Seeds are the result of sexual propagation of marijuana plants. They contain the genes of both the male and female parent plants. Some plants known as hermaphrodites can produce both male and female flowers on the same plant. The genetic code contained within the tiny seed will determine the plant’s size, pest resistance, root, stem, leaf and flower production, cannabinoid level and many other vital variety factors. Strong seeds produce healthy plants, and heavy harvest. Remember, you only get strong seeds from a strong healthy parent.
Selecting Viable Seeds
One of The most important decisions a grower makes when growing marijuana is choosing a starting Grade-A Quality seed. Seeds vary in size and coloring according to their individual cannabis variety. Bunk seeds = dirt weed. A good seed will not be cracked or deformed, shriveled or rotting. The seed should not be green – a green seed is not fully mature and was picked early. When selecting your seeds make sure they are not shiny, or excessively dark. These seeds will most likely not germinate. You want your seeds to be hard, not brittle, medium-dark brown, not blackish.
Indica seeds tend to be larger than Sativa seeds. Indica seeds often have what appears to be “zebra” stripes. This helps you determine the origin and strain of the seeds. For example, if a seed vendor says a particular seed will grow out as Sativa, but the seed is very large, you can bet that the seed is an Indica and that the vendor isn’t giving you accurate information. Growers select seeds that are plump, oily and healthy-looking. Whitish, light tan, weak, pale, green immature or cracked seeds are usually not viable. A seeds viability is determined by pressing it against your fingers or against a hard surface. Bad seeds will crumble in your fingertips.
Mature seeds that are hard, beige, dark brown and spotted or mottled have the highest germination rate. Soft, pale, or green seeds are usually immature and should be avoided. Keep in mind depending on the area in which it was grown, seed color and pattern are also affected naturally by the need for camouflage.
WARNING: It is very important you choose seeds from plants that are suited to the growing conditions in your garden. You do not want to buy a plant that will grow 10 ft tall when growing inside a cabinet! Following these proper guidelines you can ensure a successful, potent, and very satisfying grow.
Weak permeable seeds can allow disease and pests to come in. Stay away from soft, pale, immature, white, fragile grainy seeds that crush easily in between your finger and thumb.
You want to look for mature seeds that are strong, hard, and beige to a darkbrown. If it’s spotted or mottled you can bet it has the highest germination rate.
Selecting The Proper Genetics
Since time immemorial human beings have been cultivating cannabis for thousands of years, resulting in virtually thousands of varieties that are now easily available to the modern day grower. There are many commercial seedbanks that sell an assortment of unbelievable award winning time-tested strains. Be sure to select a plant that will survive in the climate it is to be grown in. (This doesn’t matter if you are growing Indoors or in a Greenhouse.)
For example, a plant native to Jamaica, where the growing season is longer, will not be able to complete flowering in Canada. Know the date of the first expected frost and choose a variety that will be ready for harvest before then. If you are growing commercially then the yield per plant is also important. Different varieties have different yields. The biggest yielding plants are grown near the equator where the sun is much more intense and the growing season is longer. If these plants are chosen they may have to be finished in a greenhouse or brought indoors in the northern US and Canada.
Where To Get Seeds?
Buying seeds is tricky. If you can’t find a friend willing to hook you up with some high quality seeds then your next best bet is grabbing your seeds online. There are a lot of sketchy companies out there nowadays. We’ve heard countless horror stories about online seedbank companies where lots people have payed top dollar for their seeds and never received them. Then the company mysteriously disappeared, with a disconnected phone line and complete with a missing website. What a way to blow $250! You need to be extremely careful when buying seeds nowadays. Do not risk it – get them only from a reputable company on the internet, from magazines, or any local coffee shops around your town (if available). Stick with a reputable & reliable company. You may wish to buy more than you think you will need due to germination failures.
Note: Marijuana seeds are still illegal in many parts of the world, including the United States. Please check local laws before ordering and always use a safe address. Never order the marijuana seeds directly to your grow site.
Please be careful! Over the years, I have tried various companies out and after speaking with hundreds of growers as well as investing in countless of hours of personal research and money to seek them out & test them; I have determined the following list to be the current best seed banks in the world. If you are going to purchase your seeds from a different vendor, please be safe – google them first in order to make sure they are reliable and no one has been ripped off in the past, as this happens a lot. Make sure they are reputable and carry the most important foundational aspect of your entire grow – a quality seed.
As promised, here is my highly recommended list of seed banks with reviews. The following list of seedbanks are the most reliable today with the greatest quality and outstanding selection. They take every precaution to ensure that your package is delivered in a stealthy, timely, secure manner. These vendors have been in the seed business for many years now and have successfully shipped countless packages to many satisfied customers worldwide. You can find them recommended on many review sites, and for good reason. Discreet packaging and efficient customer service guarantees these companies will continue to thrive for many years to come.
Typically, marijuana seeds produced by a female plant will be good for about two years. If kept in a cool, dark place (the ideal storing location) the seeds may be good for even up to 5 years!
