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How to find seeds in cannabis

A guide to buying cannabis seeds

The first couple months of the year is a great time to start planning your cannabis garden to get a head start on the outdoor growing season, which roughly runs from March to November, depending on where you live.

Navigating the cannabis seed market can be challenging when states have different degrees of legality. This guide will answer your questions on buying seeds so you can be on your way to growing your own cannabis.

Is it legal to buy marijuana seeds?

Marijuana seeds are considered a cannabis product just like flower, edibles, and concentrates. Their legality depends on which state you live in. People living in states with adult-use legalization can buy, produce, and sell seeds within their own state, but seeds can’t cross state lines. People living in states with medical marijuana legalization can only buy seeds if they have a medical card.

Seed banks exist outside of the US and can sell them for “souvenir purposes,” but it is illegal to bring seeds into the US and Customs will seize any cannabis seeds they find in packages or on a person.

Where can I buy cannabis seeds?

Many world-renowned seed banks are overseas in the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and other countries where cannabis laws are less restricted. Seed banks provide seeds from a variety of different breeders.

In states with adult-use legalization or a medical marijuana program, you can buy seeds within your own state, either at a dispensary or through a specific seed company’s website.

Can you buy cannabis seeds online?

Before you purchase seeds online, you’ll need to figure out what strain you want to grow and what breeder you want to buy from.

Because US federal law still prohibits cannabis, it can be hard to find information on seed banks and breeders. Breeders who have a long history and positive reputation are usually a good place to start.

Check out our explainer and buying guide to cannabis seed banks for more info on buying seeds.

To get an idea of what well-established breeders look like, check out:

Europe

  • Sensi Seeds
  • DNA Genetics
  • Dinafem
  • Green House Seeds

US

  • Southern Humboldt Seed Collective
  • Exotic Genetix

You can also do some research and find an online grow journal that details the whole growing process of a specific strain from a particular breeder. Through these, you’ll be able to look over another grower’s specific notes and see pictures of the final results.

If you grow some seeds and like the results, try growing another strain from that same breeder and see how it goes.

Do dispensaries sell cannabis seeds?

Some dispensaries in medical and adult-use states sell seeds, but not all. Be sure to check or call ahead to see if they sell seeds. Buying marijuana seeds at the dispensary is far more straightforward, however, your options will be more limited than shopping online.

Dispensary staff should be able to give you information on the seeds they’re selling, but keep in mind that a lot of dispensaries focus on selling flower and end-products. It’s a good idea to call ahead and talk to staff to see if they are knowledgeable about seeds and can give you specific information on growing.

How to look for quality genetics when buying marijuana seeds

Breeders talk about “unstable genetics,” meaning that a seed’s origin is unknown. Make sure that when you buy a packet of seeds that it or the breeder who produced them can list where the seeds came from and how they were crossed and/or backcrossed to get the seed that you hold in your hand. If you can’t get a seed’s history, it could be anything and the result of poor breeding practices.

An inexperienced breeder might cross a male and a female one time and sell the resulting seeds as a new hybrid strain, but professional breeders usually put their strains through several rounds of backcrossing to stabilize the genetics and ensure consistent plants that reflect those genetics.

Which strain should I grow?

Even one weed plant can produce a lot of buds come harvest time, so make sure you grow a strain you like. Note strains you enjoy when you pick something up at the dispensary or smoke with friends, and look for seeds of it when you want to start growing.

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Some strains are easier to grow than others because they are more resistant to mold and pests, so if you’re new to growing, you may want to try an easier strain to start.

Some strains also take longer to grow than others. Depending on whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, you may want to grow a quicker marijuana strain if you live in a climate that get cold and wet early in the season. For example, indicas are known for having a shorter flowering time than sativas.

All of this information should be available to you when buying quality seeds.

What’s the difference between regular, feminized, and autoflower seeds?

Regular seeds

If you buy a packet of regular seeds, they’ll come with a mix of males and females. A lot of cultivators prefer to grow these because they haven’t been backcrossed—essentially inbred—as much as feminized or autoflower seeds. You’ll need to sex out the seeds once their reproductive organs show during the flowering phase and discard the males—because they don’t produce buds and will pollenate females, resulting in seeded flowers.

Feminized seeds

Seeds can come feminized, meaning you can just put them in soil and start growing for buds. These seeds are guaranteed to be bud-producing females and growing them cuts out the step of having to sex out plants and discard the males.

