AK Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide

25 January 2023
Our week-by-week grow guide for the “one-hit wonder”!
25 January 2023
19 min read
AK Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide

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  • 1. History
  • 2. Specifications
  • 3. Week-by-week guide
  • 3. a. Week 1 - germination
  • 3. b. Week 2 - vegetative stage
  • 3. c. Week 3 - vegetative stage
  • 3. d. Week 4 - vegetative stage
  • 3. e. Week 5 - pre-flowering stage
  • 4. Week 6 - flowering stage
  • 4. a. Week 7 - flowering stage
  • 4. b. Week 9 - harvesting
  • 5. What to expect?
  • 6. Drying, trimming, and curing your ak auto harvest
  • 7. In conclusion

1. History

The original AK-47 is believed to have originated back in the ‘70s, this genetic resulted from a cross between Colombian, Mexican, Thai, and Aghani landraces which gave birth to an approximately 65% Sativa strain that had around 13-16% THC which was considered a lot back then, although nowadays strains have an average of around 25% THC so even though it was impressive back then, in these days it’s not. Despite being created in the 1970s, the strain didn’t come into existence until the early ‘90s, where Simon, a biology student from Amsterdam found it as an unnamed strain in 1992 and continued to develop it further until 1999 when he made it available for purchase on his own website.


 AK auto cannabis strain: history

The history behind the old-school classic Ak 47.

This yet unknown strain was nicknamed “one-hit wonder” before receiving its official name: AK-47.

This name wasn’t given because it was a “violent” strain but because it would literally knock less experienced smoker with just one hit, due to the balanced and potent effect, soon enough AK-47 became one of the most awarded cannabis strains in history, winning more than 127 awards worldwide and several Cannabis Cups, and nowadays gaining the “Top strain” status that every cannabis consumer should try at least once.

2. Specifications

This impressive old-school strain was improved by the Fast Buds team and thanks to the pedigree genetics, resulted in a fast-growing strain that delivers impressive yields and an extremely potent high. Our AK Auto only needs 63 days from seed to harvest, delivering in all types of climates with great resistance to mold while growing up to 100cm in a very homogeneous structure and yielding around 500gr/m2 (1.6oz/ft2) indoors and 50-170g per plant (2-6oz) outdoors. Thanks to the 21% THC, consumers can expect a mostly Sativa type of effect that is quite energizing but without being overwhelming due to a mellow body high that will keep you relaxed.


AK Auto Cannabis Strain: specs sheet

AK Auto specs sheet.

These properties make AK Auto the perfect smoke for different times of day and varying occasions. Many cannabis lovers prefer to use this variety in the morning to get the day started on the right foot. Her THC levels are enough to elevate the mind and inspire creative thoughts, without completely overwhelming the user and rendering them unfunctional. After a wake-and-bake session with a strong and fresh coffee, this strain also works well during the rest of the day. Take a hit any time you want to tap into a zone of laser-like focus.

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Strain History: AK-47

The strong effect comes along with a strong and delicious old-school terpene profile of earthy, woody, floral, and piney aromas with a pinch of lemon that will leave your whole room smelling like a fresh forest. These terpenes contribute superb tastes and aromas. However, they also fulfill an important function when it comes to the effects of this strain. You heard us right! Terpenes actually synergize with cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, to influence the high of each strain. But how exactly does this work? Well, scientists are still trying to work out the details. However, we know that terpenes also impact the endocannabinoid system, just like cannabinoids. Moreover, they also have a profound effect on mood, inflammation, and other factors. You can think about it like this: THC forms the core effects of all high-THC strains, and terpenes add the detail that makes them all unique. 

3. Week-by-week guide

This article serves as a general guideline to give you an idea of what to expect when growing this strain, here you can see the conditions kept throughout this grow report and the results obtained by our growers.


Grow Specifications
Light Fixture: LED 
Light Cycle: 18/6
Humidity: 50-80%
Temperature: 20-27°C
Grow Space: Indoor
Nutrients: Synthetic
PH level: 6.0-6.7
Seed to Harvest: 9 weeks


Have in mind that this timeline has been written to help you, even though you’ll be able to grow your plants in most conditions, you should adjust your growing setup depending on the conditions.

Week 1 - Germination

Beginning this grow journal, the grower started by germinating a couple of seeds of the AK Auto in a paper towel inside of a Ziploc bag, as always, we recommend soaking your seeds for up to 48hrs before transferring them to a paper towel but depending on your experience, you can germinate them in a paper towel or directly into the soil.


