What causes seeds in buds while growing cannabis?
What does it mean to find seeds in your marijuana buds? Is it something to be worried about? This is something that happens while buds are forming in the flowering stage, but can be prevented with the right steps. Learn more below.
There’s a seed in my bud!
Sometimes you don’t see the seeds until they fall out of your buds
What causes seeds?
Seedy buds are the result of pollination. What does that mean? Cannabis buds are flowers. Like other flowers, they make seeds when pollinated. Cannabis buds get pollinated when they come into contact with cannabis pollen while the buds are forming.
Seeds happen when pollen gets on the hairs (pistils) of buds as they’re forming. In other words, seeds in weed are caused by pollination.
This bud is full of fat seeds because pollen got on the pistils during bud development.
Pollen typically comes from the pollen sacs of a male cannabis plant. Male plants spray pollen everywhere when their flowers are mature. Sometimes female cannabis plants will produce pollen (known as herming) due to genetics or stress. Any source of pollen, whether the plant is male or female, can pollinate buds in the vicinity and cause seedy buds.
If you’re not growing with feminized (all-female) seeds, about half the plants will be male and grow pollen sacs (male flowers) that release pollen. Unless you want seeds, male plants should be removed from the grow room immediately because they will otherwise seed all your buds.
Seeds are caused by the presence of male flowers while buds are growing. Male flowers release pollen that pollinates buds and causes seeds to grow.
Any time you see “bananas” or “balls” it’s important to separate that plant immediately to prevent possible pollination. These are the result of a hermaphrodite plant (“herm”) and these structures also release pollen.
Example of a hermaphrodite plant making seeds
You may notice a bunch of little yellow growths in these buds. They almost look like mini bananas. This plant is “herming” or growing male flowers that spew pollen everywhere. If this plant isn’t removed from the grow space, it will pollinate itself and all other plants in the area, causing seedy buds
This is the same plant. You can see that some of the pure white hairs have turned brown early. This is because those hairs were pollinated. If this plant were allowed to continue flowering, there would be a seed growing at the base of all those brown hairs.
You may not realize that seeds are forming while your buds are growing
But once they get really seedy, buds may look like they have huge plump calyxes/bracts (female flowers) or they may even be misidentified as pollen sacs (hermie/male flowers).
When handling the buds after harvest, you may see seeds or hear them as they fall onto the surface below
Does it mean the weed is bad? No!
If it’s very seedy the buds may not feel as potent, though a few seeds here and there won’t make much difference in bud potency. The main problem with seedy weed is that you are getting less smokeable bud for the amount of total mass there. If it is seedless, you will get more bang for your buck. Seedless bud (sinsemilla) is considered to be the highest quality and most potent type of weed.
Seedy weed is still good to smoke
However, cannabis plants waste energy developing seeds that could have been used to fatten buds. When a bud has lots of seeds, it often isn’t as big and plump as it would have if the plant had not been pollinated. Notice how all the mass of this bud is in the seeds. The rest of the bud is airy and small.
Are seeds good to grow?
I’ve seen some growers get impressive results with bagseed (seeds you find in a “bag” of weed), but overall results seem to be hit or miss. Plants can grow in odd ways and often either the yields or quality isn’t as expected. The problem is that seeds often don’t “breed true” to the buds that they came from.
“Found” seeds can sometimes produce excellent results
But sometimes the plants grow poorly or buds don’t turn out anything like the buds you found the seeds in
That is why many growers either stick to clones (which are exactly the same as the “mother” plant) or purchase seeds of a stabilized strain from a trustworthy breeder. Starting with stable genetics helps ensure each of the plants will grow the way you expect, and buds have the smell, yield, and potency you want.
If you’re not sure what strains to get, here are a few recommendations. These strains produce excellent weed and are generally easy to grow. These seeds are all feminized, which means they will only grow female plants (no pollen to worry about!) Click the links for more information.
– top-shelf looks and smell with classic effects reminiscent of 90s buds but stronger. Easy to grow. – this version is MUCH more potent than regular White Widow. The buds tested between 24-26% THC. Don’t plan to do anything else that day ? – for those who are looking for a face melter. These buds test up to 28% THC and produce buds with quintessentially “American” looks and smell. The mental and physical effects may be too intense for most beginners. is a good choice for commercial growers with high THC up to 30%, big yields, and a short flowering time. is a potent Sativa hybrid with great yields and uplifting unique mental effects is an autoflowering strain that produces photoperiod-quality buds in about 70 days from seed to harvest.
Platinum Cookies is essentially a more potent version of the popular Girl Scout Cookies strain.
How can I tell if it’s a viable seed?
