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Can You (and Should You) Touch Cannabis Seeds with Bare Hands?

Can You (and Should You) Touch Cannabis Seeds with Bare Hands?

By Lisa Mortown

It’s a stark and severe warning issued by countless cannabis cultivators worldwide:

Never, under any circumstances handle your cannabis seeds with your bare hands.

There’s little more demotivating than failing to get a cannabis cultivation project off the ground in the first place. When a seed fails to germinate, it can be the direct or indirect result of any number of issues.

One of which - or so the suggestion goes - of being our very own hands.

But is it really possible to compromise a seed’s capacity to germinate and grow, simply by touching it? Or is it all just another urban legend not to read too much into?

Look, But Don’t Touch…
As usual, the truth can be found somewhere down the middle. Talk to an extensive community of cannabis cultivators worldwide and you’ll encounter many who say it’s all nonsense. As far as they’re concerned, there’s nothing to worry about - they’re manhandled their cannabis seeds for years and experienced no specific issues.

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find those who say they know of countless cultivation failures occurring due to the grubby fingers of the respective grower. In these instances, you’ll be told you’re taking a big risk by coming into direct contact with your cannabis seeds.

From a scientific perspective, evidence errs on the side of the more alarmist side of the argument. To say that touching cannabis seeds with bare hands will cause issues is wrong. However, to say it can and might cause problems is completely accurate.

This is because our fingers, hands and bodies in general from head to toe are covered in things the human eye cannot say. Essential oils, germs, bacteria and general nasties that stand to do your seeds a disservice. If these nasties are transferred to your cannabis seeds and left to their own devices, they can cause irreparable damage.

As a rule of thumb, therefore it’s wise to avoid touching your seeds by hand wherever possible.

Moving Seeds Safely
Thankfully, it isn’t particularly difficult to pick up and move cannabis seeds safely. It’s simply a case of substituting your bare skin for a slightly safer surface, which could be any of the following:

  • Tweezers or Tongs

Grab yourself a decent pair of long tweezers and ensure they are kept in good condition. Just as long as you give them a good clean before you use them, metal tweezers can be great for safely moving and transplanting cannabis seeds.

  • Kitchen Towel

Even something as simple as a sheet of kitchen roll can be enough to prevent the oils and germs on your skin affecting the quality and viability of a cannabis seed. In this instance, you’ll want to make sure that the kitchen towel is as clean and sanitary as possible. I.e. clean kitchen towel or tissues fresh from the pack/roll, as opposed to those left out for days to gather dust.

  • Disposable Gloves

Last but not least, high quality disposable gloves are an essential investment for anyone considering cannabis cultivation. Every time you tend to your plants, you’ll face the same risks of contamination from your skin as with the initial seed-handling processes. Hence, if you’re planning on cultivating cannabis from seed to harvest, be sure to invest in a decent batch of disposable gloves at the earliest possible stage.

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