CBD seeds

Top Ten Places to Buy Cannabis Seeds: A Buyer’s Guide

So you've decided to grow your own cannabis, and you've got your grow space all set up. You're all ready, except for one small detail; you are going to need some genetic material to get started. In other words, you will have to locate some cannabis seeds or clones to begin your cannabis grow.

Generally speaking, there are two primary sources for cannabis seeds:

  1.  Local stores/dispensaries or
  2. Online stores and breeders

In both cases, you will have the option of choosing brand name seeds from established commercial breeders, specialty seeds from artisan breeders, and cannabis seeds from “no-name” or low-end breeders. In jurisdictions where cannabis is not yet legal, the only option for purchasing seeds will be online, and they will only be available from retailers willing to ship.

What’s the difference between a breeder and a retailer? Breeders only carry the strains they produce themselves, while retailers will carry products from a variety of breeders. Some hybrid breeders/retailers sell their own seeds as well as those from other breeders.

Buying cannabis seeds online is similar to purchasing any sort of seeds (lettuce, kale, carrots, etc.). There are hundreds of varieties (aka – strains), a range of quality, wildly different price ranges, and sellers of varying integrity. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer variety of choices available. In order to make things easier, here is a list of questions you should consider before buying cannabis seeds online.

CBD seeds beside other CBD oils and topicals

Buyer's Guide

1) Are you growing inside or outside?

When purchasing for indoor growing, you will want to look for strains that grow shorter so they can fit in the grow space in your home (less than 120 cm, or about 4′). You may start with 8′ high ceilings, but containers can be a foot or taller, and you’ll likely have fans or exhaust systems secured to the ceiling (taking up the top couple feet of space).

2) How much time do you have for your grow?

Some strains can be ready in less than three months, while others can take as long as five months. If you’re growing outside, consider how much time you have available for flowering. For example, in my part of the world, it starts getting cold by mid-September, making outdoor flowering very challenging.

3) Indica, sativa, or hybrid?

While there is considerable debate about the actual differences between these classifications, sativa strains tend to grow taller and take longer to flower. In contrast, indica-dominant strains require less time and room for vertical growth. Hybrids are somewhat in the middle.

4) Regular, feminized, or autoflower?

Regular seeds are usually less expensive, but you can expect at least 50% of them to be male and, therefore, not really useful for growing bud. If you want to guarantee all your plants will be female, then buy feminized seeds. Autoflower cannabis seeds are a special kind of hybrid that automatically starts flowering regardless of the photoperiod (light schedule). Autoflower plants are generally ready to harvest in 10 weeks or less, but they’re not recommended for the beginning grower since they can be a bit finicky about their growing conditions.

5) Is it legal to order seeds?

In most cases, seeds cannot legally be shipped across international borders, and especially not to areas where cannabis is still illegal. That being said, there are many breeders around the world, and if you’re willing to buy the seeds, most retailers will agree to ship cannabis seeds. You may see an option for stealth shipping (often at an additional cost), which essentially means that your seeds will be discretely sent to you, perhaps tucked away in a brochure or t-shirt. This shipping option makes it less likely that your package will be confiscated in transit, and many buyers go this route. However, this is also an indication that it may be illegal to send the seeds from their origin to the destination you’ve requested. Keep in mind that if your seeds are somehow “lost” during shipment, you will probably have lost your money spent as well. Check out your local retailers and the online stores in your country before you consider international shipment

6) What's your budget?

Seeds can be expensive! I have paid as much as $20 per seed for top-shelf artisan seeds, but low-end budget seeds can be as little as $2-3/seed. For beginners, I would recommend not spending more than about $8-10/seed.

7) How many different strains should I buy?

While it is tempting to purchase a variety of different seeds, unless you are a very experienced grower, I would recommend growing no more than two strains at the same time. Different strains will grow differently (have different physical traits), have different feeding requirements, and be ready for harvest at different times. These differences add complications to the growing process. It’s best to avoid these problems until you have at least 5-10 grows under your belt.

