My weed seeds are brown

How to Tell if Cannabis Seeds are Good or Bad

Ultimately, you can use the senses of sight, feel, taste and smell to determine whether cannabis seeds are good or bad. You want to make sure you don’t have seeds that have been hastily processed, or damaged for some other reason.

To find out if you have duds (seeds with a low germination rate that will never be ready to plant) or winners, whether you have seeds that will actually sprout or remain permanently dormant, apply these senses to your investigation.

Use a Magnifying Glass to Give the Sight Test

  • The best seeds are big and fat with a rounded shape
  • The rounder and fatter, the better likelihood that they will sprout.
  • The biggest and the chunkiest seeds are the best. They are well fleshed out. The surface should be glossy and hard, with a slight sheen.
  • They are dark in colour (usually brown, black or grey). If they are light, white, or pale green, they were harvested way too early and they are probably immature, not good, and unlikely to sprout.
  • If they are pale and dusty they are probably old. The older they are, the slower they will germinate.
  • The darker the colour, the more likely they are to grow and produce more weed. The dark shell means they came from better quality weed.
  • There is a caveat, however. If they are too dark—deep purplish, that means they’ve been dyed and that’s not good.
  • Also, beware if you see a white dusty powder on the bud—that is fungus—powdered mildew.

One key as to whether you own healthy cannabis seeds is to look at whether they have slightly lighter stripes. Good seeds are dark with lighter stripes or brown or black spots all the way around. Often, the healthy ones have stripes that resemble lightning, or have a tiger stripe appearance, and a distinctive colour pattern. Take your magnifying glass and look at the stem. If it is furry, that means there is mould from too much moisture—probably because it was bagged too early.There are so many different seeds, bruce banner seed is just one that will do the trick and help you in the long run.

That being said, however, you cannot always judge a seed by its color alone. It can look fantastic, but you need to know what is inside. If you crack a seed open and it is oily and has a musty taste, it is going bad. If it is black inside, that means it’s fermenting and won’t germinate. If you crush it in your hands and you smell salt, it’s unflushed. If the bud is flushed, it means the roots are absorbing salt and nutrients.

Once you have separated the good seeds from the bad via the sight test, touch and feel your seeds as you continue your investigation .

The Touch Test

Lightly squeeze a seed without crushing it. If it crushes easily, it probably will not grow well. As you feel it, there should be no small cracks or holes. If they have small cracks or holes, they probably will not sprout. They should not be crinkled or cracked. If they’re not cracked, you know they are intact. If it holds up under the feel test, it will survive the germinating process.

The Float Test

Good quality seeds will sink – so apply the float test. (Note that you should only do this when ready to germinate). Put them in a cup of warm, distilled water for two hours. If they sink, they’re good. If they float, they are premature, and they probably won’t grow and so are unusable. Healthy seeds are heavy enough to sink.

If you think you have good quality cannabis seeds that have fully matured (that would be seeds with a growth rate of 85%), and are pretty sure you have a great batch of high-quality seeds that are not immature or damaged by the environment, but you’re still saying to yourself, “How do I know for sure I’m going to get a good yield?”, try germinating them.

The last resort test is to just plant it and see if it grows. The ideal temperature is 75 degrees. Good seeds should push up in three to six days. If you don’t want to plant them, you might want to use the paper towel method. Put them in a damp paper towel between two plates, keep the humidity high, and wait two days.

Why your Cannabis Seeds Haven’t Germinated?

If you have been unlucky and some or all of your cannabis seeds haven’t germinated, there is usually an easily identifiable reason. Germination isn’t just about your seed cracking and a taproot appearing, it’s about the transition of a seed into a very small but viable cannabis plant. So let’s start at the beginning.

How long did you soak your seeds in the water?

Did they sink to the bottom of the glass before transferring them to the moist paper towel? Seeds that are still floating are unlikely to have absorbed sufficient water to successfully germinate. If you leave your seeds in water for too long the taproot will not form and the germination process will grind to a halt. Once you have transferred your seeds do the damp paper towel over the next few days.

Did you ever let any parts or all of the paper towels dry out?

At the earliest stages of germination, the smallest of errors can have major consequences. Similarly, the paper towel mustn’t be steeped in water. The taproot grows naturally as it searches for water. If it’s too easy to find it just won’t grow if your water has loads of additives such as copper and chlorine this can poison your plants while handling the seeds with dirty hands can also poison them.

