Anyone interested in learning more about cannabis or even growing their own should take the time to learn more about marijuana seeds. Learning more will help you make decisions about what seeds to buy and ensure that you properly germinate them and foster growth.
Just like the seeds of any other plant, marijuana seeds are the embryonic stage of the cannabis plant. The ovule in the plant must be fertilized by pollen for the seed to form. With the proper nurturing, your cannabis seed will become a marijuana plant that produces the buds you want to smoke or use in other ways.
Identifying Healthy Seeds
Not all marijuana seeds will be viable. Healthy seeds should be dark and have black stripes. If they do not meet this description, they may still grow, but you have a reduced chance of success.
Types of Cannabis Seeds: Feminized, Autoflowering, and Regular
As you look at cannabis seeds, you will notice that there are three main categories that you may come across. Regular seeds are just what they sound like, cannabis seeds that include male and female plants and do not have anything special done to them.
Feminized seeds will all produce female flowers. This is typically the preferred seed type for those who want to grow cannabis for smoking since only female plants develop buds. Female plants also produce more CBD and THC.
Autflowering or autoflower seeds are different in terms of growth cycles, and they can be feminized. Regular cannabis seeds will begin the flowering part of their growth cycle based on the levels of light. In contrast, autoflower seeds automatically start this at a certain age. This appeals to growers who do not want to have to pay as much attention to lighting. This makes growth much easier.
Overall, autoflower seeds offer a high level of convenience and ease that appeal to beginner to intermediate growers. Many experienced growers, however, tend to go with feminized seeds since these tend to produce higher quality and larger yields.
Those who want to save some money and do not mind wasting time and resources on growing male plants in the early stages can opt for regular cannabis plants. Similarly, those who want male cannabis plants for some reason will choose regular seeds.
Germinating Marijuana Seeds
For those interested in growing cannabis from seeds, the first step will be to germinate the seeds. This involves hydrating the seed that activates its enzymes, so it gets ready to grow. You can tell that the seed has germinated when a little bit of the root starts to peek through the seed’s shell.
Paper Towel Method
Among the various methods of germinating marijuana seeds, the simplest and most common is to use damp paper towels. Place a damp paper towel on a flat surface, such as a tray or plate. Place the seeds on top of this and cover it with another damp paper towel. Place the entire tray or plate somewhere warm and let the germination occur. Some people also recommend covering the entire thing with another plate.
Glass of Water Method
Another popular method is to just place the seeds in a glass of water for several days. This works well, but it does come with the risk of overhydrating the seeds.
Ideal Storage of Cannabis Seeds
You do not have to use your cannabis seeds right away after you get them. You can store them in a dry, cool area, and they should last for a while. The best storage will be in an airtight container that is dark-colored or opaque. Place the container somewhere dark, dry, and cool like a cabinet or drawer. You can also place a food-grade desiccant in the container to ensure the seeds do not have to deal with any moisture. Alternatively, you can place some dry rice in the container for the same purpose.
Legality of the Seeds
Given the gray legal area regarding cannabis, it is common to wonder whether cannabis seeds are legal. This is somewhat complicated, and it will vary by state.
If you live in a state where cannabis is illegal, then you should assume that marijuana seeds are also illegal. On the other hand, just because cannabis is legal in your state (recreationally or medically), that does not mean that seeds will be legal. Some states allow people to grow cannabis, while others do not. There may also be limits to the number of seeds that you can possess.
Essentially, you need to look into the regulations in your state to confirm that cannabis seeds are legal. Some states may even let you possess cannabis seeds for “collector” purposes but not for growing, which can lead to odd phrasing on the websites of some seed sellers.
Where to Buy Seeds
You can buy cannabis seeds online or at your local dispensary, assuming it is legal to do so in your area. Take extra care when you choose to buy the seeds online since quality can vary. Additionally, there are sometimes extra loops to go through when buying online due to the federal-level illegality of cannabis. That is why many seed retailers will market them as “collector seeds” or something similar.
No matter where you choose to buy your seeds, ensure that the retailer has a strong reputation. Look for reviews to ensure the seeds are of high-quality. Buying online will give you access to a wider range of seeds, including strains and types (feminized vs. autoflowering), while buying at the dispensary will help you confirm the seed quality before purchase.
Advantages of Seeds Over Clones
Cannabis seeds are just one of the two main options for growing marijuana; the other choice is growing from a clone. Clones offer the convenience of letting you skip the germination stage. Many serious growers, however, prefer growing from seeds because there is more freedom to choose the strain and other factors. Additionally, you do not need to use seeds right away, but you would have to plant clones immediately. That said, you should not rule out growing from clones if that option meets your needs.