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identifying marijuana seeds

Cannabis seeds 101: How to grow marijuana from seed

Cannabis is grown from one of two sources: a seed or a clone. Seeds carry genetic information from two parent plants and can express many different combinations of traits: some from the mother, some from the father, and some traits from both.

In commercial cannabis production, generally, growers will plant many seeds of one strain and choose the best plant. They will then take clones from that individual plant, which allows for consistent genetics for mass production.

If cannabis is legal in your state, you can buy seeds or clones from a local dispensary, or online through various seed banks.

Cannabis seeds vs. clones

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.

Plants grown from seed can be more hearty as young plants when compared to clones, mainly because seeds have a strong taproot. You can plant seeds directly into an outdoor garden in early spring, even in cool, wet climates.

If growing outside, some growers prefer to germinate seeds inside because they are delicate in the beginning stages of growth. Indoors, you can give weed seedlings supplemental light to help them along, and then transplant them outside when big enough.

Most seeds that you will buy are regular seeds as described above, but here are a couple more types.

How weed seeds work

Cannabis can be either male or female—also called “dioecious”—but only females produce the buds we all know and love. For reproduction, males have pollen sacs and pollinate females, causing female flowers to produce seeds.

Once cannabis seeds are mature, the female plant begins to die, and seeds are either dropped to the ground where they grow into new cannabis plants next spring, or the seeds are harvested for processing into seed oil or food products, or stored so they can be sown in the ground later and become the next generation of plants.

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.”

Some varieties of cannabis can produce male parts alongside female flowers on the same plant, especially if exposed to environmental stressors. These plants are known as hermaphrodites, and sometimes they can self-pollinate to create seeds.

Pros and cons of using cannabis seeds

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

If buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank, growing from seed is the best way to ensure your plants will have solid genetics and start clean, meaning they won’t come with diseases or pests.

Also, buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank will give you a sense of what a particular strain will look and smell like, how it will grow, and how much it will yield at harvest.

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.

Sexing marijuana plants can be a time-consuming process, and if you don’t catch males, there is a risk that even one males can pollinate your entire crop, causing all of your female weed plants to produce seeds.

One way to avoid sexing plants is to buy feminized seeds (more below), which ensures every seed you plant will be a bud-producing female.

You can also minimize headaches and avoid the hassle of seed germination and sexing plants by starting with clones.

How weed clones work

Aside from producing cannabis through seeds, or sexual reproduction, you can also reproduce the plant through cloning, or asexual reproduction. A clone is a cutting that is genetically identical to the plant it was taken from—that plant is known as the “mother.”

Pros and cons of using cannabis clones

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.

With cloning, you don’t have to get new seeds every time you want to grow another plant—you just take a cutting of the old plant—and you don’t have to germinate seeds or sex them out and get rid of the males.

One drawback of clones is they need to be taken during the vegetative stage of a plant—flower is too late—so if you have a small setup with only one light, it can be hard to keep clones alive while flowering other plants, because the two need different amounts of light.

Another drawback to clones is they can take on negative traits from the mother plant as well. If the mother has a disease, attracts pests, or grows weak branches, its clones will probably have the same issues.

Additionally, every long-time grower will tell you that clones degrade over time.

What are feminized cannabis seeds?

Feminized cannabis seeds will produce only female plants for getting buds, so there is no need to remove males or worry about female plants getting pollinated. Feminized seeds are produced by causing the monoecious condition in a female cannabis plant—the resulting seeds are nearly identical to the self-pollinated female parent, as only one set of genes is present.

This is sometimes referred to as “cloning by seed” and will not produce any male plants. This is achieved through several methods:

  • By spraying the plant with a solution of colloidal silver, a liquid containing tiny particles of silver
  • Through a method known as rodelization, in which a female plant pushed past maturity can pollinate another female
  • Spraying seeds with gibberellic acid, a hormone that triggers germination (this is much less common)

Most experienced or commercial growers will not use feminized seeds because they only contain one set of genes, and these should never be used for breeding purposes. However, a lot of beginning growers start with feminized seeds because they eliminate the worry of having to deal with male plants.

Top feminized cannabis strain families

A lot of classic weed strains that have been around for a while come in feminized form. Some popular fem seeds are:

  • OG Kush
  • Haze
  • Afghan
  • GSC (Cookies)
  • Skunk
  • Cheese
  • Gelato

What are autoflowering cannabis seeds?

