10 Markers of a Quality Marijuana Seed
If you’re looking to start growing your own marijuana, the first place to start is with the seed. What should you look for? How can you tell a good cannabis seed from a dud? Chris Bond tells us.
So, you’ve decided to grow your own marijuana from seed. How do you know if those little, round nuggets in your hand will grow up lush and produce beautiful, productive buds? How do you know if they are duds? While ultimately the genetics will determine the destiny of those little weed seeds, and proper care will help them to realize their full potential, there are some markers you can assess to see if what you have is quality seed, indeed.
What to Look for in a Cannabis Seed
While all cannabis seed is not identical in color, there are some consistencies. Healthy, viable seed will be light to dark brown in color. Seed that is light green or even whitish in color is underdeveloped and should be tossed out. Healthy seed will also have a burled or turtle shell-like pattern on its seed coat.
A quality cannabis seed will have a waxy, protective coating. Seeds that appear dull are probably not as viable and should be avoided if given a choice.
Quality cannabis seed will look like a plump teardrop. Flat or misshapen seeds will not likely produce quality plants.
Quality seed will be firm. Cannabis seed should have a strong seed coat protecting the pre-emerged life inside. Any seed that is tender, pliable or squishy should not be planted; poor results will follow if attempted.
Size is relative, but if you are able to compare several seeds at once, the higher quality seeds are larger. When it comes to seeds, less is more. The fewer seeds that comprise any given amount, an ounce or a gram for example, is generally an indicator of higher quality seeds. The biggest seeds within a species generally have more energy stored within them and have a greater potential to mature into a productive plant. Note that indica strains tend to produce larger seeds than sativa strains so make sure the comparison is made among like seeds.
Weight often goes hand-in-hand with size, but heavier seeds are generally of higher quality than lighter ones. The older a seed gets, the more potential loss of moisture and nutrients, reducing its overall weight. Damaged seed, which has been cracked can potentially lose those same necessary qualities.
#7 Float test
Quality seeds will sink in water. In glass or vessel, place room temperature water deep enough to full cover the volume of seeds to be tested. Place your seed or seeds in the water. After a couple of hours, anything still floating, should not be considered a quality seed. Soaking seeds will allow moisture to cross over the protective membrane and signal the seed that it is time to grow. As such this test should not be performed if the intent is to store the seeds after testing as it may render otherwise quality seed unviable if not meant to be immediately germinated afterwards.
You may not have access to see or have verified information on the storage conditions of seeds, but if you can find this out, it is critical to maintaining quality seeds. While cannabis seeds can be viable for over 10 years in some instances, the best seed in terms of productivity is not more than 12 to 18 months old. It should have been stored in dark, cool and dry conditions to prevent mold or the onset of any fungal issues. Storing in a freezer can prolong seeds as well, essentially suspending time.
#9 Age at harvest
This is another aspect you, the buyer may not be privy to. Quality seed is harvest when fully mature. If seed was collected before the plant was able to load as much stored energy into it as possible, then that seed will be starting out life in a deficit. Color, as referenced above can be an indicator of whether or not a seed was harvested at the appropriate time.
You get what you pay for and a cannabis seed is not exempt from this maxim. Quality seeds are not cheap (at least when compared to other agricultural seeds). This isn’t to say that inferior seeds can’t be overpriced, but if you find cannabis seeds proclaiming excellent genetics for sale at a price that seems too good to be true, caveat emptor.
This is not meant to be a definitive list, as new varieties of cannabis emerge on the scene all the time that may have “normal” traits that would otherwise be viewed as deficiencies in other strains. As always, do your homework, ask other growers who know and buy your seeds from a reputable source.
The best seed banks are precious – they’re like a good barber or mechanic. Once you find a great one, you stay with them for years to come. You nurture the relationship and cherish their essential service.
After all, they help you grow weed.
With this in mind, we’ve looked at various cannabis seed stores online, putting together a list of our top 11 best seed banks with US shipping. All of our entries offer cannabis seeds at great prices in secret “stealth packaging”.
Sneaky, eh? Let’s get to it!
If you’re impatient and just want to know our top 10, here you go:
- 10 free seeds with your order – ILGM
- 80% germination guarantee – Crop King Seeds
- Over 1,500+ strains from 65 sellers – Seedsman
- Discounts for Bitcoin users – Marijuana Seeds NL
- Global discreet shipping – Quebec Cannabis Seeds
- UK-based weed seed bank – Gorilla Seeds
- Very large selection – Attitude Seed Bank
- 4.5 out of 5 on TrustPilot – Herbie’s Seeds
- Dutch cannabis seed bank – Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds
- Frequent offers & promos – Seed City
Why Trust Us? What Do We Know About Weed Seeds Anyway?
