Cannabis seed quality is a key factor that will influence every aspect of your grow. Some say you can identify a specific cannabis strain from its seeds alone, but this is 100% inaccurate. However, evaluating cannabis seed quality by way of a simple inspection is perfectly possible.
Not only is it possible, but it’s something you really should prioritise.
Of course, factors like lighting, moisture levels, nutrients and air quality will affect the resulting yield. Nevertheless, it’s all inconsequential in the absence of cannabis seed quality. Start out with bum genetics and you’re guaranteed bum results - it really is as simple as that.
So with this in mind, here are three simple yet essential cannabis seed quality checks it’s worth being aware of:
1. Basic appearance
A brief glance is enough to tell you a lot about cannabis seed quality. For example, immature cannabis seeds tend to have a somewhat faded green appearance. Healthy and mature seeds are comparatively dark in colour, predominantly presenting browns, greys and hints of black. They should also be somewhat stripy, with a ‘tiger stripes’ effect.
You’ll also note that healthy cannabis seeds are harder than immature or unhealthy seeds. You should be able to squeeze a healthy seed between your finger and thumb, without it compressing, splitting or cracking. If there are any cracks noticeable on the surface of the seeds prior to carrying out this test, they may already be in poor condition.
Another important mark of cannabis seed quality is a shiny surface, which looks a little like a wax coating. There should be some kind of shine to the finish of the seed - anything dull or faded may indicate a poor-quality seed.
2. The float test
For obvious reasons, this is a test that should only be carried out right before you intend to germinate your seeds. Until then, it’s important to keep your cannabis seeds as far away from moisture as possible. One of the easiest cannabis seed quality checks, simply drop your seeds into a glass of clean water and leave them for a couple of hours.
When you return, the seeds that have subsequently sunk to the bottom of the glass are most likely healthy and ready to pop. If there are any still floating on the surface, it’s highly unlikely they will germinate. You can then choose whichever germination technique you prefer and continue with the process.
3. The source of the seeds
Far simpler than a manual evaluation, cannabis seed quality can often be determined exclusively on the source.
There are some seed banks and sellers that guarantee only the most outstanding genetics and premium seeds you can count on. By contrast, others are known for selling other kinds of low-grade seeds that guarantee nothing but disappointment. If you can’t count on the source, you can’t count on the seeds - it really is as simple as that.
Establish the extent to which the seller prioritises cannabis seed quality and let customer reviews be your guide.
Germinate Them Regardless…
Of course, you can’t always identify quality (or otherwise) by way of these tests alone. Some cannabis seeds look pretty haggard, only to go on to produce exquisite plants. Hence, it’s still worth having a go at germinating your seeds, even if you suspect they aren’t particularly fantastic.
If you know they’re garbage, don’t bother. If there’s any chance they could be decent enough to get the job done, it’s worth having a go. Cannabis seed quality isn’t something you’ll know for sure until the seeds pop - it could be a chance worth taking.