Height: 5cm
pH: 6.0
Humidity: 65%
Temperature: 26°C
Watering: 100ml


As you can see in the photos below when the radicle reached around 3cm the seed was planted in a jiffy pellet and when it came out of the medium, was promptly planted in a pot with a mix of coco fiber, perlite, and soil. You can follow whatever process you prefer, as long as you are doing thing carefully and you keep the temperature between 18-25°C and the relative humidity around 70% your seedling will thrive.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 1

AK Auto seed germinated by Luv2Grow.

Remember that if you don’t have the appropriate equipment to maintain the right conditions, you can place a dome on top of your seedling, this will help you maintain high humidity and keep your seedling happy. At the end of the first week, you’ll see the first pair of true leaves starting to form, now it won’t take long until your plant is officially in the vegetative stage.

It seems like seedlings simply take care of themselves, leading many growers to have a relatively hands-off approach. However, many things can go wrong during this brief window of time. Most of all, applying too much water causes the most issues. Try to resist smothering your seedling with excess care. Always let the soil or plug dry out before you add more moisture. Too much water can suffocate the roots and give rise to disease that can easily kill a young and vulnerable seedling during the early stages of the growing cycle. Dialing in your watering certainly plays a critical role. However, you can also harness the power of beneficial microbes to improve the chances of successful germination. Inoculate your growing medium with mycorrhizal fungi and trichoderma to swing the pendulum in your favor. 

Week 2  - Vegetative stage

If you’ve done everything properly, the second week is when you’ll see your plant slowly starting to grow more and more, you’ll start to see a new pair of leaves overnight and your plant will start growing exponentially starting on week 3.


Height: 7.6cm
pH: 6.0
Humidity: 65%
Temperature: 26°C
Watering: 200ml


Depending on the type of nutrients you’ll be using, as soon as you see around 2 pairs of leaves completely formed you can start feeding a lower dose of nutrients, remember that plants in the vegetative growth need more Nitrogen to be able to grow plant matter so you should feed in a 3-1-2 ratio of Grow nutrients.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 2

Ak Auto and other Fast Buds strains by our grower ExcessDope.

Also, depending on the type of nutrients and medium, you should check and adjust the pH of the nutrient solution because at this stage your plant is fragile and you should take all precautions possible so that your plant grows happy and healthy. If you have more experience growing cannabis and are growing in a hydro setup, you should always measure the PPM and filter the water if you see it’s necessary.

If the issue of cannabis feeding seems overwhelming to you, look at a very straightforward yet effective nutrient chart below. You can use it fo reference or create your own feeding regimen from other products available on the market.


AK Auto cannabis strain: feeding chart for the vegetative stage

AK Auto feeding chart for the vegetative stage.

Week 3  - Vegetative stage

In the third week from germination, the roots should have established and you’ll see 3 fingered leaves starting to appear, these fingers are named “apexes” and the number of apexes will start to increase throughout your plant’s life cycle.


Height: 20cm
pH: 6.0
Humidity: 65%
Temperature: 26°C
Watering: 300ml


If you want to train your plants, now is when you should start, obviously, this won’t be the same for all autoflowering strains but with the Ak Auto, now would be the right time.

You should start plant training when at least 3-4 pairs of leaves have formed, we recommend any form of LST such as SCRoG, SoG, or tying down the branches but you can top or fim your autos if you have experience with plant training and growing autoflowers before.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 3

Beautiful Ak at week 3 by ElChicoDelaWeed.

Just remember that all forms of plant training can stress your autos, even LST so no matter what you choose, LST or HST, make sure you do it slowly and gradually, giving your plant the time it needs to recover and the most important of all, maintaining a good condition so your plant can recover as fast as possible.

Week 4  - Vegetative stage

Week 4 marks the last week before the pre-flowering stage and this means the flowering sites will start turning light green, now, if the leaves are turning yellow it’s most likely a sign of nutrient deficiency but if the leaves are healthy and the only thing turning yellowish-green are the flowering sites, it’s completely normal.


Height: 35cm
pH: 6.0
Humidity: 65%
Temperature: 26°C
Watering: 700ml


By now you should already be giving a full dose of Grow nutrients and preparing to gradually start feeding Bloom nutrients which your plant needs to produce buds and you should start feeding in a lower dose as soon as the stigmas (white hairs) start appearing. 


AK Auto cannabis strain: feeding chart for the flowering stage

AK Auto Cannabis Strain feeding chart for the flowering stage.

