Have you been thinking about growing marijuana, but you’re hesitant and unsure of the whole process? If you’re lucky enough to live in a legalized state, nothing should hold you back from buying marijuana seeds and growing your stash.
To be honest, the difficulty of the growing process depends almost entirely on the quality of your marijuana seeds. So it’s important to know and understand seeds before you set out on your marijuana growing journey.
If you’re a novice, go ahead and read on all about seeds – types, strains, quality-checking, and more!
What are Marijuana Seeds?
Marijuana or cannabis seeds are beige, oval, and a few millimeters in diameter – pretty ordinary, right? Yet, they grow up to be miracle buds with mind-altering properties that many crave, and medicinal benefits that thousands need.
Just like many other plants, these seeds grow on flowers of female plants. But they’re not useful in terms of smoking. The real thing is the buds or flowers – that’s the stuff you smoke to get high.
However, if these female plants get fertilized by males, they produce seeds and pretty soon die. Here’s where stuff gets tricky. Males need to be separated before they fertilize the females, and this is not easy.
To overcome this problem, different types of seeds are available that grow in various ways and have different properties, so growing them can be easier and quicker.
Different Type of Seeds
Not all seeds grow in the same conditions and become the same kind of plants. Which type is best for you depends on your preference and experience?
Here are the different type of seeds you should know of:
Confusing as the name may sound, auto-flowering seeds operate pretty simply: they flower automatically without having to wait for lighting cycles to change.
If you know the basics of growing cannabis, you’d know that cannabis plants from regular seeds start flowering once days get shorter, and nights get longer. This is why they are called photoperiod plants.
However, this can take quite a few weeks, and longer flowering periods mean more effort, time, and energy. Hence, breeders came up with the genius solution of auto-flowering cannabis seeds.
Plants from these no-nonsense seeds don’t wait for light/dark hours to change – they automatically start to flower once they reach a certain size.
So within 2-4 weeks, you’ll start seeing those precious buds start to grow, and in around just three months, you’ll be all set to harvest them.
Plants from auto-flowering seeds have more benefits. These include:
- Flexible growth environments
- Resistance to diseases
- Multiple harvests per season
- Staying short
Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, these plants do come with some disadvantages. For instance, due to quick flowering periods, the yield is lower than what you’d get from regular seeds.
Another and probably the biggest downside is the low psychoactive content in auto-flowering buds. Psychoactive substances are the stuff that’s mind-altering, and growers want their marijuana packed with it.
So that’s one trade-off you’ll have to deal with, although crossbreeding plants has made it possible to grow potent auto-flowering plants.
One hurdle you may face while growing cannabis is separating the males and females. As mentioned earlier, once your male plants pollinate the females, they’ll die and leave you with nothing but seeds. Hence, you’ll need to act quickly as soon as the plants reveal their sexes and separate the males.
But wouldn’t it be cool if your plants had no males at all? Yep, you guessed it – breeders have come up with another genius hack, where almost all (99%) of the seeds grow up to be females. These seeds are called feminized cannabis seeds.
This process is possible through spraying substances, often a solution of colloidal silver, at the bud site before female plants start to flower. As a result, they produce pollen sacs instead, which is collected and used to fertilize other female plants that have already flowered.
Since these ladies get pollinated by other ladies, and there are no males involved, almost all the seeds they produce grow up to be females.
By using feminized seeds, you won’t have to go through the trouble of removing male plants. Moreover, you’ll save space and grow almost all females, resulting in a larger yield as compared to using regular seeds.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Seeds
Marijuana seeds can either be grown indoors or outdoors – the choice entirely depends on where you grow them, how experienced you are, and your budget.
For instance, you may want to grow your plants indoors due to legal reasons or judgmental neighbors. Plus, growing indoors also gives you control over variables like sunlight hours, so you’re not dependent on the weather.
Indoor plants also tend to be more potent. However, they often produce a lower yield, and this method is also more expensive. This is why some growers choose outdoor seeds, where they don’t need to spend a ton on equipment and where plants can grow as big as possible.
That said, some cannabis strains (more on this in the next section) tend to adapt better to outdoor environments while others are more suitable for the indoors. For example, an indoor strain of cannabis will not grow tall, so you can easily grow it in a grow tent or on a balcony.
Medical vs. recreational cannabis
Cannabis seeds grow into plants for two purposes: recreational or medical.
