Growing Cannabis Seeds vs Clones

One of my homies in a state that just approved adult use and cultivation legalization recently hit me up interdimensionally the other day with a thought-provoking question. He wanted to know about growing cannabis from clones or seeds; which one is better? 

“Well, there’s a lot that goes into that answer,” I beamed right back at him. I then suggested we hang out and hot-box the saucer, after I swung by his place and “abducted” him for a smoke and chat regarding his inquiry. Here is what we discussed, including the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Table of Contents

Brief History of Cannabis Seed & Clone Cultivation

Cannabis seed cultivation has been around for a very long time. Primitive and ancient farming societies in Central Asia [1] were cultivating cannabis seeds for fiber and medicine all the way back in almost 1015,000 B.C [2] [3]. That’s about the time my family and their friends started coming to your planet! Coincidence?

From there, nomadic groups took cannabis seeds with them across other parts of Asia and into Europe, and eventually the “New World” a few more thousand years after [3]. In the modern age, growing weed with cannabis seeds has spawned a new era of simple cultivation and very vast genetic diversity within regular and feminized varieties. 

However, cloning cannabis plants has also come around as another popular way to cultivate cannabis plants with modern horticultural advancements. 

The cloning process of taking a “cutting” of a plant’s branch in order to grow an identical offspring has, however, been around since Biblical times [4]. And since cannabis has been getting cultivated by humanoids for just as long as any other crop, it’s safe to say cloning weed plants has been going on for a long time, too–it just wasn’t as well-documented [2].

Growing with Cannabis Seeds: Advantages & Disadvantages

Specifically growing with cannabis seeds is a multifaceted process that starts with germination of the seed, aka activating the internal embryo inside the seed shell. Once the taproot emerges, it will then be time to provide water, light, fresh air, nutrients, and love according to whether you’re set up for indoor or outdoor cultivation. 

Cannabis Seed Cultivation Advantages

On top of inherent advantages such as ease of storage, longer viability, and genetic preservation, growing cannabis with seeds also has many other benefits:

    • Genetic Diversity – Cannabis seeds feature a wide range of genetic diversity that has been bred and preserved so that growers can select strains according to things like potency, terpenes, flavor, aroma, yield, and size.
    • Tap Root Development – Because cannabis seeds can only begin growing after germination, the taproot develops first. This typically results in a strong, more vigorous plant from the very beginning.
    • Availability – Almost any strain or type of cannabis seeds can be purchased online or in-person from seed bank brokers like MVB. The endless amount of selections is unmatched. This includes autoflower plants, which are able to grow easier by seed compared to clone. 
    • Legality – Cannabis seeds are legal to possess in every US state (regardless of state-specific legalization or adult-use laws) since they physically contain no THC.
    • Stronger Vigor – On top of having the taproot provide a firm base from which to continue to grow from, cannabis seeds have the potential for a better resilience against factors like mold, pests, and other deficiencies due to not having to undergo the initial stress of cloning.
    • A Fresh Start – Clones will inherit any developmental or genetic issues directly from the mother plant they were cut from. Cannabis seeds offer a fresh start with each new plant.
  • Less Diseases – Clones are at a distinct disadvantage due numerous factors that contribute to a high rate of diseases. Clone cutting and propagation weakens the plant’s immune system, while other factors, like improper or excessive handling, also introduce numerous disease-carrying pathogens.
  • Variable Yields – Clones usually offer the same traits as their mother, including harvest yield sizes. Cannabis seeds offer a variable amount in their end yield. Optimizing all sorts of factors like light, water, nutrients, pruning, testing, etc., can potentially lead to a larger-than-usual final yield.

Cannabis Seed Disadvantages

Compared to clones, cannabis seeds do offer a few differences that can be used to make your decision of whether to grow with seed or clone. 

  • Phenotypes Can Change – Seeds often produce different phenotypes, or traits, of the plants, such as color, terpenes, and aroma. It may be difficult to guarantee duplication in subsequent batches or grows.
  • Germination & Seedling Process – Growing directly from cannabis seeds requires proper germination and seedling care in order to get your plant started off on the right track. On top of being another process to perform during cultivation, the extra 2-3 weeks of immediate seedling care post-germination will result in a final harvest that takes a little longer than if grown from clone.
  • Sexing Feminized seeds are abundantly available and a great way to avoid pollination or sexing, however if choosing regular seeds to cross-breed strains or produce seeds specifically, it will require the pollen of a male. Otherwise, male plants must be removed from the growing area before they pollinate female plants and can potentially create undesirable and seed-riddled hermaphrodite plants.

Cannabis Clones: Advantages & Disadvantages

Keeping a mother plant ensures the same traits will live on in her offspring–the clone cutting. The cutting is a literal cut from a mother plant that is then cultivated in its own container and soil. Mother plants can keep a particular strain of cannabis alive for years–even decades–while producing an abundance of clones. 