For years, we’ve acted as a bridge connecting weed growers to reputable online seed banks.
We have reviewed most if not all the major stores to buy cannabis seeds online; contrasting their features, quality, and shipping policies against each other to pick out the best marijuana seed banks for growers like you.
So yeah, we’re pretty knowledgeable.
Our Ranking Criteria
The strain and type of weed seeds you desire vary from grower to grower, but there are some things that ALL good cannabis seed banks need to have:
Seed Quality – Are the Seeds Actually Good?
Seed quality is the heart of weed growing.
Good seed quality will in turn guarantee high germination success and high quality of weed flowers and products. Quality is usually a sign of commitment to customers and long-term success in the seed bank space.
Discreet Shipping – Will Your Seeds Be Seized in the Mail?
Seed banks that ship in discreet packaging give an extra aspect to ensure the safety of your seeds, especially when shipping to areas where the legality of weed is hazy. Even where weed is legal, you don’t want everyone seeing the contents of your packaging.
The best seed banks will hide your marijuana seeds in everyday items like DVD cases, toys, and other casual-looking items.
Satisfaction Guarantees – Does the Seed Bank Offer a Guarantee?
Assurances are a measure of a seed bank’s confidence in its ability to meet its customer’s needs. Guarantees like a germination guarantee or delivery guarantee are important for customers to have trust in the services of seed stores.
If you have a germination guarantee, you can buy with way more confidence.
Now let’s move on to our top recommendations!
11 Best Seed Banks to Buy Marijuana Seeds with US Shipping
1. I Love Growing Marijuana – Best Overall Seed Bank
- Discreet packaging
- Guaranteed delivery
- Free US shipping
- Wide seed variety
- Doesn’t ship to Canada or the UK
Seeds offered: Beginner┃Autoflower┃High THC┃Indoor┃Outdoor┃Indica┃Sativa┃High Yield┃CBD Hemp
I Love Growing Marijuana is the Harvard of online seed banks. With a wide variety of growing guides to help both experienced and new marijuana growers get the most out of their seeds.
Not only does ILGM offer marijuana seeds, but you can also get tailored grow kits to ensure your seeds germinate and give high yields on top of a 100% germination guarantee.
Free shipping? Yes. You won’t have to pay a dime to ship to the US. And for orders above $150, you will get free shipping to Australia with an extra option to track your shipment!
Better yet, there’s stealth shipping, so you won’t have to worry about ogling custom officers’ eyes. And in case your delivery doesn’t get to you, you’re protected by a delivery guarantee; thus, another shipment will be sent to you for FREE.
The beauty is, you get 10 FREE seeds when you buy auto-flowering seeds and feminized marijuana seeds, with 24/7 grow support to fall on if you encounter some growing challenges.
2. Crop King Seeds – Best Canadian Seed Bank
- 80% germination rate
- Discreet delivery
- Toll-free customer support
- Multiple payment methods
- Relatively higher prices
Seeds offered: Autoflower┃Feminized┃Regular┃CBD┃Mix and Match
Crop King Seeds has been catering to people’s cannabis seed needs since 2005, with over 40 strains of its seeds being sold in over 300 stores across Canada
It’s one of the best Canadian seed banks for sure!
The cool thing is, you get quite a good range of strains, especially with auto-flowering and feminized seeds. If you’re confused on what seed to grow, opt for the mix and match seeds and grow a number of strains simultaneously!
New grower? Don’t fret. There are many guide instructions to help you grasp the ins and outs of marijuana growing in no time. With 24/7 customer support on standby just in case, you need a helping hand.
The icing on the cake is an 80% germination guarantee; so you can confidently farm knowing your seeds will sprout in abundance.
Have I told you that you can get free worldwide discreet shipping on orders above $200, with 10 free seeds on orders above $420?
3. Seedsman – Great for Specialized Marijuana Strains Cannabis Seeds
- Up to 20% discount on orders
- Discreet shipping
- Worldwide shipping
- Multiple payment methods
- Additional shipping charges
Seeds offered: Feminized┃Autoflowers┃Regular┃Fast strains
Seedsman rules the kingdom of specialized strains. They now breed their seeds too, with an additional stock of 1500 strains sourced from over 65 seed banks across the globe!
Not only do they offer popular seeds, but you can also get medical seeds that can help ease the symptoms of anxiety, pain, arthritis, fatigue, and more.
The website has a strain finder feature for you to give you the initiative to look up seeds according to desired characteristics like High THC. Cool, aye?
