How to Choose Cannabis Seeds for Healthy Plants

how to grow cannabis seeds

So you’ve decided you want to grow cannabis. One of the most important and earliest decisions you’ll make is which seeds to use. A good seed contains the essential ingredients for a healthy, potent plant. Learning how to choose cannabis seeds doesn’t have to be complicated – learn the basic facts here.

How to Choose Cannabis Seeds: Buy or Grow?

Seeds are only produced by female cannabis plants after a male plant pollinates them. To grow your own seeds you will need the female plants that produce the seeds, as well as a male plant to fertilize the female plants. It’s as simple as placing the male plant near the female plant you want to fertilize. Seeds will appear in about 4-6 weeks. This can be a complicated process, with a lot of uncertainty, so many people choose to purchase feminized seeds instead. 

Male vs. Female: Does it Matter?

Seeds can be male or female, but most people only want to grow female seeds. Why? Because female plants are the plants that produce buds. Most seed companies sell “regulars,” which contain male and female seeds. However, they also offer only female seeds, referred to as feminized seeds. There is a big price difference between the two, but its worth it to spend the extra money to make sure that you are working with feminized seeds so that you do not waste your resources growing male plants that don’t produce the results you want.

Choose Your Benefits

Think about the effects that you would like your cannabis to have when consumed. There are two main categories of cannabis – indica and sativa. Sativas produce an energetic, creative feeling in users. Indicas reduce anxiety and inflammation but often leaves users feeling tired.

How to Spot a Healthy Seed

Healthy marijuana seeds are dark brown, black, or some combination of both. We’d recommend you don’t use green seeds. Green seeds usually aren’t yet mature enough to sprout. Both bigger and smaller seeds will work. Indica seeds tend to be bigger-sized than sativa seeds. Another way indica and sativa seeds differ is in their patterns. Seeds that are brown and black are most likely indica, while the seeds that are a single color are generally sativa.

Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid

Cannabis sativa plants will grow tall and thin. They take longer to mature than indica plants. Sativa plants tend to have bigger yields than indica plants. Indica plants are shorter and more bush-shaped and tend to produce fewer buds than sativa plants.

For many years, people had to choose between the benefits of indica or sativa. But you can also grow hybrid plants, which blend the qualities of sativa and indica into one plant. Hybrids usually are dominant one way or the other – indica or sativa – but also produce the effects of the other kind of plant.

Another thing to consider, especially if you are a novice grower, is that indicas take less time to mature than sativas. Indicas are considered a hardier plant that can withstand more stress so they are more forgiving to novice growers who tend to make a few mistakes on their trial run.

Seed Preservation

Whether you grow your seeds or purchase them, you should take a few precautions to keep them safe until you are ready to grow them. If done correctly, you can store marijuana seeds for several years and still use them to grow healthy cannabis plants.

Seeds should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place. Do not expose seeds to sunlight or they may sprout. Do not expose seeds to moisture or they may sprout as well. Seeds should be stored at room temperature. Exposing the seeds to extreme cold or heat could damage the seed so that it can never be used.

How to Choose Cannabis Seeds for Success

Don’t get overwhelmed. There are a lot of options when it comes how to choose cannabis seeds! The best way to learn is just to get started.

If you choose to purchase seeds, start with a cheaper strain. Expensive doesn’t always mean better. Some of the old faithful strains are very potent. More complicated, newer, expensive hybrid strains can flop more easily. You don’t want to have spent too much money on seeds for your first plants. Choose a strain that people have been growing abundantly for many years so your first grow cycle is as problem-free as possible.

Want more information on how to choose cannabis seeds and more business tips? Check out the resources provided on our blog or podcast!

13 Comments

  1. Clifford Epperson on March 23, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    I am a new beginner grower I have several plants in veg and in bloom I am using fox farm supplies and LED lights doing pretty good having a problem getting some good seeds

  2. mark on March 23, 2021 at 7:46 am

    I used seeds from high supplies and they germinate good.

  3. Erica Jones on April 6, 2021 at 5:07 am

    Since a person has epilepsy, should they be smoking marijuana at all?

    • TulsaRed on June 25, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      Cannabis has been used by many of my friends with Epilepsy. Some of them say it reduces the frequency of their seizures or shortens the duration. Others say it has no effect ( in that their frequency of seizures hasn’t gone up at least) that they can tell. I’m not a Medical Professional , just someone who has many friends with seizures. Also, I noticed that my seizures were more frequent when I had higher anxiety. Cannabis lowered that anxiety once I got over my allergy to it.

      • WaltBrewster on September 19, 2022 at 11:33 am

        real glad your not a medical professional I have Parkinsons and no mater what I still have Seizures mainly when I’mstresed not from anything else

    • Nasir Ali on October 29, 2021 at 8:12 pm

      Yes they have strains for people with epilepsy…you need medical so you can know what you are getting.

    • Iris Smith on February 1, 2022 at 5:01 am

      I was on gabapentin, adderall, muscle relaxants and SSRI’s for years, I’m 50 and use only pot, not hemp, I roll and smoke it. I have been off all prescriptions for more than 2 years. I did have to choose, you can’t mix it. Yes, I tried to mix, I found my arteries in ways I didn’t know possible when I mixed. I don’t drink alcohol anymore either, that was a fluke bonus considering how expensive pot is. I’m considering growing so I can cut costs.

    • James Tweedel on October 13, 2022 at 2:47 pm

      I have a friend who also has epilepsy and he’s been smoking for about 15 years…idk if that helps but nothing has happened to him due to smoking..

  4. Terry Laudig on November 28, 2021 at 8:45 am

    My nephew has epilepsy and he hasn’t had a seizure in a long time and he smokes regularly. Seems to do much better when is smoking than not.

  5. James Coutinho on January 1, 2022 at 1:19 am

    It is quintessential to choose seeds that are not genetically modified though. The non-GMO yet healthy variants are the ones we want to flourish in the cannabis world, isn’t it?

  6. George on January 16, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    In the past I’ve bought kits to make beer. Are there excellent kits for Cannabis? For a first timer I’m thinking of a 4×4 reflective tent and led lights, does anyone know of kits to get started?

  7. Vansickle on February 15, 2022 at 4:53 am

    My first outdoor grow here in Michigan was strawberry cough strain. I was given 3 seeds which were feminized. Started them in jiffy peat pellets, under a led grow light. Transplanted in May to a spot behind my garage used a bag of compost. These plant grew to over 10 foot! I used fox farm bloom nutes. Stunk up the neighborhood when flowered. small nugs ( 2-3 inches) but hey, this is zone 5 . Harvest in late October, this is a sativa, the buzz is creeper and definitely wake and bake, clear headed,mop the floor, mow the lawn, wash the truck spank your meemaw! The trim job is a major labor intensive chore, call all friends, buy a keg of beer, it’s that kind of job and have several pairs of good scissors and a big bottle of some kind of alcohol to clean’em with. The the drying and storage in airtight canning jars. Its intense in a good way I suppose. From 3 plants i harvest about a 1/2 pound of buds, made some ice water hash which is surprisingly good. Would I do it again? Still debating that. I see now why dispensaries charge so much.

  8. Mexicano OG on November 20, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    3 plants and 6 months for less than 1/4 kilo?. This is a hobby, not practical at all.

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