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.
We hear this question all the time from clients and beginner growers, and the answer is a resounding no. There is simply no way to tell the sex of a cannabis seed just by looking at it.
Appearance And Feel – Checking The Color, Size, and Shape Of Your Seeds
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.
With this said, you may get lucky if the strain they were growing really is prime. In this case, it’s worth carrying out the following test to see if it’s worth germinating.
This is absolutely not true. As we explained earlier, cannabis seeds naturally look different, and no single physical trait of a seed can tell you whether that seed contains the genetics for a male or female plant. The only way to tell a female cannabis plant from a male is by looking at its flowers when it begins to sex. Don’t be fooled into throwing out perfectly healthy seeds just because a popular internet chart told you so.
In some cases their shape is more linear; whereas in others one of the extremities can be rounded whilst the other is more pointy. But this is no reason for concern: as with size, these slight differences in the outline of the seeds are purely visual and have nothing to do with quality.
As most of the cannabis varieties that are currently on the market are polyhybrids, the size of the seeds can vary depending on their genetic line.
The shape of cannabis seeds
This could be compared to a newborn whose physical appearance quickly evolves during their first few days of life in order to adapt to the completely new outside environment.
Our 15 years in the business have provided us with a great command as well as a wide perspective of this subject, so it is an honour for us to be able to share our knowledge with all of you in the cannabis community.
If this happens to you with one of our seeds, don’t hesitate to contact us directly. Send us a couple of pictures so we can check them out, and our customer service team will replace them as soon as possible.
Check out the picture below. We sprouted all the plants at the same time. The tub on the right has seeds that were planted within a week of receiving them in the mail. The tub on the left has a very popular strain with award-winning genetics… but the seeds were more than 6 years old from when we first bought them. Even though they were all put into the tank at the same time and the new seeds grew like crazy, the seeds on the left got outpaced by algae – only one sprouted and though its roots keep growing and growing the actual never got any bigger than two round leaves even after a month!
Bag seeds you randomly find in your buds aren’t supposed to be there, so that means that the genetics are a toss-up. Even if the seeds started with good parents, there’s no telling how high or low the quality will be. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to grow it… Some growers win the genetic lottery, but many others lose out.
Over the years, some of my very best plants came from flimsy, light brown seeds that very likely would have been easy to crush between my fingers.
Seeds are a little nugget of genetic material than can hopefully grow into a plant. And like all other genetic material, it doesn’t last forever! Although seeds can be viable for quite years and years after they’re first produced, the chances of them successfully germinating goes down over time (and old seeds also tend to take a lot longer to germinate than fresh ones). The resulting seedlings are also more likely to be slow growing. But sometimes they sprout like they were born yesterday!
However, that’s not how genetics works most of the time. Without intensive breeding and backcrossing, when you mix two random plants you often end up with only a fraction of the seedlings capturing the best of both parents.