How to Choose Cannabis Seeds for Healthy Plants

Starting growing cannabis can be incredibly exciting and can give you a sense of freedom like almost nothing else. But now that you’ve decided you want to grow, the real work starts. 

The first thing you need to decide what kind of seeds you want to grow, and where you’re going to get them. This is arguably one of the most important choices you will make since your plants can only be as good as their genetics.

There is a universe of options out there, however, so trying to choose seeds without some sort of basic idea of what you are going to be looking for will only be an exercise in frustration and intimidation. 

That’s where this article can help, hopefully. By considering these factors and thinking about your garden in terms of what you want from it, you should be able to make an educated decision on your seed and strain choice.

Should I Buy My Seeds Or Grow/Gather Them?

Seeds are only produced by the female of the cannabis species, and only after a male pollinates them. In order to grow your seeds, you will need to have stable genetics on both sides of the cross, and you will need to be ok with the large degree of chance that goes into it. 

Seeds grown this way may look and act like either parent, both parents, neither parent or even any of the ancestors in between. It can take several generations of backcrossing to get stable seeds that grow predictable strain representatives.

Gathering your seeds can be much easier since you can find them here and there in the cannabis you consume. Another upside is the cost, you already paid for them when you paid for the flower they came in, so bonus! The drawback here is that they are often not stabilized genetics either, and may not give you the same product you just enjoyed. 

Buying your seed stock is often considered the best option for beginners. Not only are you getting a stabilized strain, with a predictable yield, known growing requirements, and a standardized flowering time. This takes all of the guesswork out of your first garden. 

Botching your first grow because you got a strain way outside your league and weren’t prepared for it can be disappointing and discouraging. Likewise getting random seeds and having no idea what they need or what you’re getting can make the results underwhelming and feel like a waste.

The Look Of A Healthy Seed

The Look Of A Healthy Seed

When you’re looking at seeds, you will see a lot of variation. There will be dark seeds, pale sees, seeds with stripes and spots, and more. You want to stay away from seeds that have any green on their halves since this is a sign that they are premature and will not germinate. 

The size will not matter much, healthy plants come from both small and large seeds. There is some anecdotal evidence that indica strains have larger seeds, as well as seeds that are darker or more heavily pattered, but most strains are hybrids to some extent anyway, so visual determinations are nearly impossible.

What About Feminized Seeds?

Female plants are the ones that produce the flowers that we all know and love, so why would anyone want the possibility of male seeds? Well, like many other things, it often comes down to price. For example, if Strain A is available in non-feminized seeds $100 for a ten pack, the feminized versions would likely be between $200 and $300 for the same quantity.

Most people don’t mind culling a few males, particularly if it’s their first garden. This provides the opportunity to learn how to sex your plants, as well as a significant break on the cost of the genetics for your first run. Feminized seeds are geared toward growers that know what they want, how to grow it, and want the least amount of wasted time.

Consider The Effects You Want

Indicas are the heavy, sedative strains, and are good for inflammation and pain relief, but tend to lock you into the couch. Sativas are upbeat, energetic, and cerebral strains that are ideal for creative workers, and those who need to shake off a little mild depression.

Consider The Effects You Want

Decide On Indica, Sativa, Or A Hybrid

The space you have can impact your choices as well. If you choose a sativa, or a sativa heavy hybrid, expect tall and slender plants that may hit 8 ft+ in the flowering stage, and they also have much longer flowering periods. Indicas are often short, stout, bushy plants with incredibly pungent smells, that can go through their flowering stage in two months or less in many cases.

Pick A Strain Or Two

Don’t get too crazy when it comes time to shop, I know there are a lot of strains that are just begging you to grow them. Pick one, or two, and make sure you get down the fundamentals. Then you can branch out and start trying things. The big takeaway here is to not spend more money than you need to on your first grow. You’re learning, and you have to expect some mistakes.

Seed Preservation

If you find a strain or few that you like, or maybe your situation suddenly changed and you can’t grow, you can always save your seeds. Cannabis seeds stay viable for years, just keep them cool, dry, and in the dark, and you should be able to pick up where you left off when you’re ready.

Choosing The Best Cannabis Seeds For Your Grow

One of the best ways to get some reliable genetics for your garden is to leverage a respected distributor or seed bank. Not only will they organize all of their available strains, but they will also give detailed growing information so that you can grow your best flower. They will also have a detailed list of the effects of each strain, so you don’t go in blind.

