Quality seeds are the key to healthy plants and good harvests. While proper feeding/watering and good light quality obviously also affect the health and yield potential of your plants, starting a grow with top-shelf genetics is equally, if not more important. But how exactly do you tell quality cannabis seeds apart from the rest? In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to spot top-quality cannabis seeds, avoid duds, and start your grow off right.
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.
Appearance And Feel – Checking The Color, Size, and Shape Of Your Seeds
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.
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.
Keep in mind that the simple process of packaging and storing cannabis seeds can also affect their appearance. Abrupt changes in humidity, temperature, or light exposure can make some seeds appear darker or lighter than others, but ultimately have no effect on their quality.
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.
In some instances, you can crack the seed open and see inside if you can’t tell anything from the outer shell. An oily inside with a musty smell means that the seed has gone bad. Similarly, black inside the seed means that it’s fermenting. Again, it won’t germinate in this instance.
After you’ve done this test, you need to germinate the healthy seeds. At this point, they will have absorbed water, which can damage the seed if you don’t germinate it at this point. Incidentally, germination is the final test for your seeds.
Method #3: The Water Test
Disclaimer: Don’t perform this test unless you’re ready to germinate the plants right away. The water could damage the seed and ruin a perfectly healthy plant if you dry it out afterward.
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.
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.
Cannabis seeds are surprisingly beautiful. They have a mottled brown appearance with patches of light and dark, and sometimes gorgeous tiger stripes. The seeds are also quite shiny if you view them close enough.
Professional seed banks spend a lot of time, money, and effort breeding high-quality cannabis genetics. These specimens churn out seeds with a high germination rate, and the subsequent plants deliver outstanding cannabinoid and terpene profiles alongside excellent yields.
Once you’ve analyzed the seeds at your disposal, you can run one final check to determine their quality. The float test enables growers to set great-quality seeds aside from questionable ones. Simply fill up a glass with water and drop your seeds into the fluid. Return to the experiment 1–2 hours later. The seeds that sink are healthy and ready to germinate. Now that they’re wet, place them straight into the soil and begin the grow, as storing wet seeds can result in rot. Floating seeds are often deemed unhealthy, and some growers refuse to use them.
With the exception of clones, all cannabis plants start life as a humble seed. Under the right conditions—and with a little bit of love and care—these tiny packets of genetic material emerge into mature, aromatic, and sticky specimens. Just like any investment, selecting high-quality weed seeds results in superior outcomes. Marijuana seeds of a higher caliber boast better germination rates, better genetics, and improved yields.
Learn how to identify quality marijuana seeds in order to start your cannabis grow in the best way possible.
Cannabis seeds from different strains display different characteristics when they mature into plants. As poly-hybrids with plenty of genetic variation, most modern cannabis plants exhibit unique traits depending on their genetic lineage. Breeders select desirable tastes, smells, and effects from parent strains, which are then passed down to the progeny. The shape and size of seeds also change slightly as new hybrid varieties are born.
Healthy and viable cannabis seeds feature a brown color that varies from a light shade to a much darker one. Some seeds are more uniform in color, whereas others feature multiple shades and tiger stripe or turtle shell patterns.
Other healthy seeds take on a large and bloated appearance. Sometimes this results from their genetic makeup, in other circumstances high levels of calcium and magnesium can bolster seed circumference.
After learning the indicators of size and shape, you might still be thinking: What do good weed seeds look like? Well, the quality of their shell also helps to signal how good future plants may perform. Healthy seeds boast a slight shimmer on their shells, as though growers have polished them with some wax. Unhealthy seeds look dull and matte in comparison. If you have the choice, opt for waxy seeds with a sheen to improve your results.