How Long Can You Keep Cannabis Seeds & Storage Tips
Alright, so you have purchased cannabis seeds (if you haven’t yet then here is our top 10 seed bank suggestions), but don’t want to use them right away.
On the other hand, maybe you purchased cannabis seeds, and they are already fairly old when they get to you. Therefore, you might be wondering how long can you keep cannabis seeds?
Well, it all does depend on how you store them, as well as the quality of the cannabis seeds and the strain, but generally speaking, 5 years is the maximum amount of time cannabis seeds can be kept without them going bad.
The more time goes on, from the very second the seeds are harvested from the parent plants, the chances of successful germination decreases. Let’s talk about how long you can keep cannabis seeds for, and how to best store them to preserve them for as long as possible.
How Long Do Cannabis Seeds Remain Viable?
This is a bit iffy, because there is some variation when it comes to different strains of weed seeds. However, under normal conditions, most cannabis seeds will remain viable for germination for up to 5 years.
Now, this really does depend on the quality of the seeds to begin with. High quality cannabis seeds may stay viable for up to 6 years if stored properly, whereas low quality cannabis seeds, ones coming from a strain that is not so hardy, may only last for about 3 years before they are no longer viable for germination and growth.
The Factors Involved
There are a lot of factors that go into determining how long marijuana seeds stay viable for, mainly light, temperature, oxygen, and humidity, as well as of course the quality of the weed seeds to begin with.
We have heard of weed seeds staying good for up to 7 years, but this is super rare, and even 5 years is pushing it. Under normal storage conditions, it’s not recommended to keep marijuana seeds for more than 3 years at most.
With every passing year, or even every passing month, the viability of the weed seeds will decrease.
What you do need to keep in mind that the fresher the seeds are, the higher the chances of germination will be. If you have high quality seeds, and they have been harvested from the male plants, up to 6 months usually comes with a near 100% germination rate.
After 1 year, you can count on the germination rate decreasing to around 85% – 90%, and this will continue to lower as time goes on. After 3 years, the germination rate will usually be around 50% to 75%, and it just keeps getting worse from there on out.
Let’s move on and talk about how exactly to store your cannabis seeds so they stay viable for as long as humanly possible.
How To Preserve Cannabis Seeds?
Alright, so you are wondering how long weed seeds stay viable for, and how you can store them to ensure that they are well preserved.
So, how do you preserve cannabis seeds for as long as possible so they will still germinate, even after years of storage? Let’s go over some crucial tips on how to store your weed properly to lengthen the period of viability.
First, let’s go over the 4 main factors which can cause cannabis seeds to germinate early, which for the most part are also the same factors which can cause them to take damage, to rot, and to become totally unviable for germination.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that temperature will cause seed germination, and super high temperatures may cause your seeds to rot from the inside out.
If you are storing your weed seeds, you want to ensure that the temperature is kept fairly low, about 5 degrees Celsius at the very most.
Storing them in a cool place will ensure that they do not germinate, because in nature, more heat signals the start of the growing season, which will cause the seeds to germinate.
Keeping them cool will also ensure that they are not exposed to too much heat which can damage them. Keep them in a cool place, and some people do use the fridge or freezer, something which we will touch on later today.
Did you know that the life of stored weed seeds doubles in time for every 5 degree Celsius reduction in temperature? Yeah, temperature is by far one of the most important factors here.
The next important factor to keep in mind here is light. Once again, in the wild, bright light signals to plants that it’s time to wake up and grow.
So, if you expose your seeds to light, it will spur on the germination process. At the same time, excessive light, even without germination, can cause damage and cause your cannabis seeds to no longer be viable.
Therefore, when storing your cannabis seeds, put them in an opaque container which does not allow any light in, therefore keeping the seeds away from light. Make sure that this opaque container is stored in a cool place.
Ideally, you want your cannabis seeds to be stored somewhere totally dark and not exposed to any light at all.
Another factor which can cause cannabis seeds to germinate prematurely is humidity. You see, weed seeds are fairly dry, and in order to split open, germinate, and start developing the root system, they need a good deal of moisture.
This is why every germination method out there involves exposing your cannabis seeds to a certain degree of moisture. So, if you don’t want your cannabis seeds to germinate too soon, you need to keep them as dry as possible.