Their worldwide shipping seasons it more. You can order your seeds from wherever in the neck of the woods. And not have to worry about customs confiscating your package since there’s discreet shipping with an option to track your order.
To cap it off, you will get at least a free seed and a 25% discount + 4 free seeds on Bitcoin purchases.
4. Marijuana Seeds NL – Most Impressive Stealth Shipping
- Guaranteed stealth shipping
- Quality genetics seed testing
- Extra seeds on every order
- Multiple payment options
- International shipping takes a few weeks
Seeds offered: Feminized┃Autoflowered┃Regular┃High CBD
Marijuana Seeds NL tout themselves as the Original Seed bank, having been cultivating and producing their own weed seeds genetics for over 20 years, with a good range of strain types.
On the website is an informative blog section where you can get the latest news in the world of weed, with growing guides to help you make informed weed farming decisions.
MSNL seems to make its bones with its superior guaranteed international stealth shipping options, so you won’t have to fret over prying eyes while your package is in transit.
Here are some cool current offers. You get free seeds on any order you make, a 40% discount on West Coast strains, and 15% off all Bitcoin purchases!
Depending on where you are, you can start getting free shipping from orders above 55 pounds, with pretty fast delivery in the UK and Europe. All this is covered with a refund policy.
5. Quebec Cannabis Seeds – Top Seed Bank for Fast Same-Day Shipping
- Fast discreet shipping
- Weekly sales and promotions
- High CBD medicinal seeds
- 24 hours shipping
- No refund policy
Seeds offered: Autoflower┃Feminized┃CBD┃Mixed Packs┃Outdoor
Quebec prides itself on high-quality marijuana seeds with a wide variety of seed strains.
This is warranted by the fact that apart from seeds grown for recreational purposes, you can find high CBD medical seeds to promote your well-being. And hybrid seeds that don’t need that much care when growing.
You are guaranteed an 80% germination rate. Which is assuring enough, but you can also get growing kits to take the utmost advantage of your seeds’ growth potential.
For orders above $200, you’ll get fast free worldwide discreet shipping, with extra seeds on orders above $150.
To cap it all, Quebec seeds has some great positive reviews, with an impressive 4.5 Trustpilot score.
6. Gorilla Seeds – Impressive New 420 Seed Bank
- 100% discreet packaging guarantee
- Fast international shipping
- Low-cost strains
- Good range of seed variety
- No delivery guarantee
Seeds offered: Autoflower┃Feminized┃HighCBD
Gorilla Seeds might be a newbie compared to other banks for marijuana seeds, but it seems to have found a sweet spot between affordability and high-quality cannabis.
There is a blog section on the site to walk you through the know-how of gorilla seeds, so you understand what seeds are best for you.
On every order you make, you’ll get extra seeds. The bigger the order, the more seeds you get. Better yet, you get free discreet shipping for orders above 99 pounds, with guaranteed fast international shipping.
If your package is damaged during shipping, their refund policy allows you to initiate a return within the first 7 days.
Also, privacy is guaranteed, but you can opt to make anonymous orders on cash or Bitcoin purchases. With a 17% off on Bitcoin purchases!
7. Attitude Seedbank – Great Value Pot Seeds
- Regular seed bank offers
- Large seed variety
- Affordable prices
- Multiple payment methods
- A few negative customer support reviews
Seeds offered: Feminized┃Regular┃Autoflowers┃Pick and Mix
Attitude Seedbank bill themselves as the connection between the best weed genetics and clients. With thousands of seed strains currently on stock.
There’s a blog section on the site to help you get the latest news on new arrivals, payment options, growing guides, and more.
Also, there’s worldwide shipping, so you will be able to get your delivery anywhere. With an option for discreet shipping, which comes with a delivery guarantee. So in case your shipment gets lost, you get a reshipment.
The cool thing is, there are monthly promotions and regular offers. And you can be among the first to get notified about promos if you sign up for their newsletter.
8. Herbies Seeds – Great Seed Bank for Feminized Seeds
Herbies Seeds has been in the world of quality cannabis seeds for over 10 years. With more than 3000 cannabis seeds for sale on their website!
You’ll get free shipping on orders above 100 pounds in the UK and Europe. With stealth shipping and an option to track your order, which is quite a sport in countries with restrictive weed regulations.
The cherry on top is that all orders come with extra seeds, and you get bonus seeds on every 20 pounds spent.
There have been concerns over slow customer service. However, Herbies Seeds still has a 4.5 Trustpilot score!
9. Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds – Great Autoflowering Pot Seeds
Looking for great high-quality autoflowering seeds? You’ve hit the jackpot with Amsterdam Marijuana, with 25 years of experience in quality seeds.
