In my little experiment, I used 4 seeds of my OG Kush Auto that I’ve created myself. For some reason or other (because these feminized seeds were made by self-pollination maybe?), these beans are not very quick, especially if the room temperature is low, like it is now – 65-68 °F (18-20 °C). Let’s see if cracking makes any difference.
The good news is that you can do the same with your teeth just as easily!
Just firmly hold the seed with your finger tips, with the ridge positioned vertically and the pointy end facing outward. Gently bite on it with your teeth until you hear it crack. Then use your favorite germination method.
Cannabis Seed Cracker: Is It Really Necessary?
72 hours (3 days) have passed, and the last seed to crack is also the strongest. The seeds that were cracked have crooked and somehow yellowish tap roots.
The idea is that cracking requires some energy from an embryo and not all of them are strong enough for that. If you do this job for them, you help your seeds save energy and germinate faster. Besides, the process of germination requires some water to penetrate the shell, and if the seeds are old or haven’t been stored properly, their shell can get too dry to let water inside. The downside to this method is that you can damage the embryo if you squeeze the seed too hard.
I’ve come across a forum thread where people discuss buying a special cannabis seed cracker tool. I even watched a video where a weed grower uses it for seed cracking. You may google this gadget and spend a couple of dozens of dollars on it. But in my opinion there’s nothing special about a seed cracker. It’s just a simple contraption to hold a seed in place and gently apply pressure on it until the shell gives way with an audible crack. The cracking is done one seed at a time.
After 60 hours, the situation has changed in favor of unckracked seeds. A least, the one in the bottom-right corner seems to be the winner.
Another good investment, which can be key in the case of old seeds, is Jiffy 7. This product is a compressed pill of dried peat that you need to soak for a few minutes. At this point it becomes a small sack of soil that is specially designed to facilitate germination, because it features the ideal structure, is sterilized, has all the necessary elements to nourish the seedlings during the first week, and is pH-neutral. Due to these characteristics it can be your best bet to get your older seeds to sprout.
If you have only saved the seeds for a year and a half, they should not give you any problems. After this time period, even if you have stored them properly, germination may be more complicated because the older the seeds are, the harder their shells, so the water used to open them will take longer to penetrate them. Therefore, the first method to try to get the plant’s embryo to develop is to put your old seeds in a glass of water, with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, for 24 hours. Hydrogen peroxide softens the shell and facilitates the water’s infiltration.
Saving cannabis seeds is a widely used method for preserving genetic varieties that one has particularly enjoyed or that worked very well when planted. Therefore, growers often store some seeds for many years.
Other good choices for germination
Because of this risk, there are growers who choose another way: germinating their seeds with the help of wet paper towels and dishes. If this method is chosen, you’ll have to grab a plate and place a soaked paper towel on it. After placing your cannabis seeds placed on top, with enough space between them, cover them with another damp paper towel. Although this method is widely used, some purist growers insist that you have to be very careful, because the towels used may contain chlorine and chemicals that could impede germination.
First, you have won half the battle if you were careful with the original storage. Seeds must be kept in a cool, dry place. Therefore, the best option is to store them in refrigerators at a temperature between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius, and with relative humidity levels between 20% and 30%. And sheltered from light, of course.
But you must be careful: the liquid must not be cold, but rather at a temperature of around 22° C. And you must keep the container away from major sources of light. During the 24 hours that the seeds are there you will have to keep a very close eye on them in order to remove them quickly if they open, so they don´t “drown.”
For example, you can scrape off the outer layer of the seed with a little sandpaper, creating micro-abrasions that should let some water in. So you don’t overdo it with this scraping we have a little trick: roll up a piece of very fine sandpaper, with the rough side on the interior, and secure it with tape. Place the seeds inside and cover the openings with your hands. Then just shake it for a couple of minutes and the sandpaper will do its job. Another more risky option is to use a knife to cut the seed transversely, ever so slightly, which will help the water penetrate the shell.