Germinating cannabis seeds is important because it gives the grower an advantage in cultivation and it speeds up the process If you want to grow marijuana, you need to start with high-quality seeds. Find out exactly how to buy weed seeds with our seed guide. Seeds
How to germinate all types of cannabis seeds: Three methods
A seed is like an egg in many ways. Inside are very similar components: an embryo, a radicle, a plumule and cotyledons, and outside is a protective shell.
Germination is important because it gives the grower an advantage in cultivation and a faster start. And it makes sure you’re not planting a small rock where nothing will grow out of the ground.
The different types of cannabis seeds
For those who want to cultivate for recreational or medicinal purposes, the female plant is the only one that matters. Only she can produce the flowers we expect at the end of the cycle.
Cannabis is a dioecious plant, that is, it has a female and a male plant. The male flower produces pollen after calyx development, which, when it meets the flowers and pistils of a female plant, will be fertilized, generate a new seed, and guarantee the survival of the species.
Cannabis seeds have undergone several modifications and are currently available in three main categories: normal, feminized, and auto-flowering, also called automatic. Recently, a new category, quick flowering seeds, has gained popularity.
Regular or normal seeds
Regular seeds are mostly chosen by breeders and established growers seeking stable genetics. (Algirdas Gelazius/123rf)
If the cultivator’s desire is to perpetuate a variety or make improvements, he should choose seeds of the normal or regular type. They are created by crossing a male with a female plant.
We call them regular or normal because they develop naturally. This type of seed can produce species of both sexes. Here, the grower has no control over gender. The odds are divided. Regular seeds have a 50% chance of being a female plant and generating flowers, or 50% of being male, which will result in small bags which grow very quickly into clusters of calyxes and flowers with pollen grains, essential for the multiplication of the species.
Regular seeds are mostly chosen by breeders and established growers seeking stable genetics or new cannabis terpenes or profiles by pheno-hunting through regular seeds which become the mother stock for all feminized seeds. Traditional landrace growers continue a long tradition of growing flowers and pollinating their crops which lose commercial value but guarantee sufficient seeds for the next season. Traditional landrace growers are slowly disappearing from the most remote regions on earth due to feminized seeds and readily available hybrids seeds which fetch a higher commercial value.
- Breed and create new strains
- Equal probability of male and female plants
- Create pollen bank
- Sex of the plant is unpredictable
- Male and female plants can be confused by a novice grower
- Pollinating males will seed female plants, resulting in fewer flowers to be harvested by the grower
- Preparation of different grow tents
Feminized seeds are obtained by crossing two female plants. One of them is exposed to a high level of stress. (Shutterstock)
In the late 1990s, with the need to cultivate seeds that guaranteed the appearance of female plants, feminized seeds emerged. As the name implies, they are those that will result in female plants. Males are unlikely to appear unless cannabis is under stress or someone has offered it a “cat for a hare.”
In the beginning, these plants had quality problems or were genetically unstable. Furthermore, they could transform into hermaphrodite plants. Over the years, with improvements and new technologies, feminized seeds have achieved high levels of quality both in production and in taste and final effects.
Feminized seeds are obtained by crossing two female plants. One of them is exposed to a high level of stress until it becomes a hermaphrodite. After crossing them, feminized seeds are obtained.
Another method to get feminized seeds, and perhaps the most commonly used one, is the application of a solution of colloidal silver, a famous and easily found natural antibiotic. The solution placed on female cannabis plants induces the production of pollen, which fertilizes other female plants that will generate feminized seeds.
Feminized plants are photoperiodic plants and depend on hours of daily light to transition from the vegetative phase to the flowering phase. Photoperiod plants allow the grower greater control over the moment when the cannabis starts to flower by maintaining the light hours. Thus, growers can wait as long as necessary to remedy any problem with the plant still in its vegetative state, such as excess water or nutrients, or take clones or cuttings to ensure the survival of your favorite cannabis plants.
Less experienced growers should start with feminized plants until they get some experience. This is more likely to ensure that they are always healthy and within the correct growth parameters.
