I Found a Seed in My Bag of Cannabis. Can I Grow It?
You just picked up a new strain that you’ve been waiting to try. The moment you get home, you rip into the package and take in its smell. When you dive in deeper, you spot something buried within the bud. It’s small, round, and has an outer casing.
Congratulations, you’ve found a seed. More specifically a bagseed, as the seeds found in packaged or bagged flower are commonly called.
Maybe congratulations aren’t quite in order. Depending on where it came from, who you ask, and if the seed is viable or not will affect your level of excitement.
While finding a seed in your stash is not ideal for truly exceptional flower and much less common than it once was, it is a pretty ordinary occurrence. Anyone who has been smoking cannabis for some time has undoubtedly come across a bagseed. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower or you’ll see it pop, spark, and crackle as the heat of your lit bowl pops the precious kernel within.
Ok, so you found a bagseed. Now what?
Is a Bagseed Good or Bad?
Seeds found in finished cannabis flower can develop for a number of reasons. A nearby male plant can accidentally pollinate a flowering female. More commonly, though, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.
Seeds can also form in plants with genetic disorders or instability, like hermaphrodites—plants that develop both male and female reproductive parts. Generally these conditions are viewed as negatives, and for that reason alone, temper your expectations with any plants you start from a bagseed.
If found before lighting it on fire, the first thought from excited smokers is: “Let’s grow some weed!” But before you jump in headfirst, ask yourself a few questions to help decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.
Was the Seed Found in Good Cannabis?
The first and most apparent question you should ask yourself is whether you enjoy the cannabis that the seed turned up in. If you don’t like the flavor, effects, or even the looks of the bud, then it’s probably not worth growing.
Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag.
Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find a mature seed in some really nice herb. Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag of kind bud.
So don’t discount your bud just because there’s a seed or two in it. While not ideal, it could be the origins of the next great cannabis strain.
Are You Ready to Grow?
Growing cannabis takes a certain level of commitment. Plants need nurturing for months in the right environment with a close eye for detail. All this takes investment. Whether it’s time, energy, or financial resources, you’ll have to commit to the whole process if you want to produce something you’re proud of.
Fear not! If you’re simply curious to learn how cannabis grows and less concerned with the overall outcome, you can plant a couple of bagseeds outside and see what the result are.
If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear. That is, if the seeds you found are viable.
Is the Seed Viable?
If you like the strain and you’re ready to grow, then it comes down to whether or not the seed is viable, or able to successfully germinate. For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint and it must be strong enough to “pop” through its hard casing and sprout its crucial tap root.
Immature seeds tend to be light in color and have a soft outer shell.
Stress on a plant and unstable environments can produce bagseeds, and often, a bagseed’s viability is questionable at best.
There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating. Immature seeds tend to be light in color and have a soft outer shell.
Visual signs like tiger stripes—dark stripes that resemble tiny roots or veins on a leaf—are generally good. A seed with a solid shell will withstand a little pressure when pinched between your fingers. If it crumbles or cracks, the seed will be effectively destroyed, but don’t agonize over your loss.
In some cases, even if a seed isn’t completely mature, there’s still a chance it could be viable. But often these are extremely weak, take long to develop, and express other unfavorable characteristics. Growers usually discard weak plants to free up space in their limited gardens.
However, I’ve watched seeds that I had zero faith in their ability to germinate turn into strong, healthy plants—but that isn’t common.
You might also find a mature seed that has been physically damaged through poor handling, like rough trimming. In those cases, it probably isn’t worth the effort to try and germinate the seed.
But if the seeds you found look decent or even questionable, you might as well germinate them and see what sprouts.
Time to Germinate
Viable or not, there’s only one sure way to find out. Once you’ve decided you’re going to see what those beans can do, it’s time to germinate. Germination is the incubation period that encourages seeds to sprout and develop into a new plant.
There are a number of different ways you can germinate cannabis seeds, but they all require the same things to be successful: water, heat, and air. For a complete, step-by-step guide, check out our article How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds.
Even if your seed sprouts fast and grows vigorously, it has roughly a 50/50 chance of being female and producing seedless, cannabinoid-rich flowers.
Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.
What do you do with that seed you found in your bag of cannabis? Before you try and grow your bagseed, find out if it’s worth it.
