Since the beginning of the 21 st century, the entire Western world has known a boom in the growing of cannabis destined for consumer self-sufficiency. In the following article, we describe the basic features of auto-flowering seeds, as well as introduce the new wave of auto-flowering seeds known as “Super Autos”. As an example, we provide information pertaining to the development of the Sweet Seeds seed bank’s catalogue of autoflowering seeds. All photographs are of auto-flowering seeds belonging to this bank.
Nowadays, auto-flowering varieties are becoming more and more sought-after and requested by cannabis growers all over the world. Their main trait is that they flower automatically, regardless of the hours of light they receive. This entails a whole series of advantages in comparison with their non auto-flowering relations, thus resulting in the fact that, in such a short period of time, these once-despised plants have found their place in the hall of fame of cannabis varieties.
Modern auto varieties inherit the auto-flowering trait from plants of the Ruderalis type (Cannabis Ruderalis), which come from the cold areas of Eastern Europe (Hungary, southern Siberia, Russia) and Central Asia, where the climate – especially the cold and snow – only allows for three or four months of favourable conditions in which the plants can grow and reproduce each year. Thus, these varieties developed special adaptation traits in order to flower and produce their seeds in the short period of time available to them, perpetuating their species even in such inhospitable places.
The above-mentioned wild Cannabis Ruderalis plants have always been looked down on, for medicinal as well as recreational uses, as they produce cannabinoid plants with a very low THC content. Furthermore, these Ruderalis plants are fairly short, 30-80 cm – which is another reason they used to be scorned as raw material for industrial uses, due to the small size of the fibres.
Interest in auto-flowering varieties initially arose when a few enterprising breeders observed the immense potential hidden by the small, condemned plants in question. Thus, the decision to experiment, cross-breeding the primitive Ruderalis with selected clones. Their purpose was to obtain 100% auto-flowering