Autoflowering seeds are also popular with beginning growers. They are easy to grow because you don’t have to worry about light cycles and how much light a plant receives.

Most cannabis plants begin flowering when the amount of light they receive on a daily basis reduces. Outdoors, this happens when the sun starts setting earlier in the day as the season turns from summer to autumn. Indoor growers can control when a plant flowers by reducing the daily amount of light plants receive from 18 hours to 12 hours.

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.”

Pros and cons of growing autoflower

Because they grow and flower quicker, growers can fit in multiple autoflower cannabis harvests into the span of one regular harvest.

Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.

Also, autoflower plants are small—perfect for closet grows or any small grow, or growing outdoors where you don’t want your neighbors to see what you’re up to.

A couple big drawbacks, though: Autoflower strains are known for being less potent. Also, because they are small in stature, they usually don’t produce big yields.

However, potency in autoflowering varieties has increased significantly since their initial introduction, with some breeders crossbreeding the low-THC ruderalis with other more potent varieties.

Tips for growing autoflower marijuana seeds

Autoflowering strains require some preparation, as they will grow quickly and start to flower whether or not you’re ready for them.

Climate considerations

Many marijuana growers start autoflowers early in the season, and at a different time than a regular crop, so keep the season and climate in mind when growing and harvesting—your plants still need warmth to grow, and rain can give them bud rot. Consider growing in a greenhouse to protect them.

Training plants

Because training happens during vegetative growth, for autoflowering plants, this period could be as short as a few weeks, which means time is limited. Try topping your autoflowers after they have three nodes, and stop once they begin to flower. You will want to prune them lightly.

Go easy on nutrients

Autoflowers don’t need lots of nutrients because they’re small and don’t spend much time in the vegetative cycle. They won’t need as much veg nutrients—such as nitrogen—but will need more bloom nutrients.

What are high-CBD cannabis seeds?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the chemical components—known collectively as cannabinoids—found in the cannabis plant. Over the years, humans have selected plants for high-THC content, making cannabis with high levels of CBD rare. The genetic pathways through which THC is synthesized by the plant are different than those for CBD production.

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.

As interest in CBD as a medicine has grown, many breeders have crossed high-CBD hemp with cannabis. These strains have little or no THC, 1:1 ratios of THC and CBD, or some have a high-THC content along with significant amounts of CBD (3% or more).

Seeds for these varieties are now widely available online and through dispensaries. It should be noted, however, that any plant grown from these seeds is not guaranteed to produce high levels of CBD, as it takes many years to create a seed line that produces consistent results. A grower looking to produce cannabis with a certain THC to CBD ratio will need to grow from a tested and proven clone or seed.

How to germinate marijuana seeds

Germination is the process in which a seed sprouts and begins to grow into a new plant. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your weed grow.

Marijuana seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.

Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. There are many methods to germinate seeds, but for the most common and simplest method, you will need:

  • Two clean plates
  • Four paper towels
  • Seeds
  • Distilled water

Step 1

Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The towels should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.

Step 2

Take two of the paper towels and place them on a plate. Then, place the marijuana seeds at least an inch apart from each other and cover them with the remaining two water-soaked paper towels.

Step 3

To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds, like a dome.

Step 4

Make sure the area the seeds are in is warm, somewhere between 70-85°F.

After completing these steps, it’s time to wait. Check the paper towels once a day to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they are losing moisture, apply more water to keep the seeds happy.

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.

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.

It’s important to keep the delicate seed sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as it begins to split.

Transplanting germinated cannabis seeds

Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.

  • Fill a 4-inch or one-gallon pot with loose, airy potting soil
  • Water the soil before you put the seed in; it should be wet but not drenched
  • Poke a hole in the soil with a pen or pencil—the rule of thumb is: make the hole twice as deep as the seed is wide
  • Using a pair of tweezers, gently place the seed in the hole with the taproot facing down
  • Lightly cover it with soil

Keep a close eye on the temperature and moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy. It’s very delicate at this stage. Use a spray bottle to water it—over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.

Within a week or so you should see a seedling begin to grow from the soil.

Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.

This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones or for breeding if you want to create a seed bank of your own.

How to sex a pot plant

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.