- Production of female plants
- Ideal for growers who want flowers
- Simplification of the cultivation process
- Not suitable for breeding
- Must be started from the seed
- Can turn into hermaphrodites
Automatic and autoflowering seeds
A few weeks after germination, autoflowering plants start flowering, regardless of the structure or health it presents at that time.(Shutterstock)
After feminized seeds, in 2008, automatic or autoflowering seeds appeared which were bred from Cannabis Ruderalis plants found in areas such as Eastern Europe, Russia, and Alaska. They flower in a shorter time, where there is no need for different photoperiods between the vegetative state and flowering, but they do require more attention.
Many people think that it is easier to cultivate, as it doesn’t need to change the photoperiod and the whole cycle happens in an “automatic” way. But not quite. A few weeks after germination, the plants start flowering, regardless of the structure or health it presents at that time. With that, the cultivator has no margin to correct eventual unforeseen events, such as excess or lack of nutrients, pests and diseases, and slow growth due to inadequate parameters.
- No need to change photoperiod
- Fast flowering time
- Lower yield
- Difficult and risky to clone
- Little time for care
Photoperiodic plants have the advantages of greater control by the grower during the plant cycle, a richer THC and CBD profile, better terpenes and higher production. There is also the advantage of producing clones from a selection of mother plants.
Autoflowering plants, on the other hand, have a faster cultivation, more than one harvest can be made during the year and the possibility of cultivation with the light always on.
|Type||Male||Female||Possible to clone|
Sativas, indicas, or hybrids?
Firstly, you need to decide whether you want to use it medicinally or recreationally. Certain cannabinoids are more present in certain genetics.
The differences between indica and sativa plants are quite significant, such as the shape, height and even the effects. Their morphological differences are much greater than those attributed to them in dispensaries and in popular culture, however.
Indica-predominant plants originally obtained from landraces in drier, more arid regions such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have a shorter and more shrubby stature, a greater number of branches and a shorter space between nodes. This makes it a more compact and ideal herb to be grown indoors. They have a shorter flowering time, are easy to grow and especially under artificial light.
Indicas are more resistant to cold, require less water and do not handle high humidity well.
Sativa plants originally obtained from landraces in tropical and higher altitudes have a greater height, a “pine tree” structure, and the space between their nodes is greater.
Flowering times are longer and are usually a little more difficult to grow. They don’t like the cold, are more heat resistant and better suited for outdoor use.
Nowadays seeds that are predominantly sativa or predominantly indica are landraces which are still available from select breeders and keepers of cannabis history. Hybrids are more common and have some characteristics of each variety.
How to check if my seed is ok?
The best seeds have a rounded shape, are big and fat. The closer your seed is to these characteristics, the greater the chances it will germinate. (Shutterstock)
There are a few ways to find out if your cannabis seed is ready to be germinated or not.
You can start by using your senses of sight, touch, and smell to determine if cannabis seeds are good or bad.
To test using vision, you can resort to using a magnifying glass. The best seeds have a rounded shape, are big and fat. The closer your seed is to these characteristics, the greater the chances it will germinate.
Bigger, harder seeds are best. The surface should have a slight sheen.
They are dark in color (usually brown, black, or gray). The darker the color, the more likely they are to grow and produce a better plant. The dark bark means they came from a better-quality plant.
If they are pale, white, or light green, they were picked too early and are probably immature. This means they are not good and are unlikely to germinate. If they are light-colored and dusty, they are probably old and slower to germinate.
Another tip is to check if the seed has light streaks. Good seeds are usually darker and some look like they have tiger stripes and are also referred to as tiger backs.
You can’t always judge a seed by its color alone. It is necessary to know what is inside the seed. If you break a seed and it is oily and moldy, it is spoiled. If it’s black inside, it means it’s fermented and won’t germinate.
Other tests that can be done to verify that a seed is in good condition is the touch test. Just lightly squeeze a seed. If crushed easily, it probably won’t grow well. There should be no small cracks or holes. If they have these characteristics, they probably won’t germinate. They must not be wrinkled or cracked. If they aren’t cracked, you know they’re intact. If it resists the susceptibility test, the seed has a good chance of germinating.
