Some people think that the size, weight or appearance of a cannabis seed can tell you about the type of plant it will grow into. Read on to find out more. The appearance of cannabis seeds is a subject that raises many questions amongst growers. We often get asked about the way cannabis seeds should look, with regards to … If you're looking to start growing your own marijuana, the first place to start is with the seed. What should you look for? How can you tell a good cannabis seed from a dud? Chris Bond tells us.
What does the appearance of a cannabis seed indicate?
Can the visual appearance of a cannabis seed indicate anything useful about the future plant which it will produce? It’s a question which has been asked by many cannabis growers. And over the years there have been many different theories about this.
Cannabis seed weight. What does the weight of a cannabis seed indicate?
Dutch Passion created feminized seeds in the 1990’s. It was a revolution for cannabis growers. But in the days before feminized seeds, some people felt that ‘male’ and ‘female’ seeds could be separated according to their weight, appearance, size, shape etc. The idea behind this unproven theory was that cannabis seeds all had different sizes and shapes for a reason. One of the first difficulties with the theory is that different marijuana seed varieties often produce different size seeds. White Widow seeds, for example, can often look smaller than other varieties. And yet they produce excellent quality harvests. Seed size has no relationship to potency. The future sex of a cannabis plant simply can’t be determined by the weight or size of the cannabis seed. If it were that easy the seed companies wouldn’t spend as much time and effort to create feminized seeds.
Feminized seeds vs autoflowering seeds. Do they look different?
Every so often a home grower will accidentally mix up their seeds. Often this is done after a smoke/vape, perhaps when you are getting the cannabis seeds ready for germination. If you have ever mixed up your seeds it can feel impossible to be confident about their true identity. There is no certain way to distinguish between feminized seeds and autoflower seeds just by looking at them. The plants real future identity lies in the DNA inside the cells within the seed.
Stripes on cannabis seeds. What do they indicate?
Cannabis seeds have an undeniable beauty and appeal. The various shades of brown are delicate. Under powerful magnification you can see how a cannabis seed is a wonderful piece of natural beauty and design. When you examine a cannabis seed near a bright light you can see a shiny reflection, as if the seed has a coating of wax. Not every cannabis seed has a similar appearance to the next. Some seeds will have dramatic tiger stripes. Others will have a more homogenous surface coloration. The appearance of the seed isn’t a reliable indicator of any particular plant quality. Everything is coded in the genetics inside the plant tissue safely encased inside the shell. From the sex of the plant to the cannabinoid and terpene profile, plant DNA and genetics determine the future. That’s where you rely on the seed company doing their job properly. The highest quality cannabis seeds are not always the cheapest. But if you buy from a company with a reputation for quality you know that a great deal of skill and effort, and many years work, has gone into your cannabis seeds.
Are heavier cannabis seeds more difficult to germinate?
Some growers feel that the largest seeds can be more difficult to germinate due to the extra shell material. However, the shell material is designed to be weakened by water, it shouldn’t really be an obstacle to germination rates. As the fibres in the shell are penetrated by water, the shell structure swells and weakens allowing the tap root to emerge. Poor germination rates of cannabis seeds is often a sign of old seeds. It could also be the result of poor quality seed production practices. This is one area where established seed companies have the benefit of many decades of know-how and experience. Cannabis seed production is just like any other intricate and highly skilled process. The most experienced seed companies have people who are at the top of their profession with several decades of practical knowledge producing the best quality cannabis seeds. Dutch Passion do not recommend the use of sand paper to reduce the thickness of the cannabis shell. It’s too easy to accidentally damage the inner seed. Simply leave the seed to soak in a damp paper towel for a day or so. But never try to force open the seed, or use artificial abrasion techniques to try to weaken the shell.
Old cannabis seeds
Very old cannabis seeds feel weaker when gently squeezed. In the worst cases the shells crack easily and the powdery crushed contents are released. The best way to store cannabis seeds is in a dry, dark container in a cool place such as a fridge. Cannabis seeds will still have good germination rates after several years of cold (and dry) storage.
Immature cannabis seeds
Cannabis seeds which were harvested too early will have a green/whitish appearance. Often these will be small in size, and will struggle to germinate. Seeds that are clearly immature are not recommended for growing. Some seeds, such as Dutch Passion Frisian Duck, can have their own coloration. In the case of Frisian Duck the seeds have a slightly unusual grey appearance
Buy the best cannabis seeds online
The best way to achieve a good quality harvest of home grown cannabis is to invest in some high quality seeds. Buying cannabis seeds online from a high quality seed company guarantees fresh seeds with good germination viability. You also benefit from the security of knowing that your cannabis seeds contain the best genetics to deliver top quality cannabis at harvest.
