Some strains also take longer to grow than others. Depending on whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, you may want to grow a quicker marijuana strain if you live in a climate that get cold and wet early in the season. For example, indicas are known for having a shorter flowering time than sativas.
Because US federal law still prohibits cannabis, it can be hard to find information on seed banks and breeders. Breeders who have a long history and positive reputation are usually a good place to start. To get an idea of what well-established breeders look like, check out:
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.
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.
The first couple months of the year is a great time to start planning your cannabis garden to get a head start on the outdoor growing season, which roughly runs from March to November, depending on where you live.
Before you purchase seeds online, you’ll need to figure out what strain you want to grow and what breeder you want to buy from.
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.
There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.
So don’t discount bud because it has a seed or two in it. While not ideal, it could be the origins of the next great weed strain.
For the typical homegrower, it may be easier to obtain cannabis seeds rather than clones. Growing from seed can produce a stronger plant with more solid genetics.
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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.”
Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take a while, but generally, seeds should germinate in 3-10 days. If it’s been two weeks and a seed hasn’t sprouted, it’s probably a dud and won’t sprout.
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.
To get the buds found in medical and recreational stores, female cannabis plants are grown in an environment without males—or the males are removed from the area before they release pollen—so the females don’t create seeds. Females can then focus their energies on producing buds and not seeds—this high-potency marijuana is traditionally known as “sinsemilla,” meaning “seedless.”
Marijuana seeds are now easier than ever to find and purchase. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Outdoor growing inherently carries a different set of concerns, including the length of the outdoor growing season and other big variables. If you plan to grow marijuana outside, you should probably spend a bit more time researching the specific cannabis seeds you want to purchase to make sure they will thrive in your unique climate and environment. On the other hand, some cultivars thrive better outside and deliver better yields. And there are those who swear that weed grown outside under the sun simply tastes, smells, and smokes better.
On the other hand, feminized seeds have been bred to produce only female cannabis plants. For many growers, these are the best cannabis seeds to use. One reason is that using feminized seeds means you won’t need to buy quite as many because a higher percentage will grow into female plants. However, feminized seeds are not fool-proof, and there is no fully reliable germination guarantee, so you should still pay attention to the sex of your plants as they mature so you can spot and eliminate any males that might pop up. In general, feminized seeds are easier and more straightforward to grow.
If you live in a state where it is legal to grow weed at home and there are not many restrictions on home cultivation, then you’ll likely be able to buy cannabis seeds directly from your favorite licensed dispensary. In some cases, you may also have the option of buying from a brick-and-mortar or online retailer.
Buying online may be the simplest way to purchase cannabis seeds. Online retailers often have a larger selection and may provide more detailed information than smaller brick-and-mortar stores.