The other test consists of placing the seeds in a container of warm distilled water for two hours. If they sink, they’re good. If they float, they are premature and probably will not grow and therefore are unusable. Healthy seeds are heavy enough to sink or sink once a little water is absorbed.
How to germinate my seeds?
To germinate seeds, four simple elements are needed: humidity, warm temperature, oxygen, and darkness.
Most seeds germinate between 24 and 72 hours, but some may take longer.
There are several methods to germinate a seed. The first and best known is germination on paper (it can be on napkins, cotton, or paper towels). In a pot, place a sheet of kitchen paper, separate the seeds so that there is a few inches between them and add another layer of paper on top. Both sheets should be damp but not soaked. If the paper loses moisture, add a little more water. Once the white root reaches 2-3 mm, carefully transfer the seeds to the pot. Do not close the pot, as oxygen is essential for successful germination. (You may also consider soaking the seeds for a few hours before placing them in the paper towels.)
Another method to germinate the seeds is with a glass of water, but it is not as effective as using paper. Place your seeds in a glass of water, preferably at a temperature of 22ºC. After 3-5 days, the seeds will start to open, and the small white radicle will appear. Then, just transfer to the soil already prepared to receive it. This is a simple method and suitable for first-time growers.
The grower can also place their seeds directly in the soil, in which case transplanting is not necessary. It is a safer option due to the fragility of the small root that appears when we germinate in a glass of water or on paper. Put the soil in the pot where your plant will be. Poke a hole to a depth between 10-15mm. Introduce the seed and gently cover it with more soil, but it is not necessary to compress it on top of the seed. Put some water on top to make the soil moist. After 4-10 days the grower will watch the plant sprout as the roots go under the ground.
Remember to always wash your hands and have all materials clean to prevent mold.
How to store my seeds?
Cannabis seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place. They can be stored in drawers and cabinets if there is no great temperature variation in these places. They can also be preserved in the refrigerator or even in the freezer.
Rapid temperature variations are the main problem when storing seeds and can harm genetic integrity.
If storing for just a few days or months, the grower can use a Ziploc-type bag, a glass jar, or an airtight container. If you want to keep the seeds preserved for a longer time, the most recommended method is in a closed vacuum package.
If you are going to keep your seeds in the refrigerator, choose a place further away from the door. That way, they suffer less from changes in temperature when opening the refrigerator.
Remember that by freezing your seeds every time they are thawed and refrozen, they become less viable.
By storing your cannabis seeds correctly and properly, they can last up to 10 years.
Special thanks to Sunshine Coast Genetics for helping fact-check this article.
How To Buy Weed Seeds
If you’re an avid smoker, you’ve probably considered growing your own cannabis at one point. Not only is growing weed rewarding, but it can save you money too. There are thousands of different types of marijuana seeds to choose from. And if you’re a beginner grower, choosing seeds can be a mammoth task. But don’t worry, here at Root’d 510, we’ll tell you exactly how to buy marijuana seeds.
What are Cannabis Seeds?
Marijuana seeds come from a pollinated female marijuana plant. The marijuana buds we love to smoke come from unpollinated female plants. Thus, you can’t have seeds and buds on the same plant. Most of us grow marijuana for buds, which means we need to buy new seeds for each grow.
What are the Benefits of Buying Your Own Marijuana Seeds?
Sometimes, you might find a seed among your buds, or maybe a friend has offered you a few to grow. But if you’re serious about growing marijuana, you need to invest in some high quality seeds. If you don’t know anything about the seed, you don’t know what you’re going to get, it could be a dud or male.
To grow quality marijuana, you must invest in quality marijuana seeds from a seed bank. A seed bank will tell you exactly what to expect from the seeds, and they also have a range of different strains to choose from.H
Is it Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds?