Cannabis Clone Advantages

Cannabis clones guarantee the mature (at least 2-3 months old) mother plant’s identical genetic traits will continue to be passed on to each clonal generation. Here are some advantages when it comes to vegetative propagation, aka growing, with cannabis clones:

  • Uniformity & Predictability – Cannabis clones replicated identical traits and features of the mother plant they were cut from. This includes uniform appearance, aroma, taste, shape, grow patterns, potency, and yield in every harvest. This can also be a bonus because the amount of grow space needed for each clone will always be identical and known. 
  • Faster Grow Time – By skipping the germination and seedling phase, clones are already in the vegetative stage and capable of quicker harvests.
  • No Sexing or Pollination – The process of pollinating female plants or removing male plants before their pollen sacs interfere with the development of the female plants does not ever occur when using cannabis clones to grow weed.

Cannabis Clone Disadvantages

Growing your own weed with cannabis clones compared to cannabis seeds can be a better option for a variety of reasons already discussed. It’s often just a matter of needs and preference. That being said, here are several disadvantages to growing weed with clones:

  • Limited Genetics & Variety – Whatever traits and genetics are produced by the mother plant herself, the clones will always inherit. There is no variety and what you see is what you get. This includes final yield as well. 
  • Vulnerability to Pests & Disease – In addition to inheriting identical genetics and traits from the mother plant, clones will also inherit any pests, diseases, or mutations as well [2].
  • Root Development – The lack of a taproot foundation within the clone structure can lead to a weaker growing structure and development.
  • Cloning Stress – The act of cloning puts stress on both the mother plant and the clones if not done properly and delicately. This is another factor that can affect proper development and growth vigor.
  • Loss of Function Gene – As the mother plant continues to be cloned, the loss-of-function gene starts to become activated, resulting in “less robust” and reliable plants as generations continue [2].
  • Must Maintain a Mother Plant – If you plan to continue to cultivate your own clones, you must care for and maintain the mother plant as well for as long as you wish to do so.
  • Cost – If buying clones separately from a breeder, the cost can add up pretty quickly compared to the relative affordability of purchasing cannabis seed packs.
  • Legality – Technically, clones no longer meet the THC less than 0.3% legality since they are already in the vegetative stage compared to the physically dormant and legally-compliant status of cannabis seeds. This gray area can post legal concerns for anyone wishing to purchase or sell clones in a non-legal US state.

How to Choose Whether to Grow Cannabis Seeds or Clones

When choosing how to proceed with your cannabis cultivation plans, the humanoid home grower must consider all of the advantages and disadvantages of cannabis seeds and clones mentioned above.

If you’re more of a multidimensional explorer like me, with a mind that likes to tinker and create your own creations that grow into their own unique identity, seeds are the way to go. In contrast, if you’re looking for predictability, a clone cutting is going to produce the same results time-after-time. 

It’s also important to consider the availability, cost, and legal implications involved. Cannabis seeds are always legal (like hemp) with no gray area, so there’s the satisfaction of knowing that what is getting shipped to you can’t potentially get you into trouble. This is especially true for anyone in a state that hasn’t yet passed their home cultivation laws yet, like my humanoid friend.

Speaking of trouble, I’d better drop him off back at his place to digest all of this information–and take out the trash–before he gets an earful!

Contact Multiverse Beans 

Multiverse Beans is your go-to source for the very best cannabis seeds online. We offer a wide selection of high-quality cannabis seeds to suit all of your needs. Visit our catalog or reach out to us directly to explore our diverse range of strains, including autoflowering varieties for easier growth. Grow with confidence knowing that our seeds are legally compliant and backed by our commitment to providing top-notch customer service. Don’t wait any longer to embark on your cannabis cultivation adventure – join the Multiverse Beans community today!



  1. Russo, E. B. (2007). History of cannabis and its preparations in saga, science, and sobriquet. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 4(8), 1614–1648.
  2. Adhikary, D., Kulkarni, M., El-Mezawy, A., Mobini, S., Elhiti, M., Gjuric, R., Ray, A., Polowick, P., Slaski, J. J., Jones, M. P., & Bhowmik, P. (2021). Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Tissue Culture: Present Stat and Future Potential. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12, 627240.
  3. Russo, E. B., Jiang, H.-E., Li, X., Sutton, A., Carboni, A., del Bianco, F., Mandolino, G., Potter, D. J., Zhao, Y.-X., Bera, S., Zhang, Y.-B., Lü, E.-G., Ferguson, D. K., Hueber, F., Zhao, L.-C., Liu, C.-J., Wang, Y.-F., & Li, C.-S. (2008). Phytochemical and genetic analyses of ancient cannabis from Central Asia. Journal of Experimental Botany, 59(15), 4171–4182.
  4. Salisbury, F. B. (2000). Biology of Cloning: History and Rationale. BioScience, 50(8), 636.[0636:BOCHAR]2.0.CO;2