You will have free worldwide shipping on all orders. Yes, even ship to the US with stealth shipping on the side to keep off straying eyes.
New to cannabis seeds growing? Don’t be worried. There’s a growing guide, to hold your hand through this journey and mold you into a weed growing expert.
However, you might find the seeds a bit on the pricey side, but a good harvest awaits if you can look past that.
10. Seed City – A-List Bank for Unique Cannabis Seeds
For over 10 years, Seed City has been the home of unique cannabis seeds, complemented with affordable pricing.
Seed City offers frequent promos and offers. With extra seeds on every order and up to 30% discount on purchases currently.
Stealth worldwide shipping? Definitely! Shop without any qualms of customs seizing your package.
The website can be overwhelming to some users, but to counter that, how does a 4.8 Trustpilot score sound?
11. Rocket Seeds – Best Reputable Site To Buy Cannabis Seeds
Rocket Seeds tout itself as the one-stop-shop for high-quality hemp seeds. With free worldwide shipping on orders above $200, and discreet shipping to go along with it.
When buying cannabis seeds with Expected Registered Shipping, you get guaranteed delivery, with free reshipment on lost or confiscated shipments.
In case of any challenges, there’s 24/7 customer support, including a live chat feature to use while you shop.
There are no germination guarantees, but you have a great germination guide to ensure most of your seeds sprout.
Best Cannabis Seed Banks – FAQs
How Do Seed Banks Work In the USA?
Seed banks work by breeding, drying, and conducting quality-controlled testing on cannabis seeds to check for their genetic purity.
These banks then seal these seeds in moisture-proof bags/containers. When a purchase is made, the seeds are usually packaged in discreet packaging and shipped to the buyer’s delivery location.
Can I Legally Buy Cannabis in Any State?
Although you can buy weed in most US states for either medical or recreational use. You can’t legally buy cannabis in all the states; Still, you can legally buy cannabis for medical use in 36/50 states in the US. And you can buy cannabis for recreational use in 18 US states.
What Seed Banks Are Legit?
There are a couple of legit seed stores currently. However, your best seed bank bet would be I Love Growing Marijuana, Crop King Seeds, and Seedsman to get high-quality seeds, a wide variety of strains, good shipping policies and even growing guides.
What’s the Safest Way To Pay?
The safest way to pay for your cannabis seeds varies. Nowadays, using an external payment processor, credit card payments are quite safe to use on online cannabis seed banks, since the seed bank will receive your payment without your credit card details and the payment processor immediately destroys the customer data.
However, if you are still skeptical about credit cards; Bitcoin, Cash, and Bank transfers are also good payment methods that guarantee anonymity.
What Cannabis Seeds Should I Buy?
Buying cannabis seeds online largely depends on your needs as a grower:
If you are relatively new to the art of growing your cannabis, get beginner-friendly seed strains like:
- Northern lights seeds
- THC Bomb seeds
- AK-47 seeds
- Zkittlez seeds
Growing these seed strains is easier since they are popular, with potent THC levels, and can be able to survive in relatively harsh weather conditions. Better yet, most are autoflowering. So you won’t have to always keep an eye on them.
You can get these cannabis strains on most of the reviewed seed stores, e.g. I Love Growing Marijuana, Crop King Seeds, Seedsman, and even Quebec Seeds.
However, if you are experienced in growing weed. Then you should try out;
- Blue dream feminized
- Sour diesel feminized
- Pink kush
- Master kush
These cannabis strains will usually require specialized care like being grown in a mild protected environment to ward off pests and regular scrutiny. However, if you see them through that budding phase you are guaranteed dense beautiful buds with a powerful high.
You can get these high THC strains on cannabis seed banks like I Love Growing Marijuana, Crop King Seeds, Marijuana Seeds NL, and more.
The Takeaway: Which Cannabis Seed Bank Is Best?
Whether you’ve grown weed before or you are inexperienced in the field of growing marijuana, with these seed stores you are assured to get that fulfillment that comes with nurturing and smoking your weed.
I Love Growing Marijuana just seems to have the best all-around marijuana seed bank features, especially with its high-quality seeds, impressive stealth shipping, and a resourceful growing guide.
However, if you want to get a seed bank that ships fast in Canada, then Crop King Seeds is also a great choice. With Seedsman being another top-notch seed bank if a wide variety of specialized strains is something you might fancy.
Harvesting your weed is the most beautiful thing ever, but don’t be selfish, share the tips and ideas you’ve discovered with some friends and build a healthy weed community.
The news and editorial staff of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.