Gone are the days when you had to move your way through a bag of marijuana to find some seeds for planting. In the last two decades, we have seen some of the most incredible improvements in cannabis genetics. One of the biggest is, of course, the fact that they have become available to the whole world. Anybody can buy cannabis seeds these days – and legally, too. However, that also means that virtually anybody can sell cannabis seeds, and it’s easy to end up with the wrong packet.
With a little bit of sound advice and guidance, you can make sure that you are purchasing the right packet of cannabis seeds for what you plan to do. And that’s exactly what we are here to help you with!
Is it legal to purchase cannabis seeds where you live?
First things first, we need to talk legalities. Cannabis seeds are considered just as much a cannabis product as anything you’d purchase at a dispensary, such as buds or concentrates. That means that if cannabis is not yet legal where you live, then neither are cannabis seeds. And for that matter, most seed manufacturers will not ship to a country or state where it is illegal to send cannabis seeds. So make sure you know the rules of your place of residence before you start shopping.
Where do you purchase cannabis seeds?
In general, the best place to purchase cannabis seeds are online or at a seed shop. There are many online seed stores in Europe and the USA. Most places will ship internationally so long as you live in a place where it is legal to receive cannabis seeds.
There is, of course, some sense in purchasing from a reputable seed manufacturer. A lot of work goes into cannabis genetics and producing seeds, so it helps to choose a manufacturer that has done all of the hard work for you.
Some reputable cannabis geneticists include:
- Sensi Seeds
- Greenhouse Seeds
- Exotic Genetix
- Southern Humboldt Seed Collective
In general, it’s not recommended to purchase seeds from a dispensary. The options are limited and staff may not be able to assist you when it comes to the growing process.
How do you know if your seeds are good?
The short answer to this question: you don’t. However, you can feel secure when purchasing from a reputable company such as Sensi or Southern Humboldt. They are established seed manufacturers that have been playing with cannabis genetics for a long time. You are much safer purchasing from companies such as these than you are purchasing from newer, lesser known companies.
At the end of the day, there’s still no guarantees that you’re going to have the plants you’re looking for. But you can save yourself from some of the risks by choosing companies that people buy from all the time.
If a seed manufacturer can’t tell you everything about the genetics of that seed (what was crossed to get there and the genetic history), then don’t buy it. A seed company should be able to tell you everything about the seed you are purchasing. That’s one way to know whether or not you can rely on the company and the seeds they are sending you.
Which seeds to buy? Regular, feminized or autoflowering?
When you are on the market shopping for seeds, you will be presented with a myriad of different options. You may not understand the purpose behind different kinds of seeds, but we can guide you through it. It will all depend on why you want to grow marijuana, how much patience you have and the kind of space that you’re working with. It will also matter whether you are growing indoors or outdoors and what kind of climate you live in.
In a packet of regular cannabis seeds, there is no knowing whether they will grow up to be male or female. Statistically, half of them will be male and half will be female, but it doesn’t always go that way. In any case, there is no guarantee to their gender. Regular seeds are generally preferred by those who are growing cannabis in order to play around with genetics. However, if you have no use for male plants, this might not be the best packet of seeds for you.
Feminized seeds revolutionized homegrown cannabis. This is because these seeds are specially manufactured to grow up to be female plants. Using some clever and cunning manipulation of genetics, there is an almost guarantee that seeds will produce a female seed. If you have no business with having male plants and just want to harvest buds, feminized seeds are a great option.
Finally, there are autoflowering seeds. These seeds produce plants that are not affected by a change in light/day cycles. It means that after a certain amount of time, they will flip to flowering all on their own, without any interference from the grower. They are also the fastest growing variety, usually ready for harvest within 100 days of planting. These plants don’t generally get very big either, so they are ideal for smaller growing spaces.
As well as knowing what kind of seed you are going to purchase, it’s also important to think about where you’re growing. In general, seed companies can let you know which plants are more suitable for colder climates and which ones are better in equatorial climates. This will probably affect what kind of seeds you buy.
Buying hemp seeds
When it comes to buying hemp seeds, it’s a little bit more complicated. The Farm Bill only just took effect in 2018, and before that the sale of hemp seeds was illegal. Plus, there generally isn’t a huge selling point for hemp seeds as the hemp plant requires involved processing before it can be used as CBD oil, fibers, paper or fuel. For the most part, the sale of hemp seeds was reserved for industrial projects rather than consumer projects.
With all of that in mind, companies are beginning to pop up which sell hemp seeds. The Cheyenne Mountain Seed Company from Colorado is one of them. But their seeds aren’t cheap. A pack of 10 feminized hemp seeds costs $50 and a pack of 50 costs $200. Their method of calculating seed price boils down to the ratio of CBD:THC that they expect the seed will yield – but of course, there’s no guarantee.
HempLogic is another CBD hemp seed manufacturer in the USA. As well as selling hemp seeds for cultivation, they also sell hemp seedlings and clones. They also have different varieties of hemp available; some which yield high concentrations of CBD, and others which are more suitable for growing for fibers. They don’t advertise prices on their website though – for that, you have to contact them directly.
It’s likely that hemp seeds will remain a rare commodity until the hemp industry really starts to kick off. It’s particularly difficult to market hemp seeds to the general public because most people don’t really know what to do with hemp flowers. While they can be smoked or used to make hemp butter, most people want CBD to be extracted from the flower. And for that, you need some pretty sound chemical knowledge and equipment. So as it stands, there isn’t a huge consumer market for hemp seeds (unless they are for eating!).
How many seeds should you buy?
If you’ve ever planted a seed before, you’ll remember that some of them didn’t germinate. The same goes for cannabis seeds. Some of those that you plant may simply not germinate, and there’s not much you can do about that. But you can buy enough seeds to account for the ones that won’t germinate.
The general rule is to buy 4 times as many plants as you want in the ground. For example, if you would like 5 plants to harvest at the end of the day, buy 20 seeds. If you are working with regular seeds, some of them will be male. However, if you’re working with feminized or autoflowering varieties, then you don’t have to worry about removing males from the garden.
Start small, work your way up
It’s tempting when you’re first growing cannabis to buy a lot of seeds or to buy the most expensive ones. Here’s a piece of sound advice: start small and work your way up. You don’t have to successfully grow 20 cannabis plants on your first attempt. In fact, you’ll probably end up wasting a lot of money in the process by failing to grow them properly.
Your best bet is to buy a small amount of seeds of a strain that is easy to grow. This gives you the chance to grow for the first time and make mistakes without spending a whole lot of money while you’re doing it.
Once you’ve got your seeds, all you have to do is put them in the ground (or in your indoor grow room). Happy planting!