Cannabis Seed Quality: What To Know Before You Grow
Are your seeds light or dark in colour? Are they tough or do they turn to dust when you press them between your fingers? These are just some of the ways to tell if a seed is healthy and worth growing. Keep reading to learn more.
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.
Appearance And Feel – Checking The Color, Size, and Shape Of Your Seeds
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.
The fact that cannabis seeds can vary in appearance has led some growers to think that the size, shape, or color of a seed dictates its quality.
We do not recommend taking the size or shape of a seed into consideration as a sign of its quality. Some strains simply produce smaller seeds than others, and sometimes the same plant can produce seeds of different sizes and shapes. Never discard a seed just because it is smaller or of a different shape than another one.
The color and feel of a seed, on the other hand, can tell you a little more about its maturity and, potential to germinate or grow into a healthy seedling.
Mature cannabis seeds usually have a hard outer shell that can vary in color from very dark (or almost black) to very light grey and may have tiger-like stripes. You should be able to firmly press these seeds between your fingers without damaging them.
Immature cannabis seeds, on the other hand, tend to be green and have a soft outer shell that breaks when any kind of pressure is applied to it.
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.
Remember, just like animals and other living things, cannabis seeds are biologically different from one another (even if they are technically the same strain) and therefore will exhibit different physical characteristics. Don’t let these natural differences fool you into thinking that a larger, rounder, and darker seed (for example) is of better quality than a lighter, smaller, and more oval-shaped one.
Can You Tell The Sex Of Cannabis Seeds From Their Appearance?
We hear this question all the time from clients and beginner growers, and the answer is a resounding no. There is simply no way to tell the sex of a cannabis seed just by looking at it.
A quick web search will bring up all kinds of myths about how to tell female cannabis seeds from males. One of the most popular ones comes from a chart showing 5 different seeds that claims that the female seeds have “a perfectly round volcano-like depression at the bottom (from where the seed was attached to the plant).”
This is absolutely not true. As we explained earlier, cannabis seeds naturally look different, and no single physical trait of a seed can tell you whether that seed contains the genetics for a male or female plant. The only way to tell a female cannabis plant from a male is by looking at its flowers when it begins to sex. Don’t be fooled into throwing out perfectly healthy seeds just because a popular internet chart told you so.
Growing Seeds From A Bag (Bagseed)
Some smokers might be pleased to see some cannabis seeds in their bag, and might think themselves lucky. However, finding seeds in a bag is bad for various reasons. For one, this means the grower has messed up and allowed their female plants to be pollinated by an invading male. When flowers are pollinated, they stop producing THC-containing resin and divert their energy toward producing seeds. Secondly, the seeds will have added to the overall weight of the bag, which means less weed for your buck.
With this said, you may get lucky if the strain they were growing really is prime. In this case, it’s worth carrying out the following test to see if it’s worth germinating.
Germinating All Your Seeds Regardless
The one true method to test the genetic potential of a seed is to simply put it in the soil. It won’t take too long to see the results. This option is best for the hobby home grower who has time and space to spare for a risky project. Growers cultivating cannabis for commercial use likely don’t have the excess time to invest.
Source Your Seeds Well
A solid way to obtain great seeds is to find a reputable seed bank. These companies pride themselves of their breeding skills and make sure that their customers receive exactly what has been advertised. They have reputations to cater to, so delivering anything less would only harm their image.
The alternative to this is to risk buying seeds from a hobbyist. This isn’t to say that hobby growers cannot produce fantastic genetics, but if you don’t know them or their skills, there’s no way to know whether your seeds will grow.
Conducting The Float Test
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.
This simple and cost-effective method is a great way to tell the good genetics from the bad; they will sink or swim, literally. Seeds that remain buoyant on the surface are more than likely of poor quality and are to be discarded. Seeds that sink to the bottom like a botanical cannonball are probably healthy and should be germinated.
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.
It’s important to only conduct this test if you are planning to germinate the seeds immediately afterwards. The viable seeds that sunk to the bottom of the glass will have taken in water, crossing the membrane of the seed and signalling that it’s time to come to life—activating germination.
Cannabis Seed Quality – The Bottom Line
The quality of your seeds has a direct impact on the quality of your harvest. With that in mind, you should make sure to use the tips above to test the quality of any seeds you buy. All that being said, though, be sure to remember that each cannabis plant is different and, therefore, is going to produce slightly different seeds.
