteed to turn female, and they need no changes in their light intake to start flowering.
That’s all true, but there is a catch: Autoflowering plants need lots of attention during their early life. Especially in the second month of their development, even tiny mistakes in their light schedule can ruin everything. This is because auto-flowering plants will grow regardless of the state of their health, giving much less wiggle room for growers in case something goes wrong.
Although autos are generally not as productive as photoperiod plants, some auto varieties can produce over 130gr of usable bud per plant! However, if you don’t mind waiting for a few weeks, go for a photoperiod variety, as it doesn’t require that much time off your daily schedule.
Depending on what you plan on using your marijuana for, “potency” might mean several things. Extensive hybridization has made old-fashioned categorizations like “indica=relaxation” and “sativa=psychedelic high” obsolete. So, you should pick your strain carefully according to your needs.
So, if you are looking for a medicinal stain, go for one that has a high CBD to THC ratio. Do not focus only on the CBD content, as too much THC can counteract its efficacy. Same goes for recreational marijuana, but from the opposite side.
Top 10 Easiest Strains to Grow for Beginners
Northern Lights (Autoflowering available)
Traits: Low Odor, Resistant to Disease
Northern Lights is one of the go-to rookie strains, as it combines natural hardiness with low odors and quick harvest. This indica-dominant variety is a mixture of Thai and Afghan landrace strains, with a slightly dominant indica genetic makeup. Its effects are quite powerful, while you can expect flowering in about eight weeks. Yields are pretty standard, and you can expect to harvest about 450gr per square meter.
White Widow (Autoflowering Available)
Traits: Potent, Cup Winner
White Widow is more than just another cannabis strain. Its uplifting effects have made it a standard in Netherlands’ coffee shops, while its potency has earned it many well-deserved awards.
Regarding growing, you can plant this white beauty anywhere. It is highly resistant to mold and disease, making it a great outdoor plant. However, she grows best in Mediterranean climates. The plant is usually ready within nine weeks from seed and, if you grow it successfully, it will certainly look like Christmas: The plant grows so many trichomes, it provides a glistening white color when in bloom!
Traits: Fast Flowering, Compact size
An aptly named hybrid, Quick One was one of the first autoflowering strains and remains still one of the quickest. Based on the pattern of Lowryder, the original auto strain, this is a cross between Williams Wonder, Northern Lights, and Ruderalis. The autoflowering property means that this plant will flower in about eight weeks from seed, regardless of light schedule.
Compact and stealthy, this is an excellent choice for confined spaces. However, it surprises with its yields, producing up to 150 gr per plant. The bud taste is pleasant and fruity, with slight undertones of citrus in the palate and provides a relaxing effect.
Traits: Fast, Great Taste
Blue Dream is the result of the crossing between two legendary strains: a Blueberry and an Original Haze. An evenly balanced hybrid, Blue Dream will leave users with a relaxed feeling and a pleasant heady buzz. The taste resembles the Blueberry heritage, with fruity hints and a sweet palate.
Its top quality genetics mean that this plant is also a breeze to grow and is very forgiving to beginners. It can be grown equally well indoors and outdoors. However, it tends to grow tall. Therefore, indoor growers who are not ready to try their hand at topping, might not be ready for this strain. This plant thrives at 17-27ºC. Nutrient lovers will be happy to know that Blue Dream is resistant to nutrient burns as well! Expect flowering at 8-9 weeks.
Traits: Fast Flowering, Resistant to Cold
Blue Cheese is an indica-dominant hybrid strain that is famous for its flowering times, potency and trademark pungent smell! A cross between Blueberry and an original Cheese, this strain has a THC content of about 18%, making it a staple in the cannabis market.
Many seedbanks offer their own versions of Blue Cheese. However, you should expect a sturdy and fast flowering plant, which will be ready for harvest within eight weeks. It is resistant to cold, so outdoor growing is also an option. Some training could be useful if you want to increase yields. Also, this strain is a big fan of nutrients, so be sure to supply it with lots of nitrogen, magnesium, and calcium.
Traits: Potent, Hardy
LSD is a creation of the legendary Barney’s Farm seedbank in Amsterdam, as they crossed a Mazar and Skunk#1 to produce it. It is a bit harder to grow than other strains on this list, but it is one of the most resistant to disease and insects. You can grow this anywhere without much to worry about. LSD will flower in about 9-10 weeks, which is a bit longer, but will repay you with great yields of up to 650 grams per square meters.
With a THC level of up to 22%, the LSD is a weird case for an Indica. Users report a mind-numbing high, combined with a strong couchlock effect.
Cream Caramel (Autoflowering Available)
Traits: Delicious, Fast Flowering
Cream Caramel was bred with stability and vigor in mind. A 90% indica cross between Maple Leaf, White Rhino, and Blue Black, this strain offers an amazing relaxing effect. However, the strong point of this hybrid is taste: The smell of licorice and the delicious hints of caramel overpower the user and hit with immediate effect!
This strain will flower within eight weeks from seed and has a reputation for being sturdy and forgiving among newbie growers.
Buddha Magnum (Autoflowering)
Traits: Great Yields, Fast Flowering
Although autoflowering seeds are not usually very tall or high-yielding, the Magnum is a strain that defies all stereotypes. Bred and sold exclusively by the Buddha Seedbank, this exemplary breed reaches impressive sizes for an autoflowering variety!
Naturally, the breeders are cryptic with the genetic makeup of their plants, so we don’t know which combination gave us this force of nature. What we do know is that if you grow it outside, you will end up with a plant that can exceed 4 feet in height and produce up to 200gr per plant. However, Buddha Seeds insist that the strain can be confined inside if grown carefully.
Auto Lemon OG
Traits: Fast Flowering, Great Taste
As the name suggests, this auto-flowering variety has a trademark citrus taste that is a famous trait of Haze genetics. As such, Auto Lemon OG will take you on a ride! Although this plant is hardy and easy to grow, the breeder suggests that you should watch out during the vegetative period, as she tends to grow unexpectedly!
Auto Lemon OG is a cross between OG Kush, Haze #1 and Las Vegas Lemon Skunk. Expect flowering within eight weeks and an average yield of 300-400gr/square meters.
Gorilla Glue #4
Traits: Cup Winner, Hardy
Gorilla Glue #4 is a must for newbie growers who want to grow pure-THC marijuana plants. With a THC to CBD ratio averaging 25:1, this is an award-winning strain that owes its namesake to the sticky resin that collects on the scissors while trimming.
The hybrid is made from a cross between Sour Diesel, Chem’s Sister, Chocolate Diesel and Sour Dubb. It has also won awards at the 2014 Cannabis Cup in Los Angeles and Michigan. Expect growing within nine weeks from seed, but watch out for the appearance of male pollen sacks, as this plant has a tendency towards hermaphroditism.
These are just some of our favorite easiest strains for marijuana growers. However, there are many more that we might have forgotten. Which are your favorite weed strains? Share your opinion in the comments!