Cannabis seeds are about the size of a peppercorn, ovular in form, and pointed on each end with a ridge that transverses longitudinally on only one side from tip to tip. It is this ridge that opens up during germination. The other side opposite to the ridge is rounded. The body of the seed is brown, but underdeveloped and unfertilized seeds can have an off-white color and are typically smaller in size.
A pack of marijuana seeds—typically containing around 10 or so seeds—will run you anywhere from around $40 on the low end and as much as $400 or $500 on the upper end. The price of marijuana seeds depends on a number of variables including:
The embryonic plant protected by an outer shell, formed when pollen fertilizes the female plant. Marijuana seeds are ready to plant and grow once they successfully germinate, or once the root has broken through the seed. They can be found in multiple forms; regular, feminized, and auto-flowering. Home growers of cannabis often choose to grow feminized seeds to ensure that the adult plant will be a flowering female.
Marijuana seeds can be feminized by two different methods : chemical ethylene inhibition, and rodelization. In the first method, a chemical agent (colloidal silver, gibberellic acid, etc.) is applied to the plant to inhibit its production of ethylene, a plant hormone that induces female flower production. Rodelization is a less-used technique that involves exploiting a natural self-defense mechanism of the plant. An unpollinated female cannabis plant with fully mature flowers may, in some cases, grow pollen sacs to fertilize itself to ensure its propagation. In both cases, pollen is collected and used to fertilize other female plants. Given the absence of Y chromosomes, seeds that result from the mature buds are female.
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Mature cannabis seeds usually have a hard outer shell that can vary in color from very dark (or almost black) to very light grey and may have tiger-like stripes. You should be able to firmly press these seeds between your fingers without damaging them.
The alternative to this is to risk buying seeds from a hobbyist. This isn’t to say that hobby growers cannot produce fantastic genetics, but if you don’t know them or their skills, there’s no way to know whether your seeds will grow.
Can You Tell The Sex Of Cannabis Seeds From Their Appearance?
Unlike other agricultural crops (like vegetables, fruit, or grain), cannabis hasn’t undergone the vigorous breeding techniques that ensure a stable crop. This means that you’ll sometimes sow a pack of seeds technically labeled as the same “strain,” but may end up with very different looking plants. It also means that the individual seeds you buy from a seed bank can vary in appearance.
A quick web search will bring up all kinds of myths about how to tell female cannabis seeds from males. One of the most popular ones comes from a chart showing 5 different seeds that claims that the female seeds have “a perfectly round volcano-like depression at the bottom (from where the seed was attached to the plant).”
Some smokers might be pleased to see some cannabis seeds in their bag, and might think themselves lucky. However, finding seeds in a bag is bad for various reasons. For one, this means the grower has messed up and allowed their female plants to be pollinated by an invading male. When flowers are pollinated, they stop producing THC-containing resin and divert their energy toward producing seeds. Secondly, the seeds will have added to the overall weight of the bag, which means less weed for your buck.