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How to select and purchase marijuana seeds

How to buy marijuana seeds: A complete guide

Rookie growers first joining the community often wonder—how to buy marijuana seeds? Where do you even start?

They’re eager, they’ve done the basic-level research, and they’re itching to get their cultivation journey started.

If you’re one of these absolute novices, we’ve got your back. We seek to educate and provide growers with the highest-quality seeds that set you up for gardening success. Before you head to our store and get shopping, stick around for the basics of buying cannabis seeds.

Is it legal to buy cannabis seeds?

Always read the law before even considering where to get pot seeds, let alone beginning to build your setup. Your state’s legal framework determines whether at-home cultivation makes you a natural, efficient pothead or leaves you stuck behind bars.

If recreational cannabis is legal where you live, double-check the specific laws on cultivation. They decide how many seedlings, vegging, and flowering plants you can have at any time.

If growing is legal, purchasing cannabis seeds becomes an absolute breeze. You can buy from your favorite dispensary, physical or online, in-state, or through cross-border delivery.

If not, you can only order weed seeds from online stores to keep as souvenirs. Never germinate until the rules change to stay on the right side of the law.

Where to buy weed seeds?

Okay, you now know under which circumstances you may get weed seeds. Next, you need to understand how to get cannabis seeds.

There are two main options at your disposal.

Online shopping

While contemplating where to get cannabis seeds, many people realize that there aren’t many physical stores nearby. Luckily, the Internet is here to save the day.

Online seed banks let you buy marijuana seeds legally and have them delivered discreetly to your doorstep. You get variety, ease, and discounts for bonus points.

How do you choose among the massive pool of options? Consider the following factors:

  • Reputation. Read the reviews and never purchase from a shop that seems shady.
  • Customer service. Responsive, proactive customer support is a guarantee of issues getting resolved quickly and hassle-free.
  • Shipping. Safe and tracked shipping makes or breaks a dispensary.
  • Payment options. Endless dispensaries feature safe and varied payment methods that cater to everybody’s needs.

Dispensary shopping

If there are dispensaries around, many people find that buying pot seeds in person makes them feel more confident in their purchase.

Talk to the store clerk about different strains you discovered, study the shop for reputation and quality, and learn how to gauge the quality of their products.

How to choose cannabis seeds

Weed seeds all look alike. You can look for consistencies that speak of quality.

Take advantage of the fact that you can see the product and check for the following before buying cannabis seeds:

  • Color. Viable seeds come in shades of brown. Green and white means youth and underdevelopment.
  • Pattern. Healthy seeds have a turtle-shell-like shell design.
  • Hardness. Top-quality seeds have a firm and smooth outer shell. Softness and crumbling surfaces are signs of poor quality.

How to choose a strain?

As we noted in our growing marijuana for beginners guide, many aspects of canna cultivation vary with your strain of choice.

Rookies might read our easiest strains to grow list and pick a cultivar that seems the most appealing without dwelling on it too much.

If you’d like to learn a bit more, here are the basics of strain picking.

What cannabis strains can I buy?

Learning how to buy weed seeds requires an understanding of cannabis as a plant. You’ll find endless varieties on the market, but they all fall under four basic categories.

Cannabis sativa

Sativa is a stretchy cannabis family that originates from tropical regions. It’s energizing, euphoric, fruity, and sweet.

These weed plants pose a bit of a challenge for the grower for their height and fussiness.

Buying cannabis seeds from the sativa family promises massive, aromatic yields after a flowering period of up to 16 weeks.

Cannabis indica

Cannabis indica is a family that comes from Asian mountain regions. These landraces are used to harsher climates, developing short, stout, and resistant to various plant health hazards.

The effects are relaxing and sleepy, while the flavor profiles typically consist of earth, skunk, wood, and herbs. Cultivation is a much more straightforward affair, with chunky, resinous colas awarding your effort.

Ruderalis (autoflower)

Ruderalis is a low-THC, non-photoperiod cannabis variety originally from Eastern Europe. You can buy marijuana seeds of ruderalis, but it’s not common in weed gardens.

Ruderalis recently influenced the cannabis market by creating smaller, faster-flowering strains combined with indica or sativa genetics. These weed seeds, known as autoflowers, are popular with home growers.


Most cannabis varieties on the market today aren’t landraces but hybrids. They don’t grow in the natural environment but come to us through crossbreeding.