How To: Consume Different Types of Marijuana Products

Cannabis is a booming industry with a long history and a ton of really great applications. Between smoking, vaping, edibles, and more, there are dozens of ways to get and consume marijuana products. No matter what kind of bud you smoke, delivery can make the effects much more intense, milder, or more practical in your day-to-day life. 

Whether you prefer to smoke, vape, eat or drink your way to elevation, the possibilities are almost endless for marijuana consumption. With legal and medicinal marijuana becoming more and more common, the methods users can employ are growing by the day. 

Here we’ve compiled a list of consumption methods, how to use them safely and correctly, and the effects, pros, and cons of each one! 

Types of Marijuana

There are so many different types of marijuana on the market and so many different ways to consume it. It isn’t as traditional as it once was. Now you have a whole slew of opportunities and choices when you are looking to partake in weed. Which one is right for you and how do you go about using it? That is a bit more complicated, especially since more choices mean more options. It’s not as overwhelming as it may seem though. Plus, deciding which route is right for you is a whole lot of fun.

The great thing about the modern world of marijuana is that your local dispensary will have access to all the different forms listed below. Keep in mind that some are strong than others. When you create a different form of marijuana, you often create a stronger level of THC than you are used to. That means that you will want to gradually enjoy each of these forms. Remember that different forms of weed will provide different highs and experiences. However, keep an open mind because there is a chance you will find your new favorite form of marijuana. 

Flower

While it is true that there are so many more choices when it comes to marijuana consumption today, there is still this time-tested, traditional, old-fashioned approach: flower. Also known as a bud or any other number of 60s-era nicknames, the flower has been popular for decades for good reason: it works and is easy to do. 

Even with all the new types of ways of enjoying marijuana, the flower is still the most popular. Why? Because it is simple to do and there are many different ways to partake in flower. You can smoke a joint, a blunt, a bong, or any other sort of rig that can get you high. But there is more to flower than that. Modern dispensaries provide products such as prerolls: tight, hand-made joints that are crafted by a weed business or employee. This takes all the hard work out of smoking flowers. All you need to do is light up a preroll, the rest is done for you. 

Of course, you can also use a vaporizer, bong, or any other sort of device that has been used for generations now. This means you will need to grind the flower, break it down and load it into the pipe or bong. But that isn’t that hard either. 

In fact, the only tricky part about using flowers is that you need to keep them in good condition. Like any plant, marijuana needs to stay in the right temperature and ideal conditions. If you don’t treat flowers with the utmost care, it isn’t going to last. You need to invest in airtight containers if you want to make this form of marijuana last.

Shatter

Shatter

If you are looking to enjoy marijuana in its purest and strongest form, you might want to look into shatter. What is shatter? It is a cannabis concentrate created by using a combination of cannabis plants and solvents. Shatter looks unique and different, almost like shattered glass (hence the name), and can provide quite an experience for the user. 

Shatter has a high level of THC in it and that is something to keep in mind because it can be a lot for someone who isn’t very familiar with marijuana and its effects. The best course of action with shatter – and any type of marijuana you dab – is to start small and gradually progress and use more and more over time. Otherwise, your first experience with shatter won’t be a good one.

As mentioned, this brittle form of marijuana is usually best enjoyed by those who like dabbing. That means you will need a dab rig, similar to a bong but built with the strongest material that is capable of withstanding a strong flame. Dabbing enthusiasts will tell you that lighting your rig is a special talent and perfecting that will perfect the taste and flavor and experience of shatter. 

Ironically, heat can be the downfall of shatter. You only want this form of marijuana to get hot when you are actively consuming it. If it gets too hot at any other point, it is not going to work. Therefore, you need to keep shatter safe and sound in containers far away from any extreme heat. You will see that most dispensaries keep a careful eye on their shatter supply. If you keep it safe and cool, you will be able to really enjoy it when the time is right.

Wax

Although it doesn’t have the nicest, most attractive name, wax is one of the best ways to enjoy marijuana. You might not think you would like something referred to as wax, but one time with this form of weed will make you a true believer.

Wax is a potent cannabis concentrate that has been through a process that has crystallized and solidified its oil. It is called wax because, well, it looks like wax. Some forms of wax look hard and solid, almost like shatter, some forms are soft and gooey and often called “budder.” 

Wax is strong, strong stuff. The THC content of wax can range from 60% to 80% and can provide a powerful experience for the user. A little bit of wax definitely goes a long way and is usually recommended for the most experienced smoker. 

Wax is a form of marijuana that you use with your dab rig. But, unlike shatter, wax is easier to use because it doesn’t break apart into smaller shards. The wax stays consistent and in one piece, meaning that it is far easier to load up into your rig and enjoy. 