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Make sure you either wash your hands with a non-toxic soap wear latex gloves or use tweezers. The next thing to check is the temperature of the seeds. The optimum temperature to keep them good for germination is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 21 degrees Celsius. If the seeds are too cold they just won’t germinate even. If everything else is perfect.

The owners and members of the Cannabis Clubs claim: “The roots of the plants don’t like light and the same applies to the taproot and subsequent roots that will develop when your seeds germinate. Almost total darkness is ideal for germinating seeds even though.”

It is hopeless for growing seedlings it is interesting to note that it is certain wavelengths of light that affect germination and it is the blue length that tends to corrupt germination, while red wavelength promotes germination. You will also have to take into account when you bought your seeds. While cannabis seeds can remain viable for a large number of years if stored in perfect conditions. They can be ruined in a couple of weeks if not stored correctly.

Finally and unfortunately it is a fact of Mother Nature that not all seeds will germinate. Some will be duds and this is out of our control.

How to Spot Bad Cannabis Seeds [Comprehensive Guide]

You may not realize it, but the quality of your cannabis crop is, in part, determined before you have even begun. Seed quality is an enormous part of growing, so it’s vital to source marijuana seeds from a reputable company.

Sometimes, you can end up with ‘bad’ cannabis seeds that will cause problems later down the line. In some cases, these seeds just won’t germinate. Although this won’t ruin your entire crop, it is a waste of time and money, which can be frustrating.

Today, we will help you work out whether your cannabis seeds are good or bad. Hopefully, this guide will help you to determine which seeds are worthy of your time and which ones are duds.

What Makes a Cannabis Seed ‘Bad’?

A ‘bad seed’ is any cannabis seed that will cause problems. In some instances, this means a dud seed that never sprouts, wasting your valuable time and a few resources. While dud seeds aren’t damaging, they are irritating.

Another type of bad seeds is male cannabis plants. There’s a 50/50 chance with regular seeds as to whether any given seed is male or female. The problem is that male plants will pollinate the females once they reach maturity, destroying the valuable THC content of female plants.

Having male cannabis plants in your garden is basically a recipe for disaster, so you want to avoid it at all costs. By the way, here’s how to figure out if your plants are male or female.

One way around this is to purchase feminized marijuana seeds. In theory, all seeds in a feminized bunch will be female – unless you buy from a disreputable grower. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell whether a plant is male or female simply based on the seeds.

This guide will only cover how to tell the difference between a potent seed and a dud seed.

The complete guide…

How to Test Cannabis Seeds

There are several easy methods for testing cannabis seeds. Most of them can be performed before germination, saving you some time and resources. Let’s find out how to check your seeds.

Method #1: The Sight Test

Cannabis seeds are surprisingly beautiful. They have a mottled brown appearance with patches of light and dark, and sometimes gorgeous tiger stripes. The seeds are also quite shiny if you view them close enough.

Sometimes, you can tell if a seed is good or bad just by looking at it. Here’s how to spot a healthy seed:

  • Coloration: A dark coloration with black or gray patches is a sign of a healthy seed. Conversely, white or green seeds are unlikely to germinate because they are not mature. Pale seeds are also more likely to be old and ineffective.
  • Waxy coating: Healthy seeds have a waxy, shiny coating. If it doesn’t, then the seed is likely a dud
  • Cracks: Cannabis seeds should not be cracked. If your seed has cracks in it, it’s probably best to discard it.
  • Shape: The rounder and fatter the seed, the more likely it is to sprout into a healthy plant. Some growers are concerned about large seeds with thick shells but don’t worry. The shell will break down with water.
  • Mildew: Grab a magnifying glass and view the seeds close up. A white, dusty powder is a sign of powdered mildew, which means the seeds have a fungus and should not be planted.

In some instances, you can crack the seed open and see inside if you can’t tell anything from the outer shell. An oily inside with a musty smell means that the seed has gone bad. Similarly, black inside the seed means that it’s fermenting. Again, it won’t germinate in this instance.

Method #2: The Touch Test

The feel of cannabis seeds is another good indicator. Hold the seed between your thumb and forefinger and give it a light squeeze. Don’t apply too much pressure – just enough to test its integrity.

If the seed cracks under slight pressure, then it’s unusable. It’s likely to be past its sell-by date.

Strong seeds, however, have a better chance of germinating and growing into a healthy plant.

Method #3: The Water Test

Are you still unsure about your cannabis seeds? You can always do a floating test to see if they’re healthy. By the way, this method works for numerous plant seeds and not just cannabis.

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Disclaimer: Don’t perform this test unless you’re ready to germinate the plants right away. The water could damage the seed and ruin a perfectly healthy plant if you dry it out afterward.

For this test, you will need a cup, glass, or bowl of warm water. It should be quite warm, but not hot. It also works best with spring water or distilled water.

Add your seeds to the water, and then wait for 1-2 hours. Those that float on the surface are bad seeds that are unlikely to grow, whereas the seeds that sink are probably healthy.

This method is a great way to check your seeds because it’s low effort. You can also test multiple seeds at once, and it’s really cheap and easy to do.

After you’ve done this test, you need to germinate the healthy seeds. At this point, they will have absorbed water, which can damage the seed if you don’t germinate it at this point. Incidentally, germination is the final test for your seeds.

Method #4: The Germination Test

If all else fails, it’s time to germinate. You might have no idea whether your seeds are healthy but attempting to grow them is an easy final test that will separate good seeds from duds.

There are multiple ways to germinate, including planting the seed directly in soil and seeing if it sprouts. This is a pretty ‘old-school’ method, but sometimes, it works.

More commonly, growers use the paper towel method. Dampen a paper towel, ensuring it isn’t soaking wet. Place this on a kitchen plate and put the seeds on top, then put another plate upside-down on top. A moist, dark, warm environment allows the seeds to sprout. Check on the seeds once a day; after germinating, you should see a white taproot emerge.

At this point, you can transplant the seed into its pot. Use a pair of tweezers and handle each seed carefully, being careful not to touch the taproot. The taproot is fragile and may break if you’re not delicate; furthermore, touching it with your hands may contaminate it.

After germination, you’re good to go. Remember to check back as the plants mature to make sure you haven’t got any male cannabis plants.

Waste not, want not!…

How to Buy Good Cannabis Seeds Every Time

It’s recommended to buy feminized cannabis seeds to eliminate the possibility of males ruining your crop. Even so, some subpar retailers will advertise feminized seeds, only to sell regular cannabis seeds.

It’s vital to buy from a reputable seller that you trust. If this is your first time, read reviews on the seed banks to find out what other customers thought. If lots of buyers were disappointed by low-quality seeds, avoid that company!

Unfortunately, you might still get some bad seeds sometimes. Plants are living beings and can be a bit unpredictable – even the seller might not be aware that some of their seeds are duds. With any luck, the majority of seeds you buy will be healthy and good to go.

The sign of a bad seller is that their seeds are consistently old, dead, and covered in powdery mildew. That said, don’t be too harsh on a seed bank if a couple of their seeds don’t work from time to time when they’re generally reliable.

Final Thoughts on Good and Bad Cannabis Seeds

Telling good and bad cannabis seeds apart is not an exact science. Sadly, you don’t know what’s inside the seed beyond its appearance, so you won’t know what the plant is truly like until you start growing it.

Cultivating marijuana is a bit of a learning curve, so don’t worry if you mess up your crop from time to time. It will only get easier with time.

Hopefully, you can now tell apart some seeds, at least, giving you more opportunities to create a successful grow.

Dark vs white cannabis seed germination test

One common question from growers is whether white cannabis seeds or dark cannabis seeds have different germination rates. When you compare cannabis seeds you may have noticed that the seeds are rarely identical. Instead you may see a range of different sizes and colours. The differences in size, colour and appearance often produce debate among growers. Why do the cannabis seeds look different and do these differences result in slightly different growth characteristics in the plants which grow from them?

Dark vs white cannabis seeds germination

In the video below you can see a germination comparison. On the left hand side, you can see 9 white Think Different autoflowering seeds. On the right hand side there are 9 dark coloured Think Different seeds.

The autoflower seeds all came from the same batch, meaning that they were produced from the same parent genetics under the same conditions. Seeds were chosen simply on the basis of their appearance. 9 white cannabis seeds and 9 dark coloured Think Different seeds were selected. They were planted in moist (but never soaked) soil and a time lapse video was made.

Note that the white cannabis seeds on the left hand side were the first seeds to germinate, with 8 out of 9 seeds sprouting pretty quickly. In the end all 9 seeds germinated on both sides, which was a 100% score. In terms of white seeds vs dark seeds (cannabis), there was no difference in the germination rates.

Does the colour of your cannabis seeds really matter?

