Know before you grow - how to check the quality of cannabis seeds

As legalization continues to spread across the USA and beyond, more and more cannabis lovers are developing an interest in horticulture.

Growing your own makes sense on a whole lot of levels. It is cost-effective, it means you have complete certainty as to the provenance of your crop and it puts you in control of the type of weed you choose to smoke. But over and above all that, it is an enormously enjoyable and rewarding thing to do.

There are plenty of aspects you need to get right in order to grow good quality, high-yield plants, and you’ll find no shortage of advice online about humidity, grow-lamps, soil nutrients and all the rest. But the most fundamental thing of all is the seeds themselves and ensuring their quality. Here are some simple things to check.



Catering to home growers is big business, and there are numerous seed shops out there. But not all of them will be selling first class seeds. Choose your supplier with care and only buy cannabis seeds from the best and most renowned seed banks. As well as having an extensive choice, these established businesses are built on their reputations. They have robust quality assurance processes and responsive customer support. Reputable sellers will also be able to guarantee feminized seeds. Despite urban legends to the contrary, you cannot tell the sex of a cannabis seed just by looking at it, so you need professional expertise here.



Different strains have different characteristics, but there are some basic principles that apply across the board. In general, seeds darken as they mature, so look for seeds that are brown or tan – some are almost black. Dark spots or stripes are also a good sign. If a seed is a green or cream color, it is more likely to be immature. Finally, the best seeds will have a glossy sheen to them when you look at them under light.

Shape and size

Again, there are variations depending on the strain, but the basic rule here is that big is beautiful. Look for larger seeds that have an even, symmetrical, tear-drop shape. When seeds are smaller and have irregular shapes, it is likely they have not yet reached full maturity.




The outer shell of a good-quality cannabis seed will be hard and smooth. Crinkles, cracks or brittleness are indicative of poorer quality.


Water test

As a final test before you plant your seeds, you can perform a float test. This simply means dropping your seeds into a small container of distilled water. The most viable seeds will have greater mass, meaning they will sink to the bottom after an hour or two. Choose “sinkers” over “floaters” as they are more likely to bring you success. Note that you should only perform the float test when you are ready to plant, as once the seeds have been saturated with water they can decay rapidly if left in storage. disclaimer:

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