What Do Cannabis Seeds Look Like

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White cannabis seeds vs dark cannabis seeds. Should cannabis seed germination and growth be affected by seed colour or seed appearance? Find out how to tell if a weed seed is good by looking at visual characteristics. Learn ways to determine if a seed is viable and discover where to get them. If you're looking to start growing your own marijuana, the first place to start is with the seed. What should you look for? How can you tell a good cannabis seed from a dud? Chris Bond tells us.

Dark vs white cannabis seed germination test

One common question from growers is whether white cannabis seeds or dark cannabis seeds have different germination rates. When you compare cannabis seeds you may have noticed that the seeds are rarely identical. Instead you may see a range of different sizes and colours. The differences in size, colour and appearance often produce debate among growers. Why do the cannabis seeds look different and do these differences result in slightly different growth characteristics in the plants which grow from them?

Dark vs white cannabis seeds germination

In the video below you can see a germination comparison. On the left hand side, you can see 9 white Think Different autoflowering seeds. On the right hand side there are 9 dark coloured Think Different seeds.

The autoflower seeds all came from the same batch, meaning that they were produced from the same parent genetics under the same conditions. Seeds were chosen simply on the basis of their appearance. 9 white cannabis seeds and 9 dark coloured Think Different seeds were selected. They were planted in moist (but never soaked) soil and a time lapse video was made.

Note that the white cannabis seeds on the left hand side were the first seeds to germinate, with 8 out of 9 seeds sprouting pretty quickly. In the end all 9 seeds germinated on both sides, which was a 100% score. In terms of white seeds vs dark seeds (cannabis), there was no difference in the germination rates.

Does the colour of your cannabis seeds really matter?

The time lapse video shows that the colour of your cannabis seeds doesn’t have any impact on their germination rates. The colour of the shell casing is simply not an indication of the type of genetics contained inside. Nor is the colour or appearance of the exterior of the cannabis seed a good indicator of any other property, such as the future plant sex, size or potency. Only the genetic material inside the cannabis seed really determines the types of result that you can expect.

Black cannabis seeds germination test results

The dark cannabis seeds (on the right hand side in the video) showed the same germination rate as the white cannabis seeds (left hand side). However, the white cannabis seeds appeared to germinate a little bit faster than the dark cannabis seeds.

White cannabis seeds germination test results

Can white cannabis seeds germinate? One curious result from the white vs dark seeds cannabis video was that the white cannabis seeds appeared to germinate slightly faster than the dark cannabis seeds. This is interesting, since the seeds all contain the same Think Different autoflowering genetics from a recent cannabis seed batch.

One suggestion is that the white cannabis seeds may have a slightly softer shell, allowing the white cannabis seeds a slightly faster germination. The experiment was repeated twice more. On each occasion, the seed germination rates were the same, but the white seeds tended to germinate faster.

Related:
The best ways to germinate cannabis seeds

Why are some cannabis seeds white and some black?

Even cannabis seeds produced from the same branch of a plant can have quite different appearances. Size, as well as shape and colour can vary. Some cannabis strains can produce seeds that have certain appearance characteristics. White Widow seeds, for example, can often be very small and pale. Frisian Dew seeds can have a slightly grey colour.

There have been many theories about how the size, shape and colour of cannabis seeds can affect the plants which they eventually produce. In reality, it’s the cannabis genetics inside the seed case which really determines the results that you can expect. The shell of the seed and the markings on it are purely cosmetic and don’t give any clues to the results you can expect.

In the years before Dutch Passion invented feminised cannabis seeds, people would often try to predict which seeds would produce female plants. Of course, this was impossible. But it didn’t stop people going to great lengths, even measuring the weight of individual seeds in an attempt to derive some knowledge from the seeds physical appearance/size.

Related:
What does the appearance of cannabis seeds indicate?

Is the colour of seeds a cosmetic difference only?

Some dark cannabis seeds have black lines on them (tiger prints), giving them a distinctive appearance. Other seeds have no significant patterns or markings on them at all. Dark black cannabis seeds can be occasionally seen.