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Jay – Dutch Passion
Hello @ Esox Fables 2022-02-27 02:28:25, You can read some tips here on how to germinate your seeds: https://dutch-passion.blog/the-best-ways-to-germinate-cannabis-seeds/ If your seeds have not sprouted you can reach out to us at [email protected] and we can help you from there! Greetings, Jay Dutch Passion
Hello, I recently purchased some WW auto CBD seeds from you and I’ve been waiting for a week for them to sprout. Prior to use they were kept in my fridge as advised. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but they are in a room at 21° and 40% humidity. Is it normal for them to take so long to sprout? Any advice would be much appreciated Thank you, Mick
Jay – Dutch Passion
Hello @Trichy Dicky – 2021-04-03 13:19:57 If a plant hermies it does not mean that all offspring will be hermaphrodite as well. But the plant will definitely be more sensitive to become a hermaphrodite. Many famous varieties have come from a bag seed, so for breeding it can definitely still be used! Greetings, Jay – Dutch Passion
I am finding seeds in cannabis grown indoors and away from males, so a plant decided to hermaphrodite I guess. I THINK all seeds from a hermie will also be hermaphrodite? I wonder! Great company @Dutchpassion
I revently bought a 5 pack of feminized Skunk #11 and the seeds are tiny and white and look very immature. Im trying to germinate one right now but Im not confident it will sprout, should I worry?
Through the years I myself have grown just about every any seeds I have run across and In my experiences a. Male is a male and a female is a female.until you are ready to start budding you just won’t know.also have planted some texmex dirt seeds and produced some of the best Bud I’ve ever smoked
I tried pots and many mediums but the best and quickest way I find is in a glass of tepid water, this will also show if your seed is fertile and will sprout. first get a small dark glass I use a brown pill bottle or tub. First fill 3/4 of your water vessel with tepid water. Get a seed or seeds and pop in. Now don’t panic if they float. After 2 hour if seed is floating just lightly push seed under water a few times if needed. If still floating leave for another 2 hours or overnight. You can put lid on pill jar or clingfilm to ensure you vessel is air tight. Place in a dark warm place for 24hours. Your seed should be sprouted. Thank out seed sandwich between Wet paper towel on a plate and leave back to same warm spot and ensure to keep moist..Your sprouts should be good to go in a total of 3-4 days. Best of luck Aido
2″ container filled with potting soil,1″deep where seed won’t corkscrew out,water,3 days sprouted. No muss no fuss.
A rule of thumb for gardeners is that a seed should be 1-2 times as deep as it is big. a pea at 2cm, a ganja seed at >1cm.
Hi Alf ! After 35 years of starting my seeds using fine, sieved soil in small plastic pots, last year I tried small Rockwool cubes (40 x 40 x 40 millimetres) for germinating my babies. This was extremely easy and I achieved 100% germination. It will now be the method I use for the rest of my days, so pleased was I with the results and how simple it is ! I plant my seeds pointy end down, one seed per cube. There is no need to pre-treat the seeds in any way or do any other various types of physical manipulation; the plants have been doing it themselves, unaided, for Millennia ! Start by soaking the cubes in a bucket of room temperature, aged / chlorine free, clean water for a few minutes, then remove the cubes and give them a couple of quick flicks in a downward direction to remove the excess water. I then make a small hole in the cube, about the same width of the seed and roughly twice as deep as its’ size, with a small pointed stick. After inserting the seed (a small bamboo skewer can be very helpful), I use a small “fluffy” piece of Rockwool, about 2-3 times the size of the hole and about 2-3 millimetres (1/8 of an inch) thick, taken from either the edge of the cube or another cube especially sacrificed for this purpose and cover the seed in its’ hole lightly, with this small tuft / fluffy piece, so it forms sort of a “hat” and very gently give the “hat” a pat so that it is in contact with the rest of the cube. There is no need to push the “hat” down hard. After this I use a water spray bottle (atomiser), with the nozzle adjusted to a misting setting, to lightly moisten the “hat”. Again, using clean, room temperature and chlorine free water. After all this, I place the cubes onto a saucer that has some very fine aquarium gravel or a similar substrate, covering the bottom (of the saucer). This is to provide air circulation and drainage, in case you are too generous with watering. You need to keep the cubes moist, but NOT wet. If you can feel moisture when lightly touching the cube with the back of a finger, this is moist enough. Resist the urge to water every day (unless necessary) and under no circumstances, do not use any fertilisers. The embryonic seed has / contains all the nutrition and energy it needs for the first 2-3 days of growth (think bean sprouts!). The best way to maintain the correct moisture level is to use the water sprayer bottle and mist the cubes gently. You will, after some experience, be able to judge the moisture content by the weight of the cube when / if you pick them up. Do not let the cubes dry out, but this is highly unlikely if you check the cubes at least once a day. Keep the moist cubes in a warm shady area and away from any direct winds / breezes that may dry the cubes out prematurely. Only once the seeds have sprouted should they be placed in / under any light, but the sooner they are, the better. There is no need to cover the saucer with the cubes on it with anything, such as cling film or a plastic bag and do not place them in a mini greenhouse or any other type of enclosed container, as this can cause the seeds to rot due to the extremely high humidity. I have found that the cubes will remain moist long enough for the seeds to germinate with little to no extra watering, with the sprouts taking between 1 and 6 days to emerge; so do not give up too soon! Plant the whole cube into your growing system once the seed has sprouted and the plants’ root(s) are coming through the bottom of the cube. By starting the seeds in the cubes you avoid handling the fragile baby plants and prevent any possible risks of damaging the emerging embryonic leaves and roots. I hope this helps and most of all, happy growing!!