In the USA, marijuana and marijuana products are illegal under federal law, and seeds are cannabis products. However, in some states, such as California, marijuana is legal for adult users. In other states, such as Arkansas, marijuana is only legal for medical reasons, and you need a permit to buy medical marijuana.
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you can buy seeds within the state legally, but seeds shouldn’t cross state borders. Customs can potentially seize seeds shipped in from elsewhere. However, few cases result in prosecution.
For decades, marijuana laws in Europe have been more relaxed than in the USA. Hence, most of the best seed banks are in European countries, such as the Netherlands and Spain. European seed banks avoid tricky marijuana laws by sending seeds in discreet, stealth packaging.
How to Buy Marijuana Seeds Online
When you’re buying marijuana seeds online, if you want the best cannabis seeds, always choose a well established, reputable seed bank. Do a Google search of the company first, and check customer reviews to ensure the online seed bank is genuine. We’ve taken the liberty of doing a little research ourselves to bring you a list of 5 of the most reputable online marijuana seed banks.
#1 – Marijuana Seeds NL (MSNL)
Based in Amsterdam over in the Netherlands, Marijuana Seeds NL is one of the top-rated cannabis seed banks for quality and customer service. They’ve been selling seeds since 1999, and they have an extensive range of autoflowering, feminized, and standard seeds, as well as mixed value packs for beginners. Before shipping, the experienced staff at MSNL hand check each seed.
- 15 percent discount with Bitcoin
- Helpful quiz to help you find the best strain
- One of the most trusted brands in the industry
- Over 100 strains of recreational and medical marijuana
- No free shipping unless you buy in bulk
- Delivery to the USA is expensive and slow
#2 – I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM)
I Love Growing Marijuana By Robert Bergman is one of the USA’s most trusted seed banks. Robert Bergman is a homegrown marijuana expert with over 25 years of industry experience. ILGM seeds are economical, high quality, and have a high germination guarantee. Furthermore, they have a supportive online community of marijuana lovers and fantastic customer service which is useful for first time growers.
- Huge catalogue of cannabis strains
- Best in the USA for trust, quality, and customer support
- Fast, free, and reliable shipping within the USA
- $25 charge for tracked delivery
- Some reports of spamming you if you sign up to their mailing list
#3 – Seedsman
Seedsman has been selling third party seeds since 2003, and they have a massive catalogue of over 1,500 popular strains that come from over 65 seed banks. They have a reputation for selling healthy, high-quality seeds, and are a trusted brand in the marijuana industry. Seedsman offers discreet packaging and global shipping, in addition to free seeds with most orders. Furthermore, they donate some of their profits to global cannabis legalization campaigns.
- Superior quality seeds with specialist strains
- They sell individual seeds
- Lots of promo offers
- Average customer support
- No free shipping
#4 – Quebec Cannabis Seeds
Over in Vancouver, Canada, Quebec Cannabis Seeds sell some potent, unique strains. Hence, they’re a fantastic choice for experienced growers. Established in 2003, this is a much-loved seed bank with many happy customer reviews. They ship worldwide, but shipping to North America can take two weeks. Quebec Cannabis Seeds are partners with Canada growing supplies, and you get a 20 percent discount if you pay with bitcoin instead of credit card.
- Rare Seeds
- You can request strains
- World wide shipping
- Rare seeds sell out fast
- No free shipping
#5 – Crop King Seeds
Crop King Seeds started selling seeds in 2005, and since then, they’ve grown to over 200 stores in Canada, and they’re a trusted cannabis dispensary supplier. Crop King Seeds ship worldwide and offer discreet stealth shipping at no extra cost. Furthermore, they have lots of online growing advice, so they’re a good choice for first time breeders. Crop King Seeds accepts Bitcoin payments on top of credit cards, and they even have telephone support.
- High germination rate
- Sample packs
- Quick shipping – 7 days to North America
- Customer support can be slow and unresponsive
How to Buy Quality Cannabis Seeds at a Dispensary
If marijuana is legal in your state and you’re over 21 years old, you may be able to buy seeds from your local dispensary. At a dispensary, you can talk to someone directly for advice about buying the best marijuana seeds. However, usually, a dispensary won’t have as many strains to choose from like a seed bank.