You may also see light vs dark cannabis seeds produced from the same plant. But it’s important to note that cosmetic differences between the seed casing is not a factor which defines how the cannabis seeds grow or germinate.

The genetic material in the soft plant tissue inside the seeds is what really determines the type, size, sex and potency of the cannabis you will eventually grow. These genetics, along with the environment you provide, will control the terpenes, cannabinoids, yield and potency of your eventual cannabis harvest.

Why are some cannabis seeds white and some black? It’s just the way that nature has evolved. Seeds from all kinds of plants and trees show similar variations in their appearance.

What should you look out for in a cannabis seed?

Rather than looking at the appearance of a cannabis seed, you should focus more on the quality of breeding which has gone into the seed. Some growers think that only the largest, tiger-striped cannabis seeds will go on to produce the best plants. Yet some strains will never produce seeds like that.

Time spent researching your cannabis seeds and cannabis seed supplier is time wisely spent. Look for a seed supplier with a good track record in cannabis breeding. Preferably look for a cannabis seed supplier that has been around for a long time with a few cannabis cups and plenty of online reference grows for you to check out before you spend your cash.

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Knowing whether you prefer e.g. a Kush, a THC rich vs CBD rich strain, a fruity strain or a Skunk strain is a good place to start. If the array of cannabis seed choices can seem overwhelming, the following article may help you select the best strain for you.

Related:
How to choose the best cannabis strains for you

Once you have the best cannabis seeds for you, it’s worth ensuring you get maximum germination rates with a good germination method. The preferred Dutch Passion way to germinate cannabis seeds is with moist (but never soaked) cotton pads. If you spot any issue during the growth of your cannabis seeds, we highly recommend to refer to our illustrated guide featuring the key nutrient deficiencies and excesses symptoms and how to cure them.

White cannabis seeds vs dark cannabis seeds

We hope the germination video is a useful illustration of the fact that there is little useful information that can be conveyed by the colour or darkness of a cannabis seed.

Each cannabis strain can produce subtle differences in the size and appearance of their cannabis seeds. You can even expect to see differences between cannabis seeds produced from the same plant. Don’t worry about trying to read too much into cannabis seed appearance. Instead, do your research carefully and select the best cannabis seeds for your particular needs and your specific grow situation. Enjoy growing and good luck!

How To Tell If A Weed Seed Is Good?

Every cultivator knows how critical seed quality can influence the growth outcome. If you get duds, they won’t sprout. Some bad seeds will germinate but won’t reach their potential yield. It’s essential to know how to tell if a weed seed is good if you want your cultivating efforts to pay off.

Join us as we explore the characteristics of seeds and how to differentiate the good ones from the bad. We’ll also show you how to select the right vendor and where to buy quality seeds, so you get value for money and a bountiful harvest.

Let’s start with answering the question, what do good weed seeds look like?

How to tell if a weed seed is good

If you buy your seeds from reputable seed banks, you can be sure of getting quality seeds almost all the time. You’re more likely to get poor seeds from your local dealer. However, if you know how to tell if a marijuana seed is good, you can rule out bad ones immediately.

One way to judge the quality of cannabis seeds is by looking at their appearance. Be aware, though, that seeds from the same plant can have unique characteristics, just as with human siblings. Quality seeds will differ visually.

What do cannabis seeds look like? Here’s a summary:

  • Color – ranges from green to brown
  • Shape – some are spherical while others are pointy
  • Size – there are small and large seeds

Now, let’s find out how to tell if a marijuana seed is good. Here are a few signs you can look for:

Aesthetics

The appearance of weed seeds can indicate their quality. Typically, the outer shells of superior cannabis seeds have dark colors, such as black, brown, or grey. Avoid seeds with lighter hues—white, pale green, and yellow are of poor quality.

High-quality cannabis seeds will not have damaged shells. There won’t be cracks that expose the inside of the seed. You’ll also notice a healthy waxy coating when you look at the seeds under bright light.

