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Seeds are an essential part of growing cannabis. Even established commercial companies that grow from clones have an ongoing need for seeds in order to create and introduce new proprietary strains. A major percentage of home growers always grow from seed, and this reality resulted in the establishment of numerous seed banks and seed brokers years ago. The number of seed banks has only expanded over the years, answering the demand for exclusive cannabis genetics in the United States and other countries.
While Amsterdam reigns supreme as the capital for seed banks, many of their genetics originally came from the U.S., which creates an interesting situation. In order to gain access to these once-American strains, U.S. consumers ironically have to obtain them from Dutch suppliers. With cannabis laws becoming increasingly progressive in the U.S., an increasing number of legal options are now becoming available to seed seekers in the states. Seed banks and brokers are springing up with increasing regularity on this side of the pond, specifically serving the needs of American growers—while some European seed companies (not all) specifically serve the needs of the European market.
Occasionally, you will find strains marketed in both Amsterdam and America that have the same name and genetic background but are dramatically different. Skunk #1 is an excellent example. While the American Skunk #1 reflects its name and has a dank, skunky quality, the Dutch version is sweet, with no trace of the skunky aroma. Dutch breeders have selectively bred Skunk #1 to appeal to the Dutch palate, while American breeders have retained its skunky qualities, which many Americans love. This creates a different take on the same strain. Several other Dutch skunk strains have a sweet quality as well.
How Are These Businesses Different?
Although various seed companies don’t always call themselves seed banks and brokers, and market themselves as such, people who are seeking good cannabis genetics often rely on them to get seeds. While both types of companies sell seed, they are decidedly different.
Seed companies do their own breeding to create new strains they market in seed form. Through selective breeding and growing, they identify the best phenotypes and stabilize the strains—although some strain releases may have a few known phenos that can occur in a single pack of seeds. Seed companies strive for consistency so their buyers know what to expect and gain trust in them as a source for potent, flavorful cannabis. Most seed banks sell their own seeds, sometimes only at their main place of business, as well as well as distribute them through seed brokers. To confuse things further, some seed companies market their seeds under more than one name, or occasionally sell seeds from partner companies.
Seed brokers do not create seed. Rather, they market seeds from various seed companies and banks, and they may have seed available from a diverse assortment of different seed creators. Many seed companies depend on seed brokers to market their product. Unlike some seed banks, most seed brokers will mail seeds worldwide, while some seed banks will only sell within their own country or to select countries. Price doesn’t always dictate quality. There are some seed companies and banks that sell very high-quality seeds at reasonable prices. The highest-priced strains are often new and highly anticipated releases, as well as old classics that are in high demand.
The seeds that these companies ship are sent in protective, discreet packaging. Some places will let you choose to remove seeds from a breeder’s packaging. Then, they are placed in collectible souveniers such as tote bags, pens, toys, DVD cases, and more to avoid detection. Most of them ship orders in a very timely manner. Seed buyers should research and educate themselves about the legality of shipping cannabis seeds to their locations and place orders armed with that knowledge.
Let’s take a look at a variety of seed businesses, both seed banks and seed brokers. Quite a few American cannabis breeders have migrated to Europe to do business—especially in the days when cannabis prohibition was nationwide in the U.S. Since marijuana is now legal in many parts of America (U.S. and Canada), there is cross-traffic, with Europeans coming to America as well.
As far as some of the more prominent seed businesses, an online search will reveal many more for those who are shopping for seeds. If a specific seed company will not ship to your location and you have a strong desire to grow one of their strains, chances are good that a seed broker will send you the same seed strain, from the exact company that created it, with packaging to prove it.
These companies have been around for decades and have honed their craft to produce consistently high-quality seed. They are reliable, and the quality of their products has satisfied buyers for many years. Most of these companies have produced iconic strains that are widely known in the industry. Here is a small selection of notable seed banks.