If you are growing regular seeds, you should be careful and pay close attention because regular seeds produce a 50/50 female and male offspring so you should keep an eye if any of your plant is a male.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 4

Impressive growth courtesy of ElChicoDelaWeed.

In this case, the AK Auto is feminized and will result in a female plant that will produce flowers but remember that male plants produce pollen sacs and female plants produce flowers so they can end up pollinating your buds and ruining your harvest.

Week 5  - Pre-flowering stage

Week 5 from germination marks the beginning of the pre-flowering stage with this strain, as soon as you see the stigmas coming out, you should start gradually decreasing the dose of Grow nutrients and slowly start feeding Bloom nutrients in a lower dose, gradually increasing it.


Height: 55cm
pH: 6.3
Humidity: 79%
Temperature: 23°C
Watering: 1000ml


Good Bloom nutrients should provide Phosphorus and Potassium while also providing Nitrogen in smaller amounts, these are the macronutrients that cannabis plants need in higher amounts.

This week everyone got pistils!... Still, off to a great start for them all, I think. This week, they start getting a minimal dose...to help offset the eventual depletion of nutrients...It becomes a careful balancing act to try to keep them fed, but not overdo it and burn them. I've been practicing a while though and seem to have it figured out for the most part.-ExcessDope

As you will see in the following images, you will see your plants starting to develop stigmas in abundance and slowly starting to produce trichomes so you may want to install your carbon filter by now.

Also, remember that cannabis thrives in certain conditions so, even though you may grow cannabis in less-than-ideal conditions, you should keep the relative humidity around 55% and the temperature between 18-25°C.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 5

First signs of stigmas on Ak Auto by ElChicoDelaWeed.

This stage means your plant is almost ready to start producing flowers so if you were performing any kind of plant training, either LST or HST, you should stop because your plants may get stressed and it will end up affecting your yields. Remember that autoflowers have a limited life cycle so the time they need to recover from stress may end up seriously affecting your plants, so in this case, it’s better to prevent than to have to deal with it later.

Week 6  - Flowering stage

In this week your cannabis plant has officially entered the flowering stage and should be full-on flowering, as each day passes you will see the trichome production slowly starting to increase and the delicious cannabis smell should be quite noticeable by now so make sure to use a filter to eliminate the smell or at least have something to mask the smell, such as aromatic plants if you’re growing outdoors.


Height: 75cm
pH: 6.7
Humidity: 74%
Temperature: 26°C
Watering: 1500ml


At this stage, you will see the buds taking form, so it’s essential you check your plants thoroughly every day for bugs or mold, especially if you’ve had problems with bugs in your growing space before.

Remember that bugs can appear at any moment and if you don’t check your plants every day, bugs may end up attacking your plants so the best way to avoid this is to take preventive measures.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 6

Resinous cannabis plants courtesy of ElChicoDelaWeed and ROM101.

If you’ve had problems before or just want to prevent it, you may want to spray a bit of organic pesticide around your grow tent or place yellow sticky traps to protect your plants, although have in mind that it’s not recommended to spray your plants with any type of product unless there are bugs around but you can carefully spray the walls and floors inside and outside of your tent.

Week 7  - Flowering stage

In the seventh week from germination, your plant is entering the second half of the flowering stage, by now the buds should have taken form and should be getting covered in trichomes.

By now you should already be feeding a full dose of bloom nutrients but always paying attention to signs of deficiencies because overfeeding at this stage will end up affecting the yields and density of your buds.


Height: 85cm
pH: 6.7
Humidity: 59%
Temperature: 28°C
Watering: 1500ml


Have in mind that this strain can grow up to 100cm but due to some underwatering and overfeeding problems, this plant stayed a little bit shorter, although it won’t affect the yields or quality that much, but avoiding this type of problem may result in an overall better harvest.

This week...the plants are showing some minor deficiencies. Other than that, they seem to be doing very well. Still no training on any of them, just letting them grow naturally to see how they perform. I'm really excited to try all these flavors though, it's getting close now! -ExcessDope

Also, depending on the nutrients and medium you’re using, you will need to provide Calcium, Magnesium, and some other micronutrients that despite being used in smaller quantities, they’re also essential for a cannabis plant to grow well.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 7

Cannabis buds almost ready by ROM101.

As you can see in the images above, the plant is in full-flowering mode and the flowers are quite dense but still need a couple of weeks to completely mature and get fatter, it won’t take long for you to chop down your plants so be patient and keep up the good work. 