A dispensary will usually focus on medical marijuana, oils, and edibles, but some will cater to growers. Call the dispensary before you visit or check their website to see if they have a good range of seeds on offer. Some dispensaries sell marijuana grow equipment too.
What are the Different Seed Strains When you Buy Cannabis Seeds Online
There are hundreds of different types of marijuana seeds, which stem from a few strains. Choose a strain depending on the type of weed you like to smoke. If you don’t know which one you like, look at our quick guide below.
CBD, also known as Hemp, contains less than 0.003% TCH, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gets you high. Plants with high CBD content affect your body more than your mind. Hence, CBD weed is a natural remedy for many health conditions.
Sativa marijuana plants are from tropical areas, so prefer warmer climates and can be tricky to grow. Sativa plants grow tall and have slim, narrow leaves. Sativa weed gives you a heady, uplifting high, and it’s the choice smoke among creatives.
Indica marijuana plants have a shorter flowering cycle than Sativa plants, and they grow better in cooler climates. They’re short and bushy with broad leaves, and they’re more resilient than Sativa plants. Indica weed has high THC levels, so it has a sedating effect on your mind and body, which means it helps you relax.
Hybrid seeds are a mixture of both Indica and Sativa marijuana strains. Some hybrids are Sativa dominant, and these are known as Haze. Indica dominant strains are known as Kush and come from plants typically found in the mountainous regions of India and Pakistan.
Indoor vs Outdoor – What’s the difference?
Before you buy a type of seed, you need to decide if you will grow inside, under lights, or outside in nature. Each method has its benefits, and you should choose one depending on your circumstances.
Growing Weed Indoors
When you grow indoors, you have complete environmental control over your plants. However, you have to invest in specialist lighting equipment, prepare a grow room and learn about light cycles. Growing weed indoors is a good option if you don’t have outside space or if you want to grow weed out of season.
Growing Weed Indoors – The Pros
- You can do it in a small space
- Indoor weed is generally more potent
- You can grow a larger variety of strains indoors
Growing Weed Indoors – The Cons
- Expensive to set up
- Needs a constant power supply
- Plants are at risk if you interrupt their light cycle
Growing Weed Outdoors
If you live in a rural area with a good climate, growing weed outside might be your best option. Outdoor weed will benefit from the sun’s natural rays and light cycles, which are reflected in its taste. As well as this, you don’t have to invest in specialist equipment to grow weed outdoors.
Growing Weed Outdoors – The Pros
- Easier to set up and less start-up investment
- High yield
Growing Outdoors – The Cons
- Has to be away from public view
- Weed is not as potent
- You can only grow between March and November
- Plants are more vulnerable to pests, illnesses, and natural disasters
Different Seed Options: Autoflowering Seeds vs Feminized seeds
When you’re online seed shopping, often you’ll see autoflowering cannabis seeds and feminized seeds as well as regular seeds for sale. But what exactly are autoflowering and feminized seeds?
If you grow a male plant among your females, it will fertilize the females with pollen. Consequently, instead of producing big, green buds, your plant will go to seed. Thus, most growers opt for feminized seeds. These are modified so that they will only produce female plants.
With feminized seeds, you don’t risk pollinating your female plants with a male. Furthermore, you need less feminized seeds because you won’t have to account for some of them being male.
The life cycle of cannabis plants depends on light cycles. When they get less than 12 hours of light, this is their cue to flower. Autoflowering seeds, on the other hand, don’t need this cue and will flower regardless of how much light they get. Additionally, auto-flowering plants are ready to harvest in as little as 6 to 8 weeks.
Autoflowering plants are smaller than standard plants and generally have a lower yield. Many growers find them appealing because they take up less space, and you can have a crop in a short amount of time.
Growing your own weed has never been easier. But if you want to grow some seriously good marijuana, you have to invest in some high-quality seeds from a trusted seed bank. To get the best from your growing experience, choose a seed to suit your growing conditions and a strain you like to smoke.
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