Recreational marijuana is the stuff that intoxicates you and gets you high. On the other hand, medicinal marijuana does not intoxicate you. Instead, it will help relieve and manage symptoms of certain conditions, such as:
- Pain or inflammation
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
Both types have different levels of certain psychoactive compounds; hence, they have different effects on the mind and body.
Another difference between medical and recreational marijuana is their legality. While some states have legalized recreational use, others have not. You can only use medical marijuana in these states if you have a medical condition that requires you to do so.
Strains Explained: Sativa, Indica & Ruderalis
Now that you know about the different types of cannabis seeds, it’s time to understand strains. Think of them as plant siblings with different personalities – they may not look the same, taste the same, or have the same effect on you, but they still belong to the same plant species.
We’ll discuss the three main types of strains here: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis.
This strain is known for giving people feelings of euphoria.
These subspecies tend to grow tall, and by tall, we mean over three meters high. Their branches are spread out – they like their space – and are broad and loose. You might as well call them trees rather than plants.
Sativa plants have distinctive leaves (a lot of them) that are long and widespread. They have narrow, spiky blades and are light green. Since this plant is leafier, trimming it is also comparatively harder.
Growth and Yield
These plants prefer sunny climates with long summers, which is why they like growing outdoors. This also leads to a more extended flowering period, somewhere around 10 to 16 weeks.
If grown in a suitable environment, they produce high yields and marijuana that looks fluffy and light in color. However, carefree and chill as they may seem, if you don’t grow them in the right conditions, they’ll be short and produce lower yields.
If you’re wondering what it tastes like, this type of marijuana has a spicy and citrusy tang to it – a flavor many that enjoy.
Now comes the most crucial distinguishable feature of Cannabis Sativa – its high THC content. Tetrahydrocannabinol is a compound that induces an uplifting and alert effect in a person’s mind.
People under the effects of Cannabis Sativa are usually more focused and energized, and tend to become more creative, talkative, and motivated. If you’ve got high before, you’d recognize the ‘buzz’ that one usually feels in the head after smoking – that’s THC doing its job.
Sativa dominant strains can also prove useful for conditions, such as:
- Multiple sclerosis
Strains that are Indica dominant are more commonly used in medicinal marijuana. Here are more details:
Indica strains grow short and sturdy. They barely become three feet tall and have short but strong branches that are close together, occupying twice as less space. This species is, therefore, more suitable for indoor growing.
Its leaves tend to be broader, and are a darker shade of green. They’re also shorter and not so finger-like as Sativas.
Growth and Yield
Indica originates from mountainous regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. Since they’re used to growing in high altitudes, they can handle strong winds and colder climates.
Plus, the daylight hours tend to decrease in these regions, which is why these plants start flowering much earlier than Sativas. On average, it takes only around six to ten weeks for Indicas to flower, making them appealing for growers who don’t want to invest a lot of time in their plants.
Since these plants are dense and require less space and time, they’re usually grown indoors. Indica plants also produce heavier, darker, and dense yields as compared to the light-colored fluffy Sativas.
Medicinal marijuana often has lower levels of THC because of how strongly it can affect you. You may feel overwhelmed because of all the alertness, which can actually be harmful to people suffering from, for instance, anxiety.
Most Indicas do have some THC in them, but they also have high CBD levels, unlike Sativas. In fact, cannabidiol levels in Indicas are a lot higher than in Sativas.
CBD helps you feel more relaxed rather than ‘high.’ Combined with other cannabinoids, it can help your muscles relax, act as a sedative, and calm you down (a LOT). This is the ‘stoned’ effect that you may have heard of.
Hence, the CBD levels in Indicas counter the overwhelming effects of THC and other similar compounds. This can help with:
- Side effects of chemotherapy
This species of cannabis has recently come to light. Before this, growers and breeders mostly considered it as hemp until they discovered its benefits.
Cannabis Ruderalis grows only about one to two feet tall and has tiny but broad leaves with four to six blades per leaf. The stems are also short, but thick and fibrous.
Growth and Yield
This type of cannabis can be found growing just about anywhere – on the roadside, near the trash can – seriously, they can grow anywhere. This means that they’re used to growing in harsh conditions.
But what’s best about Ruderalis is not its ability to remain short or resistant to tough weather. Remember the auto-flowering seeds we talked about that don’t need light cycles to flower? Those come from Cannabis Ruderalis strains.
These plants also produce smaller but dense buds and lower yields.