While appearance offers a guide, it’s not a reliable indicator of a seed’s quality.

Shape and size

Healthy marijuana seeds may differ in size but look alike in terms of shape—they’re round or symmetrically shaped like a teardrop. Poor quality seeds usually have deformed or flat shells.

Seed size varies between cultivars. Larger ones are easier to grow because they have more stored energy and can potentially develop into healthy plants.

The weight of the seeds also matters when evaluating quality marijuana seeds. If you have two seeds and the smaller one weighs more than the larger seed, the former is of better quality. The bigger seed is lighter because it loses moisture and nutrients as it ages.

Firmness

Darker high-quality cannabis seeds are hard when you touch them. To feel how firm a seed’s shell is, without using excessive pressure, squeeze it with your thumb and index finger. If the seed doesn’t crack or bend, it’s viable.

Bad marijuana seeds are usually supple or soft. It’ll save you time and effort if you identify them and exclude them at the onset.

Age

Your cannabis seeds will degrade over time, so it’s important to choose freshly harvested ones up to four months old. If you preserve them well, healthy marijuana seeds can remain viable for some time.

It’s impossible to know a seed’s age unless it’s from your own plant. When buying seeds, you probably won’t know the age unless you buy them from a seed bank known for quality genetics. Check the data they provide.

Float test

Having inspected the seeds by sight and touch, a quick way to separate viable seeds from bad marijuana seeds is to do a float test. Fill a glass with distilled water and drop in the seeds you intend to germinate.

Check after an hour. Germinate the seeds that sink. Most growers dispose of the floaters as they probably won’t sprout. Even if they do, it’s unlikely you’ll get a healthy plant.

If you want to know how to tell if seeds are viable quickly, use the float test.

Experiment

Suppose you don’t have time to inspect every seed for viability, germinate all your seeds and watch what happens. You can put them in soil or use other germinating methods. The quality of the seedlings will tell you if you’ve used healthy marijuana seeds.

The challenge here is wasting precious time using this method because you only see results when the germination process is over.

What does a healthy marijuana seed look like?

There are several ways to determine the viability of your seeds. One is by looking at the color of the seeds—healthy marijuana seeds are usually brown with varying shades from light to dark. You may also come across seeds with tiger stripes or turtle-shell patterns.

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Seed colors may change due to genetics or environmental conditions, but they’re healthy if they remain in the range. It’s when they display a greenish shade that you have a reason for concern.

They’re not bad marijuana seeds per se, but green hues are a sign that the seeds did not have time to develop properly. There’s a high risk that these seeds will not germinate.

Another way to identify healthy marijuana seeds is to look at their size and weight. If they meet the color criterion, bigger seeds are usually healthier because they’re packed with nutrients and energy. However, you may have smaller seeds that are more viable if they weigh more than their larger counterparts.

Healthy marijuana seeds typically have a body shaped like a teardrop. If you notice seeds that are flat or distorted, they may have a genetic flaw. You’ll have issues germinating them, and if they do sprout, they’ll produce plants that are below par.

Another clue that’ll show that you have healthy marijuana seeds is the appearance of their shell. Good seeds will have shiny-looking shells as though there’s a layer of wax on them. Avoid seeds that look dull and have a matte finish.

How long are cannabis seeds viable?

Now that you know how to tell if marijuana seeds are healthy, the next question is how long are cannabis seeds viable?

The short answer is, it depends on how well you preserve them. Weed seeds get the signal to sprout when there’s heat and moisture. According to some cultivators, if you store your cannabis seeds in a dark and dry space, they can stay viable for as long as 5–10 years.

Pro tip: place a cotton ball with your seeds to absorb excess moisture.

Fresh, healthy marijuana seeds will germinate quicker than older seeds. While you can keep seeds viable for years, some of them may not sprout. The longer you preserve them, the fewer seeds will be productive.

Choose healthy marijuana seeds that are less than a year old. Some established seed banks may indicate the age of the seeds.

