A solid way to obtain great seeds is to find a reputable seed bank. These companies pride themselves of their breeding skills and make sure that their customers receive exactly what has been advertised. They have reputations to cater to, so delivering anything less would only harm their image.
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.
It’s important to only conduct this test if you are planning to germinate the seeds immediately afterwards. The viable seeds that sunk to the bottom of the glass will have taken in water, crossing the membrane of the seed and signalling that it’s time to come to life—activating germination.
Source Your Seeds Well
A quick web search will bring up all kinds of myths about how to tell female cannabis seeds from males. One of the most popular ones comes from a chart showing 5 different seeds that claims that the female seeds have “a perfectly round volcano-like depression at the bottom (from where the seed was attached to the plant).”
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.
This is absolutely not true. As we explained earlier, cannabis seeds naturally look different, and no single physical trait of a seed can tell you whether that seed contains the genetics for a male or female plant. The only way to tell a female cannabis plant from a male is by looking at its flowers when it begins to sex. Don’t be fooled into throwing out perfectly healthy seeds just because a popular internet chart told you so.
2. Size & Shape
You can identify quality cannabis seeds by their size and shape, especially when you can compare several seeds side-by-side. The largest seeds with the most symmetrical round or teardrop-shape are the best quality, while immature seeds are small and often have an irregular shape.
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
5. Float Test
As one of Europe’s biggest seed banks, Royal Queen Seeds understands the viability of seeds and offers some tips on how to tell if your marijuana seeds are good. There are several boxes that growers can tick to boost the odds of starting with premium seeds, from sourcing them from reputable supplies to visual assessment and easy DIY tests.
Marijuana seeds from the same plant—even from the same flower—can feature different visual characteristics as well. Just as two human siblings possess different hair and eye colors, heights, and personalities, each cannabis seed possesses its own genetic variation, from the subtle to the obvious. The sheer amount of variation among cannabis seeds means that even good-quality seeds differ in appearance. However, there are a few telltale signs buyers can look for to set the good weed seeds apart from the bad.
Learn how to identify quality marijuana seeds in order to start your cannabis grow in the best way possible.
Despite differences in size, healthy cannabis seeds share a similar shape. They display a tear-drop body—round at one end and tapered at the other. Seeds that stray from this consistent shape may possess a genetic flaw. Seeds that are exceptionally flat or misshapen may undergo issues with germination and produce subpar plants.
The beginning of an epic cannabis journey