On that same note, even if the seeds do not germinate, excessive humidity can cause the seeds to literally rot, which will make them totally unviable for germination. Therefore, you need to keep them somewhere very dry.
A humidity level of no more than 5% at most is recommended for both short term and long term marijuana seed storage. Yes, this can be hard to accomplish depending on where you live, but we will provide some tips for this later on today.
In terms of seed life, it is said that the shelf life of cannabis seeds is generally doubled in time for every 1% reduction in humidity, making moisture another super important factor to keep in mind here.
Yes, cannabis seeds need oxygen in order to germinate, so, without oxygen present, they won’t germinate. Moreover, bacteria and all sorts of parasites all need oxygen too, so if you don’t want your seeds being infested by pests, keeping oxygen to a minimal level will be beneficial too.
This can be hard to accomplish, but any kind of vacuum sealing or airtight container will do fine for this. As you can see, you need to keep your cannabis seeds cool, dry, in a dark spot, and exposed to as little oxygen as possible.
Cannabis Seed Storage Tips & Methods
Use An Airtight Container
If you are going for short term storage, say less than a year, you could use some kind of small airtight container. Lots of people use those little film canisters, or something similar.
Remember that you do want the canister to be airtight to keep oxygen and moisture out, and generally speaking, the smaller the better. You want there to be as little room for oxygen in that canister as possible.
Remember to store this canister in a cool, dry, and dark place. An opaque canister that does not let light in is needed. If you have a glass mason jar, cover it up with something that will make it opaque.
Use A Plastic Bag
What is definitely not recommended is to use a plastic bag, as these don’t do too well when it comes to keeping out light, moisture, and oxygen.
However, if you use a marker to blacken a small Ziploc bag, put the seeds in it, squeeze as much air out as possible, and store it in a cool and dry place, it should keep the cannabis seeds viable for a couple of months.
If you are going for long term storage, say more than a year, the best method is to vacuum seal the seeds using a vacuum sealer. This will remove all possible air, oxygen, and moisture from the equation.
Once you have vacuum sealed the seeds, you can then wrap the plastic in something dark, or even wrap it with some duct tape, to keep light out, but you will still need to store it in a cool place. Generally for this, you can put them in the freezer or fridge.
Fridge or Freezer
Yes, to keep weed seeds cool, many people will put them in the fridge or freezer, which is fine in terms of cool, and even dark for the most part, as there is no light inside of a fridge or freezer.
The only thing you need to be careful of with this is that when you open the fridge or freezer, condensation will occur, especially near the front, so you do want to keep them at the rear. Even better is if you vacuum seal the seeds, then put them in the fridge or freezer.
As this will keep them away from oxygen, moisture, light, and it will keep them cool too. The freezer is better for long term storage than the fridge. If you do freeze your seeds, make sure to defrost them slowly at room temperature.
Now, the freezer is a bit iffy, because depending on the seeds, it may damage them, in which case you might want to stick with a vacuum seal and fridge combination.
How To Tell When Cannabis Seeds Are No Longer Viable?
Well, the easiest way to tell if your cannabis seeds are still viable or not, is by simply trying to germinate them. Now, healthy weed seeds are usually pretty dark, a nice dark shade of green, and they should be fairly round and smooth.
If your weed seeds are really pale in color, even white, or they look all shrivelled, chances are that they will not longer germinate.
However, you really never know until you try. So, choose your favorite method of weed seed germination, and give it a go. If you do it properly, it should take no longer than 3 days for them to sprout.
If you start the germination process, properly, and the seeds do not germinate in 7 days at the most, you know that they are no longer viable or worth your time.
When all is said and done, simply put, the fresher the weed seeds are the better. Fresh weed seeds that are harvested from the parent plant are best used within 2 or 3 months, but yes, storage, both short term and long term is an option.
If you store your weed seeds properly, they may stay viable for germination for up to 5 years, but there is really no guarantee of this. After about 1 year, you are taking a pretty big chance, so the sooner you use those cannabis seeds, the better.
My passion for the sticky icky started nearly a decade ago, and it all began when I first laid my eyes on the beauty that is the marijuana plant.
I cover all aspects of growing from equipment recommendations to plant health/care tips to help both new and experienced growers.
How Long do Marijuana Seeds Last?