I like the damp folded paper towel in an unsealed plastic bag (in a dark room) method — however have discovered one important trick/fact. Roots always try to grow down, so put the seed inside a folded damp paper towel, but ensure only one layer is below the seed and the other damp layers are on top. The root will try to work its way down. If there are many layers below it, the root can get entangled and be hard to extricate without damage.
I germinated frisian duck seeds straight on top of a soil plug with halfvthe seed showing. I put three into a plastic box and then into a drawer in my garage. It took 6 days until they had sprouted to about 30mm high and shed the seed cap.
Alf, 4th June 2019. There are several equally good germination methods. Many customers prefer the idea of germinating seeds between sheets of wet kitchen paper, inside a sealable plastic bag. Good luck!
Size, shape and colour: three cannabis seed characteristics that can be deceiving
This article has been conceived to answer all the key questions that we often get asked by clients and growers regarding the physical characteristics of our main product: premium-quality cannabis seeds.
Our 15 years in the business have provided us with a great command as well as a wide perspective of this subject, so it is an honour for us to be able to share our knowledge with all of you in the cannabis community.
The size of cannabis seeds
As most of the cannabis varieties that are currently on the market are polyhybrids, the size of the seeds can vary depending on their genetic line.
Some customers, for instance, contact us to tell us that they have bought Critical + seeds and they believe they look too small. But this is a normal feature of this strain: we’ve seen millions of Critical + seeds and we can confirm that they are naturally smaller than others. It is therefore incorrect to think that this is a sign of poor quality.
If, on the contrary, the seeds seem too big, this may be caused by a lack of macronutrients during the plant’s growth cycle. As any grower with certain experience will know, calcium deficiencies are corrected by adding calcium and magnesium, a combination that helps reestablish the perfect nutritional balance of plants.
So in this case, an increase in size could be a direct indicator of this addition of calcium and magnesium, which is carried out in order to alleviate that macronutrient deficiency during growth. This has no impact on the plant’s potential for germination, growth, flowering, or yield, nor on the development of the organoleptic properties of the buds (aroma, flavour and effect).
So we can openly say that this difference is simply visual. If we take the example of a Moby Dick seed, its dimensions will most likely be bigger than those of Critical +, although you can also find slight variations between seeds from the same strain. Don’t forget that, as with all living beings, cannabis seeds are also biologically different amongst themselves.
The shape of cannabis seeds
Cannabis seeds can also show slight changes at morphological level. It’s perfectly normal to find minor differences in the oval shape of seeds from the same batch.
In some cases their shape is more linear; whereas in others one of the extremities can be rounded whilst the other is more pointy. But this is no reason for concern: as with size, these slight differences in the outline of the seeds are purely visual and have nothing to do with quality.
The most common mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds
The colour of cannabis seeds
Although it is true that ripe cannabis seeds tend to have a dark shell that can go from brown to black, with lines that look like tiger stripes, this cannot be regarded as a quality indicator by itself.
Yet again, this is a misleading physical attribute that does not guarantee the germination potential or overall characteristics of a seed. A high-quality strain can also be light or dark grey in colour.
Let’s take the example of Critical + again, one of our permanent bestsellers that has had a resounding success across the world thanks to its outstanding scent, flavour, effect, and yielding capacity.
Critical + is a clear example that colour, contrary to what many growers believe, is not necessarily a quality indicator: these undeniably high-quality seeds exhibit a very light grey, almost whitish grey, to a medium grey colour.
However, a greenish colour is a clear sign of immaturity, which means that the seed hasn’t developed fully or it hasn’t received all the necessary resources to reach full maturity. In this particular case, if you purchase seeds with this colour you need to contact your supplier immediately and try to have them replaced.