Because only female cannabis plants produce buds and you want them to focus all their energy on producing buds and not seeds, it’s important to identify and get rid of male weed plants so they don’t pollinate females. If females are pollinated, it will give you buds filled with seeds, making your weed harsh and unpleasant.

Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.

As mentioned above, you can skip the processing of sexing weed plants by growing with feminized seeds or clones.

If growing male and female cannabis seeds, they’ll start to show their sex organs, or “pre-flowers,” after 8-10 weeks from germination.

Cannabis plant sex organs appear on nodes, the points where branches grow off from the main stalk.

Males will have round balls—these will develop into pollen sacs, which will release pollen into the air when mature.

Females will have a round structure with long hairs—these hairs will develop into pistils, which will catch pollen in the air.

Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.

Can I grow a seed I found in a bag of weed?

Finding a cannabis seed in your stash is not ideal, but we’ve all been there before. Although much less common than it once was, it still happens. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower, or you’ll see one pop, spark, and crackle from the heat of a lit bowl.

These are referred to as “bagseeds” and whether or not you can grow one will depend on where it came from.

Is a bagseed good or bad?

Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.

Seeds can also form in plants with genetic disorders or instability, like hermaphrodites—plants that develop both male and female reproductive parts. Generally, stress and genetic disorders are viewed as bad, so temper expectations with any plant you start from a bagseed.

But sometimes you get lucky and find a mature seed in some really nice herb. Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag of kind bud.

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.

Ask yourself a few questions to decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.

Was the seed found in good weed?

If you don’t like the flavor, effects, or even the look of the bud, then it’s probably not worth growing.

Are you ready to grow?

Growing marijuana takes a certain level of commitment: time, energy, and financial resources, so be sure you can commit to the whole process.

Is the seed viable?

For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.

There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.

  • Tiger stripes—dark stripes on the seed which resemble veins on a leaf are generally good
  • Solid shell—a seed should be able to withstand a little pressure when pinched between your fingers; if it crumbles or cracks, it’s no good

Immature seeds tend to be light in color and have a soft outer shell.

In some cases, even if a seed isn’t completely mature, there’s still a chance it could be viable. But often these are extremely weak, take long to develop, and express other unfavorable characteristics. Growers usually discard weak plants to free up space.

You might also find a mature seed that has been physically damaged through poor handling, like rough trimming. In those cases, it probably isn’t worth the effort to try and germinate the seed.

But if the seed you found looks decent, you might as well germinate it and see what sprouts.

Time to germinate

Viable or not, there’s only one sure way to find out if a bagseed will grow. If you’re simply curious to learn and not as concerned with the overall outcome, you can plant a couple of bagseeds outside and see what happens.

If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear.

Even if your seed sprouts fast and grows vigorously, it still has roughly a 50/50 chance of being female and producing buds, instead of turning out to be a male.

Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.

How to buy cannabis seeds

Cannabis seeds can be found on numerous online seed banks, but note that it is illegal to bring seeds into the US and Customs will seize any cannabis seeds that they find in packages or on a person. In legal and medical states, you may purchase seeds at a dispensary.

Will Hyde and Trevor Hennings contributed to this article.

Want to grow weed from seeds? Learn how weed seeds work, how to sex marijuana plants, and how to properly germinate your cannabis seeds.

Marijuana Seeds: The Definitive Guide

When you’re just getting into growing…

The topic of marijuana seeds is one of those topics, that looks easy on the surface…

But once you start digging a little deeper…

You soon realize:

Not all marijuana seeds are created equal.

To get the results you want, it’s essential that you start out with high-quality seeds from the right strain.

Once you’ve got the right seeds, you not only ease your whole growing process…

But you grow plants that yield buds that are on a whole new level in terms of:

  • Potency;
  • Flavor, and;
  • Physical and mental effects.

This is why in today’s guide, you will learn how to pick the best marijuana seeds that will match with the effects and flavors you’re looking for…

Plus, what types of seeds will be best for your specific grow-setup.

And the best part:

You’re getting a list with the most trustworthy and reliable seedbanks and breeders in the world.

Chapter 1: Autoflowering vs Photoperiod (regular) Seeds

Looking around in online seed shops…

You’ll quickly see a section called ‘Autoflowering Seeds’:

Although you have an idea about what ‘auto-flowering’ seeds are…

Maybe you’re not exactly sure what the key differences are between auto-flowering and regular seeds.