This Dutch company has created some fantastic seed strains over the years. Sensi Seeds is the creator of Jack Herer, a wonderfully Hazy and fruity sativa-dominant strain that enjoys worldwide popularity and has garnered numerous awards. Sensi is also responsible for creating Silver Haze and Marley’s Collie, and is the original source for Maple Leaf Indica. Since 1985, Sensi Seeds has grown to become the world’s largest cannabis seed bank with over 500 varieties.
The strains from DNA Genetics have quickly attracted huge popularity, and for good reason. Potent and delicious, they have garnered an amazing number of well-earned awards. . All in all, they’ve won more than 200 awards in all categories at the industry's leading cannabis events. DNA is the company responsible for bringing numerous heavy hitters to the market, including Chocolope, Lemon Skunk, and LA Confidential. Their Tangie and Strawberry Banana strains have also attracted legions of fans.
With a solid portfolio of favorites, T.H. Seeds is another company worthy of your consideration for its assortment of highly regarded seed strains. T.H. Seeds was started in Amsterdam in 1993. For over 25 years, the company has been focused on preserving quality genetics and sharing them with the world. The company is responsible for the original indica-dominant version of Bubblegum, as well as industry head-turners like S.A.G.E., MK-Ultra, S.A.G.E and Sour, Chocolate Chunk, and Heavy Duty Fruity.
With a long history in cannabis seeds, Dutch Passion offers excellent versions of outstanding strains. As one of the oldest seed banks in the world, they’ve ammassed a fine selection of original cannabis classic varieties and the best new ones, too. They have been a source for D.J. Short’s original Blueberry and also market an excellent Strawberry Cough. The Californian Orange strain is also one of their highly regarded releases.
Without a doubt, Serious Seeds has some seriously good cannabis genetics. With an inventory that’s more limited than most, it’s obvious the company prefers quality over quantity. Just about all their strains are notable and worthy of your consideration. The company created AK-47 and the sativa-dominant version of Bubblegum. Chronic is another of their original strains. They also have great strain genetics for Kali Mist, Warlock, and White Russian. They also offer Seriously Limited seeds that are limited to only 4,000 packs and Seriously Customized seeds that have multiple strains in a single pack.
Known particularly for some of their excellent sativa strains, Flying Dutchmen has served the needs of cannabis growers for a long time. They sell a very good Haze from seed, as well as other notable sativa strains like The Real McCoy and Pineapple Punch. Another notable heavy-hitting sativa in the Flying Dutchmen lineup is Haze Mist, a nearly pure sativa that will make any Haze lover smile.
Barney’s Farm is considered one of the best seed banks/breeders in the world. Based in Amsterdam, Barney’s Farm was started by Derry who got his start growing weed in Asia during the 1980s. For nearly 30 years, Barney’s Farm has been a fan favorite and won countless awards. Popular strain creations include G13, Amnesia Haze, Tangerine Dream, Critical Kush, Pineapple Chunk, Cookies Kush, Willie Nelson, and Liberty Haze.
Marijuana Seeds NL (MSNL)
Since 1999, Marijuana Seeds NL (MSNL) has developed a wide range of quality feminized, regular, auto-flowering, high CBD, and indoor and outdoor seeds. Find best-selling seeds such as Gelato, Girl Scout Cookies, THC Bomb, Gorilla Glue Auto, Big Bud, and more. MSNL offers worldwide stealth shipping that won’t draw unwanted attention. Plus, every order comes with free seeds! What’s not to love?
Seedsman is a UK-based seed bank. It has been a trusted source of quality genetics from around the world for over 15 years. Shop their vast selection of seeds from the best licensed breeders. They even have unique strain categories such as fast-growing, mold resistant, low-odor, higher altitude, high-yielding, and beginner strains, among many others. Earn free seeds and loyalty points with every purchase.
Crop King Seeds
Crop King Seeds is one of the best cannabis seed banks in Canada. Choose from a variety of strains including auto flowering, feminized, regular, and CBD-rich seeds. Since 2005, the company has grown to feature over 40 strains. Popular strains include the Dwarf Flyer Auto, CB Dutch Treat, CB Dream, CB Diesel, White Widow, Sour Girl, and more. While they don’t offer a large selection of seeds like other seed banks, all of them are of the highest quality.
