How can you tell if your Cannabis Seeds Are Good - Ed Rosenthal and Royal Queen Seeds — Ed Rosenthal (2023)

How can you tell if your Cannabis Seeds Are Good - Ed Rosenthal and Royal Queen Seeds — Ed Rosenthal (1)

Learn how to identify quality marijuana seeds in order to start your cannabis grow in the best way possible.

By Royal Queen Seeds

“When it comes to seeds, Royal Queen Seeds knows what they are talking about. I have a longstanding relationship with this company which has been supplying quality seeds since 2007. We’re similar in that we are constantly evolving and always striving to improve the cannabis plant and our relationship with it. For Royal Queen, this translates to constantly aiming for more evolved and stable genetics. They also possess a passion and enthusiasm for growing weed and want to share what they’ve learned with the world, regardless if it’s their genetics you are working with. Here they’ve provided some great tips for starting off your grow with the best seeds possible.”


With the exception of clones, all cannabis plants start life as a humble seed. Under the right conditions—and with a little bit of love and care—these tiny packets of genetic material emerge into mature, aromatic, and sticky specimens. Just like any investment, selecting high-quality weed seeds results in superior outcomes. Marijuana seeds of a higher caliber boast better germination rates, better genetics, and improved yields.

As one of Europe’s biggest seed banks, Royal Queen Seeds understands the viability of seeds and offers some tips on how to tell if your marijuana seeds are good. There are several boxes that growers can tick to boost the odds of starting with premium seeds, from sourcing them from reputable supplies to visual assessment and easy DIY tests.

Whether you received seeds from a friend, found some in the bottom of a bag, or purchased a pack from a seed bank, these tips will show you how to pick the best from the bunch and get your next grow off to the best possible start.

You can tell a lot about the quality of a cannabis seed just by looking at it. Weed seeds vary a lot in appearance, ranging from green to brown in color. They also display diversity in their shape and size, with some specimens being small and spherical, and others large and pointed.

Cannabis seeds from different strains display different characteristics when they mature into plants. As poly-hybrids with plenty of genetic variation, most modern cannabis plants exhibit unique traits depending on their genetic lineage. Breeders select desirable tastes, smells, and effects from parent strains, which are then passed down to the progeny. The shape and size of seeds also change slightly as new hybrid varieties are born.

Marijuana seeds from the same plant—even from the same flower—can feature different visual characteristics as well. Just as two human siblings possess different hair and eye colors, heights, and personalities, each cannabis seed possesses its own genetic variation, from the subtle to the obvious. The sheer amount of variation among cannabis seeds means that even good-quality seeds differ in appearance. However, there are a few telltale signs buyers can look for to set the good weed seeds apart from the bad.

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Healthy and viable cannabis seeds feature a brown color that varies from a light shade to a much darker one. Some seeds are more uniform in color, whereas others feature multiple shades and tiger stripe or turtle shell patterns.

Any seed that falls within this color range shows promise. Changes of color within this spectrum occur primarily due to genetic factors, but environmental variables also play a role. Some seeds take on a darker tone after being packaged for several months. Humidity, lighting, and oxidation also lead to a slight shift in appearance.

Marijuana seeds start to become questionable when they present a green coloration. Green hues are a sign that the grower harvested their seeds too early. This vegetative look means the seeds didn’t get the time they require to develop properly, placing them at a higher risk of not germinating.

Healthy cannabis seeds come in all shapes and sizes. Some cultivars produce small and compact seeds with very little room between the outer shell and the immature cotyledon leaves nestled within. Despite their small size, these seeds are completely viable when they feature other indicators of good health, such as color and age.

Other healthy seeds take on a large and bloated appearance. Sometimes this results from their genetic makeup, in other circumstances high levels of calcium and magnesium can bolster seed circumference.