If they don’t, you can use the touch test that we mentioned earlier. Squeeze the seeds lightly with your thumb and index finger. If they’re firm, you’ve got young and healthy marijuana seeds. Older seeds may feel soft crack under pressure.

Where is the best place to order cannabis seeds?

Where’s the best place to order marijuana seeds? If marijuana is legal in your state, you can get your seeds from dispensaries or buy them online from seed banks. The latter may be your only option if state laws prohibit the sale of cannabis.

When buying seeds from dispensaries, be sure to check that their staff knows how to tell if a marijuana seed is good. If you’re not happy with the answers you get, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

You should do the same when shopping online. To get high-quality cannabis seeds, we recommend that you only buy them from reputable seed banks such as Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Stay away from small dealers that offer cheap seeds. There’s a high chance that you might end up with duds or low-grade seeds. It’s better to pay a bit more for quality marijuana seeds than endure the heartache of seeds that don’t sprout.

Most recognized online cannabis seed providers offer seeds at competitive prices. We have regular promotions such as Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO), which are money-savers. You get two packets of seeds for one price.

Established seed banks like ours offer a seed replacement guarantee because we stand by the quality of our marijuana seeds. If you have seeds that don’t germinate, we’ll replace them once at no cost.

Another reason to buy from reliable vendors is that they usually have an extensive collection of high-quality cannabis seeds. You’re likely to find the strain you want without searching many websites. Your order and private details are also safe because they have secure payment systems.

3 tips on how to get high-quality cannabis seeds

If you want healthy marijuana plants, you need to grow high-quality cannabis seeds. Sub-par seeds will only cause you to waste time and money because most won’t germinate. When they do, you end up with crops that don’t live up to their potential.

Getting high-quality cannabis seeds may not be as tricky as you think. Here are some tips to improve your odds of having seeds that’ll give you the crops and yield you want.

Choose the right supplier

Buying your seeds from an established seed bank is a reliable way to ensure you get only quality marijuana seeds. Most of these vendors pride themselves on providing customers with the best seeds. Homegrown offers replacement seeds if they don’t germinate.

You have a wide range of cannabis seeds to choose from. If you want sativa or indica cultivars, these seed banks will likely have the strain you want. Some may even have hard-to-find ones.

Get professional advice

When buying high-quality cannabis seeds, you want to know as much about them as possible. Reputable sellers have weed experts who prepare detailed information about the seeds and answer your questions.

These professionals will also advise you on the type of seeds that are suitable for your cultivation goals. You don’t need to figure out for yourself if you should grow regular, autoflower, or feminized seeds.

Create your own seeds

You can create high-quality cannabis seeds if you want to, but it’ll take some knowledge of the subject. You need to pollinate the flowers of your cannabis crop. To do so, you need the male part of your plant to send pollen to the female, which has flowers.

Except for plants grown from feminized seeds, most have both male and female parts. If you want to produce your own quality marijuana seeds, you should choose regular seeds.

Before you act on this knowledge, make sure you understand your state’s weed laws. Some states still prohibit the home cultivation of cannabis. If yours is one of them, don’t despair. Not being able to grow pot doesn’t mean that you can’t buy quality marijuana seeds.

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U.S. Federal law allows citizens to purchase seeds as souvenirs. You can preserve them until it’s legal to cultivate in your location, as long as you don’t germinate them.

Get your high-quality cannabis seeds today

Once you know how to identify quality marijuana seeds by sight and feel, you’re able to rule out the bad ones before you germinate them. There’s no experimenting involved, which is a waste of precious time.

If you’re unsure of how to inspect the seeds properly, use the float test. It’s simple to do and separates the seeds that’ll germinate from those that won’t.

The no-brainer way of getting high-quality cannabis seeds is by buying them from reputable seed banks like us. You’re assured of premium-grade seeds 99% of the time. If not, we’ll replace the ones that don’t work.

