Should I Start My First Cannabis Grow from Seeds or Clones?

By Dylan Osborn
Published: June 22, 2017 | Last updated: April 22, 2021 08:16:57
Key Takeaways

Starting a cannabis grow from either seeds or clones usually comes down to personal preference. In other words, how long are you willing to wait for harvestable plants, what kinds of young plants can you get your hands on, and what kinds of materials do you already have to work with?

At the very start of every grow, cannabis growers have to make a very important decision. Will they start their grow from seed or from clone?


Neither option is better than the other, but there are pros and cons to each option. Also, a lot of the time it comes down to the grower’s personal preference, but it is still an important decision as it will affect the entirety of your grow.

Here are the pros and cons of both seeds and clones.


Seeds vs Clones: Accessibility

With seeds, you can order them online and have them shipped to anywhere around the world, directly to your front door. With clones, you will only be able to purchase them by visiting a cannabis dispensary nearby or if you have a friend who is taking cuttings from their plant and is willing to share. If you do go the dispensary route, I recommend doing your research first.

First off, not all dispensaries carry clones, so check local menus and listings ahead of time to see who in town carries clones. Next, look online for reviews of the clones from those particular dispensaries nearby. Sometimes people find pests and other problems on clones they purchased at a dispensary, so always look into their reputation ahead of time.

Seeds vs Clones: Strain Variety

Another difference between starting from seed vs. clone, is strain variety. When buying marijuana seeds online from a seed bank, you will see there are a lot more options to choose from in terms of kinds of strains; you can find seeds for pretty much any strain you can think of.


On the other hand, when purchasing cannabis clones at the dispensary, you only get to choose between the options they have in stock. Now, don't get me wrong, most dispensaries carry a wonderful assortment of clone strains, I just know there are also people out there who would prefer to grow the exact strains they desire.

If you are familiar with autoflowering cannabis plants, then you will also know those can only be grown from seed. Because autoflowers start the flowering phase almost immediately, you are unable to take clones of them. However, with seeds there is the likely opportunity that one of them or a couple turn out to be male cannabis plants, in which case, those plants are useless and must be thrown away.


With clones, you are guaranteed to have a female as a clone as it is a genetic replica of its mother plant. You are also guaranteed that the plant will grow and share the same traits its mother plant has, while with cannabis seeds you can have different phenotypes which will display alternate traits from each other.

The plants that grow from seeds will be the same strain and similar to each other, but you will have slight variations in appearance and size.

Seeds vs Clones: Timing

The final comparison I would like to make about seeds vs clones is that seeds take more time to get started than clones do.

With a seed you have to germinate it, plant it in a pellet so it can sprout its first leaves, and then grow it through the seedling phase just to reach the start of vegetation.

With clones, you skip that whole process and start off right away in veg!

Now, that is great, but with seeds you can buy a bunch and stock up for later use, while with clones you can only buy them right when you are ready to plant and start growing. So, that is the tradeoff.

Seeds vs Clones: Supplied Required

There are different supplies needed for the different methods of growing. With seeds, you will need a humidity dome and some sort of peat pellet or rock wool cube for starting the seed in.

It is also preferable to have a low-wattage, like 45W, light for growing the seedlings. The lower wattage light allows the sensitive plants to adapt without getting burnt. With clones, all you need is the first pot you will be planting them in, and you are good to go.

Now that you have seen the differences of starting your cannabis grow from seed vs clones, it should be easy to make the decision for which path you will take.

I have grown using both methods and can say that I love starting from clones for its simplicity, but will start from seed whenever I feel like doing an autoflower grow.

recommend trying out both methods, as you will learn more about the cannabis plant in the process and will be able to form your own opinion on what you like best.

That is all I have for now, but as always, thank you for watching and Happy Growing!


Share This Article

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Written by Dylan Osborn | Greenhouse Grower, Owner of GreenBox Grown

Profile Picture of Dylan Osborn

Dylan Osborn is a greenhouse grower with more than five years of experience. He has a passion for teaching others how they can grow cannabis from the comfort of their home. Dylan is the founder of GreenBox Grown, creator of the most Affordable Cannabis Growing Starter Kits.

Related Articles

Go back to top
Maximum Yield Logo

You must be 19 years of age or older to enter this site.

Please confirm your date of birth:

This feature requires cookies to be enabled