As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.
A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.
Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.
Growing marijuana takes a certain level of commitment: time, energy, and financial resources, so be sure you can commit to the whole process.
Cannabis used for hemp production has been selected for other traits, including a low THC content, so as to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. Consequently, many varieties of hemp produce significant quantities of CBD.
The main drawback to growing from seed is there is no guarantee as to what you’ll end up with—if you buy a regular pack of cannabis seeds, it will be a mix of males and females. You’ll need to sex them out (more below) to identify the males and get rid of them, because you don’t want your females producing seeds.
As mentioned above, you can skip the processing of sexing weed plants by growing with feminized seeds or clones.
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The one true method to test the genetic potential of a seed is to simply put it in the soil. It won’t take too long to see the results. This option is best for the hobby home grower who has time and space to spare for a risky project. Growers cultivating cannabis for commercial use likely don’t have the excess time to invest.
This is absolutely not true. As we explained earlier, cannabis seeds naturally look different, and no single physical trait of a seed can tell you whether that seed contains the genetics for a male or female plant. The only way to tell a female cannabis plant from a male is by looking at its flowers when it begins to sex. Don’t be fooled into throwing out perfectly healthy seeds just because a popular internet chart told you so.
It’s important to only conduct this test if you are planning to germinate the seeds immediately afterwards. The viable seeds that sunk to the bottom of the glass will have taken in water, crossing the membrane of the seed and signalling that it’s time to come to life—activating germination.
Source Your Seeds Well
If you are still unsure about the quality of your seeds after analysing their appearance and toughness, it’s time to put your lab coat and goggles on. Well, not quite. This test is extremely easy and only has two possible outcomes. Fill up a drinking glass or glass jar with water (preferably spring or distilled) and place your seeds on the surface.
Keep in mind that the simple process of packaging and storing cannabis seeds can also affect their appearance. Abrupt changes in humidity, temperature, or light exposure can make some seeds appear darker or lighter than others, but ultimately have no effect on their quality.
Unlike other agricultural crops (like vegetables, fruit, or grain), cannabis hasn’t undergone the vigorous breeding techniques that ensure a stable crop. This means that you’ll sometimes sow a pack of seeds technically labeled as the same “strain,” but may end up with very different looking plants. It also means that the individual seeds you buy from a seed bank can vary in appearance.
With this said, you may get lucky if the strain they were growing really is prime. In this case, it’s worth carrying out the following test to see if it’s worth germinating.