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Cannabis seeds are usually around the size of a match-head. They can vary by variety from not much larger than a tomato seed to almost as big as a small pea. The size of the seed is no indication of the size (or vitality) of the cannabis plant that will grow from it.
The Scythians were the ancient race who gave their name to the scythe, thanks to their use of these curve-bladed tools to harvest their crops – including hemp. By 450 BCE, some of their religious rites incorporated hemp seeds, which they threw onto smouldering fires inside small tents where they sat inhaling and bathing in the fumes.
Cannabis seeds may all look pretty much the same, but within those brown, speckled hulls, the potential for infinite variety is captured. From industrial hemp to carefully refined sativas, from the latest autoflowering strains to the oldest cannabis seeds yet found, it all starts from a seed! Here we present ten interesting facts about cannabis seeds for you to enjoy and share.
6. They like being kept cool
In many countries, the possession of cannabis seeds is legal (usually because they do not contain any THC) whereas germinating them is harshly punished. Many people are forced to buy and preserve their seeds as collector’s items, in the hope that legislation in their area will soon change to a more enlightened approach to home cannabis cultivation.
A single cannabis plant can produce hundreds of cannabis seeds – even over a thousand! – depending on its size and the efficiency of pollination. Some hemp strains are bred to enhance seed production for when seeds are the primary crop – for example, for use as a food source.
The oldest cannabis seeds we know of are 2,700 years old and were found in 2007 in a grave in China. As a species, our relationship with cannabis goes back thousands of years that we can trace, and many more that we can only guess at!
You can eat cannabis seeds, and they’re good for you! Cannabis sativa L. seeds are a great source of protein, and contain a near-perfect balance of the essential fatty acids (EFA) omega 3, 6 and 9. These are vital to human health and cannot be produced by the body. It is better to eat hemp seeds than cannabis seeds as the former are a lot cheaper! There is no difference in the EFA content of the seeds – just the THC content of the plants they produce. Cannabis seeds do not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or any other psychoactive substance.
As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.
There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.
But sometimes you get lucky and find a mature seed in some really nice herb. Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag of kind bud.
Feminized cannabis seeds will produce only female plants for getting buds, so there is no need to remove males or worry about female plants getting pollinated. Feminized seeds are produced by causing the monoecious condition in a female cannabis plant—the resulting seeds are nearly identical to the self-pollinated female parent, as only one set of genes is present.
However, a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis, which developed in extreme northern conditions without much sunlight, will begin flowering once the plant reaches a certain age—they automatically start flowering regardless of the amount of light they receive, hence the name “autoflower.”
Marijuana seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.
Through cloning, you can create a new harvest with exact replicas of your favorite plant. Because genetics are identical, a clone will give you a plant with the same characteristics as the mother, such as flavor, cannabinoid profile, yield, grow time, etc. So if you come across a specific strain or phenotype you really like, you might want to clone it to reproduce more buds that have the same effects and characteristics.