There is plenty of debate surrounding how long do marijuana seeds last before they go bad. Some people say that they can last for years if they are kept in the correct conditions, while others disagree and state that they can only be used within 6 months to 1 year after packing. So the question is, how long do marijuana seeds last?
In some cases the latter may be true, if they are weak genetics or the seeds have been kept in adverse conditions. How long the seeds will last depends totally on the conditions they are stored in. If the seeds are humid or exposed to light, they will not germinate from being damaged internally. It is also essential to add that the seeds must be protected from being crushed.
Will Cracked Marijuana Seeds Still Germinate?
Unfortunately, the answer to will a cracked seed still germinate is No. It cannot germinate as the valuable internal part of the seed that contains the genetic information of the plant is exposed, then the seed will no longer germinate. Great care must be taken to ensure the seeds are not damaged or crushed, including putting them in vials stuffed with cotton wool to ensure they don’t rattle around and harm each other.
Cannabis seeds can withstand long amounts of time in storage, as long as they are well protected. A cool, dark environment with no humidity or strong aromas is good to store the seeds for a few months, but if you want to extend the shelf-life of the seeds, then they must be refrigerated.
How Long Do Marijuana Seeds Last Before They Go Bad?
As we mentioned before, marijuana seeds can be made to last very long if they are refrigerated. Without any interference, marijuana seeds can last a few months before they go bad, even up to a year if they are kept in a cool, dry and dark place, but if they are refrigerated, marijuana seeds can last up to a decade.
How Long Do Marijuana Seeds Last With Great Care?
How long your seeds will last can vary. If great care is taken for the seeds to be protected from humidity and light, and provided a cool environment the center of the seed will remain dormant, making the marijuana seed last longer. That way, the only thing needed to germinate the seed will be to soak them overnight in water then place them in a damp tissue or Jiffy plug and germinate normally.
So, how long marijuana seeds will last depends on the care you take to conserve your marijuana seeds in the correct way. If you are very careful marijuana seeds last you for ages. You can even stock up on strains to have your own collection and at the same time, remain self-sufficient throughout the year.
Can Cannabis Seeds Go Out of Date?
Yes, cannabis seeds can expire and go out of date. It’s not an easy question to answer, and there are a lot of variables that will factor into how long cannabis seeds last for. If you’ve been sitting on some old cannabis seeds and you’re wondering how long they’ll be good for then this guide will answer all of your questions.
Germinating a seed only takes around two days, so the best way to find out is to try germinating it (check your countries laws as this is illegal in some places). But if that is not an option then we can give you some rough guidelines on how long you can store cannabis seeds along with some top tips to ensure longevity.
How long do cannabis seeds last before they go bad
Cannabis seeds have an average life span of one to two years, but the life span can be greatly increased when you store cannabis seeds correctly. The life span of seeds can also be greatly reduced if stored incorrectly, so it is important to learn all about storage.
The viability of a seed will greatly reduce as they age, so it is always best to buy fresh ones rather than attempting to store them for the future.
Let’s take a look below and investigate some of the factors which will influence how long they last, such as storage conditions and how you look after them.
How much longer will cannabis seeds last with the best storage solution?
If you store your seeds correctly then they could last a good five years, some have claimed to of germinated seeds that have been stored for over 10 years; so they are always worth checking out before you dispose of them. The best storage solution for a seed is placing them in a freezer, you can learn more about that here.
At Sticky Seeds we store all of our seeds in optimum conditions to ensure longevity. This is often overlooked by customers seeking to use a random shop and not something many people think about asking the company before buying.
Will cracked seeds still germinate if planted?
If you have cracked seeds, there’s a good chance that they’re not going to germinate. Once the outer shell of the seed has been cracked or broken, the genetic information or material inside the seed is compromised. If you already had the seeds, then it might be worth an experiment to see if they germinate, but if you’re relying on them germinating, it would be best to throw them away and buy cannabis seeds fresh from a shop, such as ours!
Cannabis seeds are quite hardy and can withstand long amounts of time in storage if you take the appropriate steps to protect them.
So there you go! If you follow the correct storage methods, your cannabis seeds could last anywhere from one to five years! However, most experts recommend that to get maximum germination from your cannabis seeds, you plant them as soon as possible (but only if you are lucky enough to live in a country where this is legal). If you have any questions about storing your cannabis seeds then drop us a message!