What Do Marijuana Seeds Look Like

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Buy Cannabis Seeds Online

Bad cannabis seeds can ruin an entire grow. Here's how to spot them early and save yourself a whole lot of time and effort. The marijuana seed can be both inspiring and intimidating. Check out our guide to cannabis seeds before you start your first grow. Seeds of the same strain can produce different looking plants. These are called phenotypes, and to solve the problem, you must pheno-hunt. We show you how.

How to Spot Bad Cannabis Seeds [Comprehensive Guide]

You may not realize it, but the quality of your cannabis crop is, in part, determined before you have even begun. Seed quality is an enormous part of growing, so it’s vital to source marijuana seeds from a reputable company.

Sometimes, you can end up with ‘bad’ cannabis seeds that will cause problems later down the line. In some cases, these seeds just won’t germinate. Although this won’t ruin your entire crop, it is a waste of time and money, which can be frustrating.

Today, we will help you work out whether your cannabis seeds are good or bad. Hopefully, this guide will help you to determine which seeds are worthy of your time and which ones are duds.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

What Makes a Cannabis Seed ‘Bad’?

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.

Another type of bad seeds is male cannabis plants. There’s a 50/50 chance with regular seeds as to whether any given seed is male or female. The problem is that male plants will pollinate the females once they reach maturity, destroying the valuable THC content of female plants.

Having male cannabis plants in your garden is basically a recipe for disaster, so you want to avoid it at all costs. By the way, here’s how to figure out if your plants are male or female.

One way around this is to purchase feminized marijuana seeds. In theory, all seeds in a feminized bunch will be female – unless you buy from a disreputable grower. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell whether a plant is male or female simply based on the seeds.

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

The complete guide…

How to Test Cannabis Seeds

There are several easy methods for testing cannabis seeds. Most of them can be performed before germination, saving you some time and resources. Let’s find out how to check your seeds.

Method #1: The Sight Test

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.

Sometimes, you can tell if a seed is good or bad just by looking at it. Here’s how to spot a healthy seed:

  • Coloration: A dark coloration with black or gray patches is a sign of a healthy seed. Conversely, white or green seeds are unlikely to germinate because they are not mature. Pale seeds are also more likely to be old and ineffective.
  • Waxy coating: Healthy seeds have a waxy, shiny coating. If it doesn’t, then the seed is likely a dud
  • Cracks: Cannabis seeds should not be cracked. If your seed has cracks in it, it’s probably best to discard it.
  • Shape: The rounder and fatter the seed, the more likely it is to sprout into a healthy plant. Some growers are concerned about large seeds with thick shells but don’t worry. The shell will break down with water.
  • Mildew: Grab a magnifying glass and view the seeds close up. A white, dusty powder is a sign of powdered mildew, which means the seeds have a fungus and should not be planted.

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.

Method #2: The Touch 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.

If the seed cracks under slight pressure, then it’s unusable. It’s likely to be past its sell-by date.

Strong seeds, however, have a better chance of germinating and growing into a healthy plant.

Method #3: The Water Test

Are you still unsure about your cannabis seeds? You can always do a floating test to see if they’re healthy. By the way, this method works for numerous plant seeds and not just cannabis.

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.

For this test, you will need a cup, glass, or bowl of warm water. It should be quite warm, but not hot. It also works best with spring water or distilled water.

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.

See also  Bishop's Weed Seed

This method is a great way to check your seeds because it’s low effort. You can also test multiple seeds at once, and it’s really cheap and easy to do.

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 #4: The Germination Test

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.

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.

More commonly, growers use the paper towel method. Dampen a paper towel, ensuring it isn’t soaking wet. Place this on a kitchen plate and put the seeds on top, then put another plate upside-down on top. A moist, dark, warm environment allows the seeds to sprout. Check on the seeds once a day; after germinating, you should see a white taproot emerge.

At this point, you can transplant the seed into its pot. Use a pair of tweezers and handle each seed carefully, being careful not to touch the taproot. The taproot is fragile and may break if you’re not delicate; furthermore, touching it with your hands may contaminate it.

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.

Waste not, want not!…

How to Buy Good Cannabis Seeds Every Time

It’s recommended to buy feminized cannabis seeds to eliminate the possibility of males ruining your crop. Even so, some subpar retailers will advertise feminized seeds, only to sell regular cannabis seeds.

It’s vital to buy from a reputable seller that you trust. If this is your first time, read reviews on the seed banks to find out what other customers thought. If lots of buyers were disappointed by low-quality seeds, avoid that company!

Unfortunately, you might still get some bad seeds sometimes. Plants are living beings and can be a bit unpredictable – even the seller might not be aware that some of their seeds are duds. With any luck, the majority of seeds you buy will be healthy and good to go.

The sign of a bad seller is that their seeds are consistently old, dead, and covered in powdery mildew. That said, don’t be too harsh on a seed bank if a couple of their seeds don’t work from time to time when they’re generally reliable.

Final Thoughts on Good and Bad Cannabis Seeds

Telling good and bad cannabis seeds apart is not an exact science. Sadly, you don’t know what’s inside the seed beyond its appearance, so you won’t know what the plant is truly like until you start growing it.

