When you buy regular seeds, some will grow up to produce male plants and others will grow into female plants. Therefore, growing regular cannabis seeds requires you to pay close attention to the sex of each plant so you can get rid of any males that sprout. Male marijuana plants produce fewer, smaller, less-potent flowers, and therefore will not give you much to smoke. Even worse, males will pollinate your female plants and cause them to produce low-quality buds that are full of seeds. If you plant regular seeds, plan to buy more than you might actually need, as a higher percentage of these weed seeds will produce male plants.
There is a seemingly endless variety of cannabis strains now in existence. Before buying cannabis seeds you need to know what kind of weed you want to grow. Start by figuring out if you want to grow an indica-dominant, sativa-dominant, or hybrid strain. Indica-dominant plants tend to be short and bushy with thick stems and broad, deep-green leaves. They also have short flowering cycles and grow well in cold climates with short growing seasons. Sativa plants have longer flowering cycles, fare better in warm climates with long seasons, and usually grow taller with light-green, narrow leaves.
Finally, autoflowering seeds have more to do with the growth cycle of the marijuana plant than the sex of plants. Many growers consider autoflowers to be the best seed choice because they require less work and flower more quickly. When growing regular, or photoperiod, seeds indoors, you will have to manipulate the light your plant receives in order to trigger the flowering process. But autoflowering seeds have been genetically designed to produce plants that automatically flower based on their age rather than changes in the light, meaning less work for you.
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.
Remember, seeds must be germinated before planting and there is no such thing as an iron-clad germination guarantee. Always plan on a certain percentage of seeds failing to germinate or growing into weak, unviable plants. So plan on purchasing more seeds than you think you will need. As a general guideline, assume that at least 25% of the seeds you plant will, for one reason or another, not make it to harvest. For best results, buy and plant 25% more seeds than the number of mature plants you want to produce.
However you go about buying cannabis seeds, you need to plan ahead. In many ways, successful germination and eventual harvest depend on getting the right seeds upfront. Fortunately, the cannabis industry is now offering an incredibly broad selection of seeds to choose from. Here are some of the most important factors you need to think about to ensure that the marijuana seeds you buy will meet your needs and objectives.
The law is the first thing to take into consideration when planning to grow cannabis. Before doing anything else, double and triple check the laws in your area related to purchasing cannabis products and growing weed at home. This is important because the legal status of both cannabis products and home cultivation will dictate where and how you can buy cannabis seeds.
Although this option is only available to people living in states with medical and adult-use legalization, buying marijuana seeds at the dispensary is far more straightforward. However, your options are more limited.
All of this information should be available to you when buying quality seeds.
How to look for quality genetics when buying marijuana seeds
Many world-renowned seed banks are overseas in the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and other countries where cannabis laws are less restricted. Seed banks provide seeds from a variety of different breeders.
Even one weed plant can produce a lot of buds come harvest time, so make sure you grow a strain you like. Note strains you enjoy when you pick something up at the dispensary or smoke with friends, and look for seeds of it when you want to start growing.
An inexperienced breeder might cross a male and a female one time and sell the resulting seeds as a new hybrid strain, but professional breeders usually put their strains through several rounds of backcrossing to stabilize the genetics and ensure consistent plants that reflect those genetics.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
If cannabis is legal in your state, you can buy seeds or clones from a local dispensary, or online through various seed banks.
How weed clones work
Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The towels should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.
Also, autoflower plants are small—perfect for closet grows or any small grow, or growing outdoors where you don’t want your neighbors to see what you’re up to.
If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear.