Posted on

The best seed genetics to start cannabis grow

Which Cannabis Strain Breeders Can I Trust?

Don’t you want the best-of-the-best cannabis genetics for your next grow? You can help ensure you get a great strain by starting with a great breeder. This article shares some of the most popular and reputable cannabis breeders, including information and recommended strains for each one. I’ve divided this tutorial into two parts. First I’ll give a list of recommended breeders and strains, then the second half will discuss the current state of genetics in the cannabis world.

Recommended Breeders of American Genetics

    – This is my favorite source of American genetics so far. They offer modern genetics, but unlike the two examples below, they actually stabilize each strain in seed form so you can get the consistency of growing the same strain every time. I want to be able to come back and order the same strain if I like it, and Seed Supreme is (so far) one of the first breeders of American genetics I’ve found that offers that option. – Mostly offers “crosses”, which means they breed two good plants together and sell the seeds without much (if any) stabilization or back-crossing. Even though they don’t offer stabilized strains and their yields/results are variable, I included them on the list for people who don’t care as much about consistency and want to hunt for new phenotypes using modern genetics with lots of variation. – I like the strains I’ve grown from this breeder, but the seeds are EXPENSIVE. My friend who gave me some of these seeds paid $200 for 10 feminized seeds. I wouldn’t recommend them unless you plan on taking clones and doing a breeding program as the strains are not stabilized (same as Ethos) but if you’re looking for lots of new phenotypes to explore with cutting-edge genetics, this is another great choice. They release their strains in “drops” and it can be difficult to get your hands on their seeds. I recommend following them on their Instagram account to learn when and where to buy seeds for the next drop.

The Seed Supreme version of Platinum Cookies is something special! But with THC levels that hit 28%, just make sure you don’t have anything else planned for the day.

Recommended European Cannabis Breeders

These breeders have good reputations and stabilized genetics, which means their strain descriptions can be trusted. Although some of them do source some genetics from the USA, they primarily breed with genetics that have made it to Europe. Some of these genetics are difficult to find in the US, but often offer unique or interesting effects compared to the trendy American strains. European strains tend to be lower in THC (under 20%, though not always), which is great if you want more classic effects, but not the best choice if you want to feel overwhelmed by the bud effects. If you’re looking for “Face melter” strains, then I recommend sticking to the section of American breeders.

    – Barney’s Farm has been selling seeds out of Amsterdam since 1992, and they regularly develop new genetics and refine their lineup. In my experience, strains can be hit or miss, but I included Barney’s Farm on the list because they offer some real winners. When I’ve grown these strains, I’ve been consistently impressed: Acapulco Gold, Ayahuasca Purple, Cookies Kush, Liberty Haze (one of my favorite strains for daytime), LSD, Pineapple Chunk (best Pineapple strain I’ve grown) & Sweet Tooth. – Specializes in stabilizing strains to capture classic strains, clone-only strains, and other hard-to-find genetics in seed form – Sparkly strong buds (they also breed seeds under the name Reserva Privada) – Great all-around selection with something for everyone – potent, consistent results – delightful great-smelling buds

Pineapple Chunk is a quintessential European strain that continues to impress me I grew it in 2012, then 2015, and recently again in 2020. Every time the buds came out even better than the previous time. I personally think this may be Barney Farm’s best strain, and that explains why they keep refining it. This one was grown under an ES300 LED grow light in 2020 and smelled like a mix of citrus with a hint of strawberry. Buds came out dense and sparkly.

Recommended Autoflowering Breeders

Auto-flowering strains cannot be cloned and therefore have somewhat different breeding protocols vs standard (photoperiod) strains. On top of that, old auto-flowering genetics produce weak plants with low potency buds. Therefore it’s extremely important to use a breeder that’s got a high-quality (and current) auto-flowering breeding program. Many breeders produce great auto-flowering strains (Barney’s Farm, etc.), but the following breeders stand out for consistency and potency. Click the name of the breeder to see a list of their currently available auto-flowering strains.

