Growing your own cannabis can be a time-consuming and challenging process for a first-time novice, so it doesn’t help that some strains take weeks longer to finish than others. The flowering time for a strain is usually the primary influence on finishing time, but some plants may grow more vigorously in the vegetative cycle as well.
Beginner growers would be wise to research what to expect during their crop’s lifecycle. Zamnesia offers a variety of in-depth guides on cannabis growth stages and general plant science for first-time growers.
Of course, the nutrients and care that you give your plants will also affect growth rate and potential. However, for the sake of organization, we’ve categorized the following list based on the length of the flowering cycle alone. Generally, any strain that finishes to full maturity in less than eight weeks of flowering is considered a fast finisher.
1. Blue Dream’matic
If you’ve been wanting to buy fastbuds seeds and get the original Blue Dream but have been shying away from the 10-12 week finishing time, you may want to check out these seeds from SeedSupreme.com. Fastbuds has created an auto-flowering hybrid of Blue Dream that finishes flowering in roughly 60-70 days from seed, retains the same flavor and aroma characteristics as the original, and requires no preliminary vegetative period. Seed Supreme is one of the top places to find Fastbuds cannabis seeds, as they have a high customer satisfaction rate along with fast and discreet shipping. They also stock the full Fastbuds line-up, so it’s a good place to find fastbuds seeds and fast-finishing autoflower strains.
2. Critical Kush
Critical Kush is a famous cross between Critical Mass – one of the highest-yielding strains in history – and a classic cut of the OG Kush. This is a grower favorite with a huge yield, high potency, and flowering period that finishes fully in just 7-8 weeks. CBD levels are moderate and THC levels can be tremendous if grown properly, so this is a good strain for making concentrates.
3. Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies has become famous for its unique chocolatey, minty, earthy flavor that lingers and lasts. However, this strain is also a favorite among commercial producers because of its fast finishing time and abundant yield of flavorful flowers. This strain grows with hybrid vigor because it is an F1 hybrid between Durban Poison – a pure sativa African landrace – and South Florida OG – a pure Indica phenotype of OG Kush that was favored in South Florida in the 90s.
This is another strain from Fastbuds, worthy of making the list for its impressive flavors and colors. Fastbuds has stabilized a hybrid between a cut of the famous blueberry and their most potent auto-flowering genetics. The result is a stocky, berry-scented plant that finishes from seed to harvest in 70-80 days. This is great because blueberry strains are typically slow growers in the vegetative phase, so Fastberry eliminates that hassle by skipping directly into the flowering phase regardless of the light cycle.
5. Early Girl
This strain has been known as a fast finisher since the 1980s but it isn’t often seen on dispensary menus. This is because Early Girl has true breeding traits that make this strain perfect for use in breeding projects and creating new fast flowering strains of your own. She also performs very well outdoors with very little maintenance and effort. She can also be grown indoors by novice growers and will usually provide a moderate to heavy yield with minimal nutrients. Early Girl is a product of decades of Dutch breeding, selecting specifically for the early finishing trait.
6. OG Kush
There’s a reason why OG Kush was everywhere at one point – it was one of the most potent, fast-flowering cuts of kush you’ll ever find. Of course, if you’re growing from seed there will be some phenotypical variation, but generally, the offspring of this strain tends to produce highly resinous and sticky plants that are absolutely drenched in terpenes. You can cross OG Kush with anything or mix it into any blend and you won’t be disappointed. Best of all, it finishes in only 7-8 weeks with heavy ripening across the entire plant.
7. Bubba Kush
Bubba Kush is a classic kush cut that is known for being the earthiest and piniest strain of all. The flavor resembles fresh garden soil and pinesol but in a strangely delicious and sweet way. Most Bubba phenotypes finish in just 6-8 weeks, but try to go for the Pre-98 variety if yield and flavor are your highest priority. This strain isn’t the highest yielder and is more of a connoisseur’s selection for that reason. Also, be prepared for an intensely narcotic Indica effect that will sit you down and provoke extreme appetite and relaxation.
True Fast Finishers vs High-Yielding Slow Finishers
It’s important to check the maturity and ripeness of your cannabis flowers using a jeweler’s scope, magnifying glass, or another magnification device. Many growers believe that they have a fast-finishing strain only because they’re pulling the harvest early.
A high-yield sativa-dominant strain that takes 10-11 weeks to fully ripen could already have a decent bounty of buds ready to be taken at the 8-week mark. While harvesting a slow finisher at this stage is certainly possible, by not allowing the plant to finish the final phases of flowering, you’d be losing a significant portion of the yield and flavor-producing terpenes that develop in the last weeks of the plant’s life cycle.
Most fast finishers are indica-dominant or have been infused with auto-flowering genetics. Although there are some “holy grail” sativa-dominant phenotypes that can finish flowering in just seven weeks, such strains are considered rare and often have a cerebral effect that diminishes faster than that of a long-flowering sativa.
Finding Fast Finishers Can be Easy
The moral of the story is, either choose one of the strains on the list above or go with any strain that has a flowering time of 6-8 weeks. Of course, once you find a phenotype that you like, be sure to keep it as a mother to preserve the genetics and ensure a smooth and predictable process for upcoming cycles.