Others use wax via a vape pen. Pens are becoming increasingly popular lately because they can provide a powerful form of weed in a small package. The pen also gets incredibly warm when you use it, allowing you to take the pleasure of certain forms of marijuana that require high heat. Wax is one of those forms. Therefore, a vape pen is a great way to use wax. 

Wax

Live Resin

Most cannabis products are created from dried or cured plant material. That is a common way to create most of the marijuana products on the market. However, that isn’t what happens with live resin. Live resin is called “live” because it is created from a fresh plant that hasn’t been run through the drying or curing process. 

By creating live resin via this method, it is a strong, natural, powerful form of cannabis. Proponents of live resin claim that it is the more authentic way to enjoy marijuana and maintains its full personality, power, and essence. Live resin has a higher proportion of essential oils in it because it doesn’t go through the typical process that so many marijuana forms endure. With these essential oils, the live resin can provide users with different and distinct flavors and aromas. 

Live resin comes in all sorts of different forms, including wax, shatter, sap, sugar, or budder. So it looks like a lot of other different types of marijuana but it really isn’t. 

While live resin will give you a great high and a wonderful, strong experience, it is a bit trickier to store. You need to preserve the quality and potency of live resin but keeping it away from light, moisture, heat, and even open air. That means there are a lot of things to avoid when you want to keep live resin strong. It is best to keep it in an airtight durable container but your local smoke shop should be able to provide that for you. It’s worth it because live resin is a type of marijuana you will want to become quite familiar with. 

Kief

Kief is a great form of marijuana and one that is easy to get a hold of. Why? Because kief is a byproduct of marijuana. If you have weed, you will have kief. It is all about how to collect and use it correctly.

Essentially, kief is just accumulated resin glands. What is that? It is small, sprinkle-like pieces of discarded marijuana. It contains all the qualities and potent terpenes of marijuana because it is marijuana. It’s just the stuff that gets lost and shredded when you are using a grinder.

A grinder is an important part of preparing and using marijuana. When you have one, you will get an excess piece of marijuana in the bottom of the grinder. Most people think of this as trash and discard it. However, that is kief and it is a powerful form of marijuana that should be enjoyed by users. You can sprinkle kief on a bowl of marijuana, joints, blunts, hookah, or even use it in foods that you are baking. Some people use kief to create cannabutter. Others create something called moon rocks or use them in their tea or coffee. The great thing about kief is that it is easy to get your hands on if you have a grinder and it is able to be used in a wide variety of things.

So when you use a grinder, make sure you don’t throw away the kief. There are so many ways you can employ that for future use. Kief should never be tossed in the trash. 

Kief

Edibles

Edibles are some of the most self-explanatory but lesser-used means of consumption. Most edible snack items are made with an infused material like butter or margarine, and there’s a bit of a process to complete to produce that effect. 

Edible marijuana is bud to ah has been baked until fragrant, steeped in melted butter or warm oil, and then strained to remove the plant debris. This removes the chemicals from the marijuana and deposits it into the medium that holds it. 

A lot of edible snacks are things like gummy and harder candies, pastries and confections, infused beverages, and other snacks. The possibilities for edibles are only limited by the infusion method used, so anything that uses butter can be made with infused butter and be marijuana edible with the same effects. 

A drawback of edibles is that they can be difficult to dose and keep track of. Some folks might not feel effects for up to 15-30 minutes after eating, leading them to eat more and get way too high. After a while, a frequent consumer will start to learn the signs, but the learning curve can be a bit of a challenge. 

Topicals

Topical marijuana treatments can be found in almost every drugstore across the globe. CBD oil and THC-infused balms can make big differences in a day-to-day user’s life. Oils, salves, bath bombs, lotions, and more are all ways of using marijuana topically. 

One drawback to this method is that not all of them will give you the same high effect. THC is among the most potent chemicals to give that high effect, and topical treatments are meant for muscle pain management and soreness.

Topical

Conclusion 

All in all, there are dozens of ways marijuana can be consumed and used. From smoking to oils, the possibilities of marijuana use are growing by the day. It’s important to do your research before you partake and to prioritize your safety and the safety of others before consuming marijuana and marijuana products. 

Keep your equipment clean and your bud safe by choosing the method right for you and your group, and as always ensure that your marijuana use is not overdone. 

How To Choose High Quality Marijuana

Whether you’re a seasoned consumer or just getting your pipe in the door, quality marijuana products can be a hard thing to identify at first glance. There are a few ways to tell a quality nug from a less than stellar one, and it goes without saying that no bud is the same. 

