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seed bank review

Best Cannabis Seed Banks of 2021: Growers Guide

reliable cannabis seed source

Buying marijuana seeds can be quite a challenge. Unfortunately, there are sellers of dubious reputation selling low-quality seeds. Buying such products will, unfortunately, lead to a poor harvest or failed crop.

One misnomer is that “foreign seed sellers” aren’t trustworthy or legit. While HerbCEO always recommends trying to shop local first whenever possible, we must also recommend looking beyond your backyard when it comes to acquiring quality and/or rare seeds.

Many world-renowned seed banks are overseas in the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and other countries where cannabis laws are less restricted. This means they’ve been breading, cross-breading and perfecting their art for decades now, compared to newly legalized locales like the U.S where breeding is a much younger game.

The best part of online and international access to seed banks is that you have the entire worlds lineage at your finger tips, as the sheer variety in seed sellers means you can grow an almost unfathomable variety of gorgeous dank.

Understanding the Importance of Seed Quality

The use of high-quality seeds is one of the main requirements for growing healthy cannabis plants. It is true that the final yield depends on many factors including sufficient watering, availability of nutrients, and good light quality.

However, it all starts with superior genetics. In order to make sure that you receive the exact genetics you are looking for, it is important for you to find high-quality cannabis seeds.

According to information from GN Seed Hub, an authentic cannabis seed bank, there are several factors to be examined and evaluated while purchasing seeds. There are certain signs that clearly indicate whether the seed is worth all the effort and hard work or not.

evaluating seed quality

How to Evaluate Seed Quality

Buying seeds of any type can be challenging. So much potential, yet so much potential for failure and to the untrained eye, it can be hard to determine what is a quality seed and what is a waste of money.

Shopping online severely limits your ability to measure the quality yourself, which can be a big hang up for some growers/shoppers. If you trust the “herd” then you can just go straight to a dominant vendor like Seedsman or Royal Queen.

Most reputable online seed banks have quality guarantees where they ensure a viable seed and have refund policies if seeds fail or arrive damaged. We list some of the most reputable online sellers later on in this article.

If you are able to physically inspect your seeds before purchase, here are a few ways you can judge their quality and try to determine their growing viability:

how to judge cannabis seed quality

Judging Seeds By Appearance

Often times using our eyes, perhaps with the assistance of a magnification lens, is one of the cheapest, time-tested ways of quickly assessing a seeds quality.

Seed Size and Dimensions

Seed sizes differ by genetic structure. Indica strain varieties are typically broader in scale than most marijuana types. However, it’s hard to judge the content of the seed by a just scale. You need to compare with seeds of the same plant.

Much like evaluating the quality of wine or whisky, it can be difficult to be confident in your assessment without a control to measure against. Judging a single seed by itself requires years of experience and a strong photographic memory.

For non-master growers it’s useful to have multiple seeds of the same strain so that you can compare and contrast and identify bad, rotten, or misshaped seeds. Using seeds from other strains can further help highlight some of the unique characteristics of the seed you are evaluating.

Seed Color and Hues

Based on the type of marijuana, coloring may differ too. Usually, developed and impressive-producing seeds have darker colored skin. In fact, they are also symbolized on the top surface by shades of brown and dark grey. Young seeds often look green and pale. Even if they are put into proper storages, they will not germinate.

If a seed is black, or has abnormal colors this can be an indication of rot or fungus and thus may mean the seeds integrity has been compromised.

Always make sure to store seeds in cool dry places. Over exposure to moisture or light can weaken a seed or invite degradation.

Again, when comparing colors it’s useful to do with a sampling, not just one seed in isolation. It’s the collective color that will help guide you in identifying good from bad.

Lightning is also important. Lighting can greatly impact how the human eye interprets the color of an object. The same seed may look different in natural outdoor lightning vs florescent indoor lightning so always make sure you evaluate in similar lighting conditions to remove variables that might distort your perspective.

what makes good seed

Judging Seeds by Feel/Touch

The feel of the Seed

When holding the seed, it should be solid and hard. Use two of your fingers to check its strength. Press it tightly and apply a little pressure. Whatever kind of pressure you place on it, it will remain unbroken.

