A guide to buying cannabis seeds
The first couple months of the year is a great time to start planning your cannabis garden to get a head start on the outdoor growing season, which roughly runs from March to November, depending on where you live.
Navigating the cannabis seed market can be challenging when states have different degrees of legality. This guide will answer your questions on buying seeds so you can be on your way to growing your own cannabis.
Is it legal to buy marijuana seeds?
Marijuana seeds are considered a cannabis product just like flower, edibles, and concentrates. Their legality depends on which state you live in. People living in states with adult-use legalization can buy, produce, and sell seeds within their own state, but seeds can’t cross state lines. People living in states with medical marijuana legalization can only buy seeds if they have a medical card.
Seed banks exist outside of the US and can sell them for “souvenir purposes,” but it is illegal to bring seeds into the US and Customs will seize any cannabis seeds they find in packages or on a person.
Where can I buy cannabis seeds?
Many world-renowned seed banks are overseas in the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and other countries where cannabis laws are less restricted. Seed banks provide seeds from a variety of different breeders.
In states with adult-use legalization or a medical marijuana program, you can buy seeds within your own state, either at a dispensary or through a specific seed company’s website.
Can you buy cannabis seeds online?
Before you purchase seeds online, you’ll need to figure out what strain you want to grow and what breeder you want to buy from.
Because US federal law still prohibits cannabis, it can be hard to find information on seed banks and breeders. Breeders who have a long history and positive reputation are usually a good place to start.
Check out our explainer and buying guide to cannabis seed banks for more info on buying seeds.
To get an idea of what well-established breeders look like, check out:
- Sensi Seeds
- DNA Genetics
- Green House Seeds
- Southern Humboldt Seed Collective
- Exotic Genetix
You can also do some research and find an online grow journal that details the whole growing process of a specific strain from a particular breeder. Through these, you’ll be able to look over another grower’s specific notes and see pictures of the final results.
If you grow some seeds and like the results, try growing another strain from that same breeder and see how it goes.
Do dispensaries sell cannabis seeds?
Some dispensaries in medical and adult-use states sell seeds, but not all. Be sure to check or call ahead to see if they sell seeds. Buying marijuana seeds at the dispensary is far more straightforward, however, your options will be more limited than shopping online.
Dispensary staff should be able to give you information on the seeds they’re selling, but keep in mind that a lot of dispensaries focus on selling flower and end-products. It’s a good idea to call ahead and talk to staff to see if they are knowledgeable about seeds and can give you specific information on growing.
How to look for quality genetics when buying marijuana seeds
Breeders talk about “unstable genetics,” meaning that a seed’s origin is unknown. Make sure that when you buy a packet of seeds that it or the breeder who produced them can list where the seeds came from and how they were crossed and/or backcrossed to get the seed that you hold in your hand. If you can’t get a seed’s history, it could be anything and the result of poor breeding practices.
An inexperienced breeder might cross a male and a female one time and sell the resulting seeds as a new hybrid strain, but professional breeders usually put their strains through several rounds of backcrossing to stabilize the genetics and ensure consistent plants that reflect those genetics.
Which strain should I grow?
Even one weed plant can produce a lot of buds come harvest time, so make sure you grow a strain you like. Note strains you enjoy when you pick something up at the dispensary or smoke with friends, and look for seeds of it when you want to start growing.
Some strains are easier to grow than others because they are more resistant to mold and pests, so if you’re new to growing, you may want to try an easier strain to start.
Some strains also take longer to grow than others. Depending on whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, you may want to grow a quicker marijuana strain if you live in a climate that get cold and wet early in the season. For example, indicas are known for having a shorter flowering time than sativas.
All of this information should be available to you when buying quality seeds.
What’s the difference between regular, feminized, and autoflower seeds?
If you buy a packet of regular seeds, they’ll come with a mix of males and females. A lot of cultivators prefer to grow these because they haven’t been backcrossed—essentially inbred—as much as feminized or autoflower seeds. You’ll need to sex out the seeds once their reproductive organs show during the flowering phase and discard the males—because they don’t produce buds and will pollenate females, resulting in seeded flowers.
Seeds can come feminized, meaning you can just put them in soil and start growing for buds. These seeds are guaranteed to be bud-producing females and growing them cuts out the step of having to sex out plants and discard the males.