If you want to know all the pros and cons of auto-flowering seeds vs regular seeds, in this chapter you will learn exactly that.

The main difference between auto-flowering seeds and (regular) photoperiod seeds, can be found in their name:

While (regular) photoperiod seeds need a change in their light cycle to a schedule of 12/12 (12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness) to start the flowering process…

Autoflowering seeds automatically start flowering after a set period of time (usually around 3 months), and here comes the important part:

Without any change in their light cycle.

There are rumors in grower communities about auto-flowering seeds not being potent, having a low % of THC…

While this was true in the early stages of auto-flowering Cannabis plants…

Today, auto-flowering seeds are up there with regular photoperiod seeds in terms of potency.

There are pros and cons for both options, and what you will choose, essentially is dependent on your specific setup and your growing skill.

Starting with the pros and cons of…

Autoflowering Marijuana Seeds

Pros

  • No change in light cycles needed, which means 1 less thing to mess up;
  • Faster harvest cycles, for if you want results FAST;
  • Better suited for stealth growing, because of limited height and size.

Cons

  • Less forgiving as you have no control over the start of the flowering process. If you mess something up right before the flowering stage starts…you potentially mess your whole crop up.
  • Less yield because you can’t extend the vegetation stage to grow big and powerful plants;
  • Can’t clone easily. You’ll always need extra seeds for additional plants.

As you can probably tell, auto-flowering seeds are a bit better suited for the more experienced grower and your return on investment will be worse than with photoperiod seeds…

But they can be a great option if you’re looking for results fast or have very limited growing space.

Classic examples:

  • Northern Lights Auto. Fem. – (CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)
  • White Widow Auto. Fem. – (CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)

PHOTOPERIOD (REGULAR) MARIJUANA SEEDS

Pros

  • More forgiving as you have control over the start of the flowering process. Your plants will only start flowering once you switch to a 12/12 light cycle;
  • Potential for much higher yields. Because you can extend the vegetation stage for big and powerful plants;
  • Can clone easily.

Cons

  • While it’s easy to change the light cycle, you still actually have to do it and make sure it goes well;
  • Slower harvest cycles (at least 2-3 weeks slower).

Photoperiod seeds are better suited for the beginning grower or any grower who’s looking for massive yields.

If for example you are legally limited by the number of plants you can grow, there’s only 1 way to get massive yields:

Get photoperiod seeds and grow a few massive plants by training methods and extending the vegetative stage for a very long time.

Classic examples:

  • Indica: Afghani – (CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)
  • Sativa: Haze –(CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)

What’s the bottom line?

While auto-flowering seeds may look easy on the surface (not needing to change the light cycle)…

If you’re starting out, I recommend you start out with regular photoperiod seeds.

Because these seeds are much more forgiving in case of mistakes, you’ll have a higher chance of finishing your first few grows successfully.

And if you think you won’t any mistakes during your first grow, think again: small mistakes can creep in anywhere during the growing process and potentially influence your end-yield significantly.

If you are confident in your growing skills whatever reason or just really want fast results…

Don’t hesitate to get auto-flowering seeds. It’s not like they are MUCH harder than photoperiod seeds, still, the same growing essentials apply. Just keep in mind to be a bit more diligent and stick to the rules, tips, and tricks that you can find here.

Next up we have…

Chapter 2 Feminized Seeds vs Photoperiod (Regular)

To get the buds you want…

You need female marijuana plants.

Only female plants produce buds.

Male plants are only used by growers who are looking:

  • To create seeds, and/or;
  • Are looking to breed new types of strains.

If you want to dive deeper into the exact reason why feminized seeds (usually) are the best choice for beginning growers, or you want to learn why you would want to create seeds or breed new types of strains…

In this chapter, you will learn everything about the key-differences between feminized seeds and regular photoperiod seeds.

Return on Investment

If you don’t care about creating seeds or breeding and want the best return on your investment, the choice between feminized and photoperiod seeds is simple:

Get feminized seeds.

When you get regular photoperiod seeds, on average, there’s a 50% chance your seed will grow into a male plant.

So if you get 10 seeds this translates to only 5 seeds, which will grow into bud-producing female plants.

That’s not the only potential issue with photoperiod seeds though.

