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.
5 Best Marijuana Seeds for Beginners
As cannabis becomes legal in an increasing number of states, interest in cultivating it has also grown. As cannabis consumers know, regular trips to the dispensary can start to become very expensive.
If you have a green thumb, you’ve probably considered growing your own marijuana seeds at home.
However, not everyone has the skills or knows how to grow cannabis. Never fear, we at WayofLeaf are here to help. We’ve picked out the 5 best marijuana seeds for beginners, and included some useful grow info for each strain.
If you have been searching for cannabis that is simple to grow, keep reading to discover the 5 best marijuana seeds for beginners…
What Makes a Marijuana Strain “Easy to Grow”?:
Did you know that some marijuana strains are more straightforward to grow than others? There are a few factors in particular that make some cannabis strains simpler to cultivate than others.
Resistance to Disease, Pests, Powdery Mildew, Mold, etc.
Resistance to disease and mold is an essential factor to consider when choosing a strain. Like all other plants, cannabis can also be affected by external factors. These can impact crops grown both indoors and outdoors.
The most common diseases and pests to affect marijuana are typically mold, powdery mildew, and spider mites. Some strains have a high resistance to disease and mold. This natural resistance can significantly increase the chances that a grower will end up with a healthy, high-yielding crop.
Feminized Seeds, with Fewer Gender Differences
As a beginner, you may be wondering whether you should buy regular or feminized seeds. By purchasing and then sewing feminized seeds, there is very little chance that you will end up with male plants. This will save you time as you won’t have to identify and remove male plants from the grow site.
Certain strain types produce higher average yields, while others will only ever produce low or moderate returns. It’s important to note that not all high-yielding strains are the best quality. However, there are certainly some classic strains that also just happen to be high-yielding.
Specialized Qualities: Autoflowering, Quick Flowering Period, etc.
Some strains are bred to be autoflowering types. This means that the flowering period is likely much shorter, often around eight weeks or less. That said, some strains are just naturally quick to flower, even though they are not autoflowering strains.
Autoflowering strains also have the advantage of not relying on changes in their light-dark cycle to flower. This makes the growing process a little easier for the beginner.
The 5 Best Marijuana Seeds for Beginners:
Based on the criteria explained above, here are the 5 best marijuana seeds for beginners to try to grow.
1. Cinex (Sativa-dominant hybrid)
The Cinex strain is a sativa-dominant (60:40) hybrid, which is a cross of Cinderella 99 and Vortex. It is known for its intensely potent THC levels, which typically range between 22-26%.
What makes it one of the best marijuana seeds for beginners? Well, not only is it an easy strain to grow, but Cinex is also relatively high yielding. Average outdoor yields are around 16 ounces per plant, and indoor returns are typically 19 ounces per square meter.
Beginners will be glad to hear that this marijuana strain is highly resistant to mold and powdery mildew. Cannaman Farm recommends growing Cinex plants in soil that is rich in organic elements, such as bat guano, feather meal, humic acid, and mycorrhizae.
Cinex plants can handle slightly colder than average temperatures but do best in the 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit range. You should feed your Cinex plants moderate levels of nitrogen at the beginning of the vegetative stage. Then gradually increase the amount as the plants progress through the vegetative stage so that they grow healthy and strong.
Cinex’s indoor flowering period is between 7-9 weeks, so growers will get to enjoy the fruits of their labor sooner. This strain will be ready for harvesting around early October when grown outdoors.
- Easy to grow
- Relatively high yielding
- Naturally resistant to mold and powdery mildew
- High THC content and sturdy genetics
- 7-9 weeks flowering period
- Feminized seeds are available
2. Northern Lights (Indica):
Northern Lights is a classic indica strain that is hugely popular in the marijuana world. Obtaining feminized seeds is no challenge either. This is particularly the case along the West Coast and in Colorado, as this strain is widely available.
In terms of its lineage, Northern Lights derives from two landrace types, namely Thai sativa and Afghani indica. It is highly resistant to many diseases, which makes it one of the best marijuana seeds for beginners.
When grown outdoors, Northern Lights does best in a sunny and dry Mediterranean-type climate. It thrives when grown in its optimal temperature range, which is between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another plus for this strain is that it can be grown either hydroponically or in soil. However, experienced Northern Lights growers recommend using the Sea of Green method for best results. Try to maintain a steady airflow within the grow room to prevent a humidity buildup in the dense canopy.
As for feeding, Northern Lights plants respond well to high levels of nitrogen. These plants are particularly heavy feeders and continue to be so through the flowering stage.
One of the best aspects of growing Northern Lights is its short 6-7 week flowering period. Also, for an indica, Northern Lights is super high-yielding. This strain produces 18 ounces per square meter on average when grown indoors, and 22 ounces per plant outdoors.
