How to check the quality of cannabis seeds

How to check the quality of cannabis seeds
Adam Parsons

Checking to see if your cannabis seeds are healthy before germination is a great way to save time and effort.

There are many procedures and factors that cannabis growers will execute and consider when aiming to grow a healthy marijuana crop capable of producing a yield of adequate quality and maximum quantity. One of such factors that needs to be considered before the process has even begun is the very quality of the cannabis seeds themselves.

There is no doubt that nutrients, water, lighting and other needed external factors will dictate the quality of a grower's crop, but ensuring the seeds they intend to plant are healthy enables their plants to receive the best start possible.

Here are a few tips to obtain quality seeds to begin with and to test them before planting to make sure the effort is worth it.


Seeds of decent quality have certain aesthetic qualities than can be used to separate them from poor quality counterparts. For one, healthier seeds usually have shells featuring darker colours, appearing brown or grey with elements of black. With some strains this looks a bit like a 'tiger print'.

Immature seeds are likely to have a green or whitish appearance, seeds of this colour are not likely to sprout and produce a healthy cannabis plant. Healthier seeds usually feature spots and stripes on their shells.

These darker and healthier seeds are often harder also, another factor that displays the health and vitality of a cannabis seed. When placing the seed between your index finger and a thumb, a healthy seed should be hard enough to bare the weight and remain intact.

However seeds that crack or even completely crumble indicate poor health. Small cracks in the outer shell will signify that the seed is weak and not entirely healthy even before this test is carried out.

Healthy seeds look as though they have a coating of wax on their shells. Place your batch of seeds under a decent light, if they are healthy they should display some kind of sheen on the surface.



An extremely easy and cost effective way to test the health of cannabis seeds is to see if they float in water. Fill up a container with clean and preferably distilled water and place your seeds on the surface. Return to them in an hour or two. Seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the container are likely to be healthy and ready to germinate.

Seeds that are floating are likely unhealthy and not worth the time. Conduct this test right before germination, as seeds need to be kept dry to store them properly.


The most obvious and accurate method to determine a seeds health is to simply germinate it anyway. If the seed does not germinate under the right conditions, it was not healthy.


The more reliable the source that you choose to purchase your seeds from, the better quality they are likely to be. Let’s look at it this way, if you choose to buy some massive, crystal heavy buds from a medical grade dispensary and compare that to some stalk heavy, leafy and poorly grown cannabis grown in your friends basement, which do you think is going to smoke better and provide a more enjoyable experience?

The same logic can be applied when seeking cannabis seeds. Every now and then when picking up a bag of weed, you are more than likely to come across a few stray seeds in the buds as you begin to break up the material and layer it into a blunt or a bowl. There is nothing wrong with planting these seeds, and they may offer some nice weed (with the emphasis on 'they may...')

However, purchasing seeds from a prestigious seed bank is going to provide you with exactly what you want. This enables you to choose the exact traits that you want from your plants.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons

As a professional cannabis journalist, author, and copywriter, Adam has been writing about all things psychoactive, CBD, and everything in between for a long time. In an ever-changing market, Adam uses his BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism degree to keep in stride with contemporary research and contributing worthwhile information to all of his projects.