If this happens to you with one of our seeds, don’t hesitate to contact us directly. Send us a couple of pictures so we can check them out, and our customer service team will replace them as soon as possible.
Another aspect that can be misleading is the fact that a ripe, freshly-harvested cannabis seed has a brighter and darker colour than after it’s been packaged for 1 to 2 months.
This could be compared to a newborn whose physical appearance quickly evolves during their first few days of life in order to adapt to the completely new outside environment.
The same thing happens with cannabis seeds: the packaging and the different stages before they’re commercialised can entail lighting and humidity changes, as well as a bit of oxidation, which may slightly affect the colour of the shell but definitely has no impact on the final product. Once again, this is simply a visual effect.
We hope that this post has provided you with some useful information about the physical characteristics of your cannabis seeds to help you interpret them more objectively before starting their germination and cultivation.
Brian Worms After completing my studies in International Trade and Marketing in France, I’m more interested in the world of communication today. Blogger, grower and real cannabis toker for more than 20 years, always looking into the rarest and finest cannabis genetics. My passion for cannabis is so deep that it’s become something of a lifestyle now… My work is like a dream come true.
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10 Markers of a Quality Marijuana Seed
If you’re looking to start growing your own marijuana, the first place to start is with the seed. What should you look for? How can you tell a good cannabis seed from a dud? Chris Bond tells us.
So, you’ve decided to grow your own marijuana from seed. How do you know if those little, round nuggets in your hand will grow up lush and produce beautiful, productive buds? How do you know if they are duds? While ultimately the genetics will determine the destiny of those little weed seeds, and proper care will help them to realize their full potential, there are some markers you can assess to see if what you have is quality seed, indeed.
What to Look for in a Cannabis Seed
While all cannabis seed is not identical in color, there are some consistencies. Healthy, viable seed will be light to dark brown in color. Seed that is light green or even whitish in color is underdeveloped and should be tossed out. Healthy seed will also have a burled or turtle shell-like pattern on its seed coat.
A quality cannabis seed will have a waxy, protective coating. Seeds that appear dull are probably not as viable and should be avoided if given a choice.
Quality cannabis seed will look like a plump teardrop. Flat or misshapen seeds will not likely produce quality plants.
Quality seed will be firm. Cannabis seed should have a strong seed coat protecting the pre-emerged life inside. Any seed that is tender, pliable or squishy should not be planted; poor results will follow if attempted.
Size is relative, but if you are able to compare several seeds at once, the higher quality seeds are larger. When it comes to seeds, less is more. The fewer seeds that comprise any given amount, an ounce or a gram for example, is generally an indicator of higher quality seeds. The biggest seeds within a species generally have more energy stored within them and have a greater potential to mature into a productive plant. Note that indica strains tend to produce larger seeds than sativa strains so make sure the comparison is made among like seeds.
Weight often goes hand-in-hand with size, but heavier seeds are generally of higher quality than lighter ones. The older a seed gets, the more potential loss of moisture and nutrients, reducing its overall weight. Damaged seed, which has been cracked can potentially lose those same necessary qualities.
#7 Float test
Quality seeds will sink in water. In glass or vessel, place room temperature water deep enough to full cover the volume of seeds to be tested. Place your seed or seeds in the water. After a couple of hours, anything still floating, should not be considered a quality seed. Soaking seeds will allow moisture to cross over the protective membrane and signal the seed that it is time to grow. As such this test should not be performed if the intent is to store the seeds after testing as it may render otherwise quality seed unviable if not meant to be immediately germinated afterwards.
You may not have access to see or have verified information on the storage conditions of seeds, but if you can find this out, it is critical to maintaining quality seeds. While cannabis seeds can be viable for over 10 years in some instances, the best seed in terms of productivity is not more than 12 to 18 months old. It should have been stored in dark, cool and dry conditions to prevent mold or the onset of any fungal issues. Storing in a freezer can prolong seeds as well, essentially suspending time.
#9 Age at harvest
This is another aspect you, the buyer may not be privy to. Quality seed is harvest when fully mature. If seed was collected before the plant was able to load as much stored energy into it as possible, then that seed will be starting out life in a deficit. Color, as referenced above can be an indicator of whether or not a seed was harvested at the appropriate time.
You get what you pay for and a cannabis seed is not exempt from this maxim. Quality seeds are not cheap (at least when compared to other agricultural seeds). This isn’t to say that inferior seeds can’t be overpriced, but if you find cannabis seeds proclaiming excellent genetics for sale at a price that seems too good to be true, caveat emptor.
This is not meant to be a definitive list, as new varieties of cannabis emerge on the scene all the time that may have “normal” traits that would otherwise be viewed as deficiencies in other strains. As always, do your homework, ask other growers who know and buy your seeds from a reputable source.