Understanding Autoflower Cannabis

Autoflowering cannabis is a type of cannabis plant that has become increasingly popular among growers for its unique growth cycle and cultivation benefits. Unlike traditional photoperiod cannabis plants, which require specific light schedules to trigger flowering, autoflowering varieties automatically switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage with age. This fascinating trait has intrigued both amateur and professional growers. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what autoflower cannabis is, its origins, and how it was developed.

What is Autoflower Cannabis?

Autoflowering cannabis plants are distinguished by their ability to flower automatically based on their age rather than light exposure. Typically, photoperiod cannabis plants require 12 hours of darkness to begin flowering. In contrast, autoflowering plants will transition to the flowering stage approximately 2-4 weeks after germination, regardless of the light cycle they are exposed to.

Key Characteristics of Autoflowering Cannabis:
  1. Shorter Life Cycle: Autoflowering plants generally have a faster life cycle, often completing their entire growth process in 8-12 weeks.
  2. Compact Size: Due to their shorter life cycle, these plants tend to be smaller and more manageable, making them ideal for indoor growing and discreet outdoor cultivation.
  3. Hardiness: Autoflowering plants are typically more resilient to pests, diseases, and harsh environmental conditions compared to their photoperiod counterparts.

The Origins of Autoflowering Cannabis

The autoflowering trait originates from Cannabis ruderalis, a subspecies of cannabis native to Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia. Cannabis ruderalis evolved in these regions with harsh climates and shorter growing seasons, developing the ability to flower based on age rather than light cues.

Key Historical Developments:
  1. Discovery and Hybridization: Cannabis ruderalis was first identified in the wild by Russian botanist D.E. Janischewsky in the early 20th century. However, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that breeders began to recognize its potential for cultivation.
  2. Crossbreeding: Breeders started crossbreeding ruderalis with indica and sativa strains to combine the desirable traits of each. The goal was to create plants that not only retained the autoflowering characteristic but also had higher THC content, better yields, and improved flavor profiles.

How Autoflowering Cannabis was Developed

The development of modern autoflowering strains involves meticulous breeding practices. Here’s a simplified overview of the process:

  1. Selection of Parent Strains: Breeders select robust Cannabis ruderalis plants known for their autoflowering trait and cross them with high-quality photoperiod indica or sativa strains.
  2. Initial Crossbreeding: The initial crossbreeding results in a hybrid that may not yet exhibit consistent autoflowering traits.
  3. Stabilization: Through successive generations of backcrossing (breeding the hybrid with either of the parent strains or with other autoflowering hybrids), breeders work to stabilize the autoflowering trait while enhancing desirable characteristics such as potency, yield, and flavor.
  4. Testing and Refinement: Each generation is tested for its growth cycle, flowering time, and other key traits. Breeders continue refining the strain until they achieve a stable, reliable autoflowering plant with the desired attributes.

Benefits of Growing Autoflowering Cannabis

  1. Simplicity: With no need to manage light schedules, autoflowering plants are easier for beginners to cultivate.
  2. Faster Harvests: The short life cycle allows for multiple harvests in a single growing season.
  3. Discretion: The smaller size and faster growth can be beneficial for growers seeking discretion.


Autoflowering cannabis represents a significant innovation in the world of cannabis cultivation. By combining the hardy, fast-flowering traits of Cannabis ruderalis with the potent, flavorful characteristics of indica and sativa strains, breeders have created versatile and resilient plants that cater to a wide range of growing conditions and preferences. Whether you are a novice grower or a seasoned cultivator, autoflowering cannabis offers an exciting and accessible way to explore the world of cannabis cultivation.

For those interested in trying their hand at growing autoflowering cannabis, it is essential to select reputable seeds and provide appropriate care to maximize the potential of these unique plants. Happy growing!







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