Getting cannabis seeds can be a bit tricky at first, but if you know where and how to look, it will be a breeze. Back in the day prior to the internet and the seed banks we know and love today, cannabis seeds were transported by growers and others in the industry by boat, plane and car from foreign countries and within the United States. Luckily at the time of this article being written we live in the time of the internet, and can order our seeds online.
One of the first and most important questions is ordering online seeds safe? While we do not know the laws in every country, most countries allow the possession of collectible seeds that are sold by seed banks, and if there were to be any issues, the seed bank will cover any seizures that rarely occur to begin with. As for the germination of seeds, please check the legality of cannabis growing in your state or country.
There are three main types of cannabis, indica, sativa and hybrid. Indica tends to have a stronger head high, and a notable indica strain would be LA Confidential or OG Kush. Indica is great for pain, relaxation, hunger and insomnia, but may cause some users to become overly drowsy. Sativa has a body high, which is great for pain, creativity, anxiety and depression, and is less likely to cause the drowsy effects cannabis is known for than the indica strains. A few great sativa strains would be Jack Herer and Durban Poison. As for hybrids, they are a mix of both indica and sativa and are a best of both worlds situation. Most strains tend to lean indica or sativa, but with modern hybridization it is slowly becoming more 50/50. Some hybrids include Girl Scout Cookies, GG4 and many others. A good rule of thumb is if it has “OG” in the strain name it is probably indica or indica leaning, and if it has “haze” in the strain name it is probably sativa or sativa leaning.
There are two types of flowering types when it comes two seeds, but there are four options total. The two flowering types are Autoflower and Photoperiod, and you will have both Feminized and Regular options for both. Photoperiod plants are the type of cannabis plants most people think of when they imagine cannabis. Photoperiod plants flower due to a light change, specifically a drop in light. In an indoor setup, growers would flip their plants to 12/12 to initiate flower, and outdoors in Northern California, flowering starts in early August. Photoperiod plants can have life spans of several years depending on grow style maintenance. Mother plants can last up to 20, even 30 years in clean environments, and photoperiods have the ability to reveg and last multiple years. Typically, indoor growers will veg a photoperiod strain for 1 to 2 months, then flip to flower, outdoor plants can be in vegetative mode from anywhere between 1 to 8 months and possibly longer if started under lights. Autoflowers on the other hand do not require any such light change to flower, and tend to flower 30 days after germination. Because of this, autoflowers can be grown year-round outdoors, or indoors under an 18/6 light schedule (yes, you could run autoflowers in a mother/veg room for extra yields). You then have regular and feminized seeds. Regular seeds are produced by crossing a male and female cannabis plant, and the seeds will have about a 50/50 chance of being male or female themselves. It is said that regular seeds have more vigor than their feminized counterparts, but we have not seen much evidence on this yet. Feminized seeds on the other hand are created with two females, one of the females will be sprayed with colloidal silver or other chemical to force the female to develop pollen sacks, and the resulting seeds will be 99% female. If you choose to grow regular seeds, the males will need to be removed to prevent pollinating your females, unless breeding is your desired goal.
Quick summary: photoperiod = light dependant flowering, autoflower = automatic flowering around 30 days, regular = 50/50 male and female seeds, feminized = 99% female seeds.
Seeds vary in price between $2-20 each (you may find seeds for less or for more). Most seedbanks will offer promotions throughout the year as well as bulk deals, just make sure to contact them to find out what will be best for you. We will mention some seedbanks and their promotions further below as well.
Some strains (and breeders) that we would suggest for growing are: Velvet Bud (bred by Seedsman Genetics), Golden Lemons (bred by DNA Genetics), Jack The Ripper (bred by The Dank aka Subcool), Chernobyl (bred by The Dank aka Subcool), Black Jack (bred by Sweet Seeds), Strawberry Banana (bred by DNA Genetics), Vanilla Kush (bred by Barney’s Farm), Quantum Kush (bred by Homegrown Natural Wonders), Zkittlez Autoflower (bred by Seedsman Genetics).
Please note that not all cannabis plants are the same. When you see THC, CBD and Terpene testing for the strains you are interested in, they may not be the same as your results when grown. Plants respond differently to different environments and inputs, so your plant may test lower or higher than the breeder stated depending on growing experience, setup, etc. Also note that not all plants look the same, the pictures you see may not be similar to your plant during flower. Clones on the other hand are a genetic copy and will all look, smell, taste and feel the same when grown in identical environments.
There are a few other options aside from going to an online seed bank for seeds. The first one would be bag seed, also known as the seeds you randomly find in an eighth, ounce etc. Bag seed isn’t always the best, but can be a great starting point for new growers and those without access to seed banks. Another option would be getting them directly from a breeder. As long as you trust the breeder and know their genetics are strong as well, this will be your best option as you can get fresh, unreleased seeds. This option is much harder for obvious reasons.
Seedsman is one of the most reputable and well known seed banks in the world. They carry well over a thousand strains and over a hundred established breeders. Their website is easy to use, and their customer service is outstanding as well. With each strain listing you will find the strain name, lineage, indica/sativa ratio, THC testing, CBD testing, flavors, medicinal effects and a short description. Not every strain has complete information, but most will and will be extremely helpful as you try to find what strains to grow.
Prices are extremely reasonable and vary from $2 to $20 depending on the breeder and strain. Seedsman does offer year round promotions. Currently as of July 2019, they are offering a bitcoin promotion where you can get 25% off your order by paying with bitcoin, and they will also include four free seeds. They also will include free seeds on orders over €30 or €50, which you can select feminized, regular or autoflowering varieties for and come from a wide selection of breeders and strains. They also offer breeder promotions depending on the time of year such as buy one five pack, get one five pack free etc.
Seedsman ships all orders discreetly, and also offers an insurance policy option on orders for an additional cost to assure that you will get your order. Orders can take up to thirty days to arrive, so make sure to order your seeds forty-five to sixty days prior to expected germination date incase of any delays or errors.