8) How many seeds should you buy?

Cannabis seeds are often packaged in groups of 3, 5, or 10. At least 80% of the seeds you buy should germinate, so if you want to grow eight plants, you should buy ten feminized seeds to be safe. If you’re purchasing regular seeds, buy approximately double the number of female plants you want to grow (to account for having to throw out all the male plants). Try to avoid buying more seeds than you intend to plant this season since storing seeds for an extending period of time can be tricky, and older seeds may not germinate.

9) What's your level of experience?

Beginners should purchase easy to grow, forgiving strains. One of my favorites is the classic White Widow, but any reputable breeder or retailer should be able to advise you. If you are more experienced, you can try more challenging strains like autoflowers, CBD-dominant strains, or pure sativas.

10) Do you need to worry about odor control?

While all ripening cannabis flowers tend to be aromatic, some strains are much more “skunky.” If you’re growing your cannabis in a populated area outdoors or inside your own home, you might want to consider a less smelly strain or installing some odor control (like a carbon filter).

Royal Queen Seeds (Spain)

Pros Cons
 Established seed breeder with over 20 years experience Shipping to USA not easy
A wide variety of strains for all situations Seeds can be expensive
Very stealthy shipping
Many award winning strains

Barney’s Farm (Amsterdam)

Pros Cons
Established in 1986. Over 30 years experience Expensive
Over ⅓ of their product line has won awards Minimum of $200 order required for free shipping
International stealthy shipping Customer service reviews have been mixed

Soma Seeds (Holland)

Pros Cons
Artisan craft grower Small batch so seeds not always available
Spectacular strains (the shelf above the “top shelf”) Will not ship to countries where cannabis is illegal (often available from local retailers)
Award winning strains

Humbolt Seeds (USA)

Pros Cons
Well established, well known breeder Difficult to find locally in USA
Many “classic” American strains International retailers tend to raise the price
Reasonable prices if you can purchase locally

Retailers/Seed Banks

BC Bud Depot (Canada)

Pros Cons
Well established hybrid retailer No germination guarantee
Carries most well-established strains, large selection Customer service reviews mixed
Fast efficient shipping

Crop Kings (Canada)

Pros Cons
Well established hybrid retailer Shipping charges can be high depending on where you live
Well known for high quality genetics
Very good customer service
International shipping

MSNL (United Kingdom)

Pros Cons
Large, well established Euro retailer Customer service reviews mixed
Many different strains No germination guarantee
Reasonable prices
International shipping

Seedsman (United Kingdom)

Pros Cons
Easy to navigate website Shipping time can be inconsistent
Large strain selection Processing of transaction can take some time
Bonus loyalty program for frequent buyers

Greenpoint Seeds (USA)

Pros Cons
Hybrid retailer Mixed reviews on customer service
Many excellent strains available
Grown in the USA

What's Next?

Once your seeds arrive, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure product quality before trying to germinate. First, are the seeds in their original breeders packaging? If not, there is no way to validate exactly what you have received. Next, examine the seeds carefully. If any are green or very pale colored seeds, it could be a sign of immature seeds, which won’t germinate. Mature seeds should be grey, speckled, or brown.

If your seeds come with a germination guarantee, make sure to follow the process outlined in the instructions. Take some photos as well in case there is any problem later on. Many breeders will guarantee an 80% success rate for their seeds. Beginner’s may want to use the “paper towel” method for germinating their seeds.

I also recommend taking photos throughout your grow to determine if there is any inconsistency in the seeds. Poor quality seeds will result in a variety of different phenotypes, which will make your grow more of a challenge.

So there you have it, a primer on what you need to know to buy cannabis seeds online. Get prepared, decide what you want, and get growing!

you must be at least 21 to view this website

Sorry, you have to be of legal age to visit this site.