Cultivating marijuana is a bit of a learning curve, so don’t worry if you mess up your crop from time to time. It will only get easier with time.

Hopefully, you can now tell apart some seeds, at least, giving you more opportunities to create a successful grow.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Cannabis Seeds 101: Your Intro Guide To The Marijuana Seed

If you’re thinking about diving into the world of growing, why not start from the ground up? Here’s an introduction course to cannabis seeds.

If you’re a wannabe pot grower, you need to be an expert on all things cannabis seeds. This knowledge needs to be gained before you even purchase your first marijuana seed in order to ensure a successful grow. While we’ve given guides on how to begin the plant process and how to see it through to a bountiful harvest, you may be seeking more information about the seed itself. And so, without further ado, here’s our intro course to cannabis seeds.

Basic Plant Biology

To put it in the most basic terms, a seed is a plant that is in its embryonic stage. Like animals, plants reproduce by, well, reproduction. The process actually isn’t totally dissimilar from that of animals. In order to produce a seed, a plant’s ovule (like an ovum, or egg) needs to be fertilized by pollen (similar to sperm).

Once the ovule is fertilized by the pollen, a seed is formed. Like an embryo, a seed contains a wealth of genetic material. Inside that one tiny object is the future of the organism. And like animals, the fate and final outcome of the seed is almost entirely dependent on how you treat it in its early stages of development. Here’s how to set up your baby, er, cannabis plant, for health and success.

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Before you plant your seeds, you’re going to want to germinate them. What is germination? It’s basically a process by which seeds become hydrated. When they are hydrated, the enzymes in them become activated and ready to grow. When a seed is properly and completely germinated, the beginning of a root emerges from the seed’s shell.

So how do you germinate your cannabis seeds? First, you have to determine whether or not your seed is even viable. According to the experts, an ideal marijuana seed should be dark in color with black stripes. If you have seeds that look like that, great! Germination should be successful. There are a few methods of germination, but the easiest one is the paper towel method. Simply put your seeds between two damp paper towels on top of a flat surface, like a tray, and keep that on top of a warm surface. A root should break through the seed in just a few days.

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If a root isn’t showing up in the expected time, you may need to stick it in some water for a day or so. This will help soften up the exterior of the shell and make it easier for the root to emerge.

What is a Feminized Marijuana Seed?

You may have heard the term “feminized marijuana seed”. But do you know what it means? According to our very own cannabis strain expert, Danny Danko, “feminized seeds are the result of using “male” pollen from a hermaphroditic plant to fertilize a female flower, resulting in plants that can be female or hermaphrodites but never males.”

Are Cannabis Seeds Legal?

Okay, so now you know the basics of what seeds are and how to begin the planting process. Feeling inspired and planning your grow operation already? Great! But first thing’s first. You have to buy some. But where? Since cannabis is federally illegal, surely the embryonic form of cannabis is prohibited as well, right? Not necessarily. If you reside in a state with either legal recreational weed or a medical marijuana program, chances are, you will be able to purchase seeds without any issue. However, some medical marijuana programs do not allow the purchase or possession of cannabis seeds for home growing. So make sure you do your research regarding your state’s medical marijuana program or recreational cannabis laws.

Buying A Marijuana Seed Supply

Once you’ve done your research and you have determined that yes, buying cannabis seeds is totally legal, the next step is to actually make your purchase. So where do you buy them? More to the point, where do you buy quality seeds? Your best bet is making the purchase at your dispensary. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your seeds will be high quality. And if you need guidance on what kind of seeds to buy (ie what strain would work well in whatever environment or climate you live in), the people working in the dispensary should be able to help you out.

It might be tempting to buy your seeds online. You’ve probably seen ads for websites claiming to sell superior seeds at an attractively low price. We strongly recommend that you do not fall into this trap. As with many things, keep the motto “buyer beware” in mind. Purchasing anything online has its risks. But cannabis seeds are particularly tricky because of the federal prohibition. Where you buy your seeds is ultimately up to you. But we recommend that you make your purchase at a dispensary or a trusted friend or colleague.

Storing Your Seed

Once you determine the legality of cannabis seeds in your state, have figured out what kind of cannabis you want to grow and have purchased your marijuana seed of choice, what’s next? You’re going to have to store your seed. But what is the optimal way to do this?

It is ideal to store them before germination. To do this, you’ll need an airtight container that is either opaque or dark colored. Keep your marijuana seed in this container and then store the container in a cool, dry and dark area. To ensure absolute dryness, some cannabis growers like to stick one or two packets of food-grade desiccants in the container as well. If those kinds of chemicals scare you, however, some dry rice to soak up any potential moisture can work too.

Final Hit: What Do You Do With Your Cannabis Seeds?

So what do you once your seed supply is successfully germinated? It may just be time to plant it and begin the next phase of your cannabis grow process! This next phase involves choosing the right growing medium for your needs, the right environment (like a grow box or greenhouse) and the best grow lights (if you’re growing indoors) to ensure healthy plants.

