Understanding cannabis seeds
Let’s begin with the essence of all cannabis: seeds. Cannabis seeds are not that different from any other seed from any other plants. Similar to most plant seeds, cannabis seeds need to be germinated before they can be planted. Additionally, these seeds also need a healthy growing medium like fertilized soil and abundant lighting. However, not all seeds are created equally. Only female cannabis seeds can produce the buds we have grown to love today. There are also cannabis plants referred to as ‘Sensimilla,’ which is a term given to female cannabis plants that produce buds with no seeds. As the cannabis plant matures, it will take a more familiar appearance, forming recognizable leaves, stems (and later during the ‘flowering’ phase) buds packed with cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabis seeds can be obtained from other strains that produced seeds during cultivation or purchased from seedbanks across the globe.
Evaluating cannabis clones
Since the beginning of time, man has often attempted to emulate and simulate optimal growing conditions for plants. This also holds for cannabis and cannabis seeds. Naturally, as the plant matures, cannabis will produce more leaves and stems. Clones are duplicates of the current cannabis plant during its vegetative stage of growth. Here is how clones are created: Clones are made by snipping cannabis branches from the main stem. Cultivators often trim the extracurricular cannabis stem near the main stem at a diagonal angle. Next, the snipped cannabis stem, a clone, is planted angle-down in its growing medium. Most cannabis cultivators will plant the clone in smaller growing pots, such as styrofoam or plastic ‘solo’ cups. Most cannabis cultivators interested in producing clones snip the initial plant a week or two into the early phases of growing cannabis. Since it is common knowledge that female cannabis plants only produce more females, growers tend to utilize this technique to ensure they can grow more cannabis that will make the smokable buds we have grown to love today (weed pun intended.)
For example, a grower encounters a rare strain that they can confirm is female (meaning they will produce budding cannabis.) The grower is also unsure when they will meet repeated cannabis strains. One way to ensure you get the cannabis genetics you are searching for is to clip and create a clone from the strain in question. This way, cannabis growers can ensure that the Girl Scout Cookies, OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple, or whatever strain that tickles their fancy will be around longer than the initial plant and seed may have suggested. However, cannabis is not the only plant that can be cloned. Other plants such as green onions, celery, and more can be snipped and replanted for cloning purposes.
Understanding the variations between cannabis seeds and cannabis clones
So now that the terminology has been defined, what exactly is the difference? Seeds mark the beginning of the growth process, similar to any other plant that can be grown. It is the precursor to the buds that many cannabis consumers will enjoy down the line. Clones are not different. Clones mark their initiation to becoming smokable as well. When clones are planted into their medium, they will begin growing similar to any other plant. Depending on the growth phase when the clone was created, it may need more light and nutrients than the main cannabis plant. This is why seasoned and first-time cannabis cultivators may place their clones in a different but similar grow environment. Rest assured that (feminized) seeds and clones will create those flavorful buds and that tasty smoke associated with those extremely potent strains.