    – sparkly and potent buds – feel-good potency, great choice for growers who struggle with anxiety – Excellent yields, classic effects – Fast and potent – Consistent (auto-flowering only) – unfortunately, they can’t seem to scale up their operations and strains sell out constantly (keep checking back or sign up for the newsletter on the bottom of the Mephisto website to get updates when they release batches of seeds) – Buds always come out beautiful (they look just like the pictures) and smell great. – fast germination, auto-flowering plants grow fast and vigorous – Spanish genetics with beautiful and colorful strains like Cream Caramel Auto – Dense high-quality buds that look and smell like photoperiod strains

Cinderella Jack Auto by Dutch Passion makes extra-potent, rock-hard buds with above-average yields. This little plant produced several ounces by itself.

Recommended Cannabis Strains

Now that I’ve given some examples of recommended breeders, I wanted to share some examples of particular strains that my friends and I have grown over the years and recommend. These are all great for beginners unless otherwise noted, and produce excellent buds.

These strain recommendations are based on…

Potency – THC & CBD content, plus does it have the described effects?

Bag Appeal – Bud structure, color, density, smell

Consistency – Do strains grow the way the breeder says they will? Do plant characteristics vary a lot from plant to plant of the same strain?

Ease of growing – General hardiness of strains

Reputation – Has this breeder earned an excellent reputation over the years?

Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies is a famous clone-only strain from California that has spawned countless copycats and been incorporated into other famous strains like Platinum Cookies. BlimBurn Seeds has captured the magic in their version so growers can see what Girl Scout Cookies is like without having to find a clone.

The BlimBurn version of Girl Scout Cookies produces excellent buds. They don’t always turn purple, but cooler night temperatures towards the last 2 weeks of flowering can help bring out purpling.

Liberty Haze

I am a huge fan of Liberty Haze. The bud effects remind me of the unique psychedelic “day” (uplifting) effects of now-rare outdoor Sativa strains. You never see them anymore because they get huge and need long hot summers in order to produce properly. Liberty Haze gives you access to those bud effects yet is suitable to grow indoors. It still tends to grow tall and stretchy, but as long as you top the plants when they’re small (cut off the tops, which forces the buds to makes many buds instead of one), you can wrangle them indoors.

The left plant here is the 2nd time I grew Liberty Haze. As you can see it got a bit tall, which I’ve come to expect, but it was otherwise easy to grow and produced excellent yields. The Critical Kush on the right was also a good plant, but the Liberty Haze buds won when it came to effects.

Example of a Liberty Haze plant sent in by a reader

Tangerine Dream

For the fruity lovers, Tangerine Dream smells great and produces beautiful buds.

Amnesia

This strain lives up to its name. Amnesia buds are known for making you forget what you were just saying. Not necessarily the best choice for social situations (unless you all just want to chill) but perfect for relaxation at the end of a long day.

Example of an Amnesia plant I grew in a hydroponic setup

Closeup of Amnesia buds. Dense and chunky!

Moby Dick

Moby Dick is a whale of a strain. The bud effects let you swim through life with THC levels that can hit 27%. However, it also has a good amount of CBD (1%), which means it’s much less likely to cause brains to dive down into a state of panic or anxiety (especially compared to high-THC strains that lack the calming gentle waves of CBD). Smoke a bud and sail through your mental stress into a state of relaxation.

Okay, that’s enough whale jokes, but seriously this is an excellent strain that’s easy to grow and produces high-quality buds. The one downside is it tends to get a bit tall, but as long as you bend over and tie down any branches that are getting taller than the rest, it grows well indoors and rewards you with above-average yields.

Closeup of a Moby Dick bud

Critical Mass CBD Autoflower

Speaking of CBD, some growers would like to maximize the amount of CBD but aren’t looking for a strain with a lot of mind-altering THC. Critical CBD Auto is a great choice and comes in auto-flowering form, which means that it will automatically grow buds and be ready to harvest about 10 weeks from germination. A nice easy strain for someone who’s just getting started.

Example of bud from a Critical CBD Auto

I’ll be adding more details about the recommended strains below soon

Frisian Dew is a great choice for outdoor growing

Closeup of Frisian Dew bud

Example of a Durban Poison plant that was grown under fluorescent lights. Excellent yield for such low light levels!

