Auto's vs. Photo's

I grow my marijuana indoors in a 4 foot by 8 foot grow tent that’s about 6 foot 6 inches tall. I really like it. Anyway, I’m new to growing at all and I started out and finished my first harvest of 5 White Widow Auto’s (well technically 4 because the fifth is still not ready). I love the idea of auto’s being ready in about 10-12 weeks. I love that even though they got much bigger than the stats say, (they all got 3 to 4 feet tall as opposed to the 18-24 inches - and I’m not complaining, it was a nice surprise and they had some nice big buds). Especially being new, I really like the features of auto flowers. I just ordered one of the auto mix packs (Bubblegum, Jack Herer, and OG Kush) and they’re all growing really well. For growing indoors auto’s seem great without having to do all the techniques to keep them from outgrowing my grow space that I read you have to do with photoperiod strains. My question is “are auto’s as potent” as their photo counterparts? I believe the White Widow auto that I purchased form ILGM said that it was around 19% THC. Since all that can be scientifically tested these days, it would seem that we could just look at the numbers and see whether the auto versions and the photo versions of the same strain add up and are equal, but when I research online, I find many people still swearing by the photo’s, which I will grow if it actually matters for taste or for potentcy, but I’d like to know from people who have tried certain strains in auto and photo versions, if their really is a difference. Especially since at least the % of THC and CBD can simply be measured, it seems like it would be simple to know. However, I realize that taste cannot be so easily measured, and is more of a preference. Anyway, long story, short, if I continue growing auto’s (I would like to try photo’s eventually to try things such as cloning) but if I continue growing auto’s am I really losing any potency? I’m growing for medical use mainly (two slipped discs in my back and for anxiety attacks and depression) but also hopefully for pleasure as well. If the photo’s are better, then I’d like to know so that I can focus on them instead. It just seems like they get so tall and they take at least 1 to 2 months longer than auto’s do. Thanks for any imput!


Honestly I’m not sure about potency differences between autos and Photos. Many people on forum grow almost exclusively autos. So I’m sure someone will have a opinion on that question. The reason a lot of people like to grow photos is the level of control you can have over how long you can veg and training plants certain ways. Have you considered starting a grow journal. Excellent way of getting advice and keeping track of your grow in one location. People will follow along and help out if you need it.

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I grew wwa and jack h photo for my first grow. I loved the ww it was a great smoke. the jack h knocked me on my butt. NOBODY liked it they claimed it was laced or too strong. hmmm!
this time I am doing the same only I added ice cream cake to the mix no idea what it is.

Autos suffered from potency loss due to Ruderalis genetics (to make it an auto flower) but breeders have mostly eliminated that incidental genetic response. My grow buddy in town does an outstanding job of autos and trains/crops/tops and gets 6 to 11 oz of flower from each. Some of that is picking heavy yielding strains but part of it is good technique.

Anything you do to an auto can potentially slow it down. This is why many growers go right in to their final pot size with them to avoid transplant shock.

Personally I prefer photos and always wondered why autos were considered to be ‘beginner-friendly’.

Also: say a photo WW comes in at 22% THC and the same in an auto at 19%: I don’t know if I could even tell the difference.


You can’t buy a strain labeled at any specific thc content and grow it expecting your grow to match what is advertised. Advertising data is most likely the highest reported test sample. The growers ability to maximize plant ability will vary a lot, thus providing different results.

You can do that with photos as well.

If you have strains that flower in 8ish weeks and run typical veg schedule for 4ish weeks then move to flowering schedule it should provide you with roughly a 12 week grow.