Ruderalis is pretty useless on its own when it comes to its psychoactive compounds. It barely has any amount of THC and minimal amounts of CBD. So, what’s the big deal about this species then?
Strains can be crossbred to retain the desirable characteristics of parent plants in the offsprings. For instance, breeders crossed Ruderalis with Indica to form highly beneficial, quality seeds.
These seeds grow up to plants that have not only the THC and CBD content of Indicas but also the auto-flowering capabilities of Ruderalis. This helps you grow plants rich in THC or CBD with ease in a short amount of time. Pretty neat, right?
One downside, though, of plants crossbred with Ruderalis is that they tend to produce lower yields compared to those that don’t auto-flower, like Sativas, which produce high yields.
However, you have thousands of strains to choose from that are interbred and genetically modified to serve different purposes. This is why today, you can grow cannabis in any part of the world, no matter what the weather conditions are, thanks to the different strains.
The Difference between Seeds and Clones
This species of cannabis has recently come to light. Before this, growers and breeders mostly considered it as hemp until they discovered its benefits.
Here’s how seeds and clones differ:
Since clones are exact copies of the original plant, you’re sure of the gender. You won’t have to worry about some of them turning out as males – no guesswork, no crossing your fingers.
Regular seeds, in contrast, usually turn out to be 50% males and 50% females, or so. Hence, you’re not sure of what you’re going to get with these seeds.
Even with feminized seeds, you can’t be 100% sure that all your seeds are female. You have to be on the lookout to ensure there isn’t a male plant growing in between that can pollinate your females.
Marijuana seeds need a few or several days to germinate. After this, you need to transplant them into a growing medium. This whole process requires time and effort that you may or may not want to invest in.
Moreover, with regular seeds, you need to stay vigilant and remove the males before they fertilize the females. Again, this is not an easy task and consumes time and energy.
On the other hand, clones have already germinated when you get them and are established as females. This can quicken the time it takes to harvest, so if you want multiple harvests within one season or don’t have the time and energy to nurture seedlings, you should go for clones.
When a seed germinates, you’ll see a small root pop out of the seed. That’s the taproot, which grows vertically and forms a base for secondary or lateral roots. It acts as the primary transport system for nutrients and also supports the plant in remaining upright.
Unfortunately, clones don’t form a taproot. They just grow out lateral roots that help absorb water and nutrients. Even so, this may not be enough to support proper growth. And as a result, you may have weak plants.
Moreover, your clones may not be happy with the new soil and nutrients. They may be in shock, and, in turn, weaken and die. Hence, clones need extra care and attention once you transplant them and are more suitable for indoor growers.
Your clones may not give you the same amount of yield as seeds would. So if you’re an indoor grower and are only aiming to grow weed for personal use, clones will be perfect for you. We can’t say the same for serious outdoor growers.
Being a part of the original plant, clones will carry pests or diseases that the parent plant had. Hence, it’s hard to make sure that the clone you’re buying is free from such dangers. Plants from seeds, though, grow separately, and you can protect them from such stuff.
But if you find a plant you really like and want more of it, clones can come in handy.
Probably one of the biggest problems with clones is accessibility. There are hundreds of seed banks out there, and you can even easily buy marijuana seeds online. Clones, on the other hand, are not so readily available.
To grow weed from clones, you’ll have to access a healthy mother plant from where you can cut off a branch. And while there are stores that offer to deliver clones, improperly transporting them can damage and weaken them.
Meanwhile, seeds can survive in storage for ages, and almost all of them will manage to germinate.
More importantly, when you order clones, you can’t be entirely sure of what you’re going to get. You could receive a plant with a disease, attacked by a pest, or not healthy in general. In contrast, ordering seeds online is not only easier but also reliable. You can pick the strain and grow the plants the way you want.
How to Check the Quality of Marijuana Seeds
Are you unsure of whether you have quality seeds or a bag of useless grains? Even though factors such as weather, water, nutrients, and experience matter a lot when it comes to growing healthy plants, it’s equally important to start with healthy seeds.
Bad quality seeds will not grow up to be healthy plants that produce high yields. Here’s how you can check the quality of your cannabis seeds:
Just by looking at some seeds, you can tell that they’re either top-notch quality or unhealthy. High-quality seeds have a darker color in general: brown, grey, and hints of black. They’re often a mixture of these three and have patterns such as stripes on them.
However, unhealthy seeds are whitish or green, which shows that they are underdeveloped and not fit to germinate.
