How to Spot Healthy Cannabis Seeds

spilling cannabis seeds on a white table,, showing signs of healthy cannabis seeds

It takes years of experience growing cannabis plants to learn to recognize the signs of healthy cannabis seeds. Healthy cannabis seeds are the crux of quality cannabis flower. Seeds require careful tending, the right mixture of nutrients, lots of water, and plenty of lighting to produce premium cannabis flower and products fit for consumption. Before investing time and energy into a cannabis seed, hopeful growers must ensure that they know the signs of healthy cannabis seeds.

Dark, Spotted, and Shiny

3 healthy cannabis seeds

High-quality marijuana seeds typically have a darker hue. Healthy cannabis seeds come in a brown, black, or tan exterior compared to the less fruitful and immature yellow, white, and light green seeds. Some growers believe that healthy cannabis seeds feature dark spots or stripes on its shell. You can pick a quality marijuana seed by looking for a waxy and shiny coat under direct light compared to the dull and colorless, low-quality seed.

Large and Round

large cannabis seeds

Symmetry is very telling in healthy cannabis seeds. A good sign of a healthy cannabis seed is a round or teardrop-shape. Low-yielding seeds often come in irregular shapes and produce mixed results, if any. Marijuana growers that have a lineup of marijuana seeds to choose from should look for the largest and roundest seed. Immature seeds tend to be smaller than their mature variety, which is an indication of unstable genetics.

Hard and Durable

cannabis plants in pots

One of the main signs of healthy cannabis seeds is the toughness and durability of a marijuana seed surface. High-quality cannabis seeds will exhibit a lustrous and uncracked exterior, which can grow into a healthy seedling in the right soil mixture. Less-than-desirable cannabis seeds will be soft to the touch and can break apart or crack easily when handled.

Fresh Cannabis Seeds

large marijuana leaf in grow house

The best cannabis seeds have been freshly harvested and preserved in an airtight container in a dark and cool place. Seeds that are months old won't produce the best results because of natural degradation. Additionally, seeds that haven't been stored properly can run the risk of growing mold. Fully mature seeds should be used within a year for best results or stored in a refrigerator or freezer to use later on.

Does It Float?

holding cannabis seeds and leaf

The mass of a marijuana seed is one of the signs of healthy cannabis seeds. Marijuana seeds that float one or two hours after being dropped in distilled or spring water usually won't give growers a thriving cannabis plant. Cannabis seeds that sink to the bottom after a couple of hours mean they are healthy cannabis seeds. Just be sure to plant them immediately after performing the float test to ensure the water saturation doesn't cause mold or rot.

Seeds On Cannabis Flower

extreme close up of marijuana bud

There are plenty of online seed shops that have a wide selection of cannabis strains to choose from. There's no reason to use seeds from marijuana flower that was bought at a dispensary or on the black market. Seeds on cannabis flower mean that male cannabis plants pollinated female plants. When female plants are pollinated, they use their energy to produce less THC and more seeds. Instead of using these seeds to grow marijuana, use seeds from a trusted source.

Male vs. Female Seeds

small cannabis seedling growing in soil
Photo by: tomkawila / shutterstock
Cannabis seeds can be male or female. Female seeds are favored because of their ability to produce highly-resinous flower. Males, on the other hand, produce pollen sacs at the base of their leaves. Female seeds that aren't pollinated have the ability to focus their energy on producing trichomes on flower buds. There is no easy way to tell if a seed is male or female.

Seeds must be planted to allow it to grow. Only then can growers definitively tell if a cannabis plant is a male or female. Female marijuana plants will form wispy and pale green pistillates at the start of their branches. Some genetics labs can determine the sex of a plant by testing the cotyledon embryonic leaf inside a seed for the Y chromosome, but this can be an extra expense for hobby growers.


close up of marijuana flower

The ultimate sign of a healthy cannabis seed is its ability to germinate into a flourishing and mature cannabis plant with a lot of trichomes. Home growers have the luxury of experimenting with questionable seeds compared with commercial marijuana growing operations that require stable seed genetics. Hobby growers don't need to wait long to notice results from marijuana seeds. Seeds in soil will quickly grow into seedlings and, hopefully, a trichome-encrusted cannabis plant.

Trusted Sources

extreme close up of marijuana seed, showing signs of healthy marijuana seeds

As mentioned above, the best way to ensure growers get a healthy cannabis seed is to purchase them from a trusted seed bank or a dispensary. Seed banks dedicate themselves to breeding high-yielding and trichome-producing marijuana plants. Many seed banks have been around for a while and depend on customer feedback to ensure they are providing the highest-quality marijuana seeds.

Seed banks aren't the only place to score some healthy cannabis seeds. Some hobby or amateur cannabis growers have years of experience growing their own product and can sell or give away healthy cannabis seeds. Hobbyists don't have reviews to consider, so cannabis customers should grow these seeds at their own risk.

A cannabis plant high in cannabinoids and terpenes starts by sourcing healthy cannabis seeds. Healthy cannabis seeds will turn into healthy seedlings and a resin-producing cannabis plant. Growers must ensure that the plant receives the appropriate amount of water, nutrients, heat, and light for the seed to grow into healthy and young cannabis plants.