Seed brokers market seed from a selection of seed banks with which they do business. Many seed brokers have a truly huge selection, so it can be fun to kill some time by browsing their inventory. Seed brokers usually make a great effort to ship in a timely manner to nearly anywhere in the world. Some seed brokers will occasionally include freebie seeds as a goodwill gesture or to promote a particular seed bank. For good reason, seed brokers are the preferred source for a great number of cultivators. A few of them are found below, but many more exist.
Seeds Here Now
With a massive inventory from a surprising number of seed banks, Seed Here Now is sure to have the strain(s) you are looking to buy. Among the well-known breeders they sell and distribute seeds for are Brothers Grimm, D.J. Short, Serious Seeds, T.H. Seeds, and Humboldt Seed Company and dozens of others. If Seeds Here Now can’t fill your wish list as far as seeds go, most likely no seed broker can.
This seed broker markets seeds from a handful of companies and markets them in a variety of categories. Seed Supreme is sure to have an indica, sativa, or hybrid strain that will suit your needs, and may have the exact seed strain from the exact seed company you are seeking. They market many classics, so if you’re looking for Northern Lights, Gorilla Glue, Girl Scout Cookies, White Widow, and many others, Seed Supreme can most likely fill your order.
Lighthouse is another broker serving the needs of U.S. customers. Marketing cannabis genetics from Sweet Seeds, Pyramid Seeds, DNA Genetics, Norstar Genetics, and Kaliman Seeds, Lighthouse is a source for many classics like Granddaddy Purple. Lighthouse also sell a Cinderella 99 from Brothers Grimm Seeds.
Seed and Seed Bank Resource: Seed Finder
Although it’s not a seed broker or bank, Seed Finder provides an amazing amount of information about various seed strains and the banks and breeders who produced them. One of the nice features of this site is the in-depth genealogy that’s mapped out for each strain. For that reason alone, the site is worth a visit. With an information resource this vast, most likely you will find yourself returning often.
How to Find the Right Seed Bank and Broker
The list above of seed banks and brokers are a great choice for growers of all skills levels. Finding the right one for your situation requires research. Most seed banks and brokers have customer reviews of seeds. See how customers rate the quality and value of their purchases before you buy. Consider reading cannabis seed bank reviews to find out more about the company’s reputation and experience.
Since the mid 1980s, seed banks have popped up all over the world. When choosing between seed banks and brokers, consider the company’s years of experience. Most companies list the year they were founded on their “About Us” page. If not, do a little digging by searching Google for the seed bank name + “founded,” “established,” or “started.”
Before checking out, read the seed bank’s return and refund policy. While there are many reputable seed banks out there, their refund policy varies. It’s better to buy from a bank with an ironclad guarantee to protect you from getting bad seeds. Most seed companies will refund any item you are not happy with. Make sure you read the fine print and contact them within a certain number of days of receipt of your order.
Nowadays, seed banks and brokers allow you to pay with a host of methods including credit and debit cards, cryptocurrency, bank/wire transfers, check/money order, and good old cash. Choose a supplier that offers credit card, wire transfers, and e-wallet services. These payment modes protect you in case the supplier won’t help you. The best cannabis seed bank will have a wide variety of payment options to meet your needs.
There’s no doubt that seed banks and brokers are enjoying a booming business, while simultaneously providing much-wanted cannabis genetics to a large and expanding number of growers. With just a little looking, cannabis cultivators can locate and purchase any strain they want to grow. There’s never been a better time to be a cannabis grower.
Start Your Cannabis Garden
Starting your cannabis garden from scratch can be hard for beginners. Even seasoned growers can have difficulties growing certain strains or in certain conditions. If you’re ready to be the best cannabis grower you can be, enroll in CTU’s online cannabis college. Learn basic and advanced growing techniques from the best in the business. Our affordable training program gives you all the knowledge you need to start your cannabis garden today!