Let’s say you plant all 10 seeds and 3 of them turn out to be male, you need to remove these 3 male plants on time or risk pollinating your female plants…

If you forget to remove the male plants on time and you’re female plants get pollinated, they will produce seeds and less potent buds (the energy and nutrition normally used for the buds is now going into the seeds).

(You can read here how you recognize male vs female plants)

This is where feminized seeds come in…

Getting feminized seeds is a simple way to get rid of pollination risk and make sure that all your seeds will grow into bud-producing female plants.

Feminized seeds will always turn into female plants (unless you really stress them, then they might turn into hermies).

So why would you ever risk getting male plants by getting regular photoperiod seeds, if you’re not looking to breed and/or create new seeds?

Well, some growers say that feminized seeds have a higher chance to turn into a hermie plant (basically a sexless plant with reduced yield and potency).

Then there’s the rumor that feminized seeds are less potent and yield less than there regular sisters…

If you get high-quality seeds from reputable seed banks, in our experience, these cons are non-existent and feminized seeds will give you the same results as photoperiod seeds.

The bottom line is:

If you’re purely looking to maximize your yield and only grow buds (not seeds) …

Feminized seeds are the way to go.

Classic examples:

  • Indica: Kush Fem. – (CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)
  • Sativa: Sour Diesel Fem. – (CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)

Now, if you’re wondering why you ever would want to produce seeds or create new breeds…

Creating Your Own Seeds

If you particularly like one of your female plants, you may want to secure her offspring. By pollinating her with one of your male plants, you’ll make sure it will produce a large number of seeds that you can use in the future.

Do realize that you will hurt your yield severely, and only opt to go for this if you don’t care about wasting the yield of one of your plants (what you get back is free seeds though!).

In the long run, creating your own seeds obviously is much cheaper than buying marijuana seeds from seedbanks.

But if you’re just starting out, we highly recommend to keep things simple and start with feminized seeds.

Breeding Your Own Strains

This is only for advanced growers.

If you want to experiment and breed your own strain, mother nature made this possible for you.

The way you do this is by pollinating the female plant of one strain, with the pollen of the male plant of another strain.

Let’s say for example you have a White Widow plant and a Purple Kush plant.

You feel that the effects of your Purple Kush plant are too sedative. You want to know how the effects would be of a strong sedative strain like Purple Kush with the more uplifting effects of White Widow.

To breed a cross between these 2 strains, you can pollinate the Purple Kush female plant, with the pollen of the White Widow male plant (or vice versa).

The Purple Kush female plant will now create seeds, which have characteristics from both these strains.

Chapter 3 Indoors vs Outdoors Seeds

Don’t let anyone fool you…Any strain that can grow indoors, can grow outdoors…

Cannabis has grown in wild nature for probably millions of years. But here’s the catch:

Not every strain that grows well outdoors, will grow well indoors…

And not every strain will grow easily in every climate.

​In this chapter, you will learn everything about strains that grow well indoors vs outdoors and what climates are suited for what strains.

Although theoretically, any strain can grow both indoors and outdoors…

Especially for indoor growing, certain strains are just not compatible with the grow-setup of most indoor growers.

Especially equatorial Sativas, which:

  • Grow tall;
  • Take up a lot of space, and;
  • Need tons of intense and penetrating light,

will be a difficult undertaking for the average grower growing indoors.

Equatorial Sativas grow very tall

Other than pure Sativas, you don’t have to worry too much about indoor vs outdoor strains, UNLESS:

  • You want to grow outdoors and you’re living in a colder climate, or;
  • You want to give yourself an easy time (which is highly recommended if you’re just starting out)…

In that case, get Indica-dominant strain seeds.

Indicas naturally grow in colder climates. They originate from the Hindu Kush range, which is a mountain area with a cold climate, on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It’s written in their DNA to withstand colder temperatures.

And here’s why Indica’s are easier to grow in general:

Indica-dominant strains are short and compact, which means they need much less space and are just more sturdy plants in general, which in turn means they are more forgiving in case of mistakes like giving them too much/little light or over-/under-watering.

Here you can clearly see the plant structure of a Sativa plant vs an Indica plant. Now you understand why the compact structure of Indica plants is better fit for most indoor grow setups.

And forgiving is what you’re looking for when just starting out…

Because unless you have some growing experience, learn extremely fast or just are really lucky…

You are going to make some mistakes in your first grow.