A bunch of Master Kush plants

Example of a Northern Lights bud

Example of a small-but-beefy Aurora Indica plant

Example of Bubba Kush plant grown outdoors

Recommended Auto-Flowering Strains

Auto-flowering plants will make buds and be ready to harvest in 2-3 months from germination (check out the details on the page to see the exact estimate for each strain). Click here to learn more about auto-flowering strains.

Here’s the whole Auto Blue Dream plant

An assortment of different autoflowering plants from the breeders listed above

Importance of Strain Names

While we’re talking about breeders and strains, I want to talk about an important topic that affects all of us…

Just 50 years ago, cannabis was considered one of the most immoral and destructive drugs in the world, putting it at the top of illegal drug lists in many countries. Many people still live with this attitude.

But in some ways, things have changed.

These days, people are generally more accepting of cannabis, and laws about marijuana are slowly being changed for the better in many places around the world, especially the US.

Because of better attitudes about cannabis around the world, we get…

Fewer people are getting their lives ruined or going to prison because of a simple plant that’s more harmless than Tylenol

But good things don’t come easily. We still have a long way to go, and the cannabis legalization movement highly scrutinized. The image we create now is going to set the tone for the rest of the world.

We are the face of the cannabis community. When people think about legalizing cannabis, they’re looking at our actions. As growers, every one of us has a responsibility to represent the growing community in a positive light.

Politicians around the world are trying to decide whether removing penalties for cannabis will have a positive effect. We are at a critical turning point, and it could go either way.

We’ve come to an important fork in the road

I believe that making cannabis legal and available to adults and medical patients is incredibly important. Whether someone uses cannabis for a medical condition or just because it helps them relax, I believe that everyone should have fair and equal access to this miraculous plant.

Yet with change comes responsibility. I believe that, as growers, we have a responsibility to present a good image to the public about growing cannabis. We must earn a better reputation to prove to the world that cannabis is not only a safe source of medicine but also that cannabis is less dangerous than cigarettes or alcohol. I believe adults and medical patients deserve the freedom to use this plant responsibly.

The world is watching us, and the way we act now is going to decide whether cannabis ever gets fully legalized. That’s why I’m ashamed of some of the most popular strain names…

I am ashamed the cannabis growing community has popular strain names like…

I know a lot of these strains have great genetics; in fact, some of them are award-winners!

But do these strain names bring to mind the image of peace-loving and laid-back growers and consumers which make up the majority of the cannabis community?

I believe we must improve our public image. I have chosen to no longer grow strains that carry an offensive name. Growers, I encourage you to do the same. Strain breeders, I’m begging you! Please be mindful of the cannabis movement when naming new strains.

Don’t Let This Happen To You!

I just received this slightly alarming email, and I had to share. Don’t let this happen to you!

This is supposed to be Auto Bubble. 4 weeks in from seed. What is the deal? What is this plant?

This is NOT a marijuana plant! Unfortunately, this person got ripped off

Seeing a case like this is a huge reminder of why it’s so important to buy your seeds from a trusted seed source!

View GrowWeedEasy.com’s list of trusted seed vendors here: https://www.growweedeasy.com/seeds

Our list only contains seed banks who have proven themselves over the years with high-quality seeds from trusted breeders, discrete shipping, and reliable delivery.

Cannabis seeds 101: How to grow marijuana from seed

Cannabis is grown from one of two sources: a seed or a clone. Seeds carry genetic information from two parent plants and can express many different combinations of traits: some from the mother, some from the father, and some traits from both.

In commercial cannabis production, generally, growers will plant many seeds of one strain and choose the best plant. They will then take clones from that individual plant, which allows for consistent genetics for mass production.

If cannabis is legal in your state, you can buy seeds or clones from a local dispensary, or online through various seed banks.

Cannabis seeds vs. clones

For the typical homegrower, it may be easier to obtain cannabis seeds rather than clones. Growing from seed can produce a stronger plant with more solid genetics.

Plants grown from seed can be more hearty as young plants when compared to clones, mainly because seeds have a strong taproot. You can plant seeds directly into an outdoor garden in early spring, even in cool, wet climates.