Good seeds are often dark and relatively hard. Very pale or white seeds that can be easily crushed between the fingers often don’t sprout. However, I have been surprised to find some very flimsy seeds sprout and produce amazing plants (we aren’t breeding them for hard seeds after all) so when in doubt, I highly recommend doing the true test to see if the seed is viable – try to germinate the seed and see if it sprouts.
The best way to tell if a seed is viable is to try to germinate it and see what happens.
What To Do If You Find Seeds In Your Weed
When I lived in the Midwest, I would drive 70 miles each way to buy weed. I would buy whatever strain my dealer had. And I knew I’d end up with a lot of marijuana seeds.
Like most smokers, I wanted as much smokeable bud as possible, and seeds always felt like a net loss. I couldn’t smoke them. I couldn’t use them to grow my own plant (not in Indiana, anyway). So I threw them away.
After moving to Boulder, I almost forgot about seedy cannabis.
I would stop by Karing Kind dispensary every week or two, buying anywhere from an eighth to an ounce, and over the years I have found fewer than five seeds in my weed.
Pounds and pounds of clean-grown, top-shelf bud… five total seeds. That’s an incredible track record!
But as I’ve come to appreciate, finding seeds in your weed doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The occasional seed hardly affects how much flower you have to smoke, and with a little effort it has the potential to turn into your very own pot plant. Hooray! Free weed!
I still love seedless marijuana. It’s just so easy to grind and smoke. But now, instead of grumbling on those rare occasions when I find a seed, I get excited.
Seed Be Gone: Top-Shelf Cannabis Grown With the Best Available Methods
The plants grown in Karing Kind’s garden are carefully monitored and cared for. Male plants are removed prior to pollination, and female plants are nurtured to reduce stress, which limits the occurrence of self-pollinating hermaphroditic plants.
This all goes to ensure the bud you buy is as potent and dense as possible, with limited stems and almost no seeds. And that means more smokeable marijuana.
Of course, after more than a year without finding even a single seed in my cannabis, I began to rethink my resistance to seedy weed.
After all, Colorado residents are allowed to grow their own cannabis plants for personal use… shouldn’t I be actively hoping for seeds that I could try to turn into my own source of top-shelf marijuana?
Are Cannabis Seeds from Recreational Dispensary Bud Worth Growing?
Who wouldn’t want a chance at growing their own marijuana, especially when you know you’re getting a favorite strain and what potency and effects you can expect?
But seeds you find in store-bought weed are not the same as seeds that have been stabilized over time. In some cases, seeds won’t maintain the potency, yield or fragrance of the original plant. This potential change in quality is why many growers prefer to use clones.
That doesn’t mean you should just throw out seeds you find!
It’s still a free cannabis seed with the potential to produce a high-yielding plant you couldn’t grow otherwise. No, it might not end up being an exact clone of the strain you found it in. But when you’re starting with top-shelf bud, even a slight shift in the next generation’s quality will yield potent, flavorful flower.
Try to get your seed to sprout, and give it time to flower before deciding whether to maintain that plant or move on to greener pastures.
What Do Viable Marijuana Seeds Look Like?
The only sure way to know if a seed is viable is to try to germinate and see if it sprouts.
Generally speaking, viable seeds are darker and relatively hard. Even if a seed is pale and easy to crush between your fingers, however, it’s worth trying to get a sprout before giving up on the seed as nonviable.
What’s the Difference Between Seeds You Find and Seeds You Buy?
When you buy seeds from a trusted breeder, like those sold at Karing Kind recreational marijuana dispensary in Boulder, you can expect they will carry the same properties of the “mother” plant. That’s because these seeds have been carefully stabilized over generations.
The seeds you find in store-bought marijuana flower aren’t even supposed to be there. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the seeds you find… there’s just a little more room for variations in the quality and yield of the plant the seed grows.
Even when buying seeds from trusted breeders, there isn’t any guarantee your plant will exactly mirror the mother plant. Your growing method, soil, temperature, lights and dozens of other factors can all impact the yield, smell and potency of the plant.
Learn more about how to set up your home grow , and let us know in the comments if you have turned any “unwanted” seeds into your very own cannabis plant.
To Seed or Not to Seed…
The only time I have a green thumb is after eating lime jello. I once managed to kill a cactus. If I’m going to try my hand at growing something again, it may as well be with free cannabis seeds.
Because of their attention to detail and careful growing methods, you aren’t likely to find seeds in the flower you buy at Karing Kind. Just pure, top-shelf marijuana. But i f you do find a seed, why not see how it grows? You could end up with your very own cannabis plant and a free, ongoing supply of top-shelf flower.
Or – if you want to ensure the most bud for your effort – you can buy stabilized seeds from Freeworld Genetics for pickup at Karing Kind in North Boulder.
While we carry a variety of strains, concentrates, edibles, salves and tinctures, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week and month to month. Check our menu and follow us on Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available.