Photos vs. Autos

I’m wondering what’s the difference in the plants THC and medicinal values in growing an auto or a photo period plant?
I have heard that auto is only produce mid shelf grade cannabis so I was wondering is there really that much of a difference in the quality of usable plant?
Pros & Cons please

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I could be wrong… it used to be that autos were less potent but things have changed a lot. They can be every bit as strong as photos, just less yield BUT you can harvest several plants in the same period you can a photo…

Someone more knowledgeable will need to chime in @dave101 @Myfriendis410 @Covertgrower


Actually some of the best genetics out there is available only in auto , but yea about 10 years ago when only gen 2s were around autos were significantly weaker but breeders have back bred their strains to only have three barest amount of ruderalis genes. The real kicker for autos is reliability and that’s why pro grow houses won’t ever fully switch to them, the inability to clone means every seed will be either 80 % average 10% have worse traits all around or 10% be an amazing example of the traits that you’ll be sad you can’t keep. Then theres the need to have each plant separately tested because they’re not clones


Yes, autos can be just as potent as photos. The problem many growers face with autos is the loss of control, autos flower when they want. Beginners tend to stunt their plants, this will greatly reduce yields with autos as they are on a timer. With photos, you can simply fix the problem before flipping to flower, this is why most grow photos over autos, having that control is a great advantage. Nothing wrong with growing autos, just keep in mind they do what they want, stunting them will greatly reduce final outcome.


@Dave101 I have a 3 autos and this is my first time growing autos. 2 of them are doing fantastic but my little Strawberry Cheesecake is definitely a runt… what did I do wrong and how can I fix that?

The only thing I did differently was put her outside fairly early (maybe 5 nodes or 3 weeks) where the others stayed in the tent for 6 weeks and were significantly larger before kicking them outside.

Could be many things. Perhaps she’s a sensitive one and the change in environment stunted her? Sometimes we just have that one plant that doesn’t perform as well as the others.


What,if any, changes were there between the ‘inside’ and’outside’ light ‘cycles’ when you transplanted the ‘runt’?

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Autos always Herm before being fully ready for harvest.


In my opinion they should have a place in every Cannibis growers garden and that’s outside not inside. Planted around June in the outdoor sun

Indoors should be reserved for more potent photos.


No changes… our weather has been very steady between 95-101 F. Both came out of the same tent with same light. The only thing different was the runt was in the tent less time (about 2 weeks less). I guess it could just be her genetics - I saw someone else on the forum saying their Strawberry Cheesecake turned out to be a runt as well.

Its whatever Ma Nature wants…I have grown plants side by side,identical conditions,same seed crop etc…sometimes you get a ‘runt’…my advice is to CONSUME IT!..using your preferred method of course…:>)




Never had a single seed in any auto in 10 strains ( about to be up to 18 in 3-4 weeks)


The Northern Lights Auto that I just sampled,which was still growing a week ago,is pretty damned good…took 4 good ‘hits’ and got a pretty good ‘buzz’…tastes like hell though…:>)


I have been told that most of the herb you buy at dispensaries are autos as the producers don’t want to take 5-6 months for a crop and can get a faster turn around with autos. Since we are, fingers crossed, shooting to apply to produce commercial for rec in our state when the licensing comes out on Sept 29th, we are looking to autos for same reason. For one, I can eek in a small auto crop between now and winter in our greenhouse for wholesale. That is commercial side.

I ‘was’ partial to the photos, but honestly my auto herb smoked every bit as good as my photo herb has. That said, I am a bit disappointed in the Afghan auto as it is so small it is not worth the time and money spent to cultivate that one.


This is a great thread


I’m having the same issues with my autos as they just are not getting as big as I would like for them to. Here’s a pic of my autos vs photos and with the comparison it seems like a no brainer to me. I’m gonna have to do another huge run of autos just to get enough green to have for smoke during the winter.

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This is not a factual statement.

Let’s compares today’s autos against today’s photos because that’s what the conversation is about, while you should still check the genetic thc rating a breeder gives it this is often a best case scenario for both plants and unless lab reports are there to back it up don’t belive it.

There are many differences still.
Autos flip automatically, of course if your have a breeder who isn’t a good auto breeder (like ilgm or pacific seeds or othes) then there is a roll of the dice if the genetic is stable enough that it will always be an auto.

Let’s say we are dealing with quality genetics though like mephisto or fastbuds or heavyweight or Dina fem or Dutch passion autos against quality photos like ilgm or elev8 or ethos, Jordan of the Island or something else so this conversation is fair.

Autos will flip general after 4-6 weeks of veg
Photos you decide when they flip

Therfor autos have a limited veg time, so if you don’t know how to grow cannabis your going to have a steep learning curve. Some say this is bad however I say it’s good, the faster you fail the faster you learn and adapt that’s what happened to me and I’m a pretty knowledgeable grower these days but we are all always learning and there is always someone out there better.

Autos will take any light scedule and do what they can with it, they also arnt light sensitive so if you have a led on or a light leak your plant won’t herm. However photos are very light sensitive and it will effect their growth rate and when you flip them they will herm on you or grow terrible bud structure.

Autos are incredibly difficult to clone, it’s possible but it’s easier to seed one out and get seeds then to clone. While photos can be cloned with ease.

One of the biggest differences that will make a difference at the end of the day to your final product however is genetics.
Many auto strains are named one thing but if you look at its linage or ask the breeder it’s often not exactly as advertised so Always look at the linage of any genetic before you buy it however autos are more common for this.
An example is sensi seeds northern lights auto, it’s not actually a Northern lights crossed with an auto. It’s a northern lights #5 crossed with a skunk auto, although many breeders don’t list the lineage on their websites so you need to ask them.
When you step into top quality genetic companies like mephisto, elev8, ace seeds they tell you exactly what your getting and how stable the genetic is possibly even how many phenos are in their batch of seeds. Most big seed banks won’t tell you thst or the common names that show up first on the list. Learning about genetics is key to growing better quality cannabis once you have your grow dialed in.

Autos will also Cary more cbd due to the auto gene.

But eh that’s just my thoughts


A good place to find lineages from breeders is that grow diaries site often they’ll have a lineage all the way back to landraces if the breeders are open about it


Thanks for dropping that knowledge @Nicky I just learned a ton! :grinning:


Seed finder has a nice family tree for everyone as well, gore diarys definitely helps you look at what people who grew that plant can achieve but more importantly how the effects actually feel. I’ve filtered many genetics out already by reading the smoke reports there.

@TRF your welcome