Classic example Indica:

  • Indica: Purple Kush Fem. – (CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)

If you do have access to a lot of space and light, don’t feel discouraged to grow Sativa-dominant strains. Although they’re harder for the beginning grower…if you grow a bit more diligently, while keeping all the basic growing essentials in mind, there’s a very big chance you’ll grow one successfully.

Chapter 4 Different Types of Weed Strains

When getting marijuana seeds, you really have to think about WHAT you want out of your herb in terms of:

  • Physical;
  • Mental, and
  • Medical effects.

The genetic make-up of a strain makes it that it so that every strain comes with a specific ratio of cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavanoids…

And this specific chemical make-up of a strain, 100% decides the effects that it produces when you vape, smoke, or eat it.

You have countless choices when it comes to choosing your specific strain…and it can be difficult to make the right choice.

In this chapter you’re going to learn the main types of strains and their effects, so you will get the perfect strain for the effects that you’re looking for.

Have you ever wondered why on one occasion when you smoked weed, you felt extremely relaxed and sedated…

While on other occasions you felt uplifted and energetic?

Well, this is probably because of the difference in strains you used (of course your mental, emotional and physical state before you start using it, also plays a role).

Marijuana strains can broadly be put in 2 main categories:

  • Sativa’s, and;
  • Indica’s.

There’s no ‘better’ choice, the right strain all depends on your specific preferences.

Both will produce different mental and physical effects.

Sativa-Dominant Strains

In the previous chapter, you already learned that Sativa strains don’t grow well indoors because they grow so tall and need lots of intense light.

But Sativa strains not only grow much taller than their Indica brothers…

They produce very different mental and physical effects.

If you mostly want energetic, uplifting and mentally stimulating effects, Sativa-dominant strains would be your best bet.

There are even creative artists and writers, who use Sativa-dominant strains for inspiration…yes, Sativa’s can indeed give you a creative boost as well.

One potential downside of Sativa-dominant strains is, that they usually contain a very high level of THC and very low levels of CBD.

Combined with the intense mental effects that these strains produce…

The psychoactive effects of Sativa’s can be too intense for some…and in the worst case, could lead to feelings of paranoia.

But if you’re looking for something that will stimulate you mentally, while being physically light…

Sativa-dominant strains are definitely the way to go.

Classic example:

Haze (Different Types)– (CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)

Indica-Dominant Strains

In the previous chapter, you learned that Indica-dominant strains are the easier strains to grow indoors (because they are compact and don’t need absurd amounts of light).

Now, as you might’ve probably guessed…

Indica’s have different effects than Sativa’s.

Sativa’s are energetic and uplifting, while Indica’s are more relaxing and sedative.

They are your best aid if you’re suffering from insomnia or anxiety. They not only relax the body but also the mind. Indica’s put your mind at ease and make you enjoy the moment like no Sativa can do.

The other side of the coin is:

Indica’s can be physically too overwhelming and can put you in the dreaded ‘couch-lock’, where you’re glued to your couch and extremely unmotivated to come off of it.

If you would want to do any activities that require some form of analytical mental capacity, it’s also best you avoid Indica’s. Yes, they relax the mind, but they also dull it a bit, lowering your analytical and cognitive capabilities.

But if you just want to relax, need to sleep, want to be in the moment and have some child-like fun…

Indica-dominant strains are the way to go.

Classic example:

  • Northern Lights Auto. Fem. – (CropKingSeed – CA / Seedsman – UK)

Summary effects of Sativa vs Indica:

CBD Strains

Although CBD strains are either Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant…

These strains still deserve their own section.

The thing that differentiates them from regular strains: having a very high % of CBD, makes the difference between Sativa and Indica, much less apparent.

CBD has no psychoactive properties, in fact, it will temper the effects of THC and will mostly produce physical effects.

And this, in turn, suppresses the differences you would normally feel between Sativa and Indica strains.

The main reason why these CBD strains have been bred in the past decades is the following:

Over the past decades, CBD has been shown to be an extremely potent medical agent, good for treating countless of conditions and their symptoms. But regular strains didn’t contain therapeutic amounts of CBD, so high-CBD strains had to be specifically bred.

Every strain has at least some % of CBD…

But if you’re looking for the medical effects of CBD, you need therapeutic amounts of CBD.

