By Steven Voser

F1 cannabis hybrids are here, and promise to forever change the way we grow weed. However, given the novelty of these genetics, many growers still struggle to understand the benefits of cultivating F1 hybrids. In what follows, we describe the benefits in detail to help you make an informed decision about whether F1 cannabis seeds are right for you.

What Does F1 Mean in Cannabis Cultivation?

F1 stands for "filial 1", and refers to the first generation of offspring resulting from a cross of two pure, distinct genetic lines. While all cannabis seeds are created by using the pollen of one plant to fertilise the flowers of another, F1 seeds stand out from normal cannabis seeds because they're derived from pure inbred lines (or IBLs). IBLs are created by crossing a variety with itself over many generations until it becomes highly stable.

IBLs can stem from any variety of cannabis plants, but what makes them unique is the long process of inbreeding that helps to stabilise their specific traits. The inbred lines used to create Royal Queen Seeds F1 hybrids, for example, have been meticulously bred for several years to retain only the most desired traits, such as:

  • Specific plant height (small plants for easy indoor growing, or large plants for massive outdoor yields)
  • Fast flowering times
  • Specific cannabinoid and terpene profiles

When two inbred cannabis lines are crossed, heterosis (or hybrid vigour) occurs in the offspring. Essentially, we see the traits originally preserved in the inbred parent lines expressed to a greater degree in the offspring, and we're left with plants that exhibit great vigour and uniform characteristics—something that, until now, has been hard to find in cannabis seeds. Check out this article for a more detailed look at the genetic science behind F1 cannabis seeds.

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5 Reasons to Grow F1 Cannabis Hybrids

Creating F1 hybrids is an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. Maintaining inbred lines takes years and requires special care. The uniformity that breeders look for when creating IBLs generally only starts to show after several generations, and pure inbred plants often require plenty of regular maintenance from breeders and growers.

Plus, F1 hybrids are the only generation to preserve the uniform traits, vigour, and high yields that breeders look for. Subsequent crosses of two F1 hybrids (known as F2 hybrids) typically do not preserve the traits of their parents, meaning F1 seeds need to be recreated by crossing the original parent inbred lines again.

All of these factors obviously affect the price of F1 hybrid seeds, and many cannabis growers are left wondering whether investing in F1 hybrids is worth it. However, it is—F1 hybrids offer unique benefits that simply can't be found in regular cannabis seeds (which generally produce vastly different plants, even when stemming from the same parent "strains"). These benefits include the following.

1. Uniformity and Stability

Conventional cannabis seeds are known for producing plants with variable characteristics. Even when sowing seeds that technically come from the same strain, cannabis growers often end up with plants with different traits (height, branching, flowering times, yields, etc.). For the first time ever, F1 cannabis seeds offer growers access to seeds that produce a stable, uniform crop that consistently yields top-shelf flower.

Grower Experiences: Learn First-Hand From the Pros

MCFLOW, an experienced grower contacted by RQS, caught the similarity between Apollo F1 plants right from the get-go:

"I noticed this characteristic right from the seedling stage. The Apollo F1 seedlings looked exactly the same. They sprouted at the same time, almost all their leaves emerged on the same day, and, throughout their growth until harvest, they remained almost identical".

KOTIGROWERS was cultivating a Titan F1, and here are his impressions:

"Titan F1 displays a high degree of uniformity within the same seed batch. The characteristics are also visible in the plant structure, leaf shape, and overall appearance. All three plants have the same bonsai-like size and are very compact".

So, growing one of our F1 hybrid varieties yields fantastic uniformity. But what about when you grow them all at the same time? OYZIPHAR gladly embraced the challenge:

"F1 hybrid strains are quite uniform… The Apollos are the smallest plants. My two Titans are like twins, just the same size. They almost look like clones".

Apollo F1
Apollo F1. Credits: McFlow

2. High Yields

F1 hybrids boast exceptional yields. When we began creating our inbred genetic lines several years ago, we started by carefully selecting plants renowned for their ability to produce large amounts of high-quality bud. Over years of careful inbreeding, we created pure inbred lines with stable and uniform traits; through the phenomenon of heterosis, our F1 hybrids boast unbeatable yields—both in quality and size.