Why Seeds of the same Strain produce Different looking plants

Did you pop a bunch of seeds of the same strain, and yet every single one was different? Did you wonder if you did something wrong, or maybe the seed bank ripped you off?

Most likely, the truth is that you did nothing wrong, and the seed bank did not rip you off. Instead, you are looking at the phenotypic variety that can be expressed by the cannabis strain you selected.

What is phenotypic variety? Well in this article, we will explain how there can be variances among plants of the same strain. Before you select and maintain a mother for cloning, you must first ensure you have selected the right phenotype.

Growing from Seed can result in a lot of variation among your plants.

In this section, we will discuss how seeds produce different phenotypes. Later will discuss how to apply pheno hunting to your growing practices.

Seeds are the Children of Mother and Father plants

The act of breeding cannabis involves taking pollen from a male and fertilizing the female plant. This sexual conception will yield offspring that share traits of both the mother and the father. This is how new strain varieties are created.

The offspring of two plants should represent the traits of those two plants. But will it represent those traits equally? Or will it be dominated by traits of the father? Or the mother?

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If there are multiple offspring, will they all share these traits equally?

Each Seed is a different Phenotype of the same Cultivar, Strain Variety

The concept of phenotypic variety is easy to understand when you consider that most brothers and sisters are both alike but different.

Your mom and dad had kids, and their kids were all different. Sure, there are similarities among all of them, but they are all different in one way or another.

Sometimes the differences among offspring can be stark. And sometimes, two parents had a group of kids, and they are turned out pretty similar. That happens too.

And the same thing happens with cannabis. Every seed from a cannabis plant represents both the parent strain as well as its own unique identity.

Genotype vs. Phenotype

If we are to take the scientific language of biology and translate into cannabis, it goes a little something like this:

  • Genotype is the strain itself.
  • Phenotype is one individual version of the strain.

The genotype is the family name, say the “Smith Family.” John Smith and Pocahontas came together and formed the Smith family. The descendants that come thereafter will share the name “Smith” and will be members of the “Smith family,” but each will be a different phenotype with his or her own unique differences, along with shared similarities.

Why are there so many differences between phenotypes

There are several reasons why phenotypes can express differently. The first point we have already covered. The seeds of a cannabis plant are like children, and they will all have unique individual differences while sharing general similarities. There are other reasons, though.

One is that newer strains tend to have greater variation. This is because the breeder could have put the strain out even though it was a first generation.

Strains become more stable when they are replicated for many generations, but this takes years.

When a breeder crosses a male and female, and gets seeds, that is merely one generation. The seeds from this cross would be considered F1.

If the breeder were to pop those seeds, select a male and a female, and cross those two phenos, then we would have an F2. That is because we took seeds of the same strain, and crossed them again.

Anything less than an F1 will have great variation. But an F2 will not be as stable as an F3, and so on.

How Phenotyping applies to Cannabis Cultivation

At Smokey Okies, we popped a couple dozen seeds of Banana Cake. This strain was created by In-House Genetics, and crossed Seed Junky’s Wedding Cake with Banana OG.

We had a lot of phenos but we only kept two. Banana Cake #1 is a funky green pheno, and Banana Cake #2 is a deep, dark purple pheno with a sweeter nose.

Banana Cake #2, the purple pheno

Two seeds from the same parents and the outcomes are wildly different. See below for a picture of each pheno.

Another example is California Dream. See the side by side of these two phenos. One was an ugly plant that had massive yields. The other pheno was lighter on the yields, yet had a darker hue, with a nice contrast between purple and the orange pistils.

You see, if we would have just planted these seeds, and then cloned off of each of them, we would have 24 different phenos of the same strain. This means that each pound that we weigh out would look different. Further, because most plants don’t yield more than a quarter pound, each of our bags would contain many different phenos. It would look like a mess. There would be no consistency bud to bud, and the bag appeal would be lost.

But not only that, the other problem with combining multiple phenos is that these are basically different strains, to an extent. They all have different THC and terp profiles, and therefore they can taste and smell different.

Pheno hunting brings consistency to all aspects of cultivation.

First, it brings consistency to the end product. Mixed phenos do not have the same bag appeal as a clean crisp bag of uber consistent nugs.

Second, your cultivation practices will be streamlined by only dealing with one pheno. That’s because phenos can grow differently – taller, shorter, wider, etc.

That means that if you have a table full of California Dream, you want to run an even canopy. You want to string trellis along the top of a proper looking plants. When you have multiple phenos, it’s like having a dozen different strains all growing differently.

Lastly, pheno hunting — the act of collecting data and numbering your strains – allows you to know what you’re really working with. If you are not tracking your phenos, then you will always be dealing with question marks. Everything will be different all the time and you won’t know if it’s something you did or if it was because of the pheno.

In our next article, we will show you how to implement phenotyping into your growing practices. Until then, rest assured that you did nothing wrong to create this outcome of wildly different plants. It is a part of the nature of the plant.

However, if you are wanting to seize greater control over the outcome – what farmer doesn’t? – then you must implement phenotyping and pheno hunting.

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