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Tips for choosing cannabis seeds

The Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis cultivation is, no pun intended, a growing market. When you crunch the numbers, it soon becomes obvious that even if you spend a four-figure sum on preparing your grow room, it will soon pay for itself given the ever-rising cost of weed dispensary prices .

However, that’s not to say that growing your own is straightforward. If the closest you’ve come to cultivation is helping Grandma with her tomato plants as a kid, you’ve some learning ahead. It’s important to take things one step at a time, though, and while there are likely to be all sorts of things on your shopping list, cannabis seeds are the most fundamental.

Price considerations

People tend to go one of two ways here. They either assume the most expensive seeds are the best and choose those or they take an ‘if in doubt, do whatever is cheapest’ approach and go to the other extreme. The former is a bad idea for beginners, as the most expensive seeds are likely to produce more exotic strains that really need expertise — not the best plan for your first experimental crop.

There’s sound logic in the second approach, but take care and don’t over-economise. For example, it’s worth spending a little more to buy your seeds from a reputable source, like one of the big-name online seed shops, so that you can be confident you know what you are getting.

Take the strain

There are dozens of different cannabis strains out there, and that means just as many types of cannabis seeds available online . We can’t discuss the merits of every strain here, but, before you even think about narrowing it down, you must decide on whether to grow a sativa or indica.

To a large extent, that’s a matter of choice. Conventional wisdom states that indicas are a little more forgiving for the novice grower, and there is the additional plus point that they take a little less time to grow. If you have your heart set on a specific sativa, then don’t be afraid to go for it. But if you have no strong preference either way, indica is the way to go, at least with your first crop.

Autoflowers and feminized seeds

Finally, the two terms that cause the most confusion among cannabis seed buyers. Let’s deal with the easy one first. Always buy feminized seeds. One of those false economies we mentioned earlier is to buy ‘regular’ seeds, meaning they will produce a mixture of male and female plants, but you won’t know which is which until they start to grow. At that point, any males must be removed, or they will ruin everything when the females start to bud.

Autoflowering seeds have been bred to grow more easily and, as the name suggests, to start flowering at the right time, even if you get the light conditions wrong. They make growing far more straightforward, and they are ideal for beginners. The only downside is that they do not produce the biggest plants with the highest yields, so, once you’ve got some experience under your belt, you might want to progress to photoperiod seeds instead.

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
  • Dinafem
  • 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.

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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?

Regular 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.

Feminized seeds

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 seeds

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:

Guide for choosing your marijuana strain

Smoke report: Candyland by Grand Daddy Purple Seeds

Candyland by Grand Daddy Purple Seeds, one of Ken Estes’ jewels

For this smoke report, we tasted a bud of Candyland, a variety from the Grand Daddy Purple Seeds bank. Created by legendary breeder Ken Estes, it is only available in regular seed form, resulting from the cross between Bay Platinum Cookies and the world-famous Grand Daddy Purple.

This is a magnificent indica variety, an easy-to-grow cannabis strain with wonderful colouring and pungent earthy, sugary aromas of an organic character with strong nuances of forest fruits such as berries and grapes; a variety that, without a doubt, bears the mark of its creator, both for its organoleptic properties and for its powerful relaxing effects, totally in line with the style and philosophy of Grand Daddy Purple Seeds.

The parent used as the father in this cross is Grand Daddy Purple, a Skunk-based variety but at the same time very different from what we Europeans understand by Skunk; these lines were worked in California rather than in Holland, and it is highly likely that the ancestors of Grand Daddy Purple originate from Mendocino, South America and Afghanistan. The Bay Platinum Cookies mother provides that component so characteristic of the cookies family by adding earthy and creamy butter terpenes in addition to changing the morphology of the flower, affecting its density and bract (calyx) size.

New American strains for Autumn 2021

New American varieties, Autumn 2021

We’re back again, with another batch of new releases in terms of American cannabis genetics, this time presenting three new seed banks that you can find in the Alchimia Grow Shop catalogue right now. As you already know, we do our very best to bring you the latest varieties from the other side of the pond, and this summer we’ve been really busy, with no less than three great new banks for your growing pleasure!

So, this time we’ll be highlighting some of the most interesting varieties from breeders such as Mz Jill (a true legend in the American cannabis scene for more than 20 years), Dungeons Vault Genetics (created by the former breeder of the prestigious Grand Daddy Purple Seeds company owned by Ken Estes) and Cult Classic Seeds (based in Sonoma County, California, who come out swinging with their Cement Shoes). As you can see, this autumn is packed with new and exciting strains!

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ACE Seeds’ Sativa varieties

Deciding which cannabis variety to grow is not always an easy task because, apart from factors such as the desired characteristics of the final product, our choice may depend on other, no less important, aspects such as the local climate or the natural photoperiod in our area. As such, we often receive inquiries from countries near the equator, where the photoperiod sometimes plays tricks on the grower, who ends up with plants that have not grown enough to give a satisfactory harvest.

For these cases, today we’d like to recommend a series of varieties from one of the most prestigious seed banks we have in stock: ACE Seeds. Known throughout the world for their impressive pure varieties and the hybrids created from them, ACE Seeds offers a range of Sativa-dominant plants that can solve many of the problems that these growers face.

How to interpret cannabis strain descriptions

We receive many queries about the parameters included in the descriptions of the different cannabis strains, and more specifically, the traits section. While some aspects, like production per square meter or cannabinoid content, are very clear for the experienced grower, newcomers to the wonderful world of marijuana home growing can find them confusing.

Today, we are explaining in detail each of the attributes that can be found in the information provided by the cannabis seed banks in relation to the genetics they sell. This will help you to clear any doubts when checking the strains’ index cards and descriptions, and to understand every trait of the plants outlined in their catalogues.