It also reduces the risk of having a stray male sneak into your crop—just one male can pollinate a huge crop, causing your females to focus their energies on producing seeds instead of buds.

Autoflower seeds

Autoflower plants change from the vegetative to flowering state with age, not the changing of their light cycle. They have a short grow-to-harvest time and can be ready to harvest in as little as 2 ½ to 3 months from when you put the seeds in the ground. The downside is that, typically, they are less potent, but autoflower seeds are great for people who want to grow cannabis but don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it.

How much do marijuana seeds cost?

Cannabis seeds usually come in a pack of 10 or 12 seeds and start at around $40 a pack and go up from there. Some high-end genetics can run between $200 to $500 a pack.

Feminized and autoflower seeds will cost more because more breeding work was put in to creating them and they take less time for the grower to get buds.

How many seeds should I buy? Are they all going to survive?

When you grow any amount of seeds, a percentage of them won’t germinate, even if you get them from a reputable breeder. Always count on a few not germinating or dying off, or roughly 1/4 of the total you put in the ground.

When growing regular seeds, some won’t germinate and some will have to be discarded because they’ll turn out to be males. With feminized seeds, some won’t germinate, but a higher percentage of them will turn into flowering plants because there won’t be any males.

If you want six total cannabis plants to harvest for buds and are growing from regular seeds, start with about 4 times as many, or 24 seeds. Some won’t germinate and some will turn out to be males, and then you’ll want to discard down to the six best phenotypes. If growing feminized seeds, you can probably start with about twice as many seeds in this case (about 12); a couple won’t germinate, and then discard down to the six best phenotypes.

Make sure to always stay within your state’s legal limit of growing plants.

How do I buy strain-specific cannabis seeds?

Strains like Blue Dream, Gelato, and Original Glue have gained in popularity in recent years. Check out these resources on how to buy these types of cannabis seeds:

Where to Get Cannabis Seeds to Start a Grow

M ore and more people are growing their own cannabis. Home cultivation is permitted in numerous places, and in some, is the only option for legally obtaining cannabis. This has resulted in a curious conundrum in many places where cannabis is legal to grow, possess and consume, but not purchase. Lacking a system of sales results in a lack of seeds and clones to buy as well. Growers are left with a classic “chicken-or-egg” problem: they need seeds to grow plants, and they need plants to make seeds. So how does an initial grow get started?

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Even if a grower does raise a successful crop, growing to harvest flower and growing for seeds are quite different, and typically work contrary to each other. A small accident in pollination could render a crop unusable. For higher quality, consistent, and dependable results, numerous growers utilize seed banks. In this article we’ll explore why growers choose seed banks, and what to look for when selecting one.

Growing Cannabis for Seeds

Traditionally, whenever there’s scarcity in the cannabis space, the community turns to the age-old ethos of, “just grow your own!” While this is often excellent advice for growing plants, it’s not quite so easy for seeds. Growing for seeds is far more specialized than regular growing, and requires more materials and skill.

For starters, you’ll need some weed plants, so if that’s the conundrum you’re trying to fix, it’s already going to be an uphill battle. Traditionally, you’ll need at least two plants, a male and a female. To induce a cannabis plant to make seeds, a male plant is grown to maturity, and then its pollen is collected and placed on a female plant early in her growing cycle. The female plant, instead of using her energy to grow flowers (and thus the coveted cannabinoids that flourish on them) will then divert that energy to make seeds.

Fertilized female plants will not produce the same THC-rich flowers used for making cannabis products.

When those seeds are ready, they can be planted, however the resulting seeds will be somewhat of a mystery. Some will be male, some will be female, and each will be a genetic hybrid of the two parent plants. To get a batch of even potentially viable seeds of unknown genetics, you will likely first have to grow two full plants that produce nothing to smoke. For many growers, that’s a non-starter.

When properly stressed, female plants can be induced to self-pollinate and make seeds on their own. This process then produces almost entirely female seeds, which is where “feminized” seeds come from. Creating the specific circumstances to induce female plants can be achieved through various methods, but most require some chemical solution (colloidal silver being the most common), and familiarity with the process, which many amateur growers simply don’t have.