Reports From Seasoned Growers

In the words of MCFlow:

"My scepticism vanished when I witnessed the exceptional growth and substantial yield of Apollo F1".

After all, these seeds are brand new to the world of weed! But their experience wasn’t a fluke—all of our F1s boast excellent productivity.

F1 Hybrid Yield
F1 Hybrid Yield

3. Resistance to Stress, Disease, and Pests

It's no secret that pests and moulds can quickly wreak havoc on a cannabis garden or grow room. Luckily, this is another area where F1 cannabis hybrids stand out from conventional strains. Hybrid vigour doesn't just affect a plant's yields—it also makes plants stronger and better able to overcome stress and adverse growing conditions.

All of our F1 hybrids have been meticulously bred to provide growers with strong plants that deliver great results indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses. They also have exceptional stress tolerance and are highly resistant to a wide variety of common cannabis pests, including pathogens like Botrytis and Fusarium as well as insects such as spider mites, whiteflies, thrips, and more.

Expert Growers Share Their Insights

Among the initial growers to cultivate these varieties, their robustness left a positive impression. As Oyziphar describes it:

"What strikes me is the sturdiness of the plants. The side branches do not need any support".

These sturdy plants aren’t only more resistant, but their structure helps them overcome the weight of large buds and strong winds.

Milky Way F1: Credits: Oyziphar
Milky Way F1: Credits: Oyziphar

4. High Potency/Phytochemical Content

Cannabinoids and terpenes are crucial to the way we experience the effects of cannabis. F1 cannabis hybrids boast high concentrations of these active components, offering higher potency than conventional cannabis strains. Again, this comes from the characteristics of the IBLs they were bred from, and the hybrid vigour the progeny inherited when these lines were crossbred.

Growers Are Impressed By F1 Potency and Phytochemical Profiles

Kotigrowers (and their friend) were amazed at the potency and stickiness of Titan F1. They shared with us:

"The different characteristics of the Titan F1 strain, for me, is its impressive potency and high resin production. As my friend said after trying the Titan: 'It’s a hammer'".

The increased phytochemical production doesn’t just equate to more profound effects, but also more pronounced aromas and flavours.

Considering Oyziphar's observations:

"The Epsilon surprised me with its fantastic aroma...The buds become harder and harder, the smell is very strong, and the trichomes become numerous."

Titan F1
Titan F1. Credits: Kotigrowers

5. Fast Growth and Flowering

Hybrid vigour means faster, healthier growth. Some F1 cannabis hybrids also exhibit express flowering times that are ideal both for indoor growers looking to minimise costs and outdoor growers living in regions with short growing seasons. As the current F1 hybrids on the market are autoflowers, these plants are fast to veg and flower, allowing growers to secure a high-quality harvest in a matter of weeks.

First-Hand Accounts of Growth Speed and Flowering

Growth speed and the length of the flowering cycle are important factors for many growers. MCFlow, in particular, was astounded by the rapidity with which Apollo F1 thrives:

" the fastest-growing plant I've ever cultivated. Normally, it takes me more than 120 days from seed to harvest, so I was quite surprised to see fully developed, high-quality buds after only 80 days".

But F1 hybrids don’t just speed through the growing cycle once they emerge from the soil. Oyziphar was impressed by the vegetative stage of his F1 plants:

"Besides their strong germination rate was the growth rate. If you want to keep your grow cycle short, these new RQS F1 hybrids are state of the art".

BUTTERFLIESLITTLEFARM, a seasoned grower-friend, undertook the cultivation of Apollo F1, Milky Way F1, Titan F1, and Medusa F1 varieties:

"What is fascinating is their speed of maturation… I think that, in general, F1 is great for everyone who has a lack of space and wants a top result for themselves in the fastest possible time".

