do clones lose potency

Cloning: Do THC levels drop over generations?

New Member

Hey all! I would love to hear some opinions on this.

I recently heard this from a farmer (Who BTW has been growing for quite some time), but as everything else, I’m not sure if it’s just someones opinion/myth or it is in fact the truth. Do the THC levels lose potency with each cloning? In a nutshell, this guy was basically claiming that clones are only good for a few (around 3) crops because the THC levels diminish. You then need to start from scratch with seeds. Has anyone ever heard of this before??

Well-Known Member

I’ve seen this topic discussed before.

Some growers say no, but I disagree because it’s happened to me and my friends.

Through light manipulation we can now keep a pot plant alive indefinately. There’s a grower not too far away that has kept a plant alive for over 5 years.
But he doesn’t clone from it. And it never flowers; it’s in perpertual veg. It’s more like a house plant.

The reason that clones lose vigor over time imo is because marijuana is an annual. Without artificial sources of light it will complete it’s life cycle and die in less than a year.
When you keep a donor plant alive for over a year, you are doing something unnatural, something no marijuana plant experienced through millions of years of evolution.

The plant you take clones from IS NOT a mother plant. Mother denotes (usually sexual) reproduction, and that’s not what’s happening when you take clones. The plant you take clones from is more correctly called a donor plant.
When you take a clone from a donor, that new plant, the clone, you shouldn’t think of it as an exact reproduction of the donor plant–it IS the donor plant. You cut a piece of the donor plant off but it still is that plant.

So the plant, kept alive for longer than nature intended, loses vigor, which affects both yield and potency.

The difference in opinion is probably due to the fact that it affects some strains quicker than others.

Well-Known Member

A mother/ donor plant can be vegged indefiniatly with no problems, i keep my mothers/donors in veg for a long time and take clones from these, i have never had any problems with this.

I think you can run into problems taking clones from clones, over and over again. But if you do not actaully flower your plant, then it still would not have finished its life cycle.

Some people actually re veg their plants after they harvest, which to me that is not natural and can cause the plant to degrade.

Hey all! I would love to hear some opinions on this. I recently heard this from a farmer (Who BTW has been growing for quite some time), but as everything…

Seeds vs Clones

Premium Member

I Like Them All

They all have their + and – clones can go right to bud and you know what you’ll get. With seeds there is that unknown where you might get anything, regular you get males to kill or play with. The fem seeds are if you are looking only for weed not breeding. Good Luck, and get growing

Stoney Macgyver
strain hoarder
Premium Member

If your cloning is off in one of many ways the plants will soon loose vigor/potency or basically their lust for life after a few clonings. That is why people keep mother plants, while keeping the mother plant in vegetative growth you can take many sets of clones off of her and they will all be very similar


Is this true anybody??

Stoney Macgyver

Is this true anybody??


Seeds or Clone

As my experience, if you have a good variety of female plant its best to clone it, as you will set the same of the mother plant.
But cloning has to be done very careful, or the mother plant will get hurt, its better to clone before the flowering stage..

But i do use seeds of different types, the indica variety which gives me a good yield because of the busy leaves, So it your wish both will do better, the mainthing is the propercare, has to be taken in all the stages of the growth for a better gowth:party0042::harvest:


The part about clones possibly having bugs or other problems..I think what was meant was that when you buy clones..for example from a cc club, the clones could already be infested. You hear a lot of horror stories from people who just bought clones from a club or friend only to find that they also brought with them a nasty mite infestation.

The part about clones losing “potency”..well. “studies show that”..if you take a clone off a mother and grow that..then take a clone off that and grow it..then clone that one and grow the clone and take a cutting off that one and make it your mother, your plants will lose vigor. Don’t know how many “generations” it takes for problems to start to manifest but..I’ve never seen it, because I don’t do that.

OK now..clones, seeds or fem seeds.

If you start from seed..say regular non-femenized ones, say 10 of them and you plant them all. You have to let them grow for, say a month before you can take a cutting from each one. You SHOULD take two just in case. To save time, rather than rooting those cuts and flowering them, just label which of the 10 seed plants your cuttings came from and put the seedplants into flower while the cuttings root.
The ONLY way you can tell if a plant is male or female is to look at it’s flowers.

So..when you see male flowers, if you don’t want any pollen for breeding or storing, kill the male plants and the cuttings you took from them.

Now, as you flower the female plants you grew from seed, take note of which grows the most vigorously, stretches the amount you want, is easiest to grow-most forgiving, flowers fastest and or is the best yielder and/or potent/tasty. whatever characteristic you prefer.

Meanwhile, your two cuttings from each female will now be well established with roots and should be vegging along nicely. Once you’ve decided on a keeper(s), cull the rest.
You now have your best mother plant(s) from which to take clones for future crops.

Here’s the problem with that scenario. It’ll be a GOOD 5 months before you get your first best plant only harvest.

If you start from feminized seeds you should follow the steps above except for the sexing obviously. I do with feminized seeds..just plant 2 or 3 or however many mothers you want to start out with. Once they’re big enough take cuttings.
So, say you want 15 plants to flower and you have 3 feminized plants growing from seed. As soon as the 3 plants can give up 5 clones each you go for it.

If there are different phenotypes (characteristics) among the 3 I’ll choose one and HOPE I’m right. I say that because I have to decide before the first batch (5 clones from each of the 3 mothers) finishes flowering if I want to have fresh rooted vegged clones ready to replace the ones that are about to finish. Hope that makes sense. can go from clone.
If you are getting clones from a trusted reputable source and they are not too far cloned from a clone from a clone from a clone, and if they are a strain you want, get a couple.
They’re rooted and sexed already and all you have to do is grow them into mothers. That is if you WANT mothers. I suppose if you can buy all the clones you want for a great price, over and over again. and you don’t have resources to have a veg room. buy 15 clones (pretending that you want to flower 15 plants..just an example).

Even if you get clones from a trusted source, it’s a good idea to take some precautionary measures like maybe some dunks in miticides, fungicides, mildew-icides(wtf?), virus killers (seeds can have a virus too)..all that stuff. Point is that when they’re little it’s much easier to nuke em.

So. to sum it all up.

Get normal seeds if:
-you have a lot of time and if you would like to make some pollen for breeding and to maybe select your favorite phenotype from a strain.
-you can’t get a strain you want in feminized version
-you can’t get trusted clones of a strain you want

Get feminized seeds if:
-You don’t have time or the need to deal with male plants
-You have a med permit with a low plant count and can’t waste your count on male plants
-They are a strain you want from a reputable dealer. Some “breeders” create femmed seeds by hermaphroditic means. This is NOT the right way.

Get clones if:
-you can
-at least that’s what I would do to shave months off the process. I’d also keep a couple as mothers.

Good luck and I hope that helps if even just a little.

What do you guys like starting with when you start a new grow regular seeds, feminized seeds or clones? Do clones lose some of their potency the more times…