You can also look at your seeds under a bright light. If they have a visible sheen or a waxy layer on them, then they’re pretty healthy. This layer protects the seeds from stuff entering it and maintains its dormant state.
Another thing to check for is cracks. Seeds that are broken or cracked are unhealthy and are bound not to germinate. Always grow intact seeds.
A fool-proof way to test whether you have healthy seeds or not is the float test. Seeds that are unhealthy will float on water, and you shouldn’t waste your time on them.
To conduct this test, take a container and fill it halfway with water. Next, drop in a bunch of seeds and leave them in there for two to three hours.
After this, you’ll see that the good seeds sank to the container’s bottom while the bad ones are still afloat. Why? Because unhealthy seeds are hollow and are, therefore, lighter, which is why they float. Your magic beans at the bottom have all the nutrients and goodies to grow up nice and healthy.
Note: don’t leave your seeds in the water for too long as this can damage them!
Lastly, an entirely accurate test is germination, of course. Before you order seeds from a store in bulk, you may want to buy only a few at first, and try germinating them.
If all or at least most of the seeds germinate, you know your seed bank is giving you quality seeds that will grow into quality cannabis. If the seeds don’t germinate or take too long, you can avoid wasting your money and not order from them again.
Seeds are supposed to be strong. Take your cannabis seed between your fingers and press it. If it’s hard and doesn’t crack or break under pressure means it’s a high-quality seed.
Unhealthy seeds may crack or even completely crumble if you press them between your fingers.
This might be a bit hard to make sure of, but knowing how old your seeds are could tell whether they’ll sprout or not.
Even though seeds can last ages, not all seeds stored for a long time will germinate. Hence, it’s better to order a fresh batch of seeds, so most, if not all, can grow. You may be able to ask your seller how old they are, just to be sure.
Where you get your seeds from is also an important factor. Buying them from a reputable seed bank is obviously a better choice since these people have experience and they know what they’re doing.
You can order a type of seed, like auto-flowering seeds, and be sure that you will get good quality auto-flowering seeds and nothing else.
However, if you just get seeds from a grower that ‘you know,’ you may not get what you wish for. Moreover, with seed banks, you have a more extensive range of strains and seed types to choose from.
Marijuana Seeds Germination
Just like any other seeds, cannabis seeds go through germination to become seedlings. In this phase, they soak up water, air, and heat, which activate them from dormancy. Using the stored nutrients, the seed cracks open, and a little sprout pops out – the taproot.
Once this happens, you can transplant these seedlings into the soil where they grow up to become plants.
If you’re wondering about how you can germinate cannabis seeds, there are two ways to do so: you can either place them between sheets of paper towels that are wet or sow them directly in the soil.
Even though the latter may seem easier as you can skip the transplanting step, placing them in paper towels is better.
It gives you better control over variable factors such as moisture and heat, which ensures proper germination. This also lets you observe your seeds and check if they’re doing well or not.
Transplanting these seeds into a soil medium can be tricky as you need to make sure you don’t damage the root or any leaves, which is one drawback of this method.
Here’s a quick guide on how you can germinate cannabis seeds with the first method:
- Take two paper towels and tear them in half.
- Soak both halves in water entirely, but don’t let them become dripping wet.
- Keep one half on a plate. Now, place four or five seeds at a distance from one another over this paper towel.
- Next, place the other half over the first one, covering the seeds completely.
- Flip over another plate and place it on the first one to cover the paper towels.
- Keep this at a warm place and check every day to ensure the paper towels are wet and if any seeds have sprouted.
What are the best marijuana seeds to buy?
|Name||Grow difficulty||Indica/sativa||Effect||Flavour||Flowering time|
|Blueberry widow||Moderate||Hybrid||Relaxed, happy||Blueberry, sweet & sour||8-10 weeks||Buy online|
|Girl Scout Cookies||Easy||Indica||Happy, relaxed||Lemon, caramel, toffie-tastic and peanut butter||9-10 weeks||Buy online|
|Hindu Kush||Moderate||Indica||Relaxed, sleepy and happy||Lemon, sweet, spicy and piney||7-8 weeks||Buy online|
|Northern Lights||Easy||Indica||Relaxed, happy and euphoric||Skunky, earthy, sweet & spicy||7-9 weeks||Buy online|
|Purple Kush||Difficult||Indica||Relaxed, sleepy and happy||Earthy, sweet||7-8 weeks||Buy online|
|Bubble Gum Kush||Easy||Hybrid||Relaxed, happy and euphoric||Sour, sweet||8 weeks||Buy online|
|Maui Wowie||Easy to moderate||Sativa||Happy, uplifted||Sweet, tropical||9-11 weeks||Buy online|
|Platinum Cookies (Platinum Scout)||Moderate||Hybrid||Relaxed, happy||Sweet||9-10 weeks||Buy online|
|Sour Diesel||Difficult||Sativa||Happy, uplifted||Earthy, citrus||10-12 weeks||Buy online|
Can you buy seeds in any state in the USA?