The specific hardness and give can vary depending on the genetics and knowing an optimal hardness/softness requires years of practice. Still, if a seed easily pushes in, collapses, cracks or has any other unusual characteristics you can confidently assess that seed as being compromised.

Shape and Definition of the Seed

The structure of the seed is quite distinct and capsule-shaped. You could quickly notice the outline of it just by a quick glance. Young seeds are very small and are not as detailed as mature ones. More often than not, aged seeds have holes and fractures in the coat.

Not all aged seeds are bad. Nature is not a laboratory and just like plants animals and humans, they come in slight variations of size and shapes.

Some seeds with small coat fractures are still viable, they’re just reaching their “best use by” dates and should be cultivated immediately.

It’s best to compare seeds of similar ages to not let the differences in shape that come with time distort your perspective on quality.

lab testing

Judging by Performing Tests

In addition to using your human senses to measure the quality of seed you can also use the following tests to better understand the quality of your product.

Floating Test

Fill up a glass jar or drinking glass with water and place the seeds on the surface. Seeds that remain floating on the water surface are likely to be of poor quality because they have air pockets somewhere.

On the other hand, healthier seeds will sink to the bottom because they’ve remained intact and now allowed air and potentially water/mold/insects to penetrate their outer coating, preserving their biological integrity and grow potential.

Germination Test

One of the best ways to evaluate the genetic potential of cannabis seeds is to simply put them in the soil. You will see the result within a very short time.

Don’t be discouraged if you have a few non-bloomers. Seeds are products of nature and nature is not perfect. Even the most reputable seed sellers will have a few duds slip by, that is just the way it is when dealing with a naturally derived product and its ultimately natures imperfections that make it as beautiful as it is.

Checking in on your freshly planted seedlings regularly will very quickly let you identify the non-bloomers/failed seeds. You can take a picture and send to the supplier and many will offer refunds, credit, or supplemental seeds to make up for any failed seedlings.

hemp vs cannabis seeds

How to Source Seeds: Buying Online vs. Bag Seed?

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 a big spike in temperature or a light leak.

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 bag seed.

Buying marijuana online is very straightforward, like regular online shopping. You just need to visit the store’s website, explore their products, and add to cart and then checkout by providing your address for delivery.

There are also many reputable seed sellers around the world. A quick internet search, with some point and click cross-referencing, will provide you links to some of the most popular seed distributors on the planet.

seeds vs clones cultivation

Seeds vs. Clones

By now some of you are wondering, should I just buy clones only to avoid having to measure the viability of a seed in that may or may not sprout?

Should I start growing your cannabis plant with seeds or clones? Well, there is no 100% right or wrong answer as each method has pros and cons which we highlight for you below:

Pros & Cons of Starting with Seeds

  • If you buy your seeds from an established seed bank like GN Seed Hub you have a great idea of how your plant will be like in terms of looks, yield, quality, and flowering time.
  • Cannabis seeds can be discreetly delivered to almost anywhere in the world – you don’t need to know a cannabis grower in person or collect bag seed in order to start growing with seeds
  • You can purchase feminized seeds from a seed bank which means you will get 100% females and don’t have to worry about male marijuana plants.
  • Seeds give you the best chance of a ‘clean slate’ which means you plants won’t come with any sort of disease or pests
  • Not all seeds will germinate
  • Old seeds or improperly stored seeds may be slow-growing
  • If using non-feminized seeds, about half of the plants will end up being male, which do not produce buds
  • Seeds can take a little more time than clones to get started growing and be ready for harvest, since clones are usually already “mature” and established when you start growing
  • Costs can add up if purchasing seeds for every grow, and famous strains can cost quite a bit of money per seed
  • Creating your own seeds will save you monetary cost, but there is still a cost in time (and effort) to cross together two plants to make seeds

