How To Tell If Cannabis Seeds Are Bad


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There are several different methods for evaluating the quality of cannabis seeds. Here's a quick guide to evaluating the quality. Find out how to tell if your cannabis seed will be a winner or a flop. Here is how to distinguish between high-quality and low-quality seeds. The quality of your seeds when you plant them can impact the entire lifespan of a plant and the end product that you get to harvest.

How to Check the Quality of Cannabis Seeds

A float test is an easy way to determine whether or not your cheap marijuana seeds are viable. The process involves dropping the seeds in distilled water. Then, wait at least two hours. If the seeds sink, they are healthy and ready for germination. If they float, they are not viable and are probably moldy or decaying. To ensure the viability of your cannabis seeds, always perform this test before planting.

The most reliable way to check the viability of seeds is to let them germinate. This can be time-consuming, especially if you are a commercial or large-scale grower. But it is a necessary process. To conduct the test, follow these simple steps. First, dampen a plain white paper towel with some distilled water. Next, place the seeds onto the towel. Make sure that the paper towel is completely covered with water. Then, place the seeds in a dark, cool environment.


You might be wondering how to check the size of cannabis seeds before you purchase them. Although cannabis seeds may vary in size, shape, and colour, genetics play the biggest role in the results. The markings on the seed shells are purely cosmetic and have no bearing on the results. In fact, before the Dutch Passion seeds, people had been trying to predict the sex of cannabis plants by measuring the weight of individual seeds.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to determine whether a cannabis seed is healthy and ready for planting. A healthy cannabis seed will have a teardrop body shape and be tapered at one end. If it veers away from this shape, it is probably a genetic flaw and will not germination properly. Also, don’t buy seeds that are flat or misshapen, because these may have germination problems.


There are some ways to tell if your cannabis seeds are of high quality. Often, weight and size go hand in hand, with heavier seeds indicating a higher quality. Additionally, a seed that has cracked or dents is probably not high quality. Seeds with these characteristics have low nutritional value. It’s important to purchase seeds that are healthy, so be sure to squeeze them before purchasing. Listed below are some tips on how to check quality cannabis seeds.

A simple test for cannabis seed health is to place it in water and feel its surface. If it sinks and stays there, then it’s healthy. Otherwise, it’s unhealthy. The seeds need to be kept dry for germination, so look for those that stay above water. Seeds that are shiny or have a sheen should be in good condition. Ensure that they’re able to hold their own weight.


One of the things you may have noticed is the hardness of the seeds. Cannabis seeds come in different hardness and are used to help you identify the strain of cannabis. Cannabis seeds with stripes are an example of an Indica strain, and those with a solid color are Sativa strains. Harder seeds are also better to use in growing cannabis plants. However, you must be sure to avoid immature seeds because they will crack easily.

The first thing you should know about the hardness of marijuana seeds is that they hold only five percent of water. This is not enough to start the germination process. Once the germination process has begun, the hydrolytic enzymes will release stored water and soften the seed shell. This will enable the seed to split. While hardness of cannabis seeds varies between types, mature seeds shouldn’t have any trouble sprouting.


Before you plant your cannabis seeds, you should first determine their quality. While most seeds will germinate in two to three days, high-quality ones may take as long as seven days. However, it is always better to be patient than to waste money on bad seeds. It is also important to note that the quality of your seeds depends on how much water they absorb. The best way to determine whether your seeds are high-quality is to squeeze them gently.

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Seeds that are larger in size are generally of higher quality. They store more energy and are more likely to mature. This results in larger plants with greater yields and higher levels of therapeutic and psychoactive effects. Another way to determine the quality of your seeds is to look at their size and shape. Large, symmetrical seeds are more likely to germinate than those that have a smaller or irregular shape. If they are too small, they are not high-quality.

How To Tell If Cannabis Seeds Are Bad

Published: June 28th, 2019
Categories: Cannabis Info

If you want to grow great cannabis, you gotta have great seeds! Start your grow with poor seeds, and not only will you miss out on that top-tier harvest, but you’ll have wasted a lot of crucial time and energy. Given how important the distinction is between seeds of high and low quality, it’s vital you know how to tell the good ones from the bad. So, just how do you recognise a high-quality seed?