It also reduces the risk of having a stray male sneak into your crop—just one male can pollinate a huge crop, causing your females to focus their energies on producing seeds instead of buds.
Autoflower plants change from the vegetative to flowering state with age, not the changing of their light cycle. They have a short grow-to-harvest time and can be ready to harvest in as little as 2 ½ to 3 months from when you put the seeds in the ground. The downside is that, typically, they are less potent, but autoflower seeds are great for people who want to grow cannabis but don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it.
How much do marijuana seeds cost?
Cannabis seeds usually come in a pack of 10 or 12 seeds and start at around $40 a pack and go up from there. Some high-end genetics can run between $200 to $500 a pack.
Feminized and autoflower seeds will cost more because more breeding work was put in to creating them and they take less time for the grower to get buds.
How many seeds should I buy? Are they all going to survive?
When you grow any amount of seeds, a percentage of them won’t germinate, even if you get them from a reputable breeder. Always count on a few not germinating or dying off, or roughly 1/4 of the total you put in the ground.
When growing regular seeds, some won’t germinate and some will have to be discarded because they’ll turn out to be males. With feminized seeds, some won’t germinate, but a higher percentage of them will turn into flowering plants because there won’t be any males.
If you want six total cannabis plants to harvest for buds and are growing from regular seeds, start with about 4 times as many, or 24 seeds. Some won’t germinate and some will turn out to be males, and then you’ll want to discard down to the six best phenotypes. If growing feminized seeds, you can probably start with about twice as many seeds in this case (about 12); a couple won’t germinate, and then discard down to the six best phenotypes.
Make sure to always stay within your state’s legal limit of growing plants.
How do I buy strain-specific cannabis seeds?
Strains like Blue Dream, Gelato, and Original Glue have gained in popularity in recent years. Check out these resources on how to buy these types of cannabis seeds:
I have an indoor growroom and in my recent harvest I found seeds in the buds, but I’m sure there are no male plants in the room. I’ve heard that light leakage can cause plants to become hermaphrodites. Is this true, and if so, do you have any tips for avoiding this?
Cannabis plants are monecious. This means they have the ability to be either male or female. Or in the case of hermaphroditism, they can be both. The reason to make sure there are no males or hermaphrodites in your garden is because male flowers make pollen. When pollen touches the white hairs on a flower, it makes a seed, and seeded weed gives you headaches. Even though there are reasons in nature hermaphroditism could be important, such as continuing the species in case there is no male present, hermaphroditism is generally a bad thing when talking about cannabis plants.
Light poisoning is the most common cause for a normal plant to hermaphrodite.
Light poisoning refers to the flowering night cycle of a plant being unnaturally interrupted with light. The best way to prevent this is to close yourself inside your darkened room during the daylight, and then after allowing a few minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark, check for any light leaks from covered windows, door jams, etc. Also cover all timer and appliance lights with tape.
Negative stressors can combine with small interruptions of the light cycle to cause hermaphroditism, especially with less-stable, clone-only hybridized strains. When the night cycle is abnormally interrupted, it sends a mixed hormonal signal to the plant. This can cause a full female plant to throw some male flowers. Male flowers are easy to identify, especially when side by side with female flowers. Male flowers look like small bunches of bananas, which will take a week or two to swell before they burst and release their pollen.
Finding a hermaphrodite in your growroom can happen at any stage of the flowering cycle and is indicated by the presence of male flowers growing on the same plant as female flowers. As with all species in nature this can occur in varying degrees. A plant can become slightly or majorly hermaphroditic. In cases where singular male flowers are found between the branch and stalk nodes, you should be diligently removing them as they grow. You must re-inspect the plant top to bottom every few days to be sure pollination and seeding doesn’t occur. If you find male flowers (anthers) actually growing from within the female flowers (buds) the situation is a little more dire. You can still remove all the male anatomy as it appears, but it will be harder to find and much more prevalent. This is a horrible discovery that leads to a tough decision: Should you let the plant live and risk the whole crop being ruined by seeds?