Pros & Cons of Starting with Clones

  • Guaranteed gender – if the mother plant was female, the clone will be female too
  • Clones usually have a head start compared to starting with seed since clones are usually already mature and established when you start growing with them.
  • Since clones are genetically identical to their mother plant, you know almost exactly what you’re getting.
  • Rooted clones can be coaxed to flower almost immediately if time or space is an issue
  • Clones can be harder to find compared to seeds
  • If the original grower had any problems with the mother plant (like pests or viruses) then it’s possible that the clones can inherit the same problems
  • If you start with a clone that hasn’t been well established, it’s possible it might unexpectedly die on you, or remain in shock for a long time.
  • Newly created clones are more sensitive/picky about lights and nutrients compared to young plants from seed

cannabis seed bank comparison

Questions you should ask before purchasing cannabis seeds online:

  1. Do you recognize the name of the company name?

Branding goes a long way and a recognized, established brand is something to consider when purchasing seeds online.

2. What are customers saying in their reviews?

Researching these questions will increase your chances of being happy with your seed purchase.

3. Do you know anybody who has used them as their supplier?

Word of mouth recommendations is very powerful in the cannabis community. Someone else’s firsthand experience can be helpful if you aren’t sure about which brand of seeds to purchase.

4. What’s their return or refund policy?

A good seed shop should at least have generally positive reviews and a well-defined refund or exchange policy.

best online seed banks

Best Online Seed Suppliers of 2020

Below are some of the best online seed sellers that A) have a large selection B) have fair prices and C) are generally well respected within the growing community.

As with all online shopping, we highly recommend you shop around if you are looking for a specific strain to confirm you’re getting the best price as many retailers have overlapping inventory so you might be able to save a few bucks by doing some comparison shopping!

*These sellers are not listed in any particular order

Canuck Seeds review

Canuk Seeds

Canuk Seeds offer over 50 different strains so whatever you’re in the mood to grow, they’ve got you covered. Auto flower, feminized, regular? Canuk seeds have a wide variety of each.

This is a loud and proud Canadian brand and everyone knows Canada is a thriving cultivation mecca so sourcing direct from one of the most competitive markets is always a sure bet.

Seedsman Seeds versu

Seedsman Seeds

Seedsman Seeds is one of the biggest and most recognized brands when it comes to online seed vendors. With fame comes the occasional bad review but in terms of sheer selection variety and shipping times to multiple countries it’s hard to beat Seedsman Seeds.

So, if you’re looking for a particularly rare strain that you might not be able to find via other smaller suppliers then Seedsman is definitely worth checking out. Heck, we wrote an entire review of their business here because of how popular they are within the growing community.

Barneys Farm review

Barney’s Farm

A best-selling brand, Barney’s Seeds offers stable genetics and superior results. Bred for taste, aroma, and THC content, Barney’s Seeds are a great, safe option when purchasing cannabis seeds.

We like Barney’s because they are essentially an OG within the growing community, supporting medical growers long before the recreational legalization wave took off. Support and respect the OGs!

Shortstuff Seeds

Shortstuff seeds specialize in auto-flowering strains but offer regular photoperiod seeds as well. Their auto flower strains can go from seed to bud in as few as 65 days depending on the seed strain.

Short Stuff always seems to have the most prime selection, in terms of strains WE want to cultivate. No fluff, just the good stuff and a smaller business worthy of your consideration.

Growers Choice review

Growers Choice Seeds

Growers Choice offers fully feminized seeds, auto flowers, as well as High CBD strains.

With discrete worldwide shipping, you can purchase anywhere. Growers Choice also offers a “germination guarantee.”

Growers Choice is like the General Motors of seeds, offering an insane variety at VERY competitive prices, and thus earning a reputation of the “go to” supplier for growers around the world.