Buying cannabis seeds in hybrid form delivers the best of both worlds. The growing difficulty and exact traits depend on the cross.

Growing indoors vs. growing outdoors

The details of how to buy weed seeds change for indoor and outdoor setups.

Are you preparing to purchase cannabis seeds to plant outdoors? The following factors determine your scope of possible options:

  • What kind of climate am I in? Is it tropical, subtropical, continental, or something else?
  • How much rain do I get? What about wind?
  • When is the growing season for regular gardens? When do people plant and harvest?
  • Are weather extremes common?

On the other hand, if you’re exploring how to get marijuana seeds for a grow room, think about the following:

  • How much space do you have? How tall can your plants get?
  • Can you provide ample air circulation? What about consistent warmth and dry air?
  • Is smell a problem? Do you need to vent out the scents of ripening weed?
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Use these questions to narrow down your list of desired characteristics. Then, cross-reference it with indica and sativa traits to find the perfect strain match.

What is THC & why does it matter when choosing?

Another factor to contemplate while considering how to buy pot seeds is their potential amount of cannabinoids.

Cannabis strains produce different amounts of resin (the sticky substance on the colas). Of course, genetic predisposition isn’t everything, but it makes a world of difference.

You’ll notice THC/CBD ranges on products while purchasing cannabis seeds. As a rule of thumb:

  • Go moderate for your first strain. Herbs with under 20% THC are better suited for newbies.
  • Choose a potent plant if you’re more experienced. These keep you occupied for longer and provide more value for money.

Always consider your preferences, as well. Not every veteran likes THC powerhouses, and not every beginner finds mellow strains sufficient.

What’s the difference between regular, feminized, and autoflower seeds?

Yet another distinction you’ll encounter while teaching yourself how to buy marijuana seeds is the variant. Seed banks stock regular, feminized, and autoflowering options of popular weed strains.

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s the gist of it.


Purchasing cannabis seeds of the regular variant means getting an approximately 50-50 split between male and female weed.

This marijuana relies on the light schedule, has a longer flowering period, and easily takes rookie errors.

You can make new seeds or separate males from females for seedless, smokable ganja.


Growers might say,—okay, I like the sound of that, but can you buy marijuana seeds that eliminate the risk of pollination? Yes, you can.

Feminized seeds are photoperiod but bred to produce only female plants. They’re perfect for smoking purposes cultivation.


There’s another option when it comes to buying cannabis seeds.

Autoflowering cannabis has ruderalis genetics, making it flower automatically after a predetermined period without light schedule changes.

It’s excellent for intermediate growers looking for somewhat smaller but much quicker yields to replenish their stash.

How to buy marijuana seeds: Frequently asked questions

Let’s finish by answering questions about buying pot seeds we often hear in the community.

Is it legal to buy marijuana seeds online?

As long as cannabis seeds are legal, getting them through any available means is 100% legal as well. You only have to worry about the legitimacy of your seller of choice.

If weed’s still forbidden where you live, get seeds as souvenirs. Germination might land you in legal trouble, though.

How much do weed seeds cost?

‘How much do weed seeds cost’ is a hard question. It depends on the strain, the seed bank, and the local taxes.

As we discussed in our ‘how much does it cost to grow weed’ report, reputable sellers put a price of around $60 on five-packs. Prices per seed go down as pack sizes get larger.

How many seeds should I buy?

How many cannabis plants do you want to harvest? Which seeds are you using? The answer depends on these two factors.

You always have to count on some seeds not germinating. Around a fourth is a conservative estimate.

Around 50% of reg seeds will be male. They also go to the trash.

If you’re going for five plants, start with 20 reg or 10 fem seeds.

Tip: Learn how to store cannabis seeds to take advantage of bulk discounts. They’ll be ready for the next bout of germination.

In a nutshell

Use this basic overview as a guideline and roam our website to find more info about each specific topic. You’ll be picking seeds like a pro before you know it. Stay tuned to our blog for more handy guides such as this how to buy marijuana seeds 101. We at i49 seed bank share educational resources to go with our first-rate products and ensure utmost prosperity in weed gardens across the country.

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    How to buy marijuana seeds

    Many cannabis consumers like the idea of growing marijuana on their own — whether it’s recreational weed or medical marijuana. People often find it incredibly rewarding to smoke buds from their own marijuana plants, and many enjoy being able to nurture plants all the way from cannabis seed to final harvest. Growing marijuana can be accomplished by either starting with cannabis clones or by sprouting and planting cannabis seeds.