Classic examples:

Just keep in mind:

If you’re only looking to get super-potent buds that will send you to another dimension…

Avoid CBD-strains, as they really temper the effects of THC, and CBD strains have lower percentages of THC in general.

Chapter 5 Marijuana Seeds for Sale (Where to Buy Them)

There are 1000s of ‘seedbanks’ on the internet…Most of them very shady, non-transparent, and untrustworthy in general.

Some breeders even have a list of blacklisted seedbanks

When you get seeds you want to be 100% sure, you’re getting quality seeds that will result in strong bud producing marijuana plants.

In this chapter, you will learn the best places to get your marijuana seeds.

When buying marijuana seeds…

The last thing you want is:

  • Weak plants with inferior genetics;
  • Seeds that don’t even germinate;
  • Or even worse: get scammed and lose your money.

Yes, the last one does happen on a more frequent basis than you would think.

If the only way to pay is to wire money to a (sketchy) bank-account…

There’s a very big chance you’re going to get scammed.

The only way to ensure your quality is to buy from reputable seedbanks which have proven they’re reliable and supply quality seeds.

It also helps if the prices are fair, the seed bank carries seeds from well-known breeders, and the customer support is amazing.

Taking all these things into account, here’s a list of seedbanks that we like in no particular order:

Crop King Seeds (Canadian)

Crop King Seeds is a Canadian-based breeder and seed bank at the same time.

And while they might not provide you seeds with the most superior genetics, that will grow into the most impressive plants that you will ever see…

When you’re just starting out, it’s best if you start with something cheap but reliable.

Because let’s be honest here:

Before you get some growing experience under your belt, it’s highly recommended to keep things cheap…

Unless you’re lucky, mistakes will be made and crops will be killed.

When talking about cheap but effective seeds, Crop King Seeds is the number 1 value-for-money seed bank that you will find.

Now, don’t think the quality of the seeds coming from CKS is bad…

Their seeds have very high germination-rates and they grow into good quality plants, yielding proper buds.

Some of their strains do much better than others, however…

And if you’re looking for a highly recommended strain which has proven to do well, get these seeds:

Their customer service is also on point: you can order from these guys with great peace of mind, knowing if anything goes wrong, they will make sure to keep you a happy customer.

Click here to go to their website:

If you are looking for seeds with the most superior genetics or more variety…

The next seed bank is for you.

Seedsman (UK)

Seedsman is a UK-based seed bank. They don’t breed any seeds, but simply carry seeds of some of the most well-respected breeders like Greenhouse and HumboldtSeeds.

This is probably the seed bank with the most choice in terms of strains and breeders.

You will find literally every strain in any form or shape (feminized, autoflower, CBD strains, etc.).

The prices are also very fair.

That being said…

There’s 1 small (easily preventable) problem with Seedsman:

If you order seeds with regular shipping, there’s a significant chance, customs will confiscate your seeds (even though marijuana seeds are legal almost everywhere in the world!).

But this is easily preventable:

If you’re located outside the UK, be absolutely sure that you order with stealth shipping.

This seed bank as well has great customer service and will load you up with great deals and freebies at times like Halloween and Black Friday. And in case of problems, you can absolutely count on their customer service: it’s stellar.

But the best part about their customer service:

They have very fast shipping times, even if you’re located in the U.S. or Canada!

Click here to go to their website:

Sensi Seeds (Netherlands)

SensiSeeds is one of the oldest, if not the oldest breeders and seedbanks in the world.

They’re located in Amsterdam and are one of the largest seed banks: they carry over 500 varieties of strains!

And if you think such a large selection of seeds, negatively affects the quality…

You’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.

Some of their strains are selected by the Dutch government to supplied as prescription medical marijuana.

SensiSeeds really perfected their strains over a period of decades and you will be hard-pressed to find a strain that won’t impress you.

There’s only 1 problem with this seed bank though…

They don’t ship to the U.S., Canada, or Australia.

But if you’re based in Europe, SensiSeeds seeds are some of the highest quality seeds you can get, for a very fair price.

Click here to go to their website:

Note: If you are located in the U.S., Canada or Australia and want to try SensiSeeds, order them from Seedsman!

Next up, another Dutch seed bank which does ship internationally…

True North Seedbank (Canada)

Not all top quality seedbanks are located in Europe…

If you’re looking for one in North America, look no further.

