Cannabis Seed Testing

How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Good Got a cannabis seed, but you’re not sure if it’s any good? No worries. By the end of this article you’ll know everything you need to get started. The We offer a wide selection of mail in cannabis test kits for microbials, pathogens, gender id, phenotypes, state compliance panels and more. Cannabis genetic testing is important for breeders and growers who want to produce the best end-result for their clients. Without a firm grasp of

How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Good

Got a cannabis seed, but you’re not sure if it’s any good? No worries. By the end of this article you’ll know everything you need to get started.

The legality of growing cannabis varies depending on where you live in the world. Know your laws.

What to Look for in a Healthy Cannabis Seed:

You can tell a lot about a seed’s health just by looking at it. Here are a few different things you should look for when deciding if a cannabis seed is good or not.

  • Darkened Color – Good cannabis seeds will be brown, black, and/or gray. White or green seeds are immature and unlikely to sprout. Your seed should also have stripes or spots all the way around.
  • Waxy Coating – A healthy seed will have a thin waxy coating around it. This coating should appear to have a slight sheen to it.
  • Hard Shell – You should be able to lightly squeeze a seed without it crushing. If a seed crushes easily between your fingers then the seed is likely dead or weak and will not grow well.
  • No Cracks – Inspect the entire seed to make sure there aren’t any small crack or holes. This will most likely cause the seed not to sprout.

Ways To Test Cannabis Seeds

Now that I’ve gone over a basic guide for what to look for I’ll give you a couple of ways that you can test your seeds.

Test Method #1: Floating Seeds in Water

This is a great test that works for many different seeds – not just cannabis. Take your seeds and drop them in a cup full of warm (not too hot) water then wait a couple of hours. If they sink then they’re probably good to go. If they won’t sink then they are probably dead and won’t grow.

Note: Only do this if you’re ready to germinate your plants. Otherwise, it could harm your seed. I cover germination in a later section.

Test Method #2: Just Go Ahead and Try to Germinate the Seed

I know this seems obvious, but it really is the best information I really could give. If you really want to know if a cannabis seed is able to germinate then go ahead and try germinating it – what do you really have to lose? Not quite sure how to germinate a seed? No worries. Here’s a quick guide:

See also  Cannabis Week By Week From Seed
How to Germinate a Cannabis Seed

Germinating a seed simply means getting the plant to sprout from the seed. It’s the first step in your cannabis seed’s journey to a full grown plant. There are several ways to go about this.

One way is to simply plant it in your soil and see if a plant pops up. It’s old school, but no one can deny its simplicity. Plant the seed about 1/4″ deep and wait.

Another way is to put the seeds on a damp paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is damp, but not soaking wet. If it dries out you can add a few drops of water to the paper towel. Leave the paper towel in a dark place. The amount of time is going to vary among strains. Some may take only 2 days while others could take longer. Continue to check them once a day.

How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Male or Female

Unfortunately, there is no way to know if a cannabis seed is going to be male or female simply by looking at it or doing a simple test. This is a bummer since most people don’t want male cannabis plants in their garden.

If you want feminized seeds then you’ll have to buy them from a reputable seed bank. Make sure they say feminized – if they don’t say it then they probably aren’t.

If all you’ve got is a bag seed then the only way to find out if it’s going to be male or female is to grow it.

Can My Cannabis Seed Go Bad / Expire?

The short answer is yes, but if you store your seeds properly they can stay viable for years and years. Moisture, UV degradation, and extreme temperatures could all affect the quality of your seeds.

If you plan to store your seeds for a long period of time make sure to keep them in an airtight container in a dark area. Ideally, seeds should be stored in a climate controlled area (like inside your house instead of in a shed or garage. One study showed laboratory-sealed cannabis seeds were still viable after 19 years.


It’s nice to know what to look for, but in the end the best test is just to put it in soil. If you’re using bag seeds then you never really know what you’re getting anyways. If you’ve bought your seeds from a legitimate seed bank then you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

See also  Breeding Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis Seed Testing

Diagnostics like Plant DNA Sex/Gender Identification streamline growing from seed by quickly identifying plant gender using only a small DNA sample collected from a leaf. You can easily collect DNA samples using our kits, then simply mail them to our lab for testing. Results are delivered electronically roughly 2-5 business days after we receive your samples.

