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Around the middle of the 20 th Century, growers discovered that culling male plants as soon as they display their sexed traits, would result in a crop containing exclusively unfertilized females, yielding cannabis flowers higher in THC that don’t require the removal of seeds before smoking. This seedless cannabis was from then on dubbed sinsemilla, which translates to “without seed” in Spanish. It is also commonly spelled sensimilla.

Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

How cannabis seeds are produced

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.

I found a seed in my weed.

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Check your germinating marijuana seeds at least once a day. You will probably need to add more distilled water as they begin to dry out. You don’t need to completely drenched the paper towel, but it should always be damp to the touch. Once the seeds split, you will see a single taproot coming out (see the picture below). You will know that your beloved cannabis seeds are successfully germinated.

If it’s your first time growing, it also pays to get feminized seeds. Dealing with identification and removal of males is an additional complication that inexperienced growers can avoid simply by purchasing feminized seeds.

Due to the limited root system the germinated seeds have, best practice is to plant the germinated seeds in small containers. This will increase the plants’ accessibility to oxygen and nutrients by avoiding overwatering.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds

Here are a few other things to keep in mind for germinating your seeds:

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Although we recognize a number of methods as being successful means to achieve germination, always follow your provider’s instructions when applicable, particularly so that you may take advantage of any guarantees included with your purchase.

When plants are initially placed in large pots, they cannot use all of the water and nutrients around them very quickly. This results in damp conditions that facilitate the growth of mold and certain pests. Thus, we prefer to start our seedlings in small containers like solo cups, then transport them to a bigger container when they start developing a larger root system (once they hit the seedling stage).

Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.

However, potency in autoflowering varieties has increased significantly since their initial introduction, with some breeders crossbreeding the low-THC ruderalis with other more potent varieties.

Autoflowering seeds are also popular with beginning growers. They are easy to grow because you don’t have to worry about light cycles and how much light a plant receives.

Can I grow a seed I found in a bag of weed?

Many marijuana growers start autoflowers early in the season, and at a different time than a regular crop, so keep the season and climate in mind when growing and harvesting—your plants still need warmth to grow, and rain can give them bud rot. Consider growing in a greenhouse to protect them.

Cannabis is grown from one of two sources: a seed or a clone. Seeds carry genetic information from two parent plants and can express many different combinations of traits: some from the mother, some from the father, and some traits from both.

After completing these steps, it’s time to wait. Check the paper towels once a day to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they are losing moisture, apply more water to keep the seeds happy.

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.