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immature cannabis seeds

You can identify quality cannabis seeds by their size and shape, especially when you can compare several seeds side-by-side. The largest seeds with the most symmetrical round or teardrop-shape are the best quality, while immature seeds are small and often have an irregular shape.

How to > Melissa Sherrard

Like with any crop, a successful cannabis harvest starts with high-quality seeds but knowing how to identify the best ones can be tricky even for growers with years of experience. To help give you an idea of what to look for when preparing for your marijuana garden, here we talk about how to identify quality cannabis seeds on sight.

1. Appearance & Color

High-quality seeds have certain aesthetic qualities that set them apart from seeds that aren’t as healthy. The most viable seeds are brown, tan, or even black, as immature seeds are lighter colors like white, yellow, and pale green. Some people even claim that the best seeds feature dark spots or stripe patterns and that there should be a healthy sheen on the surface when held under light, like a fresh coat of wax.

2. Size & Shape

You can identify quality cannabis seeds by their size and shape, especially when you can compare several seeds side-by-side. The largest seeds with the most symmetrical round or teardrop-shape are the best quality, while immature seeds are small and often have an irregular shape.

3. Hardness & Durability

The best seeds have a hard outer shell with a smooth, uncracked surface, while undesirable seeds have soft surfaces that crinkle, crack, or crumble completely quite easily.

4. Age

If you know how old the (fully mature) seeds are you’ll be able to have a better idea of viable they are. Like all genetic material, seeds degrade over time, so freshly harvested seeds are often more viable than ones that are months or years old. You should store seeds in a cool, dark place (even a freezer) so they don’t rot or get mold.

5. Float Test

The “float test” is an easy way to check if a seed is viable or not. It’s as simple as dropping a seed into just enough distilled water to see if it has enough mass to sink within an hour or two, and if it does, then it generally has a better chance of germinating than seeds that float. You should do this right before you plant the seed because the water saturation can cause it to mold or decay.

Immature cannabis seeds
Are your seeds light or dark in colour? Are they tough under pressure or do they turn to dust? These are some of the ways to tell if your seed is healthy and worth growing.

Cannabis Seed Quality: What To Know Before You Grow

Are your seeds light or dark in colour? Are they tough under pressure or do they turn to dust? These are some of the ways to tell if your seed is healthy and worth growing.

One of the keys to achieving healthy and vigorous cannabis plants is starting with high-quality seeds. Of course, prime nutrients, adequate watering, and good light quality all contribute to the final yield obtained. But starting a grow with tip-top genetics is equally, if not more important. Carefully sourcing high-quality cannabis seeds will ensure you are receiving the exact genetics you are looking for. Not only will they provide you with the desired cannabinoid and terpene profiles, they will help you to avoid dud seeds.

There are several factors to look for when purchasing seeds, and certain signs that signify the seed isn’t worth the time and effort.

APPEARANCE AND FEEL

One good way to gauge the quality and traits of a cannabis seed is to get used to how they look. Some details are glaringly obvious, whilst others take some time to identify quickly. Healthier and genetically superior seeds will exhibit darker colours on the outer shell. Shades of grey and black are signs of a good seed, sometimes displaying a tiger stripe aesthetic.

Healthy seeds will also look as though they have a coating of wax of their shell. This can be made obvious when exposing them to a bright light and witnessing a sheen effect.

Darker and better-quality seeds will feel firm to the touch. Place the seed between your thumb and index finger and give it a squeeze, not enough power to bend metal, but enough to tests its resilience. If the seed feels firm and does not bend or break under the applied pressure, then it’s more than likely worth planting.

Poor-quality or old seeds will crack and crumble under pressure. If they break into parts under slight pressure, they will be unusable. But they wouldn’t have been worth the time anyway. Seeds are simply pods of a plant genetics. With time, they will age and become unusable. Seeds that are obviously past their prime are not worth wasting time on.

Immature and young seeds will be green and white in appearance. It is unlikely that these seeds will germinate, and if they manage to, it will just take longer. It is worth obtaining fresh seeds that are of optimal age.

SEEDS FROM A BAG

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.

GERMINATE THEM 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 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.

CONDUCT 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.

Royal Queen Seeds Produces Some Of Europe’s Best Cannabis Seeds, Ensuring Hobby Growers Everywhere Have Access To The Finest Marijuana Strains Around.

Royal Queen Seeds Produces Some Of Europe’s Best Cannabis Seeds, Ensuring Hobby Growers Everywhere Have Access To The Finest Marijuana Strains Around.