Despite differences in size, healthy cannabis seeds share a similar shape. They display a tear-drop body—round at one end and tapered at the other. Seeds that stray from this consistent shape may possess a genetic flaw. Seeds that are exceptionally flat or misshapen may undergo issues with germination and produce subpar plants.

How can you tell if your Cannabis Seeds Are Good - Ed Rosenthal and Royal Queen Seeds — Ed Rosenthal (4)

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After learning the indicators of size and shape, you might still be thinking: What do good weed seeds look like? Well, the quality of their shell also helps to signal how good future plants may perform. Healthy seeds boast a slight shimmer on their shells, as though growers have polished them with some wax. Unhealthy seeds look dull and matte in comparison. If you have the choice, opt for waxy seeds with a sheen to improve your results.

In nature, cannabis plants grow, produce seeds, and then return to the earth each year. The seeds disperse through animal activity. The lucky ones emerge from the soil the following spring, while the others perish. Ideally, growers choose seeds less than a year old when it comes to sowing. These fresh specimens germinate fast and are less likely to run into trouble over a shorter duration of storage.

We’ve all heard tales of archaeologists sprouting 1,000-year-old seeds found in Egyptian tombs. While cannabis seeds don’t possess such extreme longevity, growers often experience success cultivating seeds from two to three seasons past. However, young cannabis seeds offer the best option when it comes to viability, germination rate, and healthy plants. But, how can you tell the age of a weed seed?

Simply use the sensation of touch. Place the seed between your thumb and index finger and give it a squeeze. Young and healthy seeds will feel firm, and won’t give in to the pressure. Older seeds may feel slightly squidgy, and old and dry seeds may even crumble or crack—they lack the moisture and nutrient content of younger specimens.

When asking yourself the question of how to tell if a weed seed is good, you need to consider where it came from. There remains a huge discrepancy between the quality of cannabis seeds from a reputable seed bank versus those found in the bottom of a mediocre bag of weed.

Professional seed banks spend a lot of time, money, and effort breeding high-quality cannabis genetics. These specimens churn out seeds with a high germination rate, and the subsequent plants deliver outstanding cannabinoid and terpene profiles alongside excellent yields.

Seeds found in buds obtained from your local dealer are likely of much lower quality. In general, finding seeds in flowers reflects poor growing practices. On top of this, you likely have no idea how old these buds really are. Stick to seed banks known for top-shelf genetics. Check out their reviews, and see how much data they disclose regarding each strain to confirm you’re in good hands.

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Once you’ve analyzed the seeds at your disposal, you can run one final check to determine their quality. The float test enables growers to set great-quality seeds aside from questionable ones. Simply fill up a glass with water and drop your seeds into the fluid. Return to the experiment 1–2 hours later. The seeds that sink are healthy and ready to germinate. Now that they're wet, place them straight into the soil and begin the grow, as storing wet seeds can result in rot. Floating seeds are often deemed unhealthy, and some growers refuse to use them.

Large-scale growing operations don’t have time to analyze every seed for quality. Likewise, home growers with a small number of seeds don’t risk much by simply germinating all of their seeds to see how things go. Ultimately, placing your seeds into the soil and watching them emerge into seedlings serves as the best way to identify seed quality. Place them into a segmented seed tray and watch them rise. If any seeds refuse to germinate or produce gangly or deformed seedlings, you’ll know which specimens deserve your time and dedication.

How can you tell if your Cannabis Seeds Are Good - Ed Rosenthal and Royal Queen Seeds — Ed Rosenthal (6)

Cannabis Cultivation

Ed Rosenthal

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cannabis seeds, Cannabis Research, Cannabis germination, ed rosenthal, royal queen seeds



How can you tell if your Cannabis Seeds Are Good - Ed Rosenthal and Royal Queen Seeds — Ed Rosenthal? ›

Healthy seeds boast a slight shimmer on their shells, as though growers have polished them with some wax. Unhealthy seeds look dull and matte in comparison. If you have the choice, opt for waxy seeds with a sheen to improve your results.

