While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.
The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether you’re planning an indoor cultivation or outdoor grow, it’s best to germinate your seeds indoors. It’s easier to maintain proper temperature, light exposure, and moisture inside, and you can protect your seeds from the elements. Indoor germination, whether using soil or paper towels, will ensure your cannabis seeds have the best chance for survival.
How do you germinate seeds indoors?
Monitor your soil every day and keep it moist. Within four to seven days, you should see tiny stems sprouting from the soil.
When a seed enters an environment with enough moisture, it will increase in size and slowly break out of its shell. A seedling or germ forms from which roots will emerge, helping the baby plant absorb nutrients from the soil. Seeds naturally develop roots facing down and stems stretching upward, allowing the young cannabis plant to simultaneously feed off light and earth.
Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds because the soil protects the fragile roots from any interference. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
But sometimes you get lucky and find a mature seed in some really nice herb. Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag of kind bud.
How weed clones work
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the chemical components—known collectively as cannabinoids—found in the cannabis plant. Over the years, humans have selected plants for high-THC content, making cannabis with high levels of CBD rare. The genetic pathways through which THC is synthesized by the plant are different than those for CBD production.
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.
However, potency in autoflowering varieties has increased significantly since their initial introduction, with some breeders crossbreeding the low-THC ruderalis with other more potent varieties.
Place the cannabis seed, root first, into the hole and cover with a small amount of growing medium – just enough to block light, not enough to obstruct the seedling when it emerges.
Unfortunately, regulation and implementation in respect of cannabis seeds often differ from country to country. For this reason we advise you as a matter of urgency to make inquiries about the regulations to which you are subject. Read the complete disclaimer here.
Seeds should be placed on top of the tissue, allowing each seed as much space as possible.
Step 3. Potting – How to germinate cannabis seeds
New seedlings should be given access to bright light from the time they emerge. Care should be exercised in the first week or two, as seedlings are still quite delicate.
The best way to germinate cannabis seeds requires only two saucers or plates and some moist tissue. Here is a step by step guide.
Place another few layers of moist tissue on top of the seeds, again allowing excess water to drain off.
Seedlings intended for outdoors should be acclimatised to direct sunlight by placing them on a windowsill inside the house and increasing their exposure to direct sunlight by an hour or two per day.