Cannabis seeds are like any other; you must germinate them first. But what does that mean? This article explains how to germinate cannabis seeds.
We’ll look at two popular and easy methods. You can choose to germinate in soil or between layers of paper towel.
Both options don’t require additional equipment beyond what you already need to grow. So we’ll assume you already have a container, some soil, and a source of water.
And a roll of paper towels, if you choose that method.
What is Germinating?
If you want to grow CBD cannabis and enjoy all its benefits, then you’ll have to germinate your seeds first.
All seeds have to go through a germination process. But don’t let the term “germinate” intimidate you. Germinating cannabis seeds is an easy process.
In essence, germinating cannabis seeds means transforming the seed so it sprouts and eventually becomes a cannabis plant.
Germinating cannabis seeds require specific conditions. It’s possible to germinate cannabis seeds outside, but we recommend doing it indoors. The main advantage of indoor is controlling temperature, moisture and oxygen levels.
Take a look at your cannabis seed. Its outer layer acts as protective casting. This prevents damage to the inner embryo and prevents moisture from germinating your seed prematurely.
Germinating cannabis seeds essentially means saturating them with water. Water and oxygen fuel seed respiration to unlock the food stored in the embryo.
When you germinate cannabis seeds, you allow the embryo to access those food stores and turn them into energy.
But nothing happens without heat.
To successfully germinate cannabis seeds, you need a heat source. Cannabis seeds need 22-25 degrees Celsius (72-78 degrees Fahrenheit).
For this reason, some growers prefer using heat mats to ensure a smooth germination process. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but be careful you don’t overheat the seeds and undo your progress.
A heat mat will be handy if you’re germinating in a cold climate, even indoors. But your seeds should be fine if you’re germinating during the hot summer months and you don’t have the A/C running.
Germinating cannabis seeds is fundamental to ensuring the rest of your growing process goes as planned. Do this part right, and you will save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.
Without proper germination, cannabis or hemp plants won’t yield as high as they could.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Before germinating your cannabis seeds, you should watch for damage. Damaged seeds are obviously no good. As well you should be mindful of how old the seed is.
You can germinate cannabis seeds that are decades old. But like many things in life, the vitality of a cannabis seed decreases over time. As a general rule of thumb, you should use your cannabis seeds within the year.
Be sure to check the colour before germinating your cannabis seeds. A light green seed is immature and won’t germinate—the same with white seeds. A cannabis seed ready to germinate should be a light to dark brown colour.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds in Soil
Using soil to germinate cannabis seeds is the easiest way to get the job done. All you’ll need are your seeds, some containers, soil, water, and if you want, a heat mat.
Fill the containers with soil but don’t pack them down. You want a loamy consistency. Packing the soil down won’t allow for proper drainage and oxygen circulation.
We recommend you label your containers if you’re working with multiple cannabis strains.
After filling a container with soil, sow the cannabis seed by creating a small hole about 6 millimetres deep. Gently, and we mean gently, place the seed inside and cover it.
The placement of the seed doesn’t matter. It can be on its side or right side up.
Each container should only consist of a single cannabis seed. Gently pour a small amount of water over where you buried the seed.
Now the cannabis seeds must never dry out. This is the essence of germinating cannabis seeds. Once you start this process, you can’t undo it.
Monitor the soil and continuously apply water until the seed sprouts. It should go without saying that you don’t want to dig up the seed and see if it’s sprouting.
How long how will it take to germinate cannabis seeds? Is there a trick to making it go faster? Unfortunately, not really. The number one rule in how to germinate cannabis seeds is patience.
Cannabis seeds typically break the surface within the first four days. If you have an older seed, it may take up to two weeks.
Again, digging up the seed to see if it’s sprouting will destroy the germination process. Just be patient and make sure the soil doesn’t dry out.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds with Paper Towel
What about the paper towel method? How does one germinate cannabis seeds using a paper towel? This popular method is similar to germinating in the soil.
Growers like the paper towel method because it’s low-budget and easy. You’ll need seeds, dinner plates, paper towels, spray bottles, and (if you choose) a heat mat.
First, place two or three sheets of paper towel on top of a clean dinner plate. If you’re using a heat mat, place it under the dinner plate.
Remember to label the plates if you’re using multiple strains. You can do up to 10 seeds per plate. Make sure a minimum of two ‘n’ half centimetres separate the seeds from each other.
Use the spray bottle to dampen the seeds until the paper towels are completely saturated. Then you can add a new layer of 2-3 paper towels on top of the seeds.
Use the spray bottle to soak the new paper towels. The paper towels must remain saturated with cannabis. If allowed to dry, the cannabis seeds won’t germinate.
Like before, you’ll need patience. However, you should see some results within 48 hours. After two days, you can peel back the upper layers of the paper towel.
If successful, you’ll see a cracked-open seed with a radicle emerging from the embryo.
Using a pair of clean tweezers, move the seeds to the soil. Be very careful as the radicle is fragile. If broken, the embryo inside will die.
Germinating Cannabis Seeds Made Easy
Growers have been germinating cannabis seeds in soil or with paper towels for decades. It’s super easy but don’t fear if you don’t excel at first.
After some practice, you’ll be able to germinate cannabis seeds without giving it a second thought. And when you do this process right, the dividends are paid in plant yields. This is essential if you’re someone who needs a lot of CBD for anxiety, sleep, or recreation.
Have you germinated cannabis seeds? How was it? Let us know in the comments!