Before we offer our tips on distinguishing the winners from the duds, you should know that where you source your seeds is probably the most important variable in your entire grow. The best case scenario is to source your seeds from a legal, reputable seedbank. If you buy from industry leaders like Zativo, not only will you know that your seeds will germinate, but you’ll be able to view information about strain characteristics such as flowering time, height, and effect once smoked.

On the other hand, not all would-be cannabis cultivators have access to seeds of this calibre. It is not uncommon for smokers to receive a seed (or several) in the bag their dealer threw at them before racing away with a wad of cash. Here is why planting these seeds is probably not a good idea.

To start, the fact that your dealer sold you seedy weed immediately points to issues in quality and processing. It’s likely your weed was accidentally pollinated by a male, otherwise it shouldn’t have any seeds at all.

Moreover, these seeds likely won’t germinate as they will be immature or of poor quality in general. Weak genetics means your mature plant and final yield are bound to suffer, no matter how great of a grower you are. And unlike seeds sourced from seedbanks, you’ll have no way of really knowing what you’re about to grow. Any seed company worth its salt will guarantee germination rates well into the 90% range; bagseed, on the other hand, all comes down to chance.


Regardless of where you source your seeds, once you get your hands on some, how can you ascertain their quality? Here’s what to look out for:

Just by glancing over your seeds, you can already get a fairly good idea of their quality. Colour is probably the first thing you will notice, with healthy seeds normally having a darker shell. High-quality seeds may also have some natural “tiger stripes” or speckles, and can range between dark brown, grey, and almost black.

On the contrary, immature seeds literally pale in comparison, with green or light-grey-coloured shells. Some almost appear ivory white. If your seeds look anything like this, it is likely they will not germinate. Even if you’re able to germinate some immature seeds, it will take much longer, and your cannabis plants will probably not turn out as great.

Good seeds will normally have a shiny coat as well. To verify this, bring your seeds under a light. You should see a glistening, shiny effect on the shell that makes your seeds look like tiny pearls or marbles. If your seeds have a rough or dull appearance, they are normally of lesser quality.

• Hard and smooth surface

Good seeds should be quite resilient and firm to the touch. You can test your seeds by taking one between two fingers and giving it a slight squeeze. Under normal duress, the shell of the seed shouldn’t crumble, break, or bend. If the shell doesn’t feel solid, but instead easily breaks or feels soft to the touch, it is old and will probably not germinate. Likewise, if the shell isn’t smooth and shiny, but instead has cracks and holes, the seeds are probably bad as well.


If you’re still unsure if your seeds are duds or not, or if you’re ready to just get started with your grow, you can always go ahead and get germinating! Checking their appearance is one thing, but these tests will tell you if your seeds actually pop or not.

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• The water glass float test

A classic! The float test isn’t exactly rocket science, but it yields consistent results. Here is how to do it:

1. Fill a glass or jar with bottled or distilled water. Clean tap water also works.

2. Put your seeds in the glass with the water. There are only two outcomes for your test: sink, or float. Those that hit the bottom of the glass are likely of good quality, while those that remain afloat are probably not going to germinate or be all-star performers.

3. Now it’s time to wait; give your seeds at least two hours before coming to a conclusion about their quality. The reason for this is that good-quality seeds with a more resistant shell can take a while to soak up the water, causing them to float for a short while at first. So make sure to be patient when performing this test—you don’t want to act too soon and toss out otherwise healthy seeds!

Important tip: Only do the float test once you’re ready to plant your seeds. Once they’ve soaked in water, you can’t put them back in storage. You need to germinate them. So, if you have a whole bunch of seeds, only test as many as you can actually germinate and grow.

• The ultimate test: just plant your seeds

Maybe you don’t feel the need to do any testing, instead throwing caution to the wind in hopes that your seed will sprout. In this case, you can go ahead and plant your seeds in soil and wait to see a tiny stalk of green appear. High-quality seeds like those from Zativo will likely germinate in 2–3 days this way. Some strains, such as certain sativas, could take a bit longer, up to 7 days depending on the strain. But the bottom line here is that quality seeds will pretty much always germinate. Planting them in soil and seeing them break through the surface is a good sign you have some quality seeds on your hands!


If you’re like most hobby growers, you may at some point end up with more seeds than you can actually grow at one time. As such, longer-term storage becomes a priority. But how long can you even store them? Do cannabis seeds go bad?