In either case, once hermaphroditism has compromised the safety and purity of your sensimilla, the plant should not be propagated further. Remember, once a hermy, always a hermy. The plant pictured here is in the tenth and what should have been the final week of ripening, but a timer failed and one light stayed on continuously for almost two weeks, causing this vegetative regrowth. Because the light was continuous, the plant made no pollen. This method of re-vegging can be used to save a flowering plant you have no copies of, but be careful, as this may cause some strains to hermaphrodite.
Purposefully causing a plant to hermaphrodite is called selfing. Gibberellic acid or colloidal silver is typically sprayed onto the female plant. This technique is used to make feminized seeds and uses the plant’s ability to be both male and female to force a female plant to produce male flowers. The pollen contained in these male flowers can only produce female seeds. Just keep in mind that feminized plants should not be used for breeding, as they were produced without a true male, making them genetically inferior.
Best Autoflower Seeds: The Top 10 Autoflowering Strains You Can Buy Online
If you’re looking to grow your own marijuana, autoflowering cannabis seeds are one of the easiest ways to go about it. Easy to grow outdoors and requiring less work than regular weed seeds, autoflowering cannabis strains are perfect for both beginners and busy growers.
These indoor or outdoor plants are very convenient!
That doesn’t mean that all the strains are equally good, though. There are dozens to choose from, and given that it can take weeks to grow something you can smoke, buying the wrong strain can be quite the buzzkill indeed.
Here are the 10 best autoflowering strains you’ll find online!
The Top 10 Autoflowering Seeds in 2021
- Slightly Sativa dominant – White Widow
- Chill, relaxing auto strain – Blueberry
- High THC plants – Gorilla Glue
- Good yields – Bruce Banner
- Unwind after work – Northern Lights
- Great flowering time – Girl Scout Cookies Extreme
- 7 weeks from seed to plant – Super Skunk
- Fun, giddy high – Amnesia Haze
- Potent cerebral effects – Zkittlez
- Sativa dominant weed seeds – Sour Diesel
1. White Widow – Best Auto Seeds Overall
- Creates energy and euphoria
- Good for introverts
- 8 weeks flowering time
- Easily grows indoors or outdoors
- Flavor isn’t ideal
Auto White Widow is one of the most famous indica dominant strains in the world, and for good reason: it’s extremely potent . It’s a hybrid strain that’s a bit heavier on the sativa side, with just 8 weeks from seed to harvest.
This strain will give you equal hits of euphoria and energy, making Auto White Widow a great choice for anyone who doesn’t like to feel drowsy while they smoke. It’s also known for sparking creativity, giving a powerful mental buzz to artists and accountants alike.
Auto White Widow is a great all-rounder strain.
It’s remarkably easy for first-time cannabis growers as well, and you don’t have to be a pro to get your flowers to bloom. It also has a complex and appealing aroma , so you won’t have to worry about the smell lingering.
The flavor isn’t as refreshing as the smell, unfortunately, but that’s a small price to pay for everything else that White Widow can offer.
2. Blueberry – Best Indica Dominant Auto Seeds
- 80% indica dominant
- 8 weeks flowering time
- Requires little space to grow
- Won’t make you too drowsy
- Will give you cottonmouth
- Strong blueberry flavor
If you want something to take the edge off, then heavily indica-dominant Blueberry auto seeds are the perfect choice. This 80% indica option is fantastic for unwinding after a long, stressful day.
This is a hardy, forgiving strain, so even if you make a few mistakes along the way it’s unlikely to die on you. It does especially well growing indoors as well, and its compact size allows you to grow it anywhere, even in smaller areas.
Great if you have a small weed-growing space!
It will give you cottonmouth, though, so be sure to drink a lot while you’re smoking it. It’s also heavy on the blueberry flavor, which will turn some people on and others off. At 8 weeks from seed to harvest , it’s hard to complain at that convenience.
3. Gorilla Glue – Best for Medical Marijuana Users
- Extremely high in THC
- Good for pain sufferers
- 8 weeks flowering time
- Equally suitable for indoor or outdoor growth
- Lower yield than other strains
- May cause paranoia
There are THC levels up to 26% in Gorilla Glue , making it one of the most loaded strains in the world today. It’s perfect for pain sufferers, or anyone looking to get a heavy buzz. As with any strain with high THC content, though, it may cause paranoia.