If growing outside, some growers prefer to germinate seeds inside because they are delicate in the beginning stages of growth. Indoors, you can give weed seedlings supplemental light to help them along, and then transplant them outside when big enough.

Most seeds that you will buy are regular seeds as described above, but here are a couple more types.

How weed seeds work

Cannabis can be either male or female—also called “dioecious”—but only females produce the buds we all know and love. For reproduction, males have pollen sacs and pollinate females, causing female flowers to produce seeds.

Once cannabis seeds are mature, the female plant begins to die, and seeds are either dropped to the ground where they grow into new cannabis plants next spring, or the seeds are harvested for processing into seed oil or food products, or stored so they can be sown in the ground later and become the next generation of plants.

To get the buds found in medical and recreational stores, female cannabis plants are grown in an environment without males—or the males are removed from the area before they release pollen—so the females don’t create seeds. Females can then focus their energies on producing buds and not seeds—this high-potency marijuana is traditionally known as “sinsemilla,” meaning “seedless.”

Some varieties of cannabis can produce male parts alongside female flowers on the same plant, especially if exposed to environmental stressors. These plants are known as hermaphrodites, and sometimes they can self-pollinate to create seeds.

Pros and cons of using cannabis seeds

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

If buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank, growing from seed is the best way to ensure your plants will have solid genetics and start clean, meaning they won’t come with diseases or pests.

Also, buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank will give you a sense of what a particular strain will look and smell like, how it will grow, and how much it will yield at harvest.

The main drawback to growing from seed is there is no guarantee as to what you’ll end up with—if you buy a regular pack of cannabis seeds, it will be a mix of males and females. You’ll need to sex them out (more below) to identify the males and get rid of them, because you don’t want your females producing seeds.

Sexing marijuana plants can be a time-consuming process, and if you don’t catch males, there is a risk that even one males can pollinate your entire crop, causing all of your female weed plants to produce seeds.

One way to avoid sexing plants is to buy feminized seeds (more below), which ensures every seed you plant will be a bud-producing female.

You can also minimize headaches and avoid the hassle of seed germination and sexing plants by starting with clones.

How weed clones work

Aside from producing cannabis through seeds, or sexual reproduction, you can also reproduce the plant through cloning, or asexual reproduction. A clone is a cutting that is genetically identical to the plant it was taken from—that plant is known as the “mother.”

Pros and cons of using cannabis clones

Through cloning, you can create a new harvest with exact replicas of your favorite plant. Because genetics are identical, a clone will give you a plant with the same characteristics as the mother, such as flavor, cannabinoid profile, yield, grow time, etc. So if you come across a specific strain or phenotype you really like, you might want to clone it to reproduce more buds that have the same effects and characteristics.

With cloning, you don’t have to get new seeds every time you want to grow another plant—you just take a cutting of the old plant—and you don’t have to germinate seeds or sex them out and get rid of the males.

One drawback of clones is they need to be taken during the vegetative stage of a plant—flower is too late—so if you have a small setup with only one light, it can be hard to keep clones alive while flowering other plants, because the two need different amounts of light.

Another drawback to clones is they can take on negative traits from the mother plant as well. If the mother has a disease, attracts pests, or grows weak branches, its clones will probably have the same issues.

Additionally, every long-time grower will tell you that clones degrade over time.

What are feminized cannabis seeds?

Feminized cannabis seeds will produce only female plants for getting buds, so there is no need to remove males or worry about female plants getting pollinated. Feminized seeds are produced by causing the monoecious condition in a female cannabis plant—the resulting seeds are nearly identical to the self-pollinated female parent, as only one set of genes is present.

This is sometimes referred to as “cloning by seed” and will not produce any male plants. This is achieved through several methods:

  • By spraying the plant with a solution of colloidal silver, a liquid containing tiny particles of silver
  • Through a method known as rodelization, in which a female plant pushed past maturity can pollinate another female
  • Spraying seeds with gibberellic acid, a hormone that triggers germination (this is much less common)

Most experienced or commercial growers will not use feminized seeds because they only contain one set of genes, and these should never be used for breeding purposes. However, a lot of beginning growers start with feminized seeds because they eliminate the worry of having to deal with male plants.