    Marijuana seeds are now easier than ever to find and purchase. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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    Fortunately, cannabis seeds are now easier to find and purchase than ever before. With many top-notch seed banks making a wide variety of feminized and autoflower seeds available alongside regular seeds, it’s very easy to buy cannabis seeds online or in brick-and-mortar stores. That being said, the way you go about buying marijuana seeds is still very dependent on the laws in your area. But before you plunk down your hard-earned dough for something to grow, there are several things you need to consider. From legal concerns to strain choices to indoor vs outdoor, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to purchase cannabis seeds.

    How marijuana laws affect buying cannabis seeds

    The law is the first thing to take into consideration when planning to grow cannabis. Before doing anything else, double and triple check the laws in your area related to purchasing cannabis products and growing weed at home. This is important because the legal status of both cannabis products and home cultivation will dictate where and how you can buy cannabis seeds.

    If you live in a state where it is legal to grow weed at home and there are not many restrictions on home cultivation, then you’ll likely be able to buy cannabis seeds directly from your favorite licensed dispensary. In some cases, you may also have the option of buying from a brick-and-mortar or online retailer.

    How to decide which cannabis seeds to buy

    However you go about buying cannabis seeds, you need to plan ahead. In many ways, successful germination and eventual harvest depend on getting the right seeds upfront. Fortunately, the cannabis industry is now offering an incredibly broad selection of seeds to choose from. Here are some of the most important factors you need to think about to ensure that the marijuana seeds you buy will meet your needs and objectives.

    Indica, sativa, or hybrid?

    There is a seemingly endless variety of cannabis strains now in existence. Before buying cannabis seeds you need to know what kind of weed you want to grow. Start by figuring out if you want to grow an indica-dominant, sativa-dominant, or hybrid strain. Indica-dominant plants tend to be short and bushy with thick stems and broad, deep-green leaves. They also have short flowering cycles and grow well in cold climates with short growing seasons. Sativa plants have longer flowering cycles, fare better in warm climates with long seasons, and usually grow taller with light-green, narrow leaves.

    For the last 50 years of cannabis cultivation, crossbreeding has been the name of the game. As a result, there’s virtually no such thing as a pure indica or sativa anymore. Every seed you’ll consider purchasing is probably a hybrid. Classifying a particular cultivar or strain as indica or sativa usually means that its genetic makeup tends more toward one side or the other of the indica-sativa spectrum.

    Which marijuana strain?

    In addition to deciding between indica, sativa, and hybrid, you should also figure out which specific strain you want to grow. If you are not sure which marijuana strain you want to grow, or you’re curious to learn about other strains you might not be familiar with, browse through the digital catalogs of reputable seed banks online and read about the various strains currently available. The best seed banks will have plenty of helpful information.

    When you’ve decided which strain to grow, do a bit of research to familiarize yourself with the unique cultivation needs of that strain. While there are general guidelines for growing any type of cannabis, each strain has its own specific needs. Some strains do better in specific parts of the world or climates. Growing a strain that is well-suited to your climate will make it easier on you and the plants while giving you better odds of a successful harvest. If you aren’t certain what strain you want to grow, you can always give mixed packs of seeds a try, though it may be difficult to replicate any successes.

    Indoor or outdoor cultivation?

    Another question to ask yourself is whether you want to be an indoor grower or an outdoor grower.

    Growing indoor seeds gives you the ability to control and fine-tune the growing climate for your plants. You may feel more confident trying new seeds or difficult cultivars because you can adjust the environment as needed.

    Outdoor growing inherently carries a different set of concerns, including the length of the outdoor growing season and other big variables. If you plan to grow marijuana outside, you should probably spend a bit more time researching the specific cannabis seeds you want to purchase to make sure they will thrive in your unique climate and environment. On the other hand, some cultivars thrive better outside and deliver better yields. And there are those who swear that weed grown outside under the sun simply tastes, smells, and smokes better.

    Growing inside gives you a bit more flexibility as you can control and fine-tune the growing culture for your plants. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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    Regular marijuana seeds, feminized seeds, or autoflowering seeds?