The time lapse video shows that the colour of your cannabis seeds doesn’t have any impact on their germination rates. The colour of the shell casing is simply not an indication of the type of genetics contained inside. Nor is the colour or appearance of the exterior of the cannabis seed a good indicator of any other property, such as the future plant sex, size or potency. Only the genetic material inside the cannabis seed really determines the types of result that you can expect.

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Black cannabis seeds germination test results

The dark cannabis seeds (on the right hand side in the video) showed the same germination rate as the white cannabis seeds (left hand side). However, the white cannabis seeds appeared to germinate a little bit faster than the dark cannabis seeds.

White cannabis seeds germination test results

Can white cannabis seeds germinate? One curious result from the white vs dark seeds cannabis video was that the white cannabis seeds appeared to germinate slightly faster than the dark cannabis seeds. This is interesting, since the seeds all contain the same Think Different autoflowering genetics from a recent cannabis seed batch.

One suggestion is that the white cannabis seeds may have a slightly softer shell, allowing the white cannabis seeds a slightly faster germination. The experiment was repeated twice more. On each occasion, the seed germination rates were the same, but the white seeds tended to germinate faster.

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The best ways to germinate cannabis seeds

Why are some cannabis seeds white and some black?

Even cannabis seeds produced from the same branch of a plant can have quite different appearances. Size, as well as shape and colour can vary. Some cannabis strains can produce seeds that have certain appearance characteristics. White Widow seeds, for example, can often be very small and pale. Frisian Dew seeds can have a slightly grey colour.

There have been many theories about how the size, shape and colour of cannabis seeds can affect the plants which they eventually produce. In reality, it’s the cannabis genetics inside the seed case which really determines the results that you can expect. The shell of the seed and the markings on it are purely cosmetic and don’t give any clues to the results you can expect.

In the years before Dutch Passion invented feminised cannabis seeds, people would often try to predict which seeds would produce female plants. Of course, this was impossible. But it didn’t stop people going to great lengths, even measuring the weight of individual seeds in an attempt to derive some knowledge from the seeds physical appearance/size.

Related:
What does the appearance of cannabis seeds indicate?

Is the colour of seeds a cosmetic difference only?

Some dark cannabis seeds have black lines on them (tiger prints), giving them a distinctive appearance. Other seeds have no significant patterns or markings on them at all. Dark black cannabis seeds can be occasionally seen.

You may also see light vs dark cannabis seeds produced from the same plant. But it’s important to note that cosmetic differences between the seed casing is not a factor which defines how the cannabis seeds grow or germinate.

The genetic material in the soft plant tissue inside the seeds is what really determines the type, size, sex and potency of the cannabis you will eventually grow. These genetics, along with the environment you provide, will control the terpenes, cannabinoids, yield and potency of your eventual cannabis harvest.

Why are some cannabis seeds white and some black? It’s just the way that nature has evolved. Seeds from all kinds of plants and trees show similar variations in their appearance.

What should you look out for in a cannabis seed?

Rather than looking at the appearance of a cannabis seed, you should focus more on the quality of breeding which has gone into the seed. Some growers think that only the largest, tiger-striped cannabis seeds will go on to produce the best plants. Yet some strains will never produce seeds like that.

Time spent researching your cannabis seeds and cannabis seed supplier is time wisely spent. Look for a seed supplier with a good track record in cannabis breeding. Preferably look for a cannabis seed supplier that has been around for a long time with a few cannabis cups and plenty of online reference grows for you to check out before you spend your cash.

Knowing whether you prefer e.g. a Kush, a THC rich vs CBD rich strain, a fruity strain or a Skunk strain is a good place to start. If the array of cannabis seed choices can seem overwhelming, the following article may help you select the best strain for you.

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How to choose the best cannabis strains for you

Once you have the best cannabis seeds for you, it’s worth ensuring you get maximum germination rates with a good germination method. The preferred Dutch Passion way to germinate cannabis seeds is with moist (but never soaked) cotton pads. If you spot any issue during the growth of your cannabis seeds, we highly recommend to refer to our illustrated guide featuring the key nutrient deficiencies and excesses symptoms and how to cure them.

White cannabis seeds vs dark cannabis seeds

We hope the germination video is a useful illustration of the fact that there is little useful information that can be conveyed by the colour or darkness of a cannabis seed.

Each cannabis strain can produce subtle differences in the size and appearance of their cannabis seeds. You can even expect to see differences between cannabis seeds produced from the same plant. Don’t worry about trying to read too much into cannabis seed appearance. Instead, do your research carefully and select the best cannabis seeds for your particular needs and your specific grow situation. Enjoy growing and good luck!