Stored properly, you can keep cannabis seeds viable for a very long time. However, moisture, exposure to light, and high temperatures could spoil your seeds and shorten their period of viability significantly. If you buy from a good seed company, your seeds will often come in a vial with a lid that also contains desiccant; this way, your seeds can stay good for a long time. To properly store your seeds, it’s best to keep them in a dark and cool place, such as a cupboard. In this setting, seeds can potentially stay viable for years.


Another disadvantage of getting seeds from an unreliable source is that you won’t know their sex. Most growers, unless they need males for breeding purposes, will immediately toss out any males after identifying them to prevent pollination of females. This issue can be avoided entirely by purchasing feminized seeds from a reputable provider. These seeds will, of course, only sprout females, which is what you want. But if you obtained a mystery bag of seed, there is unfortunately no way to tell outright if your seeds are male or female.

How to tell if your cannabis seeds are bad

When you’re just learning how to grow, there are so many things that can get in the way of you achieving success, and one of them that is most common is a bad batch of cannabis seeds. Once you’ve got a grow room well established, your lights set up and ready, soil PH kits handy, and fertilizers on tap, all that’s left to do is to get some pot seeds germinated, but if you’ve never done it before, it can be hard to tell if the troubles that you might experience are attributed to the seeds that you’ve used or the methods that you’re trying to get them going.

We all have that one friend who claims to have grown a spectacular plant with some scary looking or ancient pot seeds, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will have that same kind of success. In fact, the quality of your seeds when you plant them can impact the entire lifespan of a plant and the end product that you get to harvest from it, so it’s best to be selective as you go through this process. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for certain if your weed seeds have expired, but these are a few of the most important features to look for when doing an assessment of potential.

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1. Color and designs

All cannabis seeds, no matter the strain, can vary significantly in color, shade, and design patterns. Some are duller than others, and a few have such incredible prints on the casing that they resemble a professional piece of artwork, with lines and shapes of all different types everywhere. However, if your pot seeds are a bright white color or a deep hue of black or gray, then that is a pretty good indication that they might not be very good, to begin with, as these characteristics tend to appear from age, or water damage, both of which can render cannabis seeds completely useless in no time.

2. Damage

At first glance, it might be hard to see if your weed seeds have been damaged in any way, as the variety of darker colors can help to mask what could be major problems, on a tiny shell. However, if you get a magnifying glass, or pull out a seed and hold it up in the sunlight, you can usually see if there are any cracks, dents, or scratches on the outer casing, and the presence of any of these things could indicate a problem. Another way to check is by using your sense of touch by running your fingertips over the sides and edges, to feel for any breaks in your cannabis seeds

3. Age

Do you have any idea how old the weed seeds you’re using might be? As much as these gifts from nature can hold up quite well for a while in storage, certain influences can dramatically shorten their potential lifespan. Too much heat or moisture can be devastating and lead to mold or baking of the seed, leaving it completely useless in no time, and abrasive handling can leave behind hairline fractures that expose the middle of the seed to air, which also hastens the aging process. Even if everything is done right, it’s best to start out with pot seeds that are less than two years old for the highest rates of success, or they could be bad by the time you got to use them.

4. Issues with germination

Have you been trying every method that you can find online to germinate with little to nothing to show for it? Though this doesn’t necessarily save you much time, it can be a good indication that your cannabis seeds are damaged, or just too old to thrive. So if you try to plant some weed seeds and get no sprouts, or find that you have a few that come up, only to self-exterminate before they reach any reasonable size, then you might want to just toss what you have left, because chances are pretty good that they have in some way gone bad, which means that they aren’t any good for growing plants.

5. Size

This happens the most often when friends circulate cannabis seeds among themselves, as professional producers would never release a batch of product with such an obvious flaw, but you might be surprised how much the size of your pot seeds can tell you about whether or not they will sprout. Even if your weed seeds have no visible damage or discoloring, they could be smaller, and this is caused by anxiety-ridden cultivators who rush to pull off a crop that’s been pollinated, resulting in tiny, not quite formed cannabis seeds. Since these little guys haven’t had the chance to finish growing, they are unlikely to ever sprout, which is why size can be a good indication of bad quality pot seeds.

Why mini greenhouse kits are perfect for germinating cannabis seeds

Greenhouse kits mimic the very same environmental factors that professional cannabis producers use to increase their success with germination.

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