Our Plant DNA Collection Kits are designed to obtain one sample each which minimizes chance of cross-contamination during the sample collection process. We also include positive and negative controls with every batch of samples.

Plant DNA Sex/Gender and Cannabinoid Dominance Testing are essential time and cost saving tools; increasing the overall efficiency of growing from seed while helping to effectively manage your crop space. Plant DNA Sex/Gender Testing is available for additional species on special request.

Cannabis Genetic Testing

Cannabis genetic testing is important for breeders and growers who want to produce the best end-result for their clients. Without a firm grasp of cannabis genetics, it is virtually impossible to provide the medicinal compounds and properties end-users desire. A plant with poor genetics can only be so good, even when everything else is of the utmost quality. Solid genetics are the foundation of any decent cannabis product, which is why genetic testing of cannabis continues to be one of our top services here at Modern Canna.

Other factors affecting a cannabis strain’s quality include:

  • Environment
  • Growing techniques
  • Harvesting methods
  • Curing processes

Cannabis genetic testing for genotype

Cannabis genetic testing at Modern Canna includes the genotype – the plant’s genetic makeup inherited from its parents, and its blueprint for growth. The genotype details the entire spectrum of possibilities for a particular cannabis strain. In human biology, one has no control over the inherited genotype. Plant breeders and growers have a heavier hand in what gets passed from parent plants down to offspring, but the reality is that no two genotypes will be identical, even if purchased from the same family – unless a plant is cloned.

The decision to clone can produce greater reliability, though cloned genetics have a way of deteriorating after replicating for multiple generations. Knowing precisely what defined characteristics you’re working with will help you make the best decisions in the production of your strain.

Marijuana genetic testing for phenotype

Marijuana genetic testing at Modern Canna also includes the phenotype – the visible traits that emerge based on environment. The phenotype can be thought of as the observable smell, taste, color, shape, resin production, and potency of the marijuana. In human biology, you can think of phenotype as the way a person dresses, speaks, and acts based on the subculture they identify with, the career path selected, and the events that have unfolded over the years. Phenotypes explain why children with the same mother and father look slightly different.

See also  Cannabis Seeds Texas

A thorough understanding of marijuana phenotyping helps cultivators explain the different varieties within a strain and breed for the characteristics they value most. The best breeders will hunt the phenotypes of thousands of seeds until they find one or two phenotypes they prefer to pass onto their growers.

What cannabis sequencing can do for you

Cannabis sequencing can help you:

  • Unlock the mystery of your cannabis strains to assess stability and uniqueness.
  • Determine closest relatives, clonal relationships, population origin, and ancestral links among your plants.
  • Reduce variety and unpredictability in subsequent generations of plants you produce.
  • Cultivate new, stable, unique strains with the beneficial traits you value most.
  • Understand how to cross certain plants to get shorter grow times and larger harvests.
  • Take advantage of physical structure to create a variety suited to grow in a specific environment.
  • Protect yourself against false patent claims and other legal controversies that may arise.
  • Gather promotional information for marketing materials to highlight what makes your product special.
  • Confirm your beliefs with scientific fact and make more informed business decisions.

How marijuana sequencing works

Modern Canna employs a staff of highly experienced analysts to oversee your marijuana sequencing projects. We use state-of-the-art sequencing technology to quickly and accurately generate quality data. We then analyze all sequence data using our proprietary bioinformatics system to determine the DNA fingerprint, agricultural yield, genetic relationships, and medicinal qualities of your samples.

Contact us for more information on cannabis genetic testing

Modern Canna has been Florida’s preeminent medical marijuana testing laboratory since 2014. We are capable of performing a full range of analytical tests to determine genetics, purity, and potency. We work with clients across the state of Florida to deliver prompt and accurate results.

We believe through sampling and testing, breeders and growers can produce high-quality results that will assist patients who are relying on medicinal marijuana, as well as satisfy the needs of recreational users at the same time. Contact Modern Canna for a free quote on cannabis genetics testing.