- Feminized seeds are readily available
- High resistance to disease
- Fast flowering period of around 6-7 weeks
- High yielding at 18 oz. per meter squared indoors, 22 oz. per plant outdoors
3. Blue Dream (Hybrid):
Blue Dream is an evenly balanced (50:50) hybrid, which is a cross of Blueberry and Haze. It’s one of the most popular strains in the world due to its sweet berry fragrance and potent effects.
While Blue Dream is one of the best marijuana seeds for beginners, it is the most challenging to grow. Most Blue Dream growers rate its growth difficulty as easy to moderately difficult. Therefore, it’s advisable to attempt the other strains on this list first before moving on to Blue Dream.
One reason why Blue Dream is more challenging is that it’s a relatively high maintenance plant to grow. It’s essential to control this plant’s shape and size by topping and training it. You will also have to carry out regular pruning to maintain the desired shape. Blue Dream plants may need support structures such as trellises to help sustain the weight of its heavy, indica-like buds.
The good news for beginners is that this plant is hardy and allows for some rookie mistakes. For example, Blue Dream is a heavy feeder and is capable of absorbing high levels of nitrogen without burning.
It’s also possible to grow Blue Dream indoors or outdoors. When grown outdoors, it does best in a warm and sunny climate akin to California. The optimal temperature range for Blue Dream is between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it can handle cooler climates and colder nighttime temperatures very well, too. Blue Dream has a slightly longer flowering period at 9-10 weeks
- Extremely potent, with 18-24% THC on average.
- High yielding, at 21 ounces per plant outdoors, and 21 ounces per meter squared indoors.
- While resistant to some diseases, it is susceptible to red spider mites
- Grow difficulty is higher and requires some skill and experience
4. Easy Bud (Hybrid):
Just as the name implies, the Easy Bud hybrid strain is probably the simplest one to grow on our list. It was specifically bred with novices in mind so that they too could enjoy the benefits of home-grown weed. What primarily makes Easy Bud so convenient is the fact that it is an auto-flowering strain. This means that the grower does not need as much knowledge about light-cycle shifts to achieve successful yields.
Bred by Royal Queen Seeds, Easy Bud is a ruderalis type hybrid. This is part of what gives it its auto-flowering properties as well as its short stature at just 50-60 centimeters.
While you can grow Easy Bud indoors and outdoors, it does best outside in a hot, semi-humid climate. After around 3-4 weeks, Easy Bud will automatically begin to flower. Amazingly the timeframe for this strain from seed to harvest is just 8-9 weeks.
Another reason why Easy Bud is one of the best marijuana seeds for beginners is due to its resilience. Experienced Easy Bud growers say that it can withstand the elements and is forgiving of rookie mistakes.
One downside is that its yields are particularly modest. Indoor Easy Bud growers are looking at up to 11 ounces per square meter. However, outdoor growers will have to make do with just 2-6 ounces per plant.
- Resilient plant and easy strain for beginners to grow
- Auto-flowering cannabis type, requiring less technical knowledge of light cycle changes during the flowering stage
- Short plant height, reaching just 50-60 centimeters, so ideal for indoor growers
- Will be ready for harvesting in only 8-9 weeks.
5. Papaya (Indica-dominant hybrid)
Papaya is a heavily indica-dominant (80:20) hybrid by Nirvana Seeds. Why does it make the list of 5 best marijuana seeds for beginners? Well, there are a few reasons. Firstly, its growth difficulty is rated as easy, which makes it suitable for novice cultivators. Secondly, it is naturally resistant to powdery mildew and mold. Thirdly, it produces incredibly high yields, which makes it a very rewarding strain to grow.
Experienced Papaya growers recommend growing this strain outdoors for the highest returns. It thrives in a Mediterranean-type climate. Papaya produces phenomenal outdoor yields, which can be as high as a bountiful 28 ounces per plant.
If you are growing these marijuana seeds indoors, then utilize the Sea of Green method for best results. Some say that growing this strain in soil produces the most potent terpene profile. Others say that a hydroponic setup produces the best indoor yields. While indoor returns aren’t as high as outdoor yields, Papaya typically produces a rewarding 15 ounces per meter squared.
- Flowering period is around 8-9 weeks
- Only reaches 3 feet tall when fully grown
- Naturally resistant to powdery mildew and mold
- Very high outdoor yields
Final Thoughts on the 5 Best Marijuana Seeds for Beginners
There are many reasons why these strains have made the grade for being the five best marijuana seeds for beginners. Not only are they easy to cultivate, but they can also produce some exceptionally high yields. They are also pretty forgiving of common mistakes that novices make when starting out on their cannabis cultivating journey.
The Easy Bud strain is probably the best place to start as it is an auto-flowering strain. You may want to get some experience under your belt before trying your hand at the Blue Dream strain.
For more information, check out the strain reviews and growing sections of our website for practical tips and grow guides.