The key to successful marijuana cultivation is starting with the best seeds. But how can you tell which are quality? Luckily, there are a few simple ways to recognize high-quality cannabis seeds that don’t require any special knowledge of botany or genetics.
Here’s what you need to know about picking a winning strain for your garden, greenhouse, or grow room.
Look for a seller with a good reputation
The easiest way to guarantee good quality is by buying directly from a high-quality seed bank like New 420 Guy Seeds. If you’re buying from a dealer, you’ll have to trust their judgment. If they’re reputable, they probably have at least some idea about what makes good seeds.
A reputable seed bank will also have a liberal and clearly-defined return policy. If you’re buying online, it’s always a good idea to read reviews and check the fine print so that there are no unpleasant surprises later on.
Avoid extremely cheap seed sales
The cheapest seeds on the market are often the worst value for money—unless you’re getting a special deal from a reputable supplier. Cheaper suppliers can get away with using low-quality genetics because many growers don’t know how to spot a bad seed.
Stick with feminized seeds
If you try growing marijuana from regular seeds, there’s about a 50% chance each plant will end up being male. The only sure-fire way to generate female plants is with feminized seeds. The vast majority of reputable marijuana breeders will offer them since they make the process much simpler.
Again, stick with a quality supplier and you’ll have no issues here.
Check the packaging to make sure it’s airtight and moisture-free
Quality seeds should be packaged in a sealed, moisture-proof package with zero punctures or seals. You can easily tell if the package has been tampered with by looking for those indicators.
If it looks suspicious, don’t bother buying from that supplier again. Seeds are only good as long as they remain moist and oxygen-free.
Even if the packaging looks good, it’s still worth checking for mold, fungus, or even signs of insect activity.
Do the ‘float test’
Another way to check if a seed is viable is to perform the ‘float test’. Place the seeds in a glass of water. The good seeds will sink, while the bad ones will float. Seeds that float have a higher air content, and so are more likely to have mold or other problems.
This isn’t foolproof, but it can give you an indication of whether or not your potential purchase passes muster.
Don’t stress about size and shape
It’s easy to get caught up in the details when you’re shopping for seeds, but it’s perfectly normal for seeds to vary slightly in size. The only qualification they should meet is that they are viable—meaning they can grow into a healthy plant even if they don’t look perfect.
Marijuana hasn’t isn’t as well established or undergone rigorous breeding processes as other agricultural plants. This means that seeds of the same strain may look different, and even produce plants with a different appearance.
Estimate the seeds’ age
You can make a good guess as to how old the seed is by giving it a quick squeeze.
If it feels soft or kind of spongy, it’s likely to be older. Seeds that are still in their infancy should have a more solid feel—similar to a dried bean.
Seed viability varies depending on the strain, but you should be aiming to use seeds that are less than a year old. Younger seeds germinate faster, and your grow is much more likely to succeed!
Plant them and see what happens
The most accurate way to find out if your seeds cut the mustard is to plant them and see what happens.
Of course, this also requires that you have plenty of time on your hands and growing is just a hobby. If you’re growing on an industrial scale to produce products like marijuana for dispensaries, CBD oils, or CBD Isolate, then this probably isn’t an option.
Failure to germinate doesn’t always mean the seeds are of poor quality. There are many reasons why seeds don’t sprout, and you may be making multiple other mistakes along the way. Just try again, or get in touch with your vendor for advice. If they’re happy to help, it probably means they’re a trustworthy supplier worth sticking with.
Know your seeds
Choosing marijuana seeds isn’t complicated once you understand what it takes. As long as you focus on quality genetics, go with feminized seeds, and avoid overly cheap suppliers, you’ll be on your way to growing some truly unique and powerful buds!