Wondering what sets great cannabis seeds apart from the rest? Click here to learn all there is to know about checking the quality of your cannabis seeds.
What you should know about white weed seeds
There is a lot of confusion and misinformation online about white weed seeds – from tales of New York White, an albino cannabis purportedly growing in New York sewers to people thinking that white/silvery seeds are a sign of immaturity. The truth is that white weed seeds do exist and are strains derived from White Widow, which was developed from seeds with dominant white pigmentation.
The pigment of white weed seeds
The white colour in cannabis occurs in nature occasionally, as a consequence of a double recessive gene responsible for the absence of chlorophyll or because of a genetic mutation of the genes involved in pigmentation.
A double recessive gene causes absolutely white plants, although this is extremely rare; and in the second case, the bud or a part of the plant is affected by the mutation. Another possible explanation is the non-conformity between nuclear and chloroplast genomes.
Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving colour to plants. Its purpose, however, is more than aesthetic, as it is vital for the photosynthesis process. The chlorophyll of marijuana leaves is responsible for absorbing sunlight, triggering the chemical reaction that enables the plant to generate energy from carbon dioxide (CO₂) and the raw sap derived from water and mineral salts.
White weed seeds do not always occur because of a genetic trait, such as albinism. Instead, it can occur as a side-effect of cross-breeding strains. Despite their colour, white weeds seeds sold by seed banks are entirely healthy and develop in a normal way, offering bountiful harvests if grown in the right conditions. They are not true albino plants, and it is unlikely that albino plants would survive long enough to produce cannabis. Watch out if a strain of weed starts to turn white as this can be a sign of powdery mildew.
FAQ about White weed seeds
There is a lot of uncertainty about white cannabis seeds. We have therefore answered the most frequently asked questions below.
Are white weed seeds good?
The short answer is ‘yes’. Most cannabis seeds are dark brown in colour, but some are a silvery white and grow into beautiful plants with frosted white buds and even leaves that are laced with white.
Do white cannabis seeds grow?
Many growers have heard the myth that white weed seeds are not as viable as black or brown seeds and are less likely to germinate. This is entirely untrue. At Weedseedexpress, we have undertaken numerous germination tests and are completely confident in their quality. In fact, our test revealed that white seeds are more likely to germinate sooner than black seeds which has been confirmed by numerous of other seedbanks
Are white weed seeds female?
All types of cannabis, including white strains, are dioecious or unisexual plants, which means that they are capable of producing male and female flowers in various individuals. However, both types of flowers can be found in hermaphrodite plants. You can reduce the risk of males by choosing feminised seeds, and most white strains sold at weedseedexpress.com are feminised seeds.
Apart from the white weed seeds we want to go a little deeper into white weed species.
White weed is delicious, and often less intense than other varieties, so it is good for indoor or stealth grows. White strains are normally Indica-dominant and grow thick, bushy colas and have a rapid flowering phase. Even though most white strains are directly descended from White Widow, this isn’t always true – some white varieties are classed as White because of their high resin content.
White strains are generally famous for offering smokers a consistently high-quality weed, inducing powerful feelings of relaxation and calm.
White Widow is widely regarded as the queen of the ‘White’ family. She has often been used to form other ‘white strains’ or share genetic material with other ‘white’ varieties. Other denominators are that white strains are covered in trichomes, have a high THC level resulting in a powerful high. Popular white strains include Snow White, White Widow and Amnesia Haze x White Widow.
White Widow flowers in 9-10 weeks when grown inside, and is ready for harvest in early October when cultivated outside. Try and leave harvest for as long as possible for better quality weed, with increased strength and a more complex flavour.
White Widow is classed as relatively easy to grow, and she is very resistant to mould. You can grow White Widow in northern climates as she tends to grow similarly to an Indica, despite her Sativa-dominant genetics. Use techniques, such as topping, to allow light to reach all areas of the plant to maximise yields. Allow White Widow sufficient flowering time, and you’ll reap rich rewards!
Ready to grow?
Are you inspired and what to buy marijuana seeds? The good news is that it is easier to get hold marijuana seeds than at any other time in history.
Curious if white weed seeds are good and if they will grow? Let us tell you everything you need to know about those shiney white cannabis seeds.