Smoke Report: Punch Out by Purple City Genetics

Today we’d like to invite you to share in a tasting session with one of Purple City Genetics‘ most spectacular varieties: Punch Out. Coming from a cross between Legend OG and the mythical Purple Punch, this hybrid has a rich and complex flavour and aroma that stand out above the rest, whether consumed in a cannabis vaporiser or, as in our case, rolled up in a traditional joint.

Just one look at the pedigree of this variety is all that’s needed to know that we’re dealing with something very special. For its part, Legend OG (The Crinkle Cut) is a clone-only strain with OG Kush genetics, which is pretty much held as the benchmark of quality that many other varieties are measured by, and used in countless top-quality hybrids. On the other hand, we can’t add much to everything that has already been written about Purple Punch, a plant that stands out on its own, but which also offers amazing results as a parent equalled by very few other strains. Without a doubt, the guys at PCG have come up with a knockout combination for Punch Out!

Low-THC Cannabis Varieties

With the rise of medicinal cannabis use and the inclusion of CBD in a multitude of products, the varieties of hemp chosen for cultivation are becoming increasingly important for the producer, who can see how the total CBD yield can easily double if the right choice is made. However, and as every professional hemp farmer knows, his activity is restricted by limits on the THC content in his plants permitted under the corresponding legislation, and that each country has its own limits and regulations.

In today’s article, we’re going to introduce you to the best currently available varieties with THC levels below 1%, meaning that they can be grown in certain countries without any type of legal issues because they stay below the limits established by the respective jurisprudence. Not only that, but we’ll also show you some of the certified hemp varieties that we offer in our seed catalogue.

Runtz, born under a lucky star

Without a doubt, and especially after winning in record time a fair amount of awards in some of the most prestigious US cannabis cups, one of the biggest genetics hypes of the moment is Runtz by Cookie Fam. This impressive variety has produced some phenotypes of truly amazing quality, and has been used as mother plant to create several first-class hybrids which have won the hearts of marijuana fans, professionals and cup judges alike.

Runtz caused such a stir that, only three years after its release in California, it was voted best strain of the year 2020 by the prestigious Leafly platform, an award worthy of the impact created by this plant. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start at the beginning. Where does Runtz come from?

Medicinal Cannabis strains

The use of therapeutic or medicinal cannabis has seen an unprecedented boom in recent years, with thousands of people treating their illnesses, ailments and side-effects derived from other treatments either with the cannabis plant itself or the extracts that derive from it. The multiple benefits offered and the growing number of users bear witness to its effectiveness, which in recent times has led to redoubled efforts by breeders and seedbanks to create new hybrids with better ratios of certain cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD or, more recently, CBG.

Today we’re going to take a look at the best cannabis varieties for medicinal use, in particular from the point of view of the relative quantity of cannabinoids they contain. Nowadays, although CBG is fast gaining popularity, the “star cannabinoids” in terms of medicinal properties are THC and CBD, and we can find plenty of varieties with different ratios or proportions between one compound and the other. So, here we’re going to list them according to their cannabinoid ratio so that it’s easier for you to find the one you’re looking for.

Alchimia’s Desert Island Strains: our personal favourite genetics

The most productive, the tastiest, the most resinous. you can find a plethora of criteria for classifying the thousands of genetics available on today’s cannabis seeds market, but few of them are capable of displaying all the traits we desire or remaining indefinitely in the user’s memory. Anyone who has had the chance to grow a range of different types of cannabis will know that some genetics can leave unforgettable memories. They might not be the most popular or most sought-after strains, but they do have that special something.

We asked our team of growers a question: If you had to cultivate just one cannabis variety for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Here you will find a selection of the genetics that hold a special place in the grow tents (and hearts) of Alchimia’s growers, a list of strains that, for one reason or another, members of our team have fallen head-over-heels in love with. If you could keep only one variety, what would it be?

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Violeta by ACE Seeds: Purple and potent F1 hybrid

ACE Seeds’ Violeta is a hybrid of two landrace varieties that manages to bring together many of the key traits we look for when choosing a cannabis variety to cultivate.

Violeta is easy to grow both indoors and outdoors and is highly resistant even in humid climates. This balanced and well-structured cross is also very pleasing to the eye during cultivation, and especially during flowering, with extremely resinous buds and beautiful purple colours, as its name suggests.

On an organoleptic level, this plant offers a very rewarding experience. It’s very easy to consume, without any harshness on the throat, and burns with a very clean white ash, pretty much regardless of the growing, drying or curing techniques. It is very rich in terpenes, with a very pleasant fruity, citric flavour with notes of forest fruits and red berries, and truly refreshing aromas that also provide a well-balanced effect.

Smoke Report: Pure Kush Cookies by Mamiko Seeds

Today, we invite you to try an excellent strain that has surprised us in many aspects: Pure Kush Cookies by Mamiko Seeds. A cross between L.A. Pure Kush and the famous Girl Scout Cookies Forum Cut, it represents one of the best hybrids of these two families; though some would say, and not without reason, that they are closely related, as in fact, Cookies contains 50% OG Kush genes.

Either way, and as you are about to see, it’s a strain that stands out for many reasons, including its taste and aroma, and the impressive amount of resin it produces. A generous yielder, it developes a medium-sized, bushy and robust structure (ideal for indoor growing), with a nice calyx-to-leaf ratio. A plant that definitely makes its 10 weeks of flowering time worthwhile. In fact, its hash is one of the best we’ve ever had!

Choosing cannabis seeds for five-star water hash

With the increasing popularity of cannabis concentrates and resin extractions, it’s only natural that more and more growers are looking for genetics that are well suited to these techniques. Whether you’re growing in