Depending on the strain, marijuana can have dozens of different attributes and properties that can change the flavor, the effect, the smell, and the overall experience. Knowing what to look for can be a seemingly daunting task for common tokers, but here we’ve identified a few great ways to get started.

Know What You’re Looking For

With so many strains and so many flavors of marijuana to choose from, perhaps the very first thing to consider is the desired effect. Hollywood and movies tend to present marijuana as an herb that makes someone giggly and kind of out of it, but that’s not the case with all strains of marijuana. Most strains have specified names to indicate their flavor and be easily identified in the dispensary, but the most bare bone classification are Sativas and Indica strains. 

Sativa 

Sativa marijuana strains tend to have a head high, meaning the experience is more so felt in the brain and head. These strains promote creativity, laughing, an increase in energy, and can be great for social smokers.

Indica 

Indica marijuana strains are much more body-based. Great for body aches, muscle pain, lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping, Indica marijuana strains are centered around the experience of a body high. 

Hybrids 

Hybrid marijuana strains can be a healthy mix of both Sativa and Indica strains, with the attributes and side effects of both. Most commonly consumed strains are some kind of hybrid, since they can cater to all smoking needs.

Visual Cues 

Visual Cues 

Moving on to what a quality bud might look like, a good rule of thumb is that the duller the green, the duller the marijuana. High-quality buds tend to have a variety of bright colors in the mix, detailing different shades of vibrant green and very few browns. 

In a dispensary, much like a bar, they might have different qualities of marijuana on different shelves. The “top shelf” strains tend to lie a little higher on the pricing scale, but are the most likely to have the highest level of quality as compared to the others. Mid-grade marijuana can be found on the middle shelves most of the time, and low-grade or beginner products normally rest on the lowest level, with the lowest price. 

Seeds and Stems 

When cultivating and harvesting any kind of plant, the biggest focus is going to be the fruit or flower. Much like a bunch of grapes on a vine, those stems and seeds don’t make the best munching experience. When selecting a high-quality bud, the fewer stems and seeds in the mix can mean a higher quality product for you. Sure, you can remove them after purchase, but since most dispensaries sell by weight, it can be a waste in multiple ways. 

Trichome Time 

Sometimes difficult to see, trichomes are small white or milky white crystals that can form on the ends of a high-quality bud. These crystals indicate a high level of cannabinoids and terpenes which account for the taste, smell, and effect of the marijuana. 

If the trichomes are not present, or very sparse, this can mean that the plant was harvested too soon, and won’t have a great quality in taste or effect. Trichomes that are more yellow or dark orange color can mean that the marijuana plant was harvested too late, which can result in a sore stomach or a tiring effect when consumed. 

Smells and Taste 

A good marijuana harvest tends to be a pretty pungent endeavor. Packaging buds in small packages does a lot to make it seem like that smell is more pervasive, but nevertheless, a good strain can have a pretty thick musk. Generally speaking, a connoisseur might be able to sniff out certain notes within the bud to determine the strain type and quality, but the best thing for a beginner to pay attention to is that the musk from your marijuana should smell earthy and full and nothing like mold or grass. Hay or grassy smells can indicate a harvest wasn’t cured properly, which can lead to a less than fun smoking experience. 

Smells and Taste 

Handling Marijuana: Sticky Quality 

If you’re able to handle or touch the marijuana prior to purchase, the very first thing to note is that your hands should be clean. If you decide against purchasing the bud, the next customer might not feel happy to know that it’s been grabbed on by a stranger. With that said, many dispensaries are against the handling of the products without help from an employee, without gloves, and without other protections. Especially in the age of COVID, one can’t be too careful. 

With all that in mind, if you’re able to touch and handle the marijuana before you buy, pay strict attention to the sticky factor of the bud. The best quality product tends to leave a sticky residue on your fingers known as resin. The product shouldn’t be completely dry, and definitely shouldn’t be damp. Excess moisture can breed mold and bacteria which isn’t fun to smoke. 

Conclusion 

All in all, marijuana consumption is a personal and widely varied experience. While some folks might prefer the body high of an indica, others might prefer the uplifting experience of sativa, or a mix between the two. Whatever strain you choose, knowing you’re getting the most bang for your buck and the best quality bud that’s available to you can save you from the less enjoyable smells and tastes of lower quality weed. Most dispensaries are happy to educate you on the spot as well, so don’t be afraid to ask questions! A great resource for online services and delivery can be found here