When you’ve decided which strain to grow, do a bit of research to familiarize yourself with the unique cultivation needs of that strain. While there are general guidelines for growing any type of cannabis, each strain has its own specific needs. Some strains do better in specific parts of the world or climates. Growing a strain that is well-suited to your climate will make it easier on you and the plants while giving you better odds of a successful harvest. If you aren’t certain what strain you want to grow, you can always give mixed packs of seeds a try, though it may be difficult to replicate any successes.
In many ways, buying high-quality seeds is very much like buying other items related to cannabis. Even in places where weed is legal, seeds are generally considered cannabis products the same as flower, edibles, oils, and anything else coming from the cannabis plant. For that reason, always pay very close attention to the legal status of marijuana seeds in your area.
Which marijuana strain?
Buying seeds directly from a brick-and-mortar shop gives you the benefit of being able to talk to an expert before making your purchase. Make sure the dispensary you’re buying from has employees who are experienced with the growing process.
Autoflowering seeds have been genetically designed to produce a plant that automatically flowers without you needing to be fully on top of altering the light your plant receives. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
In addition to deciding between indica, sativa, and hybrid, you should also figure out which specific strain you want to grow. If you are not sure which marijuana strain you want to grow, or you’re curious to learn about other strains you might not be familiar with, browse through the digital catalogs of reputable seed banks online and read about the various strains currently available. The best seed banks will have plenty of helpful information.
If you buy a packet of regular seeds, they’ll come with a mix of males and females. A lot of cultivators prefer to grow these because they haven’t been backcrossed—essentially inbred—as much as feminized or autoflower seeds. You’ll need to sex out the seeds once their reproductive organs show during the flowering phase and discard the males—because they don’t produce buds and will pollenate females, resulting in seeded flowers.
All of this information should be available to you when buying quality seeds.
Seed banks exist outside of the US and can sell them for “souvenir purposes,” but it is illegal to bring seeds into the US and Customs will seize any cannabis seeds they find in packages or on a person.
In states with adult-use legalization or a medical marijuana program, you can buy seeds within your own state, either at a dispensary or through a specific seed company’s website.
Some strains are easier to grow than others because they are more resistant to mold and pests, so if you’re new to growing, you may want to try an easier strain to start.
Breeders talk about “unstable genetics,” meaning that a seed’s origin is unknown. Make sure that when you buy a packet of seeds that it or the breeder who produced them can list where the seeds came from and how they were crossed and/or backcrossed to get the seed that you hold in your hand. If you can’t get a seed’s history, it could be anything and the result of poor breeding practices.
Cannabis seeds usually come in a pack of 10 or 12 seeds and start at around $40 a pack and go up from there. Some high-end genetics can run between $200 to $500 a pack.
Feminized seeds will only contain seeds for female plants. That makes things easier, as you don’t have to watch out for and remove male plants.
Your local weed shop may also be a weed seed shop. The experience is going to depend mostly on how your dispensary handles things. Some may offer mixed packs of weed seeds. Others put a little more effort in and will sell equipment in addition to seeds.
Too many options can be overwhelming, but in reality, only a portion of all the seeds and strains available are going to fit your needs.
After you’ve gone through all the research, made your purchase, and had it stealthily shipped to you, have you actually gotten quality seeds? The truth is that there is a huge range of strains out there, all with subtly different flavors and effects. As a result, quality is often in the eye of the beholder.
This may be the most important factor when choosing which are the best seed banks for you. While a seed bank may have a type of marijuana strain of cannabis seed they focus on, most offer pretty much the same spread of options. Once you do choose an option, though, you want to make sure you get the right seeds and strains.
When deciding which seed bank to try, there are a few factors that can be helpful to keep in mind.
Turning your cannabis seeds into cannabis plants should actually be relatively easy. There is a lot of advice online regarding how best to grow cannabis, but most assume the seeds you’re starting from are good.