Best Cannabis Strains for Cold Climate

Last updated: 1 March 2021

best strains for cold climate

Growing cannabis outdoors can be so rewarding that even growers who live in colder climates should give this cultivation method a try. This will give you a chance to save on equipment and electricity while still harvesting much more bud than any indoor setup could bring. The one thing crucial for your success is always choosing the best cannabis strains for cold climates. Well, we’re here to help you with that.

Can Weed Grow in Cold Weather?

Cannabis is a versatile and singularly hardy plant species, and it can withstand a lot of bad weather. However, there are two periods in its lifecycle when cannabis is rather vulnerable in the face of elements:

  1. Germination & seedling stage
  2. Ripening stage

So, if you live in a cold climate and want to grow weed outdoors, make sure to give your plants special protection during these two periods.

The first one is easy. People who live in places like Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands know that the growing season in their parts starts late. So, they germinate their seeds indoors and keep the seedlings under artificial lights for the first couple of weeks. Only then do they start gradually acclimatizing their young plants to the outside weather and finally put them outdoors when there’s no danger of frost. Usually, this happens at the beginning of May or June.

As for the ripening stage, it’s an emotional time for a grower even in the best of climates, because the buds can get so big and dense that there’s always a risk of mold or bud rot. The safest way of avoiding this risk is to choose a strain that can be harvested before bad weather comes.

What Kind of Cannabis Is Best for Cold Climates?

best weed strains to grow in cold weather

When you’re shopping for cannabis seeds and comparing between different genetics, pay attention to the following:

  • Autoflowering strains. You can plant these in early summer and harvest fully mature buds in 2-3 months, before it gets too cold and rainy. In contrast, photoperiod varieties will only start flowering in late summer/early fall.
  • Early, fast, or quick versions. Hybrids with these words in the name combine autoflowering and photoperiod genetics. They won’t start to flower automatically and only finish in fall, but they do so a couple of weeks earlier than normal photoperiod strains.
  • 100% Indica or Indica-dominant. Indicas are generally more cold-resistant than Sativas, and their flowering time is also shorter. This increases your chances of harvesting your buds before they get spoiled by cold and rainy weather.
  • Earlier harvest time outdoors. If the description says mid or late September, you have a chance with this weed. In contrast, it’s best to avoid October or November-finishing strains.
  • Shorter flowering time indoors. If the strain’s harvest time outdoors is unknown, look at how many weeks it takes indoors. 7-8 weeks is good, while 9-10 or more means the strain isn’t suitable for cold climates.
  • Resistance to mold. If the description says a strain is resistant to mold, you have better odds of not losing your buds at the end of the season.
  • High altitude genetics. Some strains were specifically developed for mountainous regions, and are therefore great at tolerating cold or sharp temperature drops during the night. Breeders always mention things like these in their descriptions.

A Word of Caution about Photoperiod Varieties

Growing photoperiod weed around the 50° parallel, or at higher latitudes, is possible but risky. A lot depends on your luck with the autumn weather of a specific year. To be on the safe side, always choose the fastest-finishing variety.

photoperiod cannabis in cold climate

And now, please pay attention: it’s important! When breeders talk about harvest time, they usually mean places like Spain, Italy, or California. It’s not only warmer there, but the days get short earlier in the season, meaning that the flowering of cannabis plants also starts earlier. When outdoor growers in, say, Southern France are already harvesting their buds, their counterparts in Scotland or Scandinavia may still see no signs of flowering, but just a lot of bad weather.

For them, autoflowers are the only safe bet.

Cold-Climate Autoflowering Seeds Are a Safer Option

Autoflowering strains are based on Ruderalis genetics, and Ruderalis is a subspecies of cannabis that originated in Siberia and other parts of Northern Russia and Northern Europe. This heritage makes autoflowers very hardy and resilient to cold.

Moreover, autos don’t wait for the days to become short to start flowering, so you can choose the warmest 2-3 months of the year for their cultivation. It’s safe to say that most climates give you 2-3 months of summer weather.