There you have it. F1 hybrids are fast—seriously fast.

Medusa F1
Medusa F1. Credits: Butterflieslittlefarm

What Are the Best F1 Hybrid Cannabis Seeds to Grow?

At Royal Queen Seeds, we're proud to have created the world's first selection of true F1 hybrid cannabis seeds. Now that you understand the benefits F1 genetics offer over traditional cannabis strains, here's a brief look at the top F1 cannabis hybrids from our new catalogue. For tips on how to grow these hybrids at home indoors or out, check out our guide here.

Discover the Experts' Choice:

To assist you in making a decision, let's hear from experienced growers.

MCFlow shared their thoughts on Apollo F1:

"This strain completely changed my perspective on autoflowers"

Butterflieslittlefarm took a serious liking to another one:

"Medusa F1 is currently at the very top of my favourite strains"

After growing our entire range of F1 hybrids, Oyziphar quickly fell in love with three of them:

"The Hyperion is also a real winner, just like Medusa. Orion is also a favourite…The quality of the buds can be compared to that of non-automatics, but everything goes much faster".

Note that all of the following F1 hybrids are autoflowers.

Cosmos F1

Cosmos F1

Cosmos F1 is our flagship high-CBD F1 cannabis seed. Descending from a pure genetic line derived from Oregon CBD, this is also the largest of our F1 hybrids. Cosmos F1 seeds produce large plants with a typical Christmas tree structure, long branches, and plenty of healthy foliage to soak up the rays and fuel more vigorous growth. Cosmos F1 is harvest-ready 80 days after germination, at which point she'll reward you with long, dense flowers with a rich aroma of fresh pine and cookies.

Cosmos F1
23_genetic background_1 CBD Oregon
25_flowering time_1 45 - 55 days
29_THC_1 THC: 0,5%
22_Effect_1 Clear, Focus , Meditative
110_harvest 75 - 85 days after sprouting

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Epsilon F1

Epsilon F1

Epsilon F1 combines genetics from Blue Dream, Blueberry, Amnesia, and Black Domina. She is the fastest of all of our F1 hybrids, going from seed to harvest in just 60 days. Epsilon F1 seeds produce short plants with few branches, ideal for small rooms, tents, or low-key outdoor gardens. As she flowers, Epsilon F1 produces little to no aroma, which may prove attractive for guerrilla growers. Once dried and cured, however, Epsilon F1 flowers boast a rich aroma combining hints of fresh herbs, citrus, earth, blueberries, and lavender. Her effects couple long-lasting physical relaxation with an uplifting, motivating kick.

Epsilon F1
23_genetic background_1 Blue Dream x Blueberry x Amnesia Lemon Haze x Black Domina
25_flowering time_1 30 - 40 days
29_THC_1 THC: Very high
22_Effect_1 Calming, Long Lasting , Physically Relaxing
110_harvest 60 days after germination

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Medusa F1

Medusa F1

Medusa F1 is a deliciously aromatic F1 hybrid. Bred from Sugar Magnolia (a thick and sweet indica) and American Beauty (a fast, fruity, and well-balanced hybrid), Medusa F1 seeds grow into elongated autoflowering plants that easily reach heights of 80–85cm and develop long, strong, and well-spaced branches. She takes 72 days from seed to harvest and produces long, dense, and resinous flowers that are super easy to trim thanks to their large, swollen calyxes. Medusa F1 produces well-balanced effects that fully relax the body while injecting the mind with positive, creative, and motivating energy.

Medusa F1
23_genetic background_1 Sugar Magnolia x American Beauty
25_flowering time_1 40 - 45 days
29_THC_1 THC: Very high
22_Effect_1 Balanced, Creative, Physically Relaxing, Sleepy
110_harvest 70 - 75 days after germination

Buy Medusa F1

Are you ready to take your cannabis garden to the next level? Check out our full selection of F1 cannabis seeds, and enjoy sowing the seeds of the future.

You can read all of the reviews in the world, but the best way to find out is to grow and smoke them yourself! 

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