I heart growing marijuana review

I LOVE Growing Marijuana

True North Seed Bank review


True North Seed Bank

True North Seed Bank offers a huge number of strains from a variety of breeders including Canuk Seeds, Barney’s Farm, Dutch Passion, and more! It’s also worth mentioning that True North offers free seeds with each order.

MSNL review

MSNL (Marijuana Seeds Netherlands)

MSNL continues the Netherland’s tradition of quality cannabis with a huge variety of strains offering feminized, auto flower, and regular seeds. Known as “the original seed bank since 1999,” MSNL offers worldwide shipping, discrete packaging, and offers a discount if you’re paying with BitCoin.

Crop King Seeds review

Crop King Seeds

Crop King Seeds is another great place to order seeds. In addition to feminized seeds, auto flowers, and regular, CKS also offers high CBD strain seeds. They offer fast delivery, discrete shipping, a germination guarantee, and multiple payment options.

Herb CEO Summary

Growing your own cannabis can be one of the most satisfying activities you can undertake as a participatory human being of planet earth. The process involves growing life from seed to harvest, full-circle, give and take, and can be incredibly humbling.

If you care more about the plant, it’s life cycle, nuances of different strains, and love growing things, then starting your own cultivation operation is a must.

If you just like getting high stick to the dispensary. There are no losers here ?

Buying seeds online opens up a whole universe of strain options but also opens up the potential for disappointment. Learn what to look for when shopping and which seed banks we recommend.


#1 Best Cannabis Seed Bank 2021: ILGM – I Love Growing Marijuana

I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM) by Robert Bergman is a popular online marijuana seed bank that offers their own strain varieties for sale, totaling to 120 fem and auto seed packs. A great resource for beginner growers, the website contains more than 500 growing articles and 200 grow guides. ILGM seeds are a bit pricey; however, guaranteed to germinate. Delivery is also guaranteed—seeds are shipped daily to all U.S. states and arrive fast, within 2–10 days. Credit cards, debit cards, bank transfer and cash payments are accepted, or pay by Bitcoin for a 10% discount. The 17,000+ I Love Growing Marijuana reviews on Trustpilot make a 4.7-star “Excellent” rating. Shipping is 100% free to the U.S. on all orders.

Seedsman – Cannabis Seeds for Sale since 2003

Seedsman is a long-time trusted cannabis seed bank with a massive selection. Buy feminized seeds, regular seeds and autoflowering seeds from 129 top breeders at bargain prices. The Seedsman website is secure and well categorized to help you find the right marijuana seeds for your grow. Pay by credit card, debit card, bank transfer, cash, check, money order or use Bitcoin for 15–25% off every order plus an even greater free seed bonus. Stealth packaging, fast shipping to the USA and worldwide. Over 18,000 Seedsman reviews on Trustpilot add up to a “Great” 4.2-star rating. Check the sale page to find the latest seed packs marked down in price.

MSNL Cannabis Seeds – Buy Quality Marijuana Seeds

MSNL, dubbed the best marijuana seed bank since ’99, sells their own versions of over 200 popular cannabis strains. Find feminized, regular and autoflower seeds for sale at fair prices. Every purchase gets a minimum of 5 free seeds, up to 10 max. Worldwide stealth delivery. The seeds arrive discreetly packaged to U.S. addresses in about 6–12 days. Accepted payment methods include credit/debit card, bank transfer, cash, international money order or Bitcoin for 15% off. More than 4,500 reviews on Trustpilot give the MSNL seed bank a 4.1-star “Great” rating. Free shipping on all orders over £55 ($70).

Crop King Seeds – Marijuana Seed Bank

Crop King Seeds has been in the marijuana seed bank business for over 15 years selling marijuana seeds to customers around the world. 500 new varieties of feminized, regular and autoflowering seeds make up the Crop King Seeds strain catalog, all sold under their own brand. Payment is done by Visa, Mastercard or Bitcoin. The marijuana seeds are shipped discreet and delivered fast, arriving to the U.S. within 2–7 business days. More than 3,500 Crop King Seeds reviews on Trustpilot make a 4.2-star “Great” rating. Free shipping on all orders over $200.

