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Buying marijuana seeds is in a bit of a legal gray area. Technically, marijuana seeds are still a cannabis product, so if you live in a place where weed is illegal then seeds are also illegal. However, some people who live in places where weed is not yet legal purchase marijuana seeds from marijuana seed banks as a “souvenir” purchase. Either way, if you want to buy marijuana seeds and cannabis is illegal where you live, then you face some degree of risk. On the other hand, if you live in a weed-legal state, especially one where home growing is allowed, then you should be able to purchase marijuana seeds legally.
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Humidity and light is the main enemy for seed storage. Beyond that, seeds can remain viable for up to two years when stored in even the most haphazard conditions. Marijuana seeds swept up off the floor or found in the bottom of a drawer have been known to grow into vigorous young plants.
Generally speaking, cannabis is a hardy plant that will grow, or even thrive, in a diversity of environments. However, to assure germination, several steps can be taken. One “quick and dirty” method calls for a moist paper towel inserted into a plastic bag. Once the first root appears, the seedling must be carefully transferred to some soil before the root takes hold to the paper towel. More professionally, marijuana seeds can be germinated in a peat pellet. Plant the seed only just below the surface. Once the seedling has taken hold in the pellet, directly transfer it to a pot; the roots will grow right through the soft fabric that encases the peat, at which point the pellet can be directly placed into soil. Whichever method is used, keep the temperature between 70 -90 degrees Fahrenheit (21-32 degrees Celsius), ideally at 78 degrees Fahrenheit (about 26 degrees Celsius), making sure to keep seedlings covered to maintain humidity. Seedlings and young cuttings require photosynthetically active radiation that is more heavily weighted in the blue portion spectrum; a common fluorescent desk lamp will suffice until they are about 5 inches, or about 13 centimeters, tall.
Keep a close eye on the temperature and moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy. It’s very delicate at this stage. Use a spray bottle to water it—over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.
In some cases, even if a seed isn’t completely mature, there’s still a chance it could be viable. But often these are extremely weak, take long to develop, and express other unfavorable characteristics. Growers usually discard weak plants to free up space.
A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.
Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.
If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear.
With cloning, you don’t have to get new seeds every time you want to grow another plant—you just take a cutting of the old plant—and you don’t have to germinate seeds or sex them out and get rid of the males.
This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones or for breeding if you want to create a seed bank of your own.
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Today, “cannabis” and “marijuana'' are often used interchangeably in the industry, which can cause confusion. Because the word “cannabis” technically refers to the entire genus of flowering plants that includes both hemp and marijuana, it is not wholly accurate to exclude hemp when using the term. Historically, the word “marijuana” has been used to distinguish between cannabis that is hemp and cannabis that isn’t based on the percentage of THC each plant contains.
Regardless of the taxonomic minutiae, the headline is that “cannabis” is actually a broader classification that contains both hemp plants and marijuana plants. At the end of the day, for all their differences, both types of plants are indeed cannabis.
What is cannabis?
Marijuana is the intoxicating cousin of hemp. Depending on the taxonomic methods you prefer, marijuana may well be comprised largely of Cannabis sativa plants as well. And while marijuana and hemp might share a species, they are legally and chemically distinct in a significant way.
Marijuana is sold in a variety of ways. One of the most common products is simply the dried and cured flower of the marijuana plant. However, like hemp, marijuana is often subject to extraction to create concentrated extracts that can be sold on their own or used as an ingredient in edibles, topicals, and other products.
Hemp is a specific type of cannabis known scientifically as Cannabis sativa L. Though they are both part of the same family (and sometimes species), hemp and marijuana have different chemistry and characteristics. Hemp plants contain low levels of the intoxicating phytocannabinoid known as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), for which marijuana is well known. It does, however, contain high levels of the non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD).
The origins of the cannabis genus are not clearly understood, as a lack of significant fossil evidence made it difficult for botanists to place its evolutionary divergence from other organisms. Using a “molecular clock” and computer algorithms to estimate the age of the genus, researchers determined that cannabis likely diverged from a common ancestor with its most closely related genus – Humulus – about 27.8 million years ago.