Even though the US is a progressive country, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level here. However, some states have made recreational and medical use legal, but these laws vary for different states.
For instance, 11 states, including Colorado and California, have made recreational and medical use of marijuana perfectly legal. Anyone above 21 is free to walk inside a dispensary and purchase weed.
In the other 22 states, it is legal to use marijuana only for medical purposes.
But these rules aren’t that simple. In some states, you aren’t allowed to grow the plants yourself, while in others, you are only allowed to own a certain number of plants and own a few ounces of weed.
Complicated, isn’t it? So, where does this leave you? If you happen to live in a state where owning and growing marijuana seeds is legal, you can buy them locally without a worry. You just need to make sure you grow the number of plants that are allowed per household.
However, buying seeds in a state where cannabis is illegal is, obviously, against the law. In states where you can use and grow cannabis for medical purposes, you can purchase seeds as long as you have proof of your medical condition.
Due to these overly complicated rules and regulations that vary across states, it is better to check with your state’s laws before you set out to buy seeds.
Is Ordering Cannabis Seeds Legal?
Buying seeds online is another complicated business, but we’ll try to simplify it for you.
Since marijuana is illegal at the federal level, transporting it across states is against the law, even if it’s between two legal states. We know, it’s as frustrating as it sounds.
Even so, some shops successfully transport seeds from one legal state to another without customs detecting what’s inside. This is possible because they have developed clever ways of packaging their seeds, so they remain undetected.
Moreover, it’s hard to follow online transactions, so it’s pretty rare that you’ll face federal prosecution for ordering seeds, even though it’s possible. If you’re unlucky, it’s most likely that your order will get confiscated before it reaches you. This applies to orders coming from outside the US as well.
However, if you’re ordering seeds from a shop located within your legalized state, you’re free to do so, and you’ll get them at your doorstep without any hassles.
Country with the Best Marijuana Seeds
Marijuana is cultivated around the globe, but some countries lead the pack and produce super high-quality seeds. Here are the top three countries with the best seeds:
If you’re a pothead, but you live in a place where smoking marijuana is illegal, you’ve probably dreamt of going to Amsterdam, the supposed weed capital of Europe. Those coffee shops where you can walk in and purchase weed to smoke have some of the best strains you’ll ever encounter.
For instance, Dutch breeders created the most loved varieties of weed like Skunk 1, Lemon Haze, Big Bud, and more.
The Netherlands was one of the first countries to legalize medical marijuana, which is why some masterpiece strains come from this country. Undoubtedly, it tops our list of the country with the best cannabis seeds.
With 11 states legalized for recreational cannabis use, the USA is the second country with the best cannabis seeds. It has contributed to the weed industry with famous strains like OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple, and many others.
Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries here, and, in 2019, Colorado hit 1 billion dollars in total cannabis revenue. Hence, it’s a given that you’ll find some high-quality seeds from the USA.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2003. But since Canadians pushed for legalization, the House of Commons of Canada passed Bill C-45. After this, Canada legalized weed nationwide in 2018.
Since then, the country has been a strong competitor in the cannabis market due to nationwide legalized cultivation and consumption. It has come up with quality seeds and strains like Island Sweet Skunk and AK-47 that are like none other.
Buying cannabis seeds, whether locally or online, depends on where you live and what you want from your harvest.
Are you growing marijuana indoors? Do you aim to use it personally? If so, you are good to go with auto-flowering seeds or even clones. You will have to invest in growing equipment for the indoors, though.
For outdoor use and higher yields, you may want to try feminized seeds that are Sativa-dominant.
Either way, be sure to buy your seeds from a reputable store that takes care of your privacy and ships discreetly. Also, a good seed company will have a variety of strains that you can choose from. But not every strain and seed type suit everyone, so choose wisely.