TABLE OF CONTENTS
Are you ready for the ultimate guide to marijuana seeds? We teach you the differences between seeds and how to buy high-quality ones.
Seeds are the starting point for cannabis growers of all skill levels. Here’s a comprehensive beginner’s guide on cannabis seeds.
Understanding Plant Biology
A seed is a small embryonic plant covered by a protective coat. Plants reproduce when a plant’s ovule becomes fertilized by another’s pollen. When fertilized, a seed can form on the plant.
This embryonic plant stores the strain’s genetic traits but it’s also so much more than that. It’s the start of a bountiful harvest full of dense, aromatic, and flavorful buds.
What Are Marijuana Seeds?
Cannabis plants are dioecious, meaning they can produce male and female seeds. Female seeds are the only ones that grow flower buds. Male plants, however, are important when pollinating a female plant to produce seeds. When the seeds are mature, the female plant dies and you can use the seeds for a variety of purposes.
Seeds can be used to create oils, food, or breed new strains. Female marijuana plants are responsible for keeping dispensaries stocked with whole-flower. In these grow operations, male plants are removed to avoid pollinating the females and reducing the bud yield to create seeds. Traditionally, growers call these seedless varieties “sinsemilla.”
While female and male buds seem to have a defined role in the cannabis world, some types of marijuana plants grow female and male sex organs. Plants can become stressed by the environment and turn hermaphroditic by producing seeds and flowers on the same plant.
What Are Feminized Seeds?
Feminized cannabis seeds, as you may have already guessed, only produce female plants. This comes in handy as a beginner if you don’t want to go through the hassle of determining if you have a male or female plant. Feminized seeds are made by inducing hermaphroditic traits in a female plant. The result is a self-pollinated seed with only female genes.
Cannabis growers can stimulate feminized seed production in female plants through a variety of techniques. For instance, growers can spray their plants with a colloidal silver solution. Rodelization involves letting a female plant go beyond maturation to pollinate another female. A gibberellic acid spray may also work, but this one’s less common than colloidal silver.
What Are Autoflowering Seeds?
Autoflowering cannabis seeds automatically begin to flower after a certain age. This is the complete opposite of the traditional photoperiod strains that require 12 hours of light to begin their flowering period. A shorter lighting period is intended to replicate the transitioning autumn climate.
Autoflowering seeds are made from a hardy type of cannabis plant, Cannabis ruderalis. This strain grew out of the unforgiving northern climes that don’t get much sun. Autoflowering seeds are perfect for those who live in low-light climates.
If you want to plant multiple crops throughout the year, you can grow weed faster with autoflowering strains, although, these seeds tend to produce lower yields with lower-potency buds.
What Are Regular Seeds?
Regular seeds differ from feminized seeds because you don’t know if you’re getting a male or female. Regular photoperiod seeds are grown by male cannabis plants and need to be germinated in order to determine their sex.
If you have a regular seed, you’ll have to closely monitor the sex organ formation for pre-flowers (female) or pre-pollen sacs (male).
What Are CBD-Rich Seeds?
Most cannabis seeds produce high-THC varieties, but there are some high-CBD seeds out there, too. Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown to provide a wide range of therapeutic relief. Hemp production has increased the number and variety of CBD-rich seeds available. High-CBD hemp has been crossed with cannabis to produce low-THC or balanced varieties.
What Are High-Quality Seeds?
High-quality cannabis seeds can be obtained from trusted breeders who have spent years crossing and backcrossing plants to stabilize their genetics. Stable genetics means you can grow the intended strain with its most favorable traits. High-quality seeds must also be stored correctly and grown under the right conditions to get the most out of the seed.
Growing Indoors vs. Outdoors
Indoor and outdoor growing each have their pros and cons. Indoor gardens tend to produce buds with tremendous bag appeal but come with higher energy costs. Outdoor-grown weed has fewer energy costs and can also make great buds. For outdoor growing, choose landrace strains that are used to environmental stressors.
Modern hybrid strains are better suited for indoor growing. Of course, any seed is capable of growing in either environment.
Marijuana Weed Strains
Once you’ve selected the types of seeds you want, you can narrow down on the type of marijuana strain you’re looking for. Generally, you can choose between sativa, indica, or a hybrid of these two main types.
Indica strains originated in cooler climates and grow short and bushy. Sativa strains grow tall and large. Hybrid strains feature a blend of both types and can feature traits from each parent.
Are Cannabis Seeds Legal?
If you’re planning on buying cannabis seeds, it’s important to understand the laws of the land. Cannabis seed legality depends on your state laws. States with adult-use laws may allow people to grow and buy seeds. States with medical marijuana laws require patients to get a medical card to be able to buy and grow seeds.
Ideally, it’s better to buy seeds from a local and licensed shop, but there are also online cannabis seed banks. These banks discreetly ship your seeds, but they do risk being confiscated due to federal laws. Buying seeds from a different state or country and bringing it back home is illegal, though.
How Much Are Cannabis Seeds?
Cannabis seeds are typically sold in packs of up to 12 seeds for $50. For high-end genetics, expect to pay between $100 to $500 per seed pack. Feminized and autoflowering seeds tend to cost more than regular seeds due to the work put in to get a certain type of marijuana plant. Always buy more marijuana seeds than you plan on growing in case some of them don’t germinate.
How to Store Seeds
Buying high-quality cannabis seeds is one thing, but storing them properly is another. Weed seeds must be stored in a cool, dry, and dark space. Ideally, put your seeds in an airtight container that doesn’t allow any light inside. When stored properly, seeds can last for many years but will lose their viability over time.
Germination is the first step toward growing cannabis. During germination, seeds are hydrated to activate enzymes responsible for growth. You’ll know if your seed has germinated if you see the start of a root shoot from the seed’s coat. Growers can use the paper towel method by putting their seeds between a couple of damp paper towels on a flat surface. Roots should become visible within a few days.
Seeds vs. Clones
Cannabis growers can start off with either a cannabis seed or clone. Clones are cuttings of a vegetative cannabis plant. Clones are easier to grow than seeds because they skip over the germination phase. They feature stable genetics, but seeds may be a mixed bag. Clones can be purchased in licensed dispensaries or online.
Seeds, however, offer many advantages to growers, too. For one, plants from seeds tend to develop better tap-root. They are also less vulnerable to diseases and pests.
Cannabis seeds can also be stored for later use and you can choose from a wide variety of seeds available. Some weed growers just love to grow with seeds to keep them on their toes.
Master Cultivation Certification
Are you ready to grow weed at home? Sign up for CTU’s online marijuana college to learn the basics of growing marijuana and more advanced techniques. Our program covers cannabis cultivation topics and so much more to give you a well-rounded marijuana education. Ready to grow your knowledge? Enroll today!