Many Growers Use Seed Banks as a Solution

If you visit any dispensary in a legalized US state, you’re likely to find flower from a dozen famous genetics on the same shelf. How did a handful of landrace strains from all over the globe make it into your local pot shop? And just months after opening? The open secret for most of the industry is that the majority of those seeds very likely came from seed banks. Growers tend to favor purchasing seeds for numerous reasons, but one of the largest is variety.

A good seed bank can carry dozens and dozens of different genetics, and very good ones will have the up-and-comers on the scene as well. How else is someone going to get that new Blueberry Birthday Cake Haze Kush OG?

Using a seed bank can allow new growers to get their bearings in the cultivation world, and removes the headache of finding or growing viable seeds. While we often call it weed for its ability to propagate almost anywhere with some sun and water, growing high-quality hemp and marijuana can be a complex task in practice. Using a seed bank streamlines and simplifies a large piece of the puzzle in having a successful harvest.

What to Look for When Choosing a Seed Bank

There are a number of desirable features to look for when choosing a seed bank, from selection to service and everything in between. Especially when starting a new grow, it is often best to find a bank that meets a grower’s specific needs, and keeps things as easy as possible, thus giving time to what really matters: preparing for the plants. Weedseedsexpress has all of the features below, so we’ll use them as a good case study in what to look for:

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Genetics

A good seed bank will have a wide variety of genetics to choose from. As most cannabis consumers know, strain traits can be very specific, so you’ll want to find the exact thing you’re looking for. Using a bank can grant access to some of the newer exciting strains emerging from breeders, and will sometimes carry their own new creations as well (for example, check out the marijuana seeds at Weedseedsexpress).

Similarly, something we found particularly attractive at Weedseedsexpress is a wide variety of high-quality CBD strains. CBD consumers have settled for bland, generic flower for far too long. Two years past the 2018 Farm Bill, it’s nice to see this nascent side of the industry getting some more attention as cannabis growers move beyond the pure THC-focus into hemp territory.

Quality and Customer Support

You might be surprised to learn that a lot of people who operate seed banks aren’t necessarily growers. It’s preferable to find a business that knows growing from doing it, from harvesting and propagating seeds themselves, and the kind of customer care that should go along with it. Good customer support matters.

Seed Type Variety

As mentioned above there are many different types of seeds with various qualities beyond what kind of flower they will grow: Auto-flowering, feminized seeds, or just the classics. Each grow can differ, and a good seed bank will have the selection to accommodate any needs.

Delivery Guaranteed

Seeds are an investment in time, care, and money and no one wants to see their investment disappear before the process even begins. It’s a good idea to check out a seed bank’s delivery policies before purchasing, so be sure to check if they either ensure delivery or offer a refund if needed.

Legality

The practice of buying from seed banks is very common, and numerous legal grows likely starting this way, but prospective purchasers should always do their homework first.

It should always be noted that purchasing cannabis seeds can sometimes fall under a hazy tangle of legality, and will vary depending on where one is purchasing.

As of the signing of the 2018 US Farm bill, hemp seeds are allowed throughout the US, and numerous places sell CBD-specific strains (as mentioned, Weedseedsexpress has an excellent selection of them), but the rules regarding the purchase of other cannabis seeds vary depending on location. Remember, before shopping for seeds it is always best to check your local laws and regulations.

What are your thoughts on seed banks? Have you ever ordered seeds from one? Take it to the comments section, and let us know!

Author

Matthew Mongelia is the Content Manager for PotGuide.com. He holds an MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BFA in Creative Writing from CUNY Brooklyn College. He has worked in the industry in numerous roles for over 5 years while covering cannabis content from coast to coast. Like so many in the industry, he first became acquainted with cannabis as a medical patient, and has been a passionate advocate for the plant ever since. He is a writer for the comic Dark Beach, and has previously covered music and cultural content for SOL REPUBLIC.

Where Are Marijuana Seeds On The Plant?

Where are Marijuana seeds on the plant. In the flower of course

If you are wondering where are Marijuana seeds on the plant, you are not alone. After a female plant gets pollinated by a male plant, you will be able to find marijuana seeds in the flowers after a few weeks. Ideally, you should let the flowers mature completely so that you are able to find marijuana seeds that were on the plant but fell off the flower. These Marijuana seeds are completely mature and can be used, although you won’t be able to know if they are male or female until the plants have been grown out.

Normally when a marijuana plant gets seeds, the potency of the flower will be reduced by up to 30%.

You could also find our FAQ Submission How Many Marijuana Seeds To Grow A Plant? useful