How to Germinate a Bag Seed
Saturday September 15, 2018
H ow cool is it that we can finally start growing our own weed legally (in many places, anyway)? Even better is the potential of growing weed at little to no cost – certainly much cheaper than your local dispensary. Granted, if you’re trying to grow indoors, you’ll need the proper equipment to supplement the outdoor environment, but if you’re planning on growing marijuana outdoors, all you need is healthy soil, a safe and secure grow spot, and of course, some cannabis seeds to get you started.
Once you’ve amended your soil and secured a grow location, it’s time to sprout some seeds! Though many prefer procuring seeds from a seed bank to increase the likelihood of viability, bag seeds are definitely worth a go, but may not be as fruitful as store-bought seeds. Nevertheless, if you have a few marijuana bag seeds lying around, you should definitely try to sprout them. Here’s how.
How to Sprout Seeds from a Bag of Cannabis
Generally, you can simply place your seed in some healthy soil or even rock wool cubes to start the germination process, but not being able to see your seeds sprout could leave you waiting indefinitely for it to never happen in the first place. To ensure your bag seeds sprout as easily as possible, we suggest soaking them in tap water for 24 hours prior to germination to encourage the breakdown of the nutritious seed shell.
After soaking the seed, simply place it on a damp paper towel under a warm (not hot) light. After a few days, you should see the seed begin to sprout a taproot. This indicates that it’s time to transfer the seedling into your grow medium where it can find more nutrients to flourish. Do so by gently placing the sprouted seed about ¾ to 1-inch deep in soil then cover it with more soil. Other grow mediums you can consider include rock wool, expanded clay, or peat moss, though these are primarily used for hydroponic grow systems.
With a little effort, the seedling should soon push through the soil revealing its first set of “sucker leaves.” This is an exciting time as this is an indication of its impending growth; the sucker leaves are hungry for light and will absorb it readily to provide energy for future growth. Be sure your lighting is sufficient at this point as the bulk of your plants growth will depend on it.
Check out this article to learn more about the best grow lights for your budget.
We also suggest protecting your seedlings at this point because the slightest stress to their little bodies could kill them. Pests, pets, or simple carelessness could easily harm your seedlings so, until they are strong enough to withstand a little stress, enclose them in a plastic dome until they are at least a few inches tall. You can purchase plastic domes from your local nursery or grow shop or simply make some by cutting the top off a few 2-liter bottles and setting it on top of your babies. This will also help insulate your seedlings to minimize drastic temperature fluctuations.
Caution Regarding Bag Seeds
We certainly don’t want to discourage you from germinating bag seeds from your cannabis stash, but there are still some cautions you should account for. For example, even if you know the strain that the seed came from, you don’t know what caused the seed to be produced in the first place. If it was a male plant, it could pass on some of its traits resulting in an unknown phenotype. Whereas the bag it came from may have been an uplifting strain, its father could pass more lethargic traits to its offspring.
In that same vein, if a bag of cannabis contains seeds, it could be due to stress of the mother plant. When a female cannabis plant gets stressed, her natural response is to produce seeds as a means of evolutionary survival. However, hermaphroditic females (female plants that contain seeds) also tend to produce hermaphroditic offspring. In other words, growing from bag seed can sometimes result in seedy weed, even when given the best grow conditions possible.
Also important to note is the unpredictable viability of bag seeds. If the crop was harvested before the seeds were mature, for example, or if they became damaged during the curing or packaging process, they may not sprout at all. Though this may not be much of a loss for outdoor grows, considering the cost if setting up an indoor grow, it would be a shame if the seeds didn’t take hold. To increase the likelihood of your bag seeds sprouting, keep your eyes peeled for healthy seeds.
Growing our own medicine is a freedom that only a few get to enjoy. If you’re one of the lucky ones to live in a state where cannabis cultivation is legal, exercise your freedom by growing marijuana in your own home! Though you can certainly purchase seeds from a seed bank to increase your chances of success, many bag seeds will grow just as well (and save you a lot of money in the long-run).
Have you tried to grow marijuana from bag seeds? Tell us about your luck.
Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Many cannabis consumers have found an occasional seed in their bag of marijuana. But can you actually use them to grow your own weed? Learn more about germinating bag seeds and turning them into flourishing cannabis plants.