About the Author: Kyle Kushman

Kyle Kushman is a legend in the cannabis community. He is the modern-day polymath of pot: cultivator, breeder, activist, writer, and educator. After winning no less than 13 Cannabis Cups, there’s nothing this guy doesn’t know about indoor growing – he’s been there, done it, and is still doing it to this day!

10 Markers of a Quality Marijuana Seed

If you’re looking to start growing your own marijuana, the first place to start is with the seed. What should you look for? How can you tell a good cannabis seed from a dud? Chris Bond tells us.

So, you’ve decided to grow your own marijuana from seed. How do you know if those little, round nuggets in your hand will grow up lush and produce beautiful, productive buds? How do you know if they are duds? While ultimately the genetics will determine the destiny of those little weed seeds, and proper care will help them to realize their full potential, there are some markers you can assess to see if what you have is quality seed, indeed.

What to Look for in a Cannabis Seed

#1 Color

While all cannabis seed is not identical in color, there are some consistencies. Healthy, viable seed will be light to dark brown in color. Seed that is light green or even whitish in color is underdeveloped and should be tossed out. Healthy seed will also have a burled or turtle shell-like pattern on its seed coat.

#2 Sheen

A quality cannabis seed will have a waxy, protective coating. Seeds that appear dull are probably not as viable and should be avoided if given a choice.

#3 Shape

Quality cannabis seed will look like a plump teardrop. Flat or misshapen seeds will not likely produce quality plants.

#4 Texture

Quality seed will be firm. Cannabis seed should have a strong seed coat protecting the pre-emerged life inside. Any seed that is tender, pliable or squishy should not be planted; poor results will follow if attempted.

#5 Size

Size is relative, but if you are able to compare several seeds at once, the higher quality seeds are larger. When it comes to seeds, less is more. The fewer seeds that comprise any given amount, an ounce or a gram for example, is generally an indicator of higher quality seeds. The biggest seeds within a species generally have more energy stored within them and have a greater potential to mature into a productive plant. Note that indica strains tend to produce larger seeds than sativa strains so make sure the comparison is made among like seeds.

#6 Weight

Weight often goes hand-in-hand with size, but heavier seeds are generally of higher quality than lighter ones. The older a seed gets, the more potential loss of moisture and nutrients, reducing its overall weight. Damaged seed, which has been cracked can potentially lose those same necessary qualities.

#7 Float test

Quality seeds will sink in water. In glass or vessel, place room temperature water deep enough to full cover the volume of seeds to be tested. Place your seed or seeds in the water. After a couple of hours, anything still floating, should not be considered a quality seed. Soaking seeds will allow moisture to cross over the protective membrane and signal the seed that it is time to grow. As such this test should not be performed if the intent is to store the seeds after testing as it may render otherwise quality seed unviable if not meant to be immediately germinated afterwards.

#8 Storage

You may not have access to see or have verified information on the storage conditions of seeds, but if you can find this out, it is critical to maintaining quality seeds. While cannabis seeds can be viable for over 10 years in some instances, the best seed in terms of productivity is not more than 12 to 18 months old. It should have been stored in dark, cool and dry conditions to prevent mold or the onset of any fungal issues. Storing in a freezer can prolong seeds as well, essentially suspending time.

#9 Age at harvest

This is another aspect you, the buyer may not be privy to. Quality seed is harvest when fully mature. If seed was collected before the plant was able to load as much stored energy into it as possible, then that seed will be starting out life in a deficit. Color, as referenced above can be an indicator of whether or not a seed was harvested at the appropriate time.

#10 Cost

You get what you pay for and a cannabis seed is not exempt from this maxim. Quality seeds are not cheap (at least when compared to other agricultural seeds). This isn’t to say that inferior seeds can’t be overpriced, but if you find cannabis seeds proclaiming excellent genetics for sale at a price that seems too good to be true, caveat emptor.

This is not meant to be a definitive list, as new varieties of cannabis emerge on the scene all the time that may have “normal” traits that would otherwise be viewed as deficiencies in other strains. As always, do your homework, ask other growers who know and buy your seeds from a reputable source.

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