What should good cannabis seeds look like? ›

To produce a good cannabis yield, look for seeds with a dark brown, nearly black-like deep color with light-colored stripes on them. Moreover, go for ones that have a slight shine to them. Additionally, be on the lookout for fungus; it is like a powdery white substance on the top of the seed.

What is the best strain from Royal Queen seeds? ›

1. Royal Gorilla. Our Royal Gorilla is one of the strongest strains available from Royal Queen Seeds.

How do you know if my seeds are good or bad? ›

Take your seeds and put them in a container of water. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. If the seeds sink, they are most likely still viable. If they float, they probably will not sprout.

How do I know if my seeds are good? ›

Take the seeds and place them in a container of water. Let the seeds sit for 15 minutes. If the seeds sink, they are still viable; if they float, discard, because they probably will not sprout.

What are the most potent cannabis seeds? ›

Strongest Weed Strains in the World - First Look
  • Strawberry Banana - Delicious Cannabis Strain.
  • Girl Scout Cookies - Great Strain for Inspiration.
  • Blue Dream - 80% Sativa Strain to Help You Focus.
  • Sour Diesel - Famous Sativa Hybrid Strain.
  • Afghan - 100% Pure Indica Strain.
  • White Widow - Potent Strain for Socializing.
Jan 13, 2023

Which cannabis seeds should I buy? ›

Best Marijuana Seeds: First Look
  • Girl Scout Cookies - Best marijuana seeds overall.
  • White Widow - Very resilient for outdoor growing.
  • Jack Herer Fast - Flowers in just 6-7 weeks.
  • Super Silver Haze - Potent Sativa seeds (BOGO deal)
  • Lambs Breath - Bob Marley's “favorite” strain.
  • Skywalker OG - High 23% THC content.
Oct 26, 2022

How much do high quality cannabis seeds cost? ›

How Much Do Marijuana Seeds Cost? The price of marijuana seeds may range from $5 to $30, depending on the kind of weed and the store. In general, more common strains of seeds will be less expensive than more exotic ones.

What is the biggest yield for Royal Queen seeds? ›

The Top 5 Highest Yielding RQS Autoflower Strains 2022
  • Northern Light Automatic. Northern Light is a legendary cannabis strain that derives from Afghan indica genetics. ...
  • White Widow Automatic. ...
  • Royal Cheese Automatic. ...
  • Hulkberry Automatic. ...
  • Royal AK Automatic.

Is Royal Queen Sativa or Indica? ›

Royal Queen is an indica-dominant strain featuring 75% indica and 25% sativa genetics, derived from the crossing of parent strains Lucky Queen and Double Fun. Royal Queen is a strong and sturdy plant that sports a stocky stature and a dense branching pattern.

Do bad seeds float or sink? ›

The seeds that are non-viable or that of a bad quality will float when kept in water as they are hollow inside. This is because they lack starch and carbohydrates required for germination.

Should you soak seeds before planting? ›

It is traditional to soak some seeds before planting them. Soaking can accelerate germination and increase the proportion of seeds that successfully germinate. Seeds have evolved a protective coating around the embryo so the embryo can survive being dispersed by some means.

How can you tell if seeds are fake? ›

Seed Identification

With regards to quality control, near infrared spectroscopy can be used to distinguish real seeds from fake ones, specific chemical species, including certain oils and isoflavenes, can also be screened for in the near infrared spectrum.

What does a good seed look like? ›

Healthy, viable seed will be light to dark brown in color. Seed that is light green or even whitish in color is underdeveloped and should be tossed out.

