One way around this is to purchase feminized marijuana seeds. In theory, all seeds in a feminized bunch will be female – unless you buy from a disreputable grower. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell whether a plant is male or female simply based on the seeds.
How to Test Cannabis Seeds
In some instances, you can crack the seed open and see inside if you can’t tell anything from the outer shell. An oily inside with a musty smell means that the seed has gone bad. Similarly, black inside the seed means that it’s fermenting. Again, it won’t germinate in this instance.
Method #2: The Touch Test
Sometimes, you can end up with ‘bad’ cannabis seeds that will cause problems later down the line. In some cases, these seeds just won’t germinate. Although this won’t ruin your entire crop, it is a waste of time and money, which can be frustrating.
If you’re looking to start growing your own marijuana, the first place to start is with the seed. What should you look for? How can you tell a good cannabis seed from a dud? Chris Bond tells us.
A quality cannabis seed will have a waxy, protective coating. Seeds that appear dull are probably not as viable and should be avoided if given a choice.
What to Look for in a Cannabis Seed
While all cannabis seed is not identical in color, there are some consistencies. Healthy, viable seed will be light to dark brown in color. Seed that is light green or even whitish in color is underdeveloped and should be tossed out. Healthy seed will also have a burled or turtle shell-like pattern on its seed coat.
This is another aspect you, the buyer may not be privy to. Quality seed is harvest when fully mature. If seed was collected before the plant was able to load as much stored energy into it as possible, then that seed will be starting out life in a deficit. Color, as referenced above can be an indicator of whether or not a seed was harvested at the appropriate time.
Weight often goes hand-in-hand with size, but heavier seeds are generally of higher quality than lighter ones. The older a seed gets, the more potential loss of moisture and nutrients, reducing its overall weight. Damaged seed, which has been cracked can potentially lose those same necessary qualities.
Size is relative, but if you are able to compare several seeds at once, the higher quality seeds are larger. When it comes to seeds, less is more. The fewer seeds that comprise any given amount, an ounce or a gram for example, is generally an indicator of higher quality seeds. The biggest seeds within a species generally have more energy stored within them and have a greater potential to mature into a productive plant. Note that indica strains tend to produce larger seeds than sativa strains so make sure the comparison is made among like seeds.
Place the healthy cannabis seeds on the wet paper towel. The seeds should be 3 cm or more apart from each other to prevent the roots from tangling.
There are a few ways to test your cannabis seeds to determine quality.
If you have no idea how old your seeds are, here’s a good way to estimate their age:
In addition, low-quality seeds may have a dull and matte appearance. Green cannabis seeds can develop when they are harvested early before they fully mature. Using these light-colored seeds can result in an unsuccessful germination.
The Floating Test
The benefits of starting with a high-quality cannabis seed include:
While healthy cannabis seeds come in all shapes and sizes, there are a few ways to tell that you are seed is not good. Seeds that do not have a tear-drop body are less likely to produce a successful yield. Seeds that are flat or deformed can either have an unsuccessful germination or produce less-than-optimal plants.
If, on the other hand, you start with seeds from your dealer or certain newer seed banks, you may be starting off with low-quality genetics. If you find and use seeds found within your flowers, this means that they grew in an environment that did not have optimal conditions. Seeds in your buds are not a good indication of high quality genetics.
Sourcing Good Cannabis Seeds
Age is a helpful indicator of the quality of the seed. However, it can be hard to tell the age of a seed if you didn’t grow it yourself. Generally, seeds that are under a year old are the best for a successful harvest. Younger seeds have a faster germination rate and are less likely to go bad if stored for a short period of time.
It can be hard to determine if a cannabis seed is good or bad depending on its size and shape alone. High quality cannabis seeds can be small or large. If you are small seed displays other features of a good seed, then it is a good candidate for germination.