Cannabis Seeds: What Are They and Where Do I Get Them?

Cannabis Seeds
Photo by Martin Lukasek/Shutterstock

Green thumbs rejoice ? your fingers can get even greener.

Marijuana, for both medical and recreational purposes, is a gift. And while dispensaries are usually considered the gift that keeps on giving, gardeners can take advantage of the cyclical process of growing their own cannabis plants. This can be a great step toward self-sustainability, saving money in the long run, having easier access to the benefits of ganja, or just trying something new.

How does it work? Like growing any plant, the first step is getting your hands on some seeds.

Here's a look into cannabis seeds, and the best places to purchase them.

The Basics>

Before you can walk, you have to learn to crawl. Knowing what cannabis seeds are may help you to better understand the growth process, thus aiding you to better cultivate them in the long run.

The cannabis plant is a living organism with a reproductive system. And because hemp is a dioecious plant, the male and female reproductive organs make each plant as different as individual people. For example, the female version of the plant is grown all on its own, sans-male, to produce the consumable marijuana products found in dispensaries ? seedless marijuana flowers. 

With the traditional name "sinsemilla," these female-grown buds are known for their potency.

In terms of process, cannabis growth is very much a cycle. For reproduction, a female flower has to be pollinated by its male counterpoint; then, the female produces seeds. Once these seeds have completely matured, the female plant begins to die. As if uttering her last words, her seeds drop. As they land on the ground, they begin to germinate and grow into the next crop of cannabis or they’re gathered for buyers to go through the same process on their own.

Feminized Seeds

When cannabis is produced by growing male flowers directly alongside female flowers on the same plant, it can lead to a cross-contamination of sorts. This is often called the hermaphrodite condition, a phenomenon where the male flowers will produce their plant-sperm and self-pollinate their female neighbors, creating seeds.

Feminized seeds are the result. >

They can be made under situations of duress, which you can trigger by spraying the plant with a colloidal silver solution, spritzing some gibberellic acid, or going through the process of rodelization 

Whatever the process, feminized seeds are cost-effective, since they essentially eliminate the time-consuming feat of growing a stable mother plant, though most experienced growers do not use feminized seeds for breeding.

Auto-Flowering Seeds 

Seeds on Counter by Marijuana Plant
Photo by: Algirdas Gelazius/Shutterstock
Plant species are classified based on their flowering cycle. Cannabis ruderalis, for example, begins to flower as soon as the plant reaches a certain age, while other species depend on a photoperiod to determine when they will begin their flowering cycle 

The photoperiod is the length of time they're exposed to light on a daily basis. Most cannabis plants will start to change when the photoperiod decreases to 12-14 hours a day, regardless of age or size.  

Many breeders have taken it upon themselves to cross ruderalis, which typically has a low THC content, with more potent plants. The result is what is known as an “auto-flowering strain.  

These strains, much like the ruderalis (but with a higher potency), will begin to bloom straight upon maturity. This is great for colder climates or places with shorter, more volatile growing seasons. 

Where to Buy 

Location is key. Depending on where you live, owning, buying, or selling cannabis seeds may or may not be legal ? not to mention the certainty that they are illegal on a federal level. State laws determine whether or not cannabis can be grown at home, in addition to the amount, pending licensure. Be sure to do your research beforehand. 

Seeds are for sale in a wealth of places, widespread across the world. Here are three of the best options: 

Dispensaries

States with home-grow provisions in their laws allow for users to purchase seeds at their local dispensaries. In most areas, most dispensaries rely on wholesale suppliers for their seeds, and they don't sell and market their own variations.  

In states like Colorado, however, that have legalized recreational marijuana, there tends to be a surplus of commercial seed breeders available to anyone that visits a local dispensary. 

Online

Online seed banks are a good, diverse source of cannabis seeds.  

Sites like Ilovegrowingmarijuana.com, for example, have everything a home-grower could ever need. This includes:  

  • Exclusive grow guides 
  • Direct access to industry experts 
  • Deals featured on Leafbuyer 
  • Cannabis seeds ready for your selection 

The internet provides expansive options for growers, from the novice level to the more practiced. 

Seed Banks

Many states have seen a rise in seed banks. At these locations, you can check out a wide variety of seeds, get some valuable and helpful information, and even request your order to be shipped to your house. 

And Don’t Forget 

High-quality seeds are ones that have had time to fully mature before being harvested. Cannabis seeds need to be properly stored, preferably in a dark, cool place, then used within 16 months of growth. The best seeds boil down to top-notch genetics, with careful consideration going into the male and female breeding practices.  

Cannabis seeds sell for about $10-$12 each. Since there's not any system of regulation, price does not determine quality, and just has to do with the costs associated with prohibition. Growing marijuana at home is an investment to be sure, though it’s one that can reap significant rewards.  

Ganja green thumbs, your harvest awaits.