What to know before buying seeds? ›

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Seeds for Your Vegetable Garden
  • Winter Is the Best Time to Buy Seeds. Many vegetable garden plants can be started from seeds while it's still cold and snowy outside. ...
  • Consider Your Space. ...
  • Focus on Favorite Varieties. ...
  • Think About Pollinators. ...
  • Keep Diseases at Bay.
Jan 25, 2021

What cannabis seed company has the best genetics? ›

What Marijuana Seed Banks Have the Best Genetics? The marijuana seed banks that have the best genetics are ILGM and Seedsman. Although if you're after classic Landrace strains for breeding purposes, few outfits compare to Seed Supreme — a popular reseller that works with 65+ world-renowned seed breeders.

Are more expensive cannabis seeds better? ›

With cannabis seeds, it's actually no different. High-quality genetics have undergone a more intensive development and research process and are therefore more expensive. From this, you can conclude that expensive seeds often feature the highest quality.

Who is the king of cannabis? ›

About the king. Arjan, owner and founder of the Green House Coffeeshops, Green House Seed Company, Strain Hunters, Green House Feeding, Green House Kitchen, GH Medical and several other cannabis businesses, has been acclaimed The King of Cannabis for his amazing record of cannabis prizes won throughout his career.

Are regular cannabis seeds worth it? ›


Chiefly, they're paramount in the creation of novel strains. Regular seeds also tend to produce more vigorous plants. These specimens are hardier, can tolerate stress well, and produce cuttings that exhibit explosive growth and awesome yields.

What are the most expensive seeds to buy? ›

1. Thompson & Morgan Pumpkin Seed. A pumpkin seed from the U.K. sold for over £1,250, which is roughly equivalent to $1,600 USD at the time of this writing. This single 2-inch long seed came from a pumpkin that weighed over 2,000 pounds, and itself grew into a pumpkin over 1,300 pounds in weight.

What yields more Indica or Sativa? ›

Cannabis indica is more popular because of how easily and quickly it grows. The plant often reaches full maturity in as early as 8 weeks, which means it can be harvested earlier and more often than sativa. The plant also yield more buds than sativa.

Where does Royal Queen seeds ship from? ›

All the seeds are sent from our warehouse in Oregon. It is crucial that you provide us with a valid (real) delivery name and address, otherwise we cannot guarantee that the parcel willl be successfully delivered.

Where is Royal Queen seeds from? ›

Royal Queen Seeds operates online and from physical stores in the Netherlands, Spain and Thailand, with headquarters in Barcelona.

Which is more sleepy indica or sativa? ›

Indica is thought to be more calming, and may help produce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. People appear to prefer indica for pain management, relaxation, and sleep. Sativa is considered more stimulating, and it may produce feelings of euphoria for some. People tend to use sativa to gain an energy boost.

What is the strongest indica strain in the world? ›

Purple Kush.

This pure indica was named one of the Top 10 Most Powerful Strains in the World by High Times magazine. An aroma of earthy sweet grapes and red wine precedes a quick euphoric head high and deep body numbness, eventually leading to sleep. 100% indica; Hindu Kush x Purple Afghani; 22% THC.

What strain is best for making you sleepy? ›

1. Northern Lights. Popularly referred to as NL, Northern Lights is one of the most popular indica strains, a hybrid of Thai and Afghani. It is considered one of the best marijuana strains to treat insomnia and sleep disorders because of its high THC content.

What is the best sativa for pain? ›

Sour Diesel is a sativa strain and is named after its sharp, diesel-like smell. Sour Diesel is known to be fast acting strain, delivering energizing effects that reduce the effects of stress, depression, and chronic pain. This strain is a popular choice for patients due to its long-lasting relief.

What is the most flavorful sativa? ›

What are the best sativa strains?
  • Tangie: The Tangie weed strain has strong orange citrus notes and reliably energetic, versatile, approachable effects. ...
  • Sour Diesel: Sour Diesel's strong, uplifting effects and fuel/diesel aromas keep this old-school blockbuster sativa relevant to this day.

Is sativa or Indica more hyper? ›

The often-applied rule of thumb is that sativas are more invigorating and energizing, while indicas are more relaxing and calming — but it isn't really that simple. Individual plants produce varying effects, even among the same type of cannabis.

