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how to tell if a marijuana seed is good

If all else fails, it’s time to germinate. You might have no idea whether your seeds are healthy but attempting to grow them is an easy final test that will separate good seeds from duds.

Add your seeds to the water, and then wait for 1-2 hours. Those that float on the surface are bad seeds that are unlikely to grow, whereas the seeds that sink are probably healthy.

After germination, you’re good to go. Remember to check back as the plants mature to make sure you haven’t got any male cannabis plants.

Method #3: The Water Test

The feel of cannabis seeds is another good indicator. Hold the seed between your thumb and forefinger and give it a light squeeze. Don’t apply too much pressure – just enough to test its integrity.

A ‘bad seed’ is any cannabis seed that will cause problems. In some instances, this means a dud seed that never sprouts, wasting your valuable time and a few resources. While dud seeds aren’t damaging, they are irritating.

This guide will only cover how to tell the difference between a potent seed and a dud seed.

There are multiple ways to germinate, including planting the seed directly in soil and seeing if it sprouts. This is a pretty ‘old-school’ method, but sometimes, it works.

If you are still unsure about the quality of your seeds after analysing their appearance and toughness, it’s time to put your lab coat and goggles on. Well, not quite. This test is extremely easy and only has two possible outcomes. Fill up a drinking glass or glass jar with water (preferably spring or distilled) and place your seeds on the surface.

The fact that cannabis seeds can vary in appearance has led some growers to think that the size, shape, or color of a seed dictates its quality.

Mature cannabis seeds usually have a hard outer shell that can vary in color from very dark (or almost black) to very light grey and may have tiger-like stripes. You should be able to firmly press these seeds between your fingers without damaging them.

Source Your Seeds Well

The color and feel of a seed, on the other hand, can tell you a little more about its maturity and, potential to germinate or grow into a healthy seedling.

Remember, just like animals and other living things, cannabis seeds are biologically different from one another (even if they are technically the same strain) and therefore will exhibit different physical characteristics. Don’t let these natural differences fool you into thinking that a larger, rounder, and darker seed (for example) is of better quality than a lighter, smaller, and more oval-shaped one.

Unlike other agricultural crops (like vegetables, fruit, or grain), cannabis hasn’t undergone the vigorous breeding techniques that ensure a stable crop. This means that you’ll sometimes sow a pack of seeds technically labeled as the same “strain,” but may end up with very different looking plants. It also means that the individual seeds you buy from a seed bank can vary in appearance.

However, slight patience is required when conducting the float test, as results are not immediately apparent. You’ll have to wait for approximately 1–2 hours before confirming the results. Some good-quality seeds will need adequate time to absorb enough water for them to sink. Use this time to go water the garden and get some much needed pruning done. Upon your return, any seeds that remain on the surface are most likely not viable and won’t be worth further time and effort.

If you know how old the (fully mature) seeds are you’ll be able to have a better idea of viable they are. Like all genetic material, seeds degrade over time, so freshly harvested seeds are often more viable than ones that are months or years old. You should store seeds in a cool, dark place (even a freezer) so they don’t rot or get mold.

1. Appearance & Color

2. Size & Shape

High-quality seeds have certain aesthetic qualities that set them apart from seeds that aren’t as healthy. The most viable seeds are brown, tan, or even black, as immature seeds are lighter colors like white, yellow, and pale green. Some people even claim that the best seeds feature dark spots or stripe patterns and that there should be a healthy sheen on the surface when held under light, like a fresh coat of wax.

3. Hardness & Durability

Like with any crop, a successful cannabis harvest starts with high-quality seeds but knowing how to identify the best ones can be tricky even for growers with years of experience. To help give you an idea of what to look for when preparing for your marijuana garden, here we talk about how to identify quality cannabis seeds on sight.

5. Float Test