This simple and cost-effective method is a great way to tell the good genetics from the bad; they will sink or swim, literally. Seeds that remain buoyant on the surface are more than likely of poor quality and are to be discarded. Seeds that sink to the bottom like a botanical cannonball are probably healthy and should be germinated.
The color and feel of a seed, on the other hand, can tell you a little more about its maturity and, potential to germinate or grow into a healthy seedling.
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.
Conducting The Float Test
The fact that cannabis seeds can vary in appearance has led some growers to think that the size, shape, or color of a seed dictates its quality.
A solid way to obtain great seeds is to find a reputable seed bank. These companies pride themselves of their breeding skills and make sure that their customers receive exactly what has been advertised. They have reputations to cater to, so delivering anything less would only harm their image.
Immature cannabis seeds, on the other hand, tend to be green and have a soft outer shell that breaks when any kind of pressure is applied to it.
Remember, just like animals and other living things, cannabis seeds are biologically different from one another (even if they are technically the same strain) and therefore will exhibit different physical characteristics. Don’t let these natural differences fool you into thinking that a larger, rounder, and darker seed (for example) is of better quality than a lighter, smaller, and more oval-shaped one.
These hair-like tendrils are the sex organ of the female cannabis flower, serving as the receiver of male pollen. Once this genetic dust makes contact, the flower becomes fertile and swiftly goes to seed.
You should always look for deep orange pistils when eyeing up buds. Harvest should ideally take place when at least 70% of the hairs turn this colour. This indicates the buds are ripe, mature, and ready for snipping. Flowers with mostly white pistils signal immature cannabis. Left a while longer, these flowers will mature and unleash a complete cannabinoid and terpene profile.
The quality of a strain’s terpene profile depends on several variables:
Flowers with seeds don’t reach peak potency and maturity because the resources are swallowed up by reproductive efforts instead. Cannabis seeds also make flowers heavier, meaning you end up paying more for less flower. If you buy one gram of weed and find 200mg of seeds nested within, you’ve wasted money. That might not seem like much, but consider that across 50–100 purchases, and that’s a lot of lost bud.
Rarely grown for quality or with much care at all, the producers associated with this level of cannabis are purely profit-driven. Often a black market product, low-quality cannabis typically stems from south of both the US border and the European continent.
Domestic growers all over the world mostly produce buds that fall into this category. These flowers are set apart from poor-quality cannabis thanks to their improved colouration, heightened scents, and overt flavours.
Trichomes are the most abundant feature on the surface of good-quality flowers. To the naked eye, they appear as a fine layer of crystals that shimmer under torchlight or the flame of a lighter.