Got a cannabis seed, but you’re not sure if it’s any good? No worries. By the end of this article you’ll know everything you need to get started.
The legality of growing cannabis varies depending on where you live in the world. Know your laws.
What to Look for in a Healthy Cannabis Seed:
You can tell a lot about a seed’s health just by looking at it. Here are a few different things you should look for when deciding if a cannabis seed is good or not.
- Darkened Color – Good cannabis seeds will be brown, black, and/or gray. White or green seeds are immature and unlikely to sprout. Your seed should also have stripes or spots all the way around.
- Waxy Coating – A healthy seed will have a thin waxy coating around it. This coating should appear to have a slight sheen to it.
- Hard Shell – You should be able to lightly squeeze a seed without it crushing. If a seed crushes easily between your fingers then the seed is likely dead or weak and will not grow well.
- No Cracks – Inspect the entire seed to make sure there aren’t any small crack or holes. This will most likely cause the seed not to sprout.
Ways To Test Cannabis Seeds
Now that I’ve gone over a basic guide for what to look for I’ll give you a couple of ways that you can test your seeds.
Test Method #1: Floating Seeds in Water
This is a great test that works for many different seeds – not just cannabis. Take your seeds and drop them in a cup full of warm (not too hot) water then wait a couple of hours. If they sink then they’re probably good to go. If they won’t sink then they are probably dead and won’t grow.
Note: Only do this if you’re ready to germinate your plants. Otherwise, it could harm your seed. I cover germination in a later section.
Test Method #2: Just Go Ahead and Try to Germinate the Seed
I know this seems obvious, but it really is the best information I really could give. If you really want to know if a cannabis seed is able to germinate then go ahead and try germinating it – what do you really have to lose? Not quite sure how to germinate a seed? No worries. Here’s a quick guide:
How to Germinate a Cannabis Seed
Germinating a seed simply means getting the plant to sprout from the seed. It’s the first step in your cannabis seed’s journey to a full grown plant. There are several ways to go about this.
One way is to simply plant it in your soil and see if a plant pops up. It’s old school, but no one can deny its simplicity. Plant the seed about 1/4″ deep and wait.
Another way is to put the seeds on a damp paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is damp, but not soaking wet. If it dries out you can add a few drops of water to the paper towel. Leave the paper towel in a dark place. The amount of time is going to vary among strains. Some may take only 2 days while others could take longer. Continue to check them once a day.
How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Male or Female
Unfortunately, there is no way to know if a cannabis seed is going to be male or female simply by looking at it or doing a simple test. This is a bummer since most people don’t want male cannabis plants in their garden.
If you want feminized seeds then you’ll have to buy them from a reputable seed bank. Make sure they say feminized – if they don’t say it then they probably aren’t.
If all you’ve got is a bag seed then the only way to find out if it’s going to be male or female is to grow it.
Can My Cannabis Seed Go Bad / Expire?
The short answer is yes, but if you store your seeds properly they can stay viable for years and years. Moisture, UV degradation, and extreme temperatures could all affect the quality of your seeds.
If you plan to store your seeds for a long period of time make sure to keep them in an airtight container in a dark area. Ideally, seeds should be stored in a climate controlled area (like inside your house instead of in a shed or garage. One study showed laboratory-sealed cannabis seeds were still viable after 19 years.
It’s nice to know what to look for, but in the end the best test is just to put it in soil. If you’re using bag seeds then you never really know what you’re getting anyways. If you’ve bought your seeds from a legitimate seed bank then you shouldn’t have to worry about it.
My seeds, stored in a small airtight plastic container, usually lasted good for about a year, until I started to store them into the refrigerator. Five years later, 10 out of 10 germinated very well.
Great tip. Thanks!
I’m from Cape Town S.A. what time of the year is a good time to plant your seeds. It’s currently summer season here.
Same here! Late spring is the best time. It is the natural period in which seeds sprout.
My seed are still not germinate
Can you tell me how long will it take?(help please)
Start germinating them in December then around July-August plant them out obviously depending what seeds you got
In October and November
Can make and female seeds be planted together in same pot? Or is it best to only plant 1 seed per pot?
Hi i was wondering what’s a good reliable seed website
Guys, and what sort of cannabis contains the most sativa?
A pure sativa land race strain like Thai. Most sativa strains today are in fact sativa dominant hybrids.
I liked ‘Full Moon’ from Nirvanas. It is a Thai, from Thailand.
Germinating a seed is crucial to the overall health of the cannabis!
Yes, I agree that the best way to know that you are getting good cannabis seeds is dealing with a trusted and reputable seed bank. Great post here!
Hello, first timer here lol. Can I germinate inside with lights etc.?
I agree with this. You have to be meticulous in choosing the seed.
Hey iv got 2 different seeds I’m trying to germinate 2 different strains one started to show after day 3 now it’s sitting about 2inch tall at 5days old, but the other has stated to crack and the white shoot has come out of it, but has now stopped doing anything and now on day 10. Is there anything I can do to see if it will do anything or has died
I live in Australia, I got my first crop several years ago, stored my seeds in small clip lock bags. I purchased from a reputable seed bank, however my seeds refuse to sprout, sink in the water, so far I have lost 3 of 3 strains. Disappointed.
There is a way to tell if it’s a male or female seed! Where the seed hooked to the Bud leaves a small plateau. In the center of the plateau a female has a perfectly round circle! The male is an oblong kind of egg shaped circle, with veins running out from it.
the information you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all
of your time & work.
This article would really help a lot of people who are new to growing weed. Thank you so much for sharing this very informative article to us.