Top feminized cannabis strain families

A lot of classic weed strains that have been around for a while come in feminized form. Some popular fem seeds are:

  • OG Kush
  • Haze
  • Afghan
  • GSC (Cookies)
  • Skunk
  • Cheese
  • Gelato

What are autoflowering cannabis seeds?

Autoflowering seeds are also popular with beginning growers. They are easy to grow because you don’t have to worry about light cycles and how much light a plant receives.

Most cannabis plants begin flowering when the amount of light they receive on a daily basis reduces. Outdoors, this happens when the sun starts setting earlier in the day as the season turns from summer to autumn. Indoor growers can control when a plant flowers by reducing the daily amount of light plants receive from 18 hours to 12 hours.

However, a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis, which developed in extreme northern conditions without much sunlight, will begin flowering once the plant reaches a certain age—they automatically start flowering regardless of the amount of light they receive, hence the name “autoflower.”

Pros and cons of growing autoflower

Because they grow and flower quicker, growers can fit in multiple autoflower cannabis harvests into the span of one regular harvest.

Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.

Also, autoflower plants are small—perfect for closet grows or any small grow, or growing outdoors where you don’t want your neighbors to see what you’re up to.

A couple big drawbacks, though: Autoflower strains are known for being less potent. Also, because they are small in stature, they usually don’t produce big yields.

However, potency in autoflowering varieties has increased significantly since their initial introduction, with some breeders crossbreeding the low-THC ruderalis with other more potent varieties.

Tips for growing autoflower marijuana seeds

Autoflowering strains require some preparation, as they will grow quickly and start to flower whether or not you’re ready for them.

Climate considerations

Many marijuana growers start autoflowers early in the season, and at a different time than a regular crop, so keep the season and climate in mind when growing and harvesting—your plants still need warmth to grow, and rain can give them bud rot. Consider growing in a greenhouse to protect them.

Training plants

Because training happens during vegetative growth, for autoflowering plants, this period could be as short as a few weeks, which means time is limited. Try topping your autoflowers after they have three nodes, and stop once they begin to flower. You will want to prune them lightly.

Go easy on nutrients

Autoflowers don’t need lots of nutrients because they’re small and don’t spend much time in the vegetative cycle. They won’t need as much veg nutrients—such as nitrogen—but will need more bloom nutrients.

What are high-CBD cannabis seeds?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the chemical components—known collectively as cannabinoids—found in the cannabis plant. Over the years, humans have selected plants for high-THC content, making cannabis with high levels of CBD rare. The genetic pathways through which THC is synthesized by the plant are different than those for CBD production.

Cannabis used for hemp production has been selected for other traits, including a low THC content, so as to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. Consequently, many varieties of hemp produce significant quantities of CBD.

As interest in CBD as a medicine has grown, many breeders have crossed high-CBD hemp with cannabis. These strains have little or no THC, 1:1 ratios of THC and CBD, or some have a high-THC content along with significant amounts of CBD (3% or more).

Seeds for these varieties are now widely available online and through dispensaries. It should be noted, however, that any plant grown from these seeds is not guaranteed to produce high levels of CBD, as it takes many years to create a seed line that produces consistent results. A grower looking to produce cannabis with a certain THC to CBD ratio will need to grow from a tested and proven clone or seed.

How to germinate marijuana seeds

Germination is the process in which a seed sprouts and begins to grow into a new plant. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your weed grow.

Marijuana seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.

Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. There are many methods to germinate seeds, but for the most common and simplest method, you will need:

  • Two clean plates
  • Four paper towels
  • Seeds
  • Distilled water

Step 1

Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The towels should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.

Step 2

Take two of the paper towels and place them on a plate. Then, place the marijuana seeds at least an inch apart from each other and cover them with the remaining two water-soaked paper towels.

Step 3

To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds, like a dome.

Step 4

Make sure the area the seeds are in is warm, somewhere between 70-85°F.

After completing these steps, it’s time to wait. Check the paper towels once a day to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they are losing moisture, apply more water to keep the seeds happy.

Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take a while, but generally, seeds should germinate in 3-10 days. If it’s been two weeks and a seed hasn’t sprouted, it’s probably a dud and won’t sprout.

A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.

It’s important to keep the delicate seed sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as it begins to split.

Transplanting germinated cannabis seeds

Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.

  • Fill a 4-inch or one-gallon pot with loose, airy potting soil
  • Water the soil before you put the seed in; it should be wet but not drenched
  • Poke a hole in the soil with a pen or pencil—the rule of thumb is: make the hole twice as deep as the seed is wide
  • Using a pair of tweezers, gently place the seed in the hole with the taproot facing down
  • Lightly cover it with soil

Keep a close eye on the temperature and moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy. It’s very delicate at this stage. Use a spray bottle to water it—over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.

Within a week or so you should see a seedling begin to grow from the soil.

Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.

This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones or for breeding if you want to create a seed bank of your own.

How to sex a pot plant

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.

Because only female cannabis plants produce buds and you want them to focus all their energy on producing buds and not seeds, it’s important to identify and get rid of male weed plants so they don’t pollinate females. If females are pollinated, it will give you buds filled with seeds, making your weed harsh and unpleasant.

Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.

As mentioned above, you can skip the processing of sexing weed plants by growing with feminized seeds or clones.

If growing male and female cannabis seeds, they’ll start to show their sex organs, or “pre-flowers,” after 8-10 weeks from germination.

Cannabis plant sex organs appear on nodes, the points where branches grow off from the main stalk.

Males will have round balls—these will develop into pollen sacs, which will release pollen into the air when mature.

Females will have a round structure with long hairs—these hairs will develop into pistils, which will catch pollen in the air.

Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.

Can I grow a seed I found in a bag of weed?

Finding a cannabis seed in your stash is not ideal, but we’ve all been there before. Although much less common than it once was, it still happens. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower, or you’ll see one pop, spark, and crackle from the heat of a lit bowl.

These are referred to as “bagseeds” and whether or not you can grow one will depend on where it came from.

Is a bagseed good or bad?

Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.

Seeds can also form in plants with genetic disorders or instability, like hermaphrodites—plants that develop both male and female reproductive parts. Generally, stress and genetic disorders are viewed as bad, so temper expectations with any plant you start from a bagseed.

But sometimes you get lucky and find a mature seed in some really nice herb. Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag of kind bud.

So don’t discount bud because it has a seed or two in it. While not ideal, it could be the origins of the next great weed strain.

Ask yourself a few questions to decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.

Was the seed found in good weed?

If you don’t like the flavor, effects, or even the look of the bud, then it’s probably not worth growing.

Are you ready to grow?

Growing marijuana takes a certain level of commitment: time, energy, and financial resources, so be sure you can commit to the whole process.

Is the seed viable?

For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.

There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.

  • Tiger stripes—dark stripes on the seed which resemble veins on a leaf are generally good
  • Solid shell—a seed should be able to withstand a little pressure when pinched between your fingers; if it crumbles or cracks, it’s no good

Immature seeds tend to be light in color and have a soft outer shell.

In some cases, even if a seed isn’t completely mature, there’s still a chance it could be viable. But often these are extremely weak, take long to develop, and express other unfavorable characteristics. Growers usually discard weak plants to free up space.

You might also find a mature seed that has been physically damaged through poor handling, like rough trimming. In those cases, it probably isn’t worth the effort to try and germinate the seed.

But if the seed you found looks decent, you might as well germinate it and see what sprouts.

Time to germinate

Viable or not, there’s only one sure way to find out if a bagseed will grow. If you’re simply curious to learn and not as concerned with the overall outcome, you can plant a couple of bagseeds outside and see what happens.

If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear.

Even if your seed sprouts fast and grows vigorously, it still has roughly a 50/50 chance of being female and producing buds, instead of turning out to be a male.

Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.

How to buy cannabis seeds

Cannabis seeds can be found on numerous online seed banks, but note that it is illegal to bring seeds into the US and Customs will seize any cannabis seeds that they find in packages or on a person. In legal and medical states, you may purchase seeds at a dispensary.