Week 8  - Flowering stage

This week marks the week before the last and the buds should be almost ready,  by now the flowers should have a delicious smell but they’re not just ready yet so even though the stigmas may start to turn brown and wilt, you shouldn’t harvest yet. If this is your first grow cycle a good sign that your plant is almost ready is when around 70% of the stigmas are brown but remember that the standard practice is to look at the state of the trichomes so don’t harvest unless you’re sure that it’s the right time.


Height: 85cm
pH: 6.7
Humidity: 51%
Temperature: 21°C
Watering: 1500ml


To properly see the state of the trichomes you’ll need a jeweler’s loupe, some growers even use their phone’s macro mode but it may not be the best tool. 

The deficiencies are slowly clearing up, but some damage was already done. Many of the plants have lost lower leaves, I believe due to a magnesium deficiency... We're getting close now...This one is short and stubby, with almost no side branching, but the buds look frosty and decent.-ExcessDope

Also, depending on what you’ve fed your plants, you should start flushing your plants with plain water, this will wash the medium and roots, and remove the nutrient build-up, resulting in better tasting flowers and a better aroma with a smoother smoke.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 8

Ak Auto one week before harvest courtesy of ROM101.

I'm just a bit worried that the yield will not be all that great from this particular grow. We will see! -ExcessDope

Remember that depending on the medium, you should check and adjust the pH and PPM so you make sure you’re only giving your plants water and there are no trace elements in it because the minerals that water contains may differ from water source to water source.

Week 9  - Harvesting

Week 9 from seed marks the last week of this grow cycle, in the next couple of days you’ll be harvesting your long-awaited flowers, if you started flushing, the leaves should slowly start yellowing but in this case, the growers didn’t flush.


Height: 85cm
pH: 6.7
Humidity: 51%
Temperature: 21°C
Watering: 1500ml


Remember that before smoking your flowers you still have to dry and cure them, so before harvesting them you should get your dry room ready, even if it’s just a box or a grow tent, dial in the humidifier or dehumidifier if needed, and check your hygrometer to see if the conditions are proper.


AK auto cannabis strain: week 9

Insanely resinous buds ready for harvest by Purplekushkat.

Remember that when drying your buds the smell will be strong so depending on where you are drying your plants, you may want to use a smaller carbon filter or dim down your filter to help keep the smell down. You can also use other things like odor neutralizers, but obviously, then won’t work as well as a carbon filter so make sure you’re using whatever works better in your case.

4. What to expect?

Now that your plants are hanged upside down and drying you only have to wait around 15 days to start the curing process, so if you are curious to know what to expect, here are our growers’ reports.


AK auto cannabis strain: terpene profile

Ak Auto terpene profile.

As you may have smelled throughout the whole grow cycle, you will experience a mix of terpenes that old-school smokers will love. Expect sharp earthy, floral, and piney terpenes with a touch of lemon citrus and spices which consists of the following main terpenes.

  • Limonene
  • Pinene
  • Humulene
  • Myrcene
  • Caryophyllene

This terpene blend ends up tasting like a fresh forest and will leave your whole mouth covered in fresh lemon and a pleasant flower taste.

...She smells of clean, wet earth to me, with hints of pine. She tastes of spicy, warm earth as well. It's difficult to describe, but very satisfying. The high has a really nice body buzz but keeps your head free and energetic. I really like this kind of hybrid, great for getting stuff done while still being relaxed.-ExcessDope



This unique terpene profile results in a 60% Sativa and 40% Indica effect that offers an uplifting and energizing high that with a pleasant relaxation that will leave you alert all day long, growers haven’t reported any negative effects other than dry mouth which most cannabis consumers should be used to by now.

5. Drying, Trimming, and Curing Your AK Auto Harvest

If this is your first time growing and harvesting cannabis then you may be a little confused about how to best dry, trim, and cure your buds. With seemingly every single cultivator having their own personal opinion and protocol on how to best run the post-harvest schedule, it can be slightly overwhelming. Let's break it all down and explain in simple terms exactly how we like to finish the harvest off, and the reasoning behind why we choose to do it the way we do. 

The very first decision you need to make is whether to dry or wet trim. For the most part, we recommend dry trimming, for a couple of specific reasons. First up, we want to be able to control the drying process as much as possible. The more vegetation you leave connected to the plant, the slower it will dry allowing for greater moisture regulation. It's also a much less messy and sticky process, and wet trimming can have a massive negative effect on the final quality, as the trichomes can more likely be damaged. From here on in we will discuss the overall process with dry trimming in mind.