Top 10 Cold Weather Autoflower and Photoperiod Seeds

Any of the autoflower seeds in our catalogue can be classified as cold climate cannabis strains, but we picked some of our favorites to make your choice easier. Also, we added some early-finishing photoperiod strains with Indica dominance, and here you go - our top 10 best strains for cold climate!

Purple Lemonade Auto (FastBuds)

Purple Lemonade Auto (Fast Buds) Purple Lemonade Auto (Fast Buds)
  • Autoflowering
  • 25.5 %
  • Refreshing medicine
  • 450 - 550 g/m² indoors
    50 - 300 g/plant outdoors
View strain

It’s an autoflower. It’s Indica-dominant. It finishes in 9-10 weeks from seed. All this guarantees any cold-climate grower a lot of heavy and resinous purple-colored buds that pack 22% THC. The smoke produced by Purple Lemonade Auto is sweet, zesty, and fruity, while the high is that rare kind that makes you giggly and chatty – a perfect social lubricant for either a close circle of friends or a company of entire strangers.

Grandmommy Purple (Herbies Seeds)

Grandmommy Purple (Herbies Seeds) Grandmommy Purple (Herbies Seeds)
  • Photoperiod
  • An ecstatic must-have
  • 400 - 500 g/m² indoors
    450 - 550 g/plant outdoors
  • 28 - 33 %
View strain

The main obstacle for the growers from cooler regions is most often not cold temperatures, but short summers. This is when Grandmommy Purple comes into play. This Indica-dominant potency champion with up to 33% THC finishes already by early September, which will allow you to cultivate it outdoors even if you live up north. These weed seeds for cold climate produce purple-colored plants with unique grape-like flavor and calming effects, that are both medicinal and fun.

2 Fast & 2 Vast Auto (Heavyweight Seeds)

2 Fast & 2 Vast Auto (Heavyweight Seeds) 2 Fast & 2 Vast Auto (Heavyweight Seeds)
  • Autoflowering
  • 18 - 20 %
  • For giggling and for thinking
  • 600 - 800 g/m² indoors
    75 - 200 g/plant outdoors
View strain

Needing only 56 days from seed to harvest, this autoflowering Indica is perfect for short summers, and defies the mold, pests, disease, and other dangers of outdoor cultivation. As the name suggests, 2 Fast & 2 Vast Auto is an expansive strain of weed in terms of both its huge colas and the social side of its high. These fruit-smelling buds are frosted with 18-20% THC and are great for parties.

Shiskaberry (Barney's Farm)

Shiskaberry (Barney's Farm) Shiskaberry (Barney's Farm)
  • Photoperiod
  • Complete harmony
  • 600 - 700 g/m² indoors
    1500 - 2000 g/plant outdoors
  • 26 %
View strain

Autos are great, but a photoperiod weed can be so much more productive! Shiskaberry brings you up to 2K (more than 4 pounds!) of fat and dense buds that are ready for harvest by mid-September. This 100% Indica has a juicy berry flavor with an old-school background of Afghan hash, produces up to 26% THC, and is mercilessly potent. Best not to stray too far from either your couch or your fridge with this one!

Marmalate Early Version (Delicious Seeds)

Marmalate Early Version (Delicious Seeds) Marmalate Early Version (Delicious Seeds)
  • Photoperiod
  • 500 g/m² indoors
    600 g/plant outdoors
  • Marmalade cure and fun
  • 21 %
View strain

We were talking before of ‘early’ genetics, and here’s a stellar example of that. This version of Marmalate won’t try your patience – she’ll be ready for harvest in early September. Despite a shorter flowering time, the breeders managed to retain all the best qualities of this delicious variety. The smoke is almost too sweet, like grape lollipops, and the high is mellow and uplifting, with hardly any couchlock or tiredness but rather tons of mental clarity and motivation. 

Auto Orange Bud (Dutch Passion)

Auto Orange Bud (Dutch Passion) Auto Orange Bud (Dutch Passion)
  • Autoflowering
  • Activation of creativity
  • 400 - 500 g/m²
  • 26 %
View strain

Auto Orange Bud is Sativa-dominant, but hey, it’s an autoflower, so harvests are guaranteed even in cold climates. After no more than 11 weeks from seed, this THC factory (producing up to 26% of the stuff) will be ready to awe you with its intense citrusy flavor and an uplifting high that feels so strong it’s like an uppercut to the chin. Your mind will be taken to soaring heights –just be careful where your body lands!