Herbies Seeds – Cannabis, Marijuana, Weed Seeds

Herbies Seeds sells a large variety of the best cannabis strains from the most respected international cannabis seedbanks. Shop feminized, regular and autoflower seeds for sale as singles and seed packs. Free cannabis seeds are sent with all orders. U.S. shipments are delivered in approximately 5–8 days. Your seeds will be concealed in merchandise. For maximum confidentiality, opt for the stealth shipping option. Pay with credit/debit card, bank transfer or Bitcoin. The 2,500+ Herbies Seeds reviews on Trustpilot give a 4.6-star “Excellent” rating. Incremental discount and bonus seeds deal.

Seed City – Buy Marijuana Seeds online

Seed City sells new and rare cannabis seeds from over 200 breeders. Seeds are shipped to every country in the world including the United States, sent in crush-proof tubes and concealed inside of a gift. U.S. shipping takes about 7–15 days to delivery. What sets Seed City apart are the niche breeders, huge selection of over 5,000 single seeds, option to pick your own free seeds and 22 language translations including Russian, Japanese, Thai and more. Pay by credit/debit card, bank transfer, cash or use Bitcoin for a 10% discount. The 1,000+ Seed City reviews on Trustpilot make a 4.8-star “Excellent” rating (more Seed City reviews can be found on Sign up on the site for non-stop giveaways.

Tiger-One Distribution – Wholesale Bulk Cannabis Seeds

If wholesale bulk cannabis seeds is what you’re looking for, Tiger-One Distribution is the main source of it all. Whether you’re looking to start your own seed bank or just obtain a large supply for production, Tiger-One Distribution supplies the cannabis seeds sold by many popular retail and online seed banks. Worldwide stealth shipping. In order to buy from the Tiger-One website you need to apply for a wholesale account where you’ll be asked to fill in the details about your business reselling or agricultural use.

What seeds to buy? Cannabis seed banks typically categorize the seeds by sex, genetics, breeder, strain name and plant traits.

Cannabis Seeds by Sex

  • Regular Seeds: Grow both male and female cannabis plants. The males are culled in sensimilla (seedless bud) production. Regular seeds are the best choice for breeders. They have sustained the cannabis genus through its natural evolution.
    Read—Top 15 Best Regular Seeds
  • Feminized Seeds: Grow only female plants. This is accomplished by breeding two female cannabis plants together. The resulting seeds can only inherit two X chromosomes—meaning all female plants. Feminized seeds are great for growers with strict plant limits and for cloning. Read—Top 15 Best Feminized Seeds

Cannabis Seeds by Genetics

  • Sativa Seeds: Grow into tall plants with slender, elongated branches, sharp leaves and large colas. Sativa originates from subtropical/tropical zones including Africa, Southeast Asia, South & Central America. The plants have a naturally long flowering cycle that’s often over 10 weeks. Resistant to molds and diseases, sativas are great outdoor climate strains. They can grow to over 15 feet tall! High THC and THCV content. People who enjoy a stimulating “head high” effect prefer sativa cannabis. Read—Top 25 Best Sativa Seeds
  • Indica Seeds: Grow short plants with fat leaves, thick stems and a stocky structure. Indica originates from temperate zones such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Morocco. Traditionally used to make hash, indica cannabis is the real deal dank—super sticky and dense. Indica grows like a bush and can produce large yields in a small area. The plants have a fast flowering cycle. They may require a low humidity climate to avoid mold problems. High THC and CBD content. People who want a relaxing “body high” stone prefer indica cannabis. Read—Top 25 Best Indica Seeds
  • Hybrid Seeds: Grow crossbreeds of indica and sativa, in countless combinations. Hybrid cannabis seeds are able to grow tall sativa trees that produce the dank, heavy buds of an indica. Hybrid cannabis strains are by far the most popular category of cannabis seeds sold on the market today. They come in all different plant sizes, flowering times, yields, aroma, flavors, cannabinoid contents and effects. Read—High Yield Seeds List
  • *Autoflowering Seeds: Grow plants that flower automatically (non-photoperiod). The seeds may be either feminized or regular. Autoflowering varieties are made with ruderalis genetics, resulting in seeds that will bloom under any amount of light—including 24 hours/day. Auto strains stay short and finish their life cycle fast, some at under 60 days from seed. They benefit from long light hours per day to produce a decent harvest weight. The plants can be spaced closely, as in SOG or SCROG cultivation methods. Autoflowering cannabis seeds are used often by indoor cash croppers, who cycle them indoors for perpetual harvests. Read—Top 15 Best Autoflowering Seeds

