10 myths about cannabis seeds that need to be debunked

By: Contributor Culture

Many growers claim that it is possible to determine the quality of a cannabis seed from its colour, pattern, texture, or size. Unfortunately, though, the world of cannabis growing is rife with myths and urban legends. And while certain characteristics can really help to evaluate the quality of the seeds, many of these criteria are actually just rumours. Here we describe some of the most common ones.

You can tell the sex of a plant just by looking at the seed

It is impossible to know the sex of a cannabis seed simply by looking at it. If it were so easy, feminised seeds wouldn’t be so popular: people would simply buy regular seeds and check for themselves. So where does this myth come from? It actually originates from a popular online chart showing five Cannabis seeds: three of them are supposed to be female, and two male. This graph says that you have to look for a crater in the widest part of the seed. It explains that the females have a perfectly round depression, whereas the males have a deformed and non-uniform crater. It also indicates that female seeds can roll easily on a table or surface, unlike their male counterparts. While it states that a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers are needed to examine the seeds, neither of these tools will actually help to determine the sex of the Cannabis seeds.

10 myths about cannabis seeds that need to be debunked
The (questioned) chart in question

Autoflowering seeds are smaller than feminised seeds

If you’ve ever mixed your seeds accidentally, then you’ll know it’s almost impossible to tell them apart after that. And that’s because there’s no safe way of distinguishing between feminised seeds and autoflowering seeds just by looking at them: autoflowering seeds aren’t smaller because they produce smaller plants, nor are feminised seeds larger for the opposite reason. The true identity of the future plants lies in the DNA found within their seed cells. In addition, the size of the seeds depends on several factors: the type of strain, the overall health of the plants, and the degree of pollination. Indica varieties usually produce larger seeds, whereas sativas tend to produce smaller seeds. But this isn’t always the case, so beware of generalisations.

The pattern of marijuana seeds is indicative of their quality

Cannabis seeds showcase undeniable beauty and appeal. Their delicate shades, ranging from brown to black and grey, are nuances that show these seeds to be a wonderful piece of natural design. And not all cannabis seeds look similar. Some have stunning tiger stripes, whilst others have a more homogeneous colour on the surface. The appearance of the seed is not a reliable indicator of the quality of any particular plant, as everything is encoded in the genetics within the plant tissue, all safely enclosed within the shell.

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Heavier cannabis seeds are harder to germinate

Some growers feel that larger and heavier seeds may be more difficult to germinate because of their extra shell material. However, shells have evolved to weaken in water, so this shouldn’t be an obstacle to germination. As the water penetrates the shell fibres, the shell structure swells up and becomes weaker, which eases the emergence of the main root. But the older the seed, the harder its shell, so low germination rates in cannabis seeds are often a sign of old seeds. And that’s the only aspect that needs to be taken into account.

Sandpaper can be used to facilitate germination

Having said that, some growers use sandpaper to abrade the cannabis shell to decrease its thickness and thus facilitate the emergence of the radicle. But it is not advisable to do so because it is very easy to accidentally damage the interior. It’s best to simply leave the seed to soak for a day or two, either in water or in a damp paper towel. Don’t ever try to force the seed open with your nails, or use artificial abrasion techniques to try to weaken the shell.

Unripe cannabis seeds cannot germinate

Cannabis seeds that have been harvested too early have a whitish green appearance, which means that they haven’t developed fully or haven’t been able to obtain all the resources that they need to reach maturity. These seeds are usually smaller in size and have difficulty germinating. However, even though it isn’t recommended to grow seeds that are clearly unripe, they can still germinate, although with a much lower success rate. And colour doesn’t always indicate immaturity. Depending on their genetics, some seeds may have a slightly unusual light grey appearance… And just as humans are of many different colours, so are the cannabis seeds!

Find two identical seeds in this image

Seeds should always be stored in the fridge

Cannabis seeds need to be stored correctly to maintain their viability for longer. Keeping the temperature between 5 and 10ºC, and the humidity level below 25%, is a great way to do so. The ideal scenario would be to keep them in a dark and cool place with very few temperature fluctuations. And yes, a fridge is perfect. But not all fridges are suitable: you shouldn’t place them in a fridge that you use frequently, as opening and closing the door too often will change the environment on the inside. What you’re looking for is a dark, fresh, and especially stable environment. So you can store your seeds in a cellar or even in a normal room: a pack of seeds kept in an airtight container in a drawer or wardrobe located in a cool, dark place in your house should also offer good germination rates. Always avoid storing your seeds in places with high temperatures or intense light, such as a windowsill or your grow room.

Cannabis seeds cannot be frozen

Even though marijuana seeds are living things, they can also be stored in the freezer. And the lower the temperature, the lower their deterioration rate. But seeds don’t normally need to be frozen. If you provide them with the conditions mentioned earlier, you should be able to keep them for up to five years whilst maintaining a good germination rate. If you decide to keep them in the freezer, though, make sure that they’re dry (with humidity levels below 8%), since higher levels will cause the water to expand when frozen, causing the cell membranes to burst. You can dry the seeds using silica gel. Wrap them in tissue paper and seal them in an airtight container before putting them in the freezer (frozen seeds are very fragile, and the paper will protect them from breakage if shaken). Fresh, dry seeds can be kept in the freezer for 20 years or more, with a similar germination rate to the one they would have had if not frozen.

If you germinate in water, the good seeds are those that sink to the bottom

This is another dubious myth passed down from generation to generation. Some growers like to soak their cannabis seeds in water before germinating them. This softens the shell and helps the main root as it doesn’t have to work as hard to make its way out. The seed is placed in a glass of water, and the grower usually waits until the seed sinks before planting it. But this can turn into a problem: cannabis seeds need air to breathe and, once they’re completely submerged, they can no longer do so. This can kill the seed as it may actually drown. Therefore, don’t leave your seeds fully submerged for more than a couple of hours. Once they’ve sunk, move them to paper towels or to the growing medium of your choice.

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Uneven or deformed seeds can produce stunted plants

Marijuana seeds may also exhibit slight differences in their shape. It may happen that seeds of the same variety and from the same batch have slight irregularities in their oval. Or some seeds may have a shape that is more longitudinal than others. But there’s no reason to be surprised by this, as this isn’t a specific qualitative parameter but something purely visual. Exactly the same thing happens with small differences in the contour of the seed: this is neither exclusive nor advantageous; it’s simply the work of genetics, which has capricious ways of showing itself before our very eyes!


After reading this compilation of debunked myths, you’ll hopefully have a better idea about which cannabis seeds you should choose for the best results. Although seed viability is important, it is not as important as the quality of genetics. Some seeds can have a 100% germination rate, but at the same time can also lead to very disappointing results. And the opposite can also be true. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to get your cannabis seeds from reputable breeders like Kannabia’s, to enjoy the best quality/price ratio that you can find on the market.

Kannabia Seeds Company sells to its customers a product collection, a souvenir. We cannot and we shall not give growing advice since our product is not intended for this purpose.

Kannabia accept no responsibility for any illegal use made by third parties of information published. The cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption is an activity subject to legal restrictions that vary from state to state. We recommend consultation of the legislation in force in your country of residence to avoid participation in any illegal activity.

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