This particular strain has won multiple awards, including the High Times Jamaican World Cup. That’s because, in addition to having quite the kick, autoflower cannabis seeds growers can grow this indoors or outdoors easily. It’s resistant to mold and mildew, and doesn’t require light manipulation in order to bud.
This autoflower strain is uplifting while still producing a powerful sedative effect , helping you to relax while still feeling fantastic. If you want something to make your nights in as memorable as your nights out, Gorilla Glue is the perfect choice for you.
4. Bruce Banner – Best for a Mellow Buzz
- Creates a light buzz
- Long-lasting high
- Very relaxing effect
- High-yield strain
- Prone to mold
- Only suitable for indoor growth
If you want something you can smoke while you go about your day, Bruce Banner gives a light, easygoing buzz that won’t interfere with your ability to think.
This strain grows well in low-humidity situations, so you don’t have to turn your apartment into a greenhouse. You will need plenty of ventilation, though, as it can be prone to mold.
Still, this is an excellent option for beginners, as it’s a very high-yield strain . Even if you have a black thumb, you should be able to get something to smoke out of these seeds.
5. Northern Lights – Best for Mental Health
- Buds are coated in resin
- 90% indica dominant
- 7-8 weeks flowering time
- Relaxes body and mind
- Skunky flavor
- Highly sedative effect
Northern Lights is one of the best autoflowering seeds, as it’s simple, it’s high-yield, and it flowers quickly. If you’re impatient, this auto seeds strain won’t make you wait long.
The indica-heavy buds are absolutely coated in resin , and it creates a dreamy state when smoked. It’s excellent for pain relief, and it relaxes the body as well as the mind. If you work a stressful, physical job, Northern Lights will make you forget about it at the end of the day.
We all need that sometimes.
This autoflowering seed is highly disease-resistant, so you shouldn’t have any issues during the growth process. With indoors or outdoors growth options, this autoflowering strain is as convenient as it gets.
6. Girl Scout Cookies Extreme – Best Low Maintenance Marijuana Seeds
- Extremely hardy weed plants
- Requires little attention
- Great for social situations
- 8 weeks from seed to harvest
- Makes small buds
- Gives a fierce case of the munchies
It takes quite a bit of effort to kill a Girl Scout Cookies Extreme plant, as it’s capable of warding off mold, bugs, and even frost. You won’t even need to pay much attention to it in order to get it to flower.
The buds are very small, though.
Nonetheless, there are delicious hints of chocolate and mint in the smoke, and it tastes like cookies (hence the name). That makes it very accessible to those who don’t generally like the smell or flavor of marijuana.
This strain will definitely give you a fierce case of the munchies, but it’s also useful for combating nausea, which is why it’s popular among chemo patients.
7. Super Skunk – Best Auto Flowering Seeds for Couch Lock
- Great for physical relaxation
- Leaves your head clear
- Light, fruity flavor
- 8 weeks flowering time
- Extremely skunky smell
- Effects can creep up on you
Super Skunk won’t make you the life of the party, but it will make you feel like you’re partying while you stay home on the couch. This autoflowering strain has a powerful sedative effect , so don’t be surprised if you’re glued to your couch after smoking it.
As you might expect, given the name, this autoflower plant has an extremely skunky aroma, which many people find off-putting. Despite the smell, though, it has a light, fruity taste.
This autoflowering strain is very easy to grow according to sfweekly , both indoors and out, and has an 8 week period from seed to harvest. You can easily create multiple harvests with this, even if you’re not an experienced grower.
8. Amnesia Haze – Best Auto Seeds for High THC
- Fast-acting effects
- Creates energy and euphoria
- Smooth smoke with little coughing
- High in CBD and THC
- Effects don’t last long
- Makes it hard to fall asleep
20% sativa and 80% indica , it doesn’t take long to start feeling the effects of Amnesia High, as they set in within 10 or 15 minutes. You’ll know when you start to feel them, though, as you’ll become noticeably energetic and giggly.
It’s an extremely smooth smoke, with sweet and sour undertones. If you’re prone to coughing when you smoke, this strain will go down easily.
That’s good to hear for me personally!
These autoflower marijuana plants are fairly high in THC and CBD, making them a good choice for chronic illnesses. It will induce the munchies as well, so if you don’t have an appetite, this should help.