☺ Cannabis seeds are also categorized by their unique traits such as high THC strains, high CBD strains, high yield strains, landrace genetic strains, inbred line strains, award winning strains and more.
Read—Mold Resistant Seeds

What’s the best way to pay?

Payment methods include secure debit card and credit card processing, check or postal money order, cash in mail, bank deposit/wire transfer and the preferred option—Bitcoin.

Using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency is the safest option available for buying cannabis seeds online. It’s also a great way to get bigger discounts and additional free seeds with your order.

Can I use prepaid credit cards or cash-fill cards?

If you are a United States customer, you need to be aware that most American prepaid cards cannot be used with international merchants. Many of the best seed banks are located in the U.K., Europe and Canada. Paying for your order by prepaid card might not work.

Can I get seeds delivered to any country?

All of the best seed banks on this list provide worldwide shipping services and yes, accept U.S. customers. Your parcel is rapidly dispatched by mail to the United States of America, United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Australia, or anywhere else you are in the world. Check their shipping/delivery information page for more specific details.

What will my bank statement show?

Charges made through your bank are discreet, and don’t include words like “seed”, “cannabis”, “marijuana”, etc. Contact the seed bank company for a more direct explanation regarding their payment processing.

Is my payment information safe from online theft?

You can verify a secure connection by looking at the site’s SSL certificate, indicated by a closed padlock in your browser’s address bar. A SSL secure checkout encrypts your payment data, protecting you from online cyber-theft while you make a purchase.

⚠️Beware of scams and fake seed banks

Reputation goes a long way in the cannabis community, and rip-off scam artists get called out quick. Here’s a review list containing over 100 seed bank websites that customers comment on freely.

The WORST cannabis seed banks

?will not reply to inquiries

?no privacy policy or terms and conditions page

?sell non-authentic seed varieties

?send bunk or old seeds

?refuse refunds or reshipment

?use non-secure payment processing

?late or no delivery of seeds

The BEST cannabis seed banks

?provide a working telephone number with a real support team

?have a privacy policy/terms and conditions page, and legal information

?sell authentic seed varieties from breeders

?send properly maintained seeds in good condition

?provide terms of refund or reshipment

?use a SSL-secured checkout

?deliver seeds on time

Additional links & resources – Seedsman

Disclaimer: Know your countries laws and regulations before purchasing cannabis seeds online. Many seed banks sell cannabis seeds as collectibles, souvenirs or for scientific study purposes. Germination of seeds in conflict with your federal and local laws is strictly prohibited. We do not advocate breaking any laws.

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Disclaimer: Hi, Jared Cox here. I am disclosing that I’ve included certain products and links to those products on this site that I will earn an affiliate commission for any purchases you make. My goal is to provide the best information for you while growing this site, but please understand I am doing this as a for-profit business. Please note that I have not been given free products, services, or anything else by these companies in exchange for linking to them on the site – the only consideration is in the form of affiliate commissions. Read our full disclaimer & privacy policy here.

Cannabis Seed Banks that Ship to USA and Rest of the World. FREE SEEDS are given away at every seed bank on this page. Go now