Gorilla X White Widow (Expert Seeds)

Gorilla x White Widow (Expert Seeds) Gorilla x White Widow (Expert Seeds)
  • Photoperiod
  • Stone weapon
  • 400 - 500 g/m² indoors
    500 g/plant outdoors
  • 25 %
View strain

Two THC heavyweights, old-school and new-school, meet in this Indica-dominant hybrid that finishes in late September and can be grown anywhere, from the British Isles to British Columbia. Gorilla x White Widow is brimming with pungent terpenes and frighteningly high levels of THC. The effects fill your whole being with that kind of heavy-handed euphoria where you’re hardly able to move, allowing you to simply enjoy the perfect bliss of the present moment.

Pakistan Valley (World Of Seeds)

Pakistan Valley (World of Seeds) Pakistan Valley (World of Seeds)
  • Photoperiod
  • Elevating stone
  • 20 %
  • 450 g/m² indoors
    700 g/plant outdoors
View strain

This award-winning outdoor strain is a pure landrace Indica that’s endemic to the Hindu Kush mountains of Northern Pakistan. It’s ready by early October (not the fastest in our collection), but is very robust and sturdy, and puts to shame many faster-finishing but also more delicate cultivars. The classical Kush flavor of Pakistan Valley is exquisite and the stone deeply narcotic: time stops, and all you feel is profound relaxation and happiness.

Lemon AK Auto (FastBuds)

Lemon AK Auto (Fast Buds) Lemon AK Auto (Fast Buds)
  • Autoflowering
  • Power surge
  • 24 %
  • 500 - 650 g/m² indoors
    60 - 250 g/plant outdoors
View strain

Autoflowers make perfect cold climate weed strains because they don’t limit you to any certain genetic. That’s why we advise you to grow autoflowering Sativas, like Lemon AK Auto: a 24% THC citrus-flavored Sativa that finishes in about two months from seed. Grow it and enjoy highly-cerebral, electrifying and creative effects in no time.

Blueberry Hill (Herbies Seeds)

Blueberry Hill (Herbies Seeds) Blueberry Hill (Herbies Seeds)
  • Photoperiod
  • Serenity and joy
  • 450 - 650 g/m² indoors
    1200 - 1800 g/plant outdoors
  • 26 %
View strain

Closing our list of the best marijuana strains for cold climate is our 26% THC Blueberry Hill. Thanks to its 95% Indica dominance, Blueberry Hill is perfectly suited for colder regions, naturally hardy, and can be harvested as early as in September. This variety produces strong happy high that’s perfect for evening sessions. After indulging in this berry-flavored smoke you’ll be fully relaxed and ready for the new accomplishments of the next day.

You’re Ready to Make an Informed Decision

We believe we’ve given you enough insight to make an informed choice when choosing the best cannabis strains for cold climates. And should you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to browse our extensive catalog or simply ask us – our consultants are always online and at your disposal. Happy shopping and happy growing!

Herbies Head Shop expressly refuses to support the use, production, or supply of illegal substances. For more details read our Legal Disclaimer.

Snow Bud from Dutch Passion is one of the most adequate cold weather strains due to its Swedish strain heritage.
Very informative article! Thank you. I prefer cold climate weed strains because I live in Canada.
mold resistant cannabis strains are the best strains to grow in winter 👍
Purple Lemonade Auto and Shiskaberry are the best strains for cold climate ❄️
Super easy to use photoperiod outdoor winter strains. I supplement light in the morning and evening with LEDs and then use a timer to come on once an hour for a few hours in the early morning, that way they stay in veg until spring when I flower them on only sunlight
Add a comment

How to post a comment

Thank you for leaving a comment for us!

Your feedback will be posted shortly after our moderator checks it.

Please note that we don’t publish reviews that:

  • Are written in ALL CAPS
  • Use aggressive or offensive language
  • Promote other websites (include contact details or links)