Many growers favor storing seeds in a cold environment for optimal germination rates. Since a seed is a living thing, when it is placed in a cold environment its’ life cycle slows down. This slows the seeds natural degradation significantly, meaning seeds stored in cold environments last longer. The favored seed storing method among many commercial growers is to get a black film canister (blocks out the light) and place a small amount of either uncooked rice or loose/bagged silica crystals in the bottom. These desiccants soak up any surrounding moisture and humidity. Put them in either your fridge or freezer.
Note: You can also use specifically designed seed envelopes sold at most grow shops or online.
Make sure to label the container/envelopes with strain, quantity and date received to make sorting easier.
Also remember when storing seeds that incorrect moisture (humidity), temperature, and light levels are your number one enemies: Temperature and humidity are the most important factors affecting seed quality during storage (humidity being the more important of these). Marijuana seeds absorb moisture from wet atmospheres and dry out when placed in dry atmospheres. Seed storage life is doubled for each 1% decrease in moisture content. The problems of maintaining seed germination increase with seed moisture content.
Seed Moisture Above:
- 80-100% – seeds drown and become wilted after any more than 12 hours.
- 40-60% – germination occurs.
- 18-20% – heating may occur.
- 12-14% – fungi grown on and in seed.
- 8-9% – insects become active and reproduce.
Heating is caused by the natural respiration of cannabis seeds, of fungi and bacteria in and on the seed which may build up rapidly in a moist environment. High moisture levels and high temperature will kill cannabis seeds as quickly as and invasion of microorganisms and insects, so be careful.
Stored seed life is doubled for each 41°F (5°C) reduction in storage environment temperature.
Refrigeration to at least 41°F (5°C) is recommended (yes, this is slightly warmer than regular fridges). The cooler the temperature the more slowly seed vitality declines. This rule apparently continues to apply even at temperatures below freezing. At 41°F (5°C) and below, insects become inactive. Ever see someone freeze a fly and then blow warm air on it to heat it up (“revive” it) and then it flies away? A pretty cool magic trick if ya’ ask me.
When the above storing conditions are met, storing cannabis for five years with high germination success rates is entirely do-able.
Cannabis plants begin as tiny little sprouts and eventually, toward the end of their flowering cycle, they fill out into a Christmas Tree-like shape. There are primarily three parts to a cannabis plant. The top cola, the mid-section, and the base. The top cola is where a lot of the bud is grown and flowered. The midsection contains some bud, stems, and a lot of leaves. The buds in the midsection tend to be smaller than top cola buds, but the potency remains the same caliber. The bottom part of your cannabis plant well contain large fan leaves and a very tiny amount of bud.
Parts of the Plant
There are many parts that make up a cannabis plant. The entire crop contains the psychoactive ingredients which include Delta-9 THC and various other cannabinoids that give each plant its own unique profile of properties and effects. However, not all parts contain them in the same concentrations.
Flowers: The flowers or Buds of the plant contain the highest concentrations of plant resin which in turn contains the highest concentration of active ingredients. The unpollinated flowers of the female plants are the part of the plant that is used by recreational users because they produce copious amounts of potent plant resin in order to try to catch pollen from a male plant.
Marijuana is one of the few plants today that actually is split by gender and has distinct separate male and female plants. Female plants do not pollinate themselves in the absence of males but do contain the genetic capability to produce male flowers and may do so under stress. There are also hermaphrodite plants that produce both male and female flowers. Male plants and male flowers are not very potent and are generally not used for recreational purposes.
Leaves: When leaves are smoked they provide a headache rather than get you high. There are, however, ways to extract the active ingredients from leaves and the different types of leaves have varying amounts of potency levels.
Large Shade Leaves: These are the large classically shaped leaves on the plant and are the least potent. There are extraction methods that can be performed to get something useful out of these but the result won’t be very pure and many growers just throw them away.
Grow Tips: These clusters of small tender leaves are the point on the plant where new growth sprouts from during vegetation. They are more potent than shade leaves but less potent than trim leaves or bud.
Trim Leaves: These are the sugar coated leaves that are trimmed from around the buds during harvest. The sugar coating of trichomes can make these quite potent and they can be as potent as low quality flowers with seeds.
Stems: The stems are not really useful for psychoactive purposes but they are a great source of plant fiber for rope, paper, durable clothing, etc.
Seeds: The seeds generally contain only trace amounts of psychoactive ingredients but they are one of the most nutritious foods currently known to man. They are one of only a handful of substances that man can sustain off indefinitely with no other food and provide a complete amino acid profile.
Trichomes: Trichomes are the oil glands of the plant and contain the highest concentration of active ingredients of any part of the plant. The flowers on marijuana are sought out because they contain the highest concentration of trichomes. Hash is made from collected and pressed trichomes. Trichomes are very useful for determining the maturity of a plant during the flowering stage.
Roots: Roots serve the plant through nutrient uptake. They have no psychoactive ingredients and aren’t typically eaten.