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.
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.
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).
Are you ready to grow?
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.
There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.
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.
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.
Maintaining the ideal temperature (between 22–25°C/71–77°F) and moisture for germination is tricky. Leaving seeds out in the open environment or on a windowsill is far from ideal; a DIY climate-controlled cupboard would do a much better service. A warming mat is perfect for maintaining a constant temperature, but it doesn’t tackle the issue of moisture.
THE ART OF GERMINATING CANNABIS SEEDS
The Royal Queen Seeds Feminized Starter Kit contains:
Before you can be met with bountiful hauls of dank buds, there are several stages of cannabis growing that take precedence. Unless you can successfully germinate cannabis seeds, you won’t have a plant to harvest. Give your seeds the best possible start in life by reading our definitive guide to germination.
Regardless of where you get your seeds from, it is best to give them a slight (and delicate) inspection before planting. Most of the time, all seeds will germinate; however, poor-quality seeds will produce a weaker plant. Unfortunately, that is something you will not find out until well into the vegetative and flowering stages.
The gardening season is booming in North America, and it’s high time to start some tiny seeds that can grow into potent plants, says Jorge Cervantes, veteran marijuana cultivator and author of “The Cannabis Encyclopedia”.
Some seeds have a very hard outer shell (testa) and are difficult to germinate. Such testy cases can be softened or scarified to allow water to penetrate. To scarify, line a matchbox with a piece of fine-grain sandpaper or emery board. Put the seeds in the matchbox and shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the seeds and make sure they have been scuffed a bit. Just a little scuffing will allow water to enter and set germination in motion.
Other Tips for Germinating Cannabis Seeds
3) Shake matchbox for 10 to 15 seconds to scarify the seeds.
Jorge Cervantes shares his process for germinating cannabis seeds into healthy sprouts.
2) Remove seeds from the water. Pour water out onto two paper (or cloth) towels on a dinner plate. Fold the towels over the seeds to cover them.