I can’t tell you enough how exciting and “fruitful” growing your own marijuana plant can be. The feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when you smoke the first bud from your harvest is just indescribably good. Even if you’ve made a number of mistakes along the way, all your frustrations will fade away once you light up the nug that came from your hard work and dedication. All of this starts when you put that seed into the ground.
The fun doesn’t stop there. You’ll want to move on to bigger and better things once you’ve gotten the basics of growing marijuana to heart. There are literally hundreds of strains out there for you to grow. Some may be more difficult to grow than others but they are going to be worth the effort.
Oh, and if you’re smart and careful about stuff, you can even make some cash on the side. Humans have been cultivating cannabis for thousands of years. In fact, it is one of the first that has been cultivated for medical and recreational purposes. Marijuana is definitely not going to go away any time soon and there’s a big chance that the industry will explode once it gets federally legalized.
So what are you waiting for? Go buy those seeds now!
First, do your research
If you are reading this, then it’s probably your first time growing a cannabis plant. Buying some cannabis seeds may sound easy but it’s actually a bit more complicated because of marijuana’s legal status in the US.
As you may have heard, marijuana is still federally illegal. But what’s confusing is that it is legal under certain state laws. There is also a big distinction between recreational and medical marijuana. Some states that only allow individuals registered under its medical marijuana program to cultivate at home.
But perhaps the most confusing of all is the “cannabis seed paradox” which essentially means that there are states where home cultivation is allowed but buying of seeds is still illegal. For example, it’s totally legal to grow marijuana in Missouri[note]Nassim Benchaabane. First step to grow medicinal pot legally in Missouri: Commit a crime[St. Louis Post Dispatch][/note] but it is still a felony to possess seeds in the state or order from other states where it is legal.
This being said, it’s important to do adequate research on the legalities of buying and possessing cannabis seeds in your state before anything else.
Tricks of the trade
The laws governing marijuana seeds and home growing in US exists in such a gray area that the cannabis community is forced to exploit the loopholes in the system. For example, some sellers usually just re-label their marijuana seeds as hemp seeds to avoid legal hassle. Hemp seeds are federally legal and are largely indistinguishable from marijuana seeds. They can also be transported undetected from border to border since there is no smell. Meanwhile, in states where it is illegal for home growers to sell seeds and dispensaries don’t sell them, people just resort to gifting seeds or sharing cuttings which can be grown into a clone.
Buy international or local?
There’s also the matter of buying locally or internationally. If you search online for cannabis seeds, you will quickly come across sellers that are based in countries where weed is legal. For example, one hugely popular site, I Love Growing Marijuana by Robert Bergman, is based in Amsterdam, a country whose reputation precedes it. ILGM ships to various countries including the US. In general, it is illegal for international companies to ship to countries where marijuana is illegal. For example, another popular seed bank, Royal Queen Seeds, currently ships to 31 countries except for the US. This is because it is also illegal to bring in plants and animals into the country without special permission. However, some people do claim that they were able to successfully get their orders from ILGM and other international sellers.
You can also order from local seed banks. This seems to be the easier route since your options would be the following:
- Buy from your nearest dispensary if they have them – This is by far the best and most legal option.
- Buy some seeds from another state – It depends on which state you’re going to bring the seeds into but most people don’t have a problem sneaking in seeds.
- Get some seeds and cuttings from someone you know – Very easy and convenient. Though you can always multiply your plant using clones, you can only get other strains from seed sellers.
- Buy online – Even with all the legal obstacles, the local seed selling business is alive and well. Local seed banks know the hassle their customers get into so they take special measures to ensure the transaction and delivery go through.
For people who do not have a dispensary nearby, buying is the best option by far. This allows you to choose from hundreds of strains bred by top breeders in the country. In fact, some people would go as far as to say that it is the best option for buying seeds due to a number of advantages, including:
- Choices of strains – as mentioned, popular seed banks will have a bigger selection of strains compared to your local dispensary. They may also likely have strains from other countries. For example, Pacific Seed Bank’s website allows you to find a strain based on your preferences. You can filter results based on seed type, condition to be treated, CBD & THC levels, taste & aroma, plant height, and growing difficulty.
- Anonymity – Most seed banks will offer anonymous payment methods which include cryptocurrency. For example, Grower’s Choice accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin payments. Using these cryptocurrencies gives you a bit of privacy since your personal information won’t be seen without some thorough digging.
- Convenience – Would you rather drive to your local dispensary and be seen waiting in line in public, or would you rather wait a day or two to have your seeds delivered to your doorstep? Almost all seed sellers also make sure to wrap the seeds inconspicuously to avoid getting their customers into trouble. This is often referred to as stealth shipping where the sender uses unmarked, crush-proof, and heavily sealed packaging via mailing services that don’t require a signature and tracking. For example, Canadian company Crop King often package their seeds so discreetly that sniffer dogs can’t even detect them! Sometimes these companies also attach the seeds to a gift item like a keychain or gadget to make it less conspicuous.
What kind of seeds should you buy?
As mentioned previously, there are now literally hundreds of marijuana strains to choose from and the names and terminologies can be confusing to a new grower. Thankfully, you can now filter strains by your preferences on most seed bank websites. But even then, things can still be confusing. This is why most sellers make it easier for beginners by putting up a product page on their website that has strains recommended for beginners. These strains are usually shorter, autoflowering, and are a little bit more resilient.
Now if you’re feeling more adventurous, or if you’re looking for certain qualities in a strain like a particular ratio of THC to CBD, you can always use the preference filters on the seller’s website. Here are some terms that you may encounter on the seller’s website when choosing a strain:
- Strain – This can be a confusing term for a beginner. The discussion on strains alone can be a separate article in itself. But for now, the only thing you need to know when buying is the qualities of a particular strain. You’ll likely come across the terms Sativa and Indica when selecting a strain. But then you’ll also see a bunch of other names like OG Kush, Purple Haze, Jack Herer, and so forth. Basically, Sativa and Indica are sub-species of the cannabis plant. The two differ in appearance, suitable growing climate, and effects. However, the cannabis plant and its various strains have been bred and crossbred so many times to achieve certain characteristics. On most occasions, you would just want to use the filter on the website to specify what kind of effect you want to bring up matching strains.
- Autoflowering – Cannabis Sativa and Indica are usually photoperiod plants. This means they need a change in the number of hours of light they get per day to transition from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage. Autoflowering plants do not have this problem which is why they are usually recommended for beginners.
- Feminized – These are seeds that have been treated so that they can all grow up to be female plants. Male plants are usually of no value for the home grower and are only useful for making females grow seeds.
- CBD – You’ll usually see high CBD strains in its own category. This is because CBD users are often a separate demographic. CBD is also legal as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less.
If you are a new grower, you’ll need to get over the initial hurdle of buying seeds. Fortunately, most online seed sellers try to do everything to make sure their customers’ order gets to them safely. Sometimes it’s not totally legal, but individuals have very little to worry about when it comes to possessing and buying seeds. Going after these kinds of cases will just be more trouble than its worth to law enforcement. Once you find a way to get those seeds, you can simply order again whenever you need, grow your own, or grow from clones.