How long does the drying process take?

With so many answers to this question floating around the internet, answering this question can be difficult. Just like a**holes, everyone has an opinion. That does not make them all correct. The one thing that everyone will always agree on is that, unless you totally lucked out and live in the perfect drying environment, you are going to need to take control of the dry room environment. From our extensive experience, we can confidently say that our drying routine works, and works very well. Drying weed is all about balance. Too fast and the sensitive terpenes will degrade and disappear, too slow and you run the risk of fungi wrecking the whole party.


AK auto cannabis strain: drying

The best way to dry cannabis plants is to hang the whole plant upside down!

In terms of temperatures, you want it to stay within the 60-70°F (that’s 15-22°C) range, with a relative humidity of 55-65%. If you are able to keep the environment within these ranges, your weed should naturally dry at a nice, slow rate and be ready for trimming after 10 to 14 days. If you are not seeing much drying happening after 3 to 4 days then you will need to switch stuff up, as your crop is at dire risk of developing mold. If this happens all of those months of blood, sweat, and tears will come crashing down. Absolute disaster. 

What do you need to know when it comes to dry trimming?

Not a whole bunch, really. If you have trimming experience then you already know just how tedious the process can be, but if you are new to the game don't let us rain on your parade. Trimming can actually be a lot of fun if you have the right beats playing in the background, some good friends to help you, a spliff or two circling the room, and maybe even a cheeky beer thrown in for good measure. What you will need is some quality equipment. Trust us when we say that trimming with old scissors becomes very annoying, very very quickly. Grab yourself a par or two of these or these, a decent trim tray  (we love the original Trim Bin), and some isopropyl alcohol to keep the scissors clean. 

Be careful not to shave the buds when trimming. This is a real rookie error and a commonly seen one at that. What you want to try to do is to dig into the flower and snip the base of the sugar leaves so they fall out without disturbing the rest of the flower formation. Fun! Ok, the buds are perfectly dried and trimmed. We can smoke them now, right?

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How to Dry Cannabis Buds

Look, of course, you can now smoke the bud. And we are sure that it will be an absolute delight. But, if you want to get the best out of the flowers, then you must not skip the curing process. Even though terpene and cannabinoid production has stopped, the maturation process of these is ongoing and highly important to the flavor and psychoactive effect of the smoke. Curing weed is like aging wine or whisky, but thankfully it does not take nearly as long. Again, the science is inexact here but curing will usually take anywhere between 2 weeks to 6 months. This is all dependent on the ambient temps and humidity levels, and the strain itself. If you live in an area or country where cannabis is still illegal you may have never even seen or smoked a properly cured bud.


AK auto cannabis strain: curing

Make sure to use airtight glass jars for curing!

Why would commercial growers selling to the black market bother waiting any longer when the product is essentially ready for sale? To cure your buds you really only need a few items. Some air-tight containers (mason jars work great), a hygrometer for each jar, maybe some rehydration packs, and a whole lot of patience. Try to keep the jars at around 70°F (22°C) with a humidity level of 60-65%. Don't be alarmed if you notice the buds becoming a little softer and moisture in the first few days of curing. This is actually a really good sign, as it means you have dried the cannabis really well, and this is just the last remnants of moisture escaping the middle of the buds.

Burp the containers twice a day for the first ten days, and then twice a week after until the curing process is over. Store the jars in a dark area away from direct sunlight, and the prying eyes of any nosey neighbors. If you are worried about them being too dry too quickly, you can always grab the rehydration packs from Integra or Boveda. These are designed to keep the buds at the perfect moisture level for curing, and they do a great job. Keep a close eye on the buds, and in 2 weeks to six months, you will have some of the best weed you have ever seen waiting there to be consumed and enjoyed!

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How to Cure Buds

6. In conclusion

If you’re looking for a Sativa-dominant strain that will help you get stuff done, this one is a must-try! This auto version of the old-school classic provides a truly enjoyable effect that will boost your energy and will allow you to get chores done and get through a busy day of work easily.

If you have grown this strain before and want to give fellow growers a couple of tips to improve their growing experience with this strain, please leave a comment in the comment section below!


External References:

  1. Stomata and Trichome Development. - V, Vadivel,. (2020). 
  2. Terpene Synthases and Terpene Variation in Cannabis sativa. Plant Physiology. - Booth, Judith & Yuen, Mack & Jancsik, Sharon & Madilao, Lina & Page, Jonathan & Bohlmann, Joerg. (2020).