True North Seedbank is a Canadian-based seed bank, that provides more variety and better quality seeds than Crop King Seeds…

Just realize getting top quality seeds from the best breeders, is going to cost you more as well (for a list of the best breeders check below).

Although they’re a relatively new seed bank (less than 5 years old)…

They quickly build a great reputation by offering seeds from the best breeders for fair prices…while providing great customer service and fast and discreet shipping, especially if you’re located in the U.S.

The bottom line is:

If you’re located in the U.S. and need seeds from the best breeders fast

True North Seedbank is the seed bank you should check out.

Click here to go to their website:

Seedbanks vs Breeders

Is there a difference between seed banks and breeders?

Some breeders are also seedbanks…But definitely not all seedbanks are breeders.

Breeders are the guys that breed the different strains that you know about like White Widow or Jack Herer, and seedbanks are the guys that sell them (but as said before most breeders also are seedbanks as they sell their own seeds).

We already talked about top quality seedbanks, selling seeds from the best breeders, and having great customer service…

But as you might’ve expected, there’s also a difference in quality between the strains of different breeders.

Here’s a list of breeders we believe provide top quality seeds (in no particular order):

  • Bohdi;
  • Mr Nice;
  • SensiSeeds;
  • Dinafem;
  • Dutch Passion;
  • Nirvana;
  • DNA Genetics;
  • HumboldtSeeds;
  • GreenHouse.

This list is not exhaustive and there are many more quality breeders, but these are the ones we personally tested and absolutely loved.

So when looking for the best seeds, get seeds from these breeders (our listed seedbanks provide all of these).

Chapter 6 Germinating Marijuana Seeds

If you’re getting marijuana seeds…

At least at some point, you probably want to be germinating them.

There are different ways you can go about this…

But the best way we’ve found over the years of growing, we explain thoroughly in this article:

Chapter 7 Marijuana Seeds and Cloning Cannabis

90% of growers want to start out growing with more than 1 plant.

Usually, it’s in the 3-6 range.

Now, the easiest way to get the exact number of plants you want is to just order the number of seeds corresponding to the number of plants you want, PLUS a few extra in case 1 or 2 of your seeds don’t germinate.

What most beginners don’t know though…

Is that there is another way to get to the number of plants you really want:

In this chapter, you’re going to learn the pros and cons of getting marijuana seeds vs cloning and what seeds you should get if you think, there’s a chance you might ever clone.

What Is Cloning

When you clone your marijuana plant, you essentially make a copy of it by cutting off a piece of it, planting it, and letting it develop roots.

This result is close to an exact copy of your mother plant, except for genetically. Genetically, you’re 100% sure you’re having an exact copy (which means the buds it produces will produce the same physical and mental effects).

Since cloning only works if you’ve already got a plant, or know someone with a marijuana plant…

Starting with marijuana seeds is the most practical option for most of you (If you’re living in a state or country where growing marijuana is 100% legalized, you could also start by buying a clone from a dispensary or a cloner).

How to Clone

Let’s say you start out with a few marijuana seeds.

After you’ve grown your first mature female marijuana plant, and you really like its produce (the buds), you can start cloning this plant:

You cut off a branch of the mother plant which is well suited for cloning, and plant it in a root riot starter cube.

Over time, this branch will start to develop roots and grow into a full-fledged, bud-producing plant.

If you think this might be something you would want to do at some stage in your growing career, you have to get the right seeds:

Non-auto flowering seeds.

It doesn’t matter whether you get feminized or photoperiod seeds, as long as they’re not auto-flowering, you’re good.

When cloning from photoperiod seeds, just make sure you’re actually cloning a female plant…otherwise, you won’t get any buds (only female marijuana plants produce buds).

Autoflowering seeds are trickier to clone.

There’s a big chance the clone you take is as far in its lifecycle as the mother plant from which it was taken…

And won’t have enough time to grow before it comes into the flowering stage, which means its yield will be abysmal.

Post last updated on: March 17, 2021

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About Winston Peki

Reviewing vaporizers, growing supplies, CBD products and scientific articles about marijuana and vaping since 2012. Read more about Winston here.

Quickly learn how to choose the best marijuana seeds for you. What to pick if you're a beginner. And the best places to buy your seeds.