9. Zkittlez – Best Auto Seeds for Sensitive Smokers
- Quick 8 weeks flowering time
- Sweet flavor and aroma
- High THC content
- Easy to grow in small spaces
- May cause paranoia
- Known to create dizziness
Zkittlez is one of the most THC-heavy autoflower strains around, registering at 23% THC in most cases. At 70% indica and 30% sativa, it’s one of the more indica-dominant auto seeds on this list.
The flavor is sweet, as you might expect from its candy-inspired name. There aren’t usually any side effects to speak of, either, and almost no odor while it’s being grown. It has a gentle, fruity aroma when smoked.
It can cause paranoia, as any THC-heavy strain will, and it may cause dizziness in some users. There’s no crash when you’re coming down, though. This indica-dominant strain is compact and easy to grow, doing well on windowsills and other small spaces.
10. Sour Diesel – Best for Focus
- Elevates mood quickly
- Improves focus and attention span
- No couch lock
- 7-8 weeks from seed to harvest
- Pungent odor
- Relatively difficult to grow
Sour Diesel is an evenly-mixed hybrid, with 40% indica and 60% sativa . The autoflowering version has an end result that produces a strong, psychedelic high, but one that nevertheless allows you to function relatively normally.
The smell isn’t fantastic — they call it “Sour Diesel” for a reason, after all. It’s also a bit bitter, but the aftertaste is quite pleasant.
It’s no Chanel No. 5.
Keep in mind that Sour Diesel Auto can also be relatively difficult to grow, at least compared to many of the auto strains on this list. It’s sensitive to mildew and needs powerful lights to grow to its full potential, so make sure you’re a little more prepared for this one.
Are Autoflowers worth growing?
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are, almost by definition, geared towards inexperienced growers. They don’t require nearly as much attention as regular seeds, making them hard to screw up for newbies growing their first batches.
However, that doesn’t mean they’re just for rookies – experienced growers often love the convenience of auto seeds too.
Everything on the list above is relatively low-maintenance , but beyond that, you’ll find quite the variety. There’s everything from mild strains that give a gentle buzz to heavier options that will knock you on your couch.
Ultimately, finding the best auto seeds, like when you buy any cannabis seeds , will largely be a matter of personal preference. Having said that, though, we think at least one of the 10 strains mentioned above will be perfect for most smokers!
Auto Weed Seeds FAQs
How are autoflowering seeds different from regular seeds?
As the name suggests, autoflowering seeds will bloom on their own, whereas regular seeds require more encouragement.
Typically, to get regular seeds to bloom you need to alter their light schedule at a certain time. This requires keeping tabs on where the plants are in their life cycle, as well as having the gear necessary to trigger the flowering process.
Auto seeds have a shorter growing cycle and require less space.
The autoflowering version is often hardier and less sensitive to climate changes or pests and diseases. Basically, auto seeds require much less maintenance and supervision than regular weed seeds, but they’re usually more expensive as a result.
How long does it take to go from seed to harvest with autoflower cannabis seeds?
This will vary depending on the strain, but in most cases an autoflowering version takes 8- 10 weeks.
This is faster than most regular seed strains, so if you’re in a hurry then autoflowering seeds are definitely the way to go.
Do auto seeds have less THC?
In most cases, autoflower seeds have less THC content than their regular counterparts. If you want the strongest buds possible, you might need to go through the hassle of growing regular seeds.
Also, as mentioned, you’ll have to pay for the convenience that autoflowering seeds provide. Not only are the seeds themselves usually more expensive, they require more light in the beginning of their life cycle.
Be prepared to shell out for good auto seeds!
Their compact size can work against you as well. While they require less space to grow, you’ll get less of a yield than you would from a regular strain. You may be able to make up for it by harvesting more often, though.
Autoflowering Seeds: The Easiest Way To Grow Cannabis Plants
If you’re looking to grow your own marijuana but want to minimize the amount of work involved, then autoflowering cannabis seeds are the way to go.
They’re low maintenance , require little space , and can be every bit as fun to smoke as regular seeds.
I Love Growing Marijuana is one of the best seed banks that has plenty of auto seeds to explore in a variety of indica-sativa ratios and strains.
Whichever seed bank you get them from, auto seeds give you all the benefits of growing your own marijuana with less of the stress. I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best autoflowering seeds in 2021!