Do good cannabis seeds float or sink? ›

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.

Should cannabis seeds be brown or green? ›

Healthy marijuana seeds are dark brown, black, or some combination of both. We'd recommend you don't use green seeds. Green seeds usually aren't yet mature enough to sprout. Both bigger and smaller seeds will work.

What color are healthy cannabis seedlings? ›

Healthy cannabis plants look vibrant and green, and any sort of discoloration on a plant's leaves or stems can be a sign of nutrient stress. Remember, cannabis seeds are jam-packed with nutrients to help get your seedlings through the first stage of their life.

What should a germinated cannabis seed look like? ›

Frequently Asked Questions about Cannabis Germination

A viable seed looks brown with some stripes, hard to the touch and dry. If it feels weak or it's white or light green, it's probably an undeveloped seed and it won't produce a healthy plant.

Does soaking cannabis seeds help germination? ›

The best way to provide water for your seeds is to soak them in distilled water, not tap water, overnight or for no longer than 32 hours. This will help them absorb enough water to start the germination process. Warmth: Cannabis seeds also need warmth to germinate.

What does it mean if a cannabis seed floats in water? ›

How do you know if your seeds are still viable? Simple, do a seed germination test. Place the seeds in some water. The ones that sink are still viable – the ones that float are dead.

Do seeds float or sink when bad? ›

The seeds that are non-viable or that of a bad quality will float when kept in water as they are hollow inside. This is because they lack starch and carbohydrates required for germination.

What do ripe cannabis seeds look like? ›

Look for a Healthy Brown Color

Healthy and viable cannabis seeds feature a brown color that varies from a light shade to a much darker one. Some seeds are more uniform in color, whereas others feature multiple shades and tiger stripe or turtle shell patterns. Any seed that falls within this color range shows promise.

What color are mature cannabis seeds? ›

Cannabis seeds can exhibit various shades of brown, yellow, gold, and even green. And, while healthy seeds can display a lot of diversity in appearance, there are a few colours you should look to avoid. Healthy seeds typically have a pale brown colour, along with patches of darker browns and blacks.

What is the best starting medium for cannabis seeds? ›

Soil is the most natural way to germinate your cannabis seeds, and its high moisture content makes it quite easy to do. Soil also contains minerals and microbes that help the plant develop. The temperature of the potting soil also makes it the best growing medium.

Is it better to overwater cannabis seedlings or underwatered? ›

The wilting of underwatered cannabis is different from the plump curling of overwatering - even if only subtly. Leaves will be fragile, brittle and even papery. They will look lifeless and drab. Another sign of an under watered cannabis plant an extremely dry growing medium, such as crispy soil.

What color is best for cannabis? ›

Red radiation (around 700nm) is considered most efficient at driving photosynthesis – especially in the flowering stage for biomass growth (important to Cannabis growers). Blue light is essential for both the vegetative and flowering stages of plant growth, but mainly for establishing vegetative and structural growth.

What colour is best for cannabis? ›

Green: Green is the predominant color of most flowering plants, including cannabis, due to the presence of chlorophyll. Often plant tissues will have so much chlorophyll that its green color masks the presence of other pigments.

Can you tell if a seedling is indica or sativa? ›

Indica strains tend to have wide, short leaves with short wide blades, whereas Sativa strains have long leaves with thin long blades. The buds of Indica strains tend to be wide, dense, and bulky, while Sativa strains are likely to be long, sausage-shaped flowers. Additionally, there are also Hybrid strains.

How often do you water cannabis seeds during germination? ›

Germination stage-How often to Water Cannabis

If you plan to germinate seeds directly in the soil, you'll need to ensure the soil is moist and you may need to actually “add” water every 4-7 days.

How do you know when a seed is fully germinated? ›

Germination is considered complete when the radical (which becomes the primary root) ruptures the coleorhiza (root sheath) and emerges from the seed.


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