    If you browse through seeds being sold at a dispensary or an online store, you will immediately see feminized seeds, regular seeds, and autoflower seeds. A vital part of understanding how to buy cannabis seeds is understanding the differences between these categories that refer to the sex or maturation process of the seeds.

    When you buy regular seeds, some will grow up to produce male plants and others will grow into female plants. Therefore, growing regular cannabis seeds requires you to pay close attention to the sex of each plant so you can get rid of any males that sprout. Male marijuana plants produce fewer, smaller, less-potent flowers, and therefore will not give you much to smoke. Even worse, males will pollinate your female plants and cause them to produce low-quality buds that are full of seeds. If you plant regular seeds, plan to buy more than you might actually need, as a higher percentage of these weed seeds will produce male plants.

    On the other hand, feminized seeds have been bred to produce only female cannabis plants. For many growers, these are the best cannabis seeds to use. One reason is that using feminized seeds means you won’t need to buy quite as many because a higher percentage will grow into female plants. However, feminized seeds are not fool-proof, and there is no fully reliable germination guarantee, so you should still pay attention to the sex of your plants as they mature so you can spot and eliminate any males that might pop up. In general, feminized seeds are easier and more straightforward to grow.

    The difference between male and female seeds is important for growers. To get big harvests of smokable buds, you want only female plants. Male plants, on the other hand, can cause a lot of problems as they will pollinate the female flowers, which makes the buds produce seeds. While some people argue for the usefulness of male cannabis plants, most growers are primarily interested in big, seed-free flowers from female plants.

    Finally, autoflowering seeds have more to do with the growth cycle of the marijuana plant than the sex of plants. Many growers consider autoflowers to be the best seed choice because they require less work and flower more quickly. When growing regular, or photoperiod, seeds indoors, you will have to manipulate the light your plant receives in order to trigger the flowering process. But autoflowering seeds have been genetically designed to produce plants that automatically flower based on their age rather than changes in the light, meaning less work for you.

    Autoflowering seeds have been genetically designed to produce a plant that automatically flowers without you needing to be fully on top of altering the light your plant receives. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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    How many plants to grow?

    Once you’ve figured out which seeds are right for you, you need to decide how many seeds to purchase. Regardless of the strain or type of seed, you should have an idea of how many plants you want to grow. It’s also a good idea to circle back to your area’s laws and check the number of plants you’re legally allowed to grow.

    Remember, seeds must be germinated before planting and there is no such thing as an iron-clad germination guarantee. Always plan on a certain percentage of seeds failing to germinate or growing into weak, unviable plants. So plan on purchasing more seeds than you think you will need. As a general guideline, assume that at least 25% of the seeds you plant will, for one reason or another, not make it to harvest. For best results, buy and plant 25% more seeds than the number of mature plants you want to produce.

    How to buy weed seeds online

    Buying online may be the simplest way to purchase cannabis seeds. Online retailers often have a larger selection and may provide more detailed information than smaller brick-and-mortar stores.

    At the same time, there are some potential drawbacks to buying seeds online. For one, some weed-legal locations, including the US, still outlaw buying and shipping seeds across state or national borders. There are also issues of reliability. If you want to do business with an online cannabis seed bank, take some time researching the company. Make sure it’s reputable and has good customer reviews.

    How to buy cannabis seeds in a brick-and-mortar store

    Buying seeds directly from a brick-and-mortar shop gives you the benefit of being able to talk to an expert before making your purchase. Make sure the dispensary you’re buying from has employees who are experienced with the growing process.

    Here are a few questions you should ask before making a purchase:

    • What are the main cannabinoids in the strain? If you are looking to buy seeds that produce a certain cannabinoid profile in the mature plant, ask if they tend to produce plants that match your requirements.
    • What kind of yields do the plants produce?
    • Do the plants require any special care like trellising, certain nutrients, or a particular environment to prevent pests and disease?

    Bottom line

    In many ways, buying high-quality seeds is very much like buying other items related to cannabis. Even in places where weed is legal, seeds are generally considered cannabis products the same as flower, edibles, oils, and anything else coming from the cannabis plant. For that reason, always pay very close attention to the legal status of marijuana seeds in your area.

    With the ability to buy marijuana seeds online or from brick and mortar sellers, and so many vendors now able to sell seeds directly to consumers, it is easier than ever to grow your own cannabis plants. Having all those options available makes it more important than ever to research all the options before you make that final purchase.

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