Are Cannabis Cup Seeds Difficult to Grow?

When possible, every grower should try cultivating Cannabis Cup seeds to reap their benefits. These strains are of proven high quality and can give farmers the best returns on their investment when grown correctly. But how easy or difficult is it to cultivate Cannabis Cup winners? Does their high standing mean they are more difficult to cultivate than other seeds that haven’t made it to the coveted international award stage? 

Fortunately, award-winning seeds don’t require any special conditions to grow well. If you’re interested in Cannabis Cup Winning strains may become a good starting point for familiarizing yourself with available varieties and their growing specifics. This post examines some of the challenges you may face when cultivating these seeds. Read on to learn more and avoid them in your next grow for optimal yields. 


Cannabis faces humidity challenges irrespective of whether you grow it in greenhouses or indoors. High humidity levels make plant development difficult, inhibit growth, and reduce bud size and quality. Further, humidity challenges cause disease outbreaks like bud rot and botrytis, causing growers huge losses. 

Proper humidity control is critical to addressing many cannabis growing challenges like mold and disease. Here are the things to keep in mind, depending on your growing setup  

In Greenhouses

Growers cultivating cannabis in greenhouses use various methods combining heating and ventilation. This method releases humidity while retaining proper temperature ranges for cannabis. However, constant heating in a ventilated space causes significant heat loss and high power bills. In some settings, this approach doesn’t even reduce humidity. Thus, it leaves cultivators with mold despite investing lots of cash to prevent it. 

In Indoor Grow Rooms

Farmers can have a better time indoors than those cultivating cannabis in greenhouses because they operate in a fully controlled environment. These growers can use HVAC systems to ventilate and heat their grow rooms. However, HVAC doesn’t guarantee 100% humidity regulation efficiency because these appliances increase condensation. 

Pathogens and Diseases

Pathogens and diseases are other challenges for any cannabis, including Cup Winners. Diseases and pathogens reduce cannabis development by damaging its roots, flowers, and leaves. The pathogens come in various fungi species. For instance, bacteria and fungi thriving in wet conditions cause root rot, stunted growth, wilting, and leaf loss. 

Below are some common pests that can threaten your cannabis cultivation.

  • Spider Mites
  • Leaf miners
  • White Flies
  • Thrips
  • Cutworms and caterpillars
  • Mice
  • Fungus Gnats
  • Aphids

Here are some of the diseases your cannabis grower might encounter.

  • Powdery mildew 
  • Leaf septoria 
  • Bud rot 
  • Fusarium wilt 

Choosing the Right Growing Facility 

Choosing the right growing facility is another cultivation challenge cannabis growers face. Often, a grower has to choose from three options: hybrid facilities, greenhouses, and indoor grows. Why is this decision crucial? The way you arrange your growing space has many far-reaching consequences that directly affect your grow’s overall output. 

For instance, the Cannabis Business Times, in its 2021 State of the Cannabis Cultivation Industry Report, shows a tendency toward indoor growing facilities or hybrids of indoor growing and greenhouses. Why is it so? Farmers can easily control their cultivation environments, although they have to invest more money in structures and equipment.

Making the wrong decision here means exposing your plants to many environment-caused challenges. For instance, settling for indoor growing without proper facilities could defeat its purpose because it can expose cannabis to excessive moisture levels. Outdoor growing also exposes your crops to hostile weather elements like frost and wind. 

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Bad Germination

Germination is every seed’s foundation. Successful germination gives your cannabis a good start, while poor sprouting can negatively affect a plant’s overall development. To avoid this problem, you must germinate cannabis seeds in an environment with correct settings. We recommend the following: 

  • A dark and humid environment (but not too wet). 
  • Germinating seeds in temperatures of 22–25°C.
  • Giving your seeds a relative humidity level of 70% to 90%.
  • Using fluorescent lighting.
  • Not touching seeds because that could damage and contaminate them. 
  • Ensuring the right pH (5.8–6.2) when germinating using Rockwool.

Under these optimal settings, healthy seeds will take a few days to a week to germinate successfully. Occasionally, cannabis seeds take a few weeks to crack the shell. You can reduce germination challenges facing Cannabis Cup seeds by germinating them in a light soil mix.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrients are essential to cannabis thriving. Your cannabis plantation needs different nutrients like nitrogen, zinc, copper, calcium, and magnesium. But failing to pay attention to this vital element can cause serious cultivation challenges. For instance, nutritional deficiency causes leaf discoloration. If you notice this color change while the plants aren’t sick, there are no insects, and all the other factors like heat and water are optimal, a nutrient deficiency is present. 

When growing in natural soil, your plants get exposed to millions of microorganisms, vitamins, and minerals. However, continued usage depletes these nutrients. You can avoid this problem using a soil test kit that can show you the lacking nutrients in your soil to let you add them or make other appropriate amendments. A soil test is vital because it helps you discover the exact lacking nutrient without depending on discoloration alone. Some symptoms often look similar, and you may treat the wrong thing.

You should also add fertilizers with different formulas depending on your crops’ growth phase. When adding fertilizer before flowering, we recommend using products with an NPK ratio of 20-5-10. If your crops are flowering, use a 5-30-20 formula.

Improper Pruning

Your cannabis needs proper pruning to grow well, as excess leaves can harm your plants’ healthy, robust development. You must prune fan leaves because these larger leaves don’t have a budding site at the node. Cannabis only needs fan leaves for photosynthesis. Thus, you can remove these leaves once the plants start shadowing. Removing these leaves allows cannabis to direct its energy toward the canopy. However, incorrect or not pruning your cannabis can adversely affect its growth. 

Poor Moisture Control 

Poor moisture is another challenge facing cannabis growing. Most rookies start by growing a few plants in big open basements with plenty of light. However, cannabis needs different humidity and heat levels during various growth phases. For example, the plants need less humidity and lower heat to produce buds during blossom. Inversely, your plants will require more heat and humidity when growing leaves.  

Other rookies start their growing journey by planting cannabis in pots. This alternative poses a challenge because pot plants need a specific heat amount, ventilation, and humidity. The problem is that balancing this combination can be tricky for beginners. You can address this challenge by hanging reflective fabric on top of your grow space. Alternatively, you might use a growing tent that can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to over $1,000.

Failing in the points discussed above exposes cannabis to mold, mildew, and fungi. Therefore, plan the setting well to control humidity when cultivating cannabis indoors or in a greenhouse. This timely arrangement gives you optimal yields per plant. 

Bottom Line

Growing cannabis cup seeds isn’t more difficult than cultivating other seed types. But like other seeds, cup winner strains face similar challenges a farmer must address to get desired results. You’ll still need to deal with incorrect pruning, poor germination, nutrition deficiency, pathogens, and diseases. With our insightful tips, you will be better positioned to anticipate and solve these cultivation difficulties when they arise. We hope you will use this information to avoid these growing difficulties. 

The author of this article is Lana Braslavska, an expert in cannabis growing and a guru of cannabis product choice. Lana works as a blogger at AskGrowers and dedicates her research effort to teaching people how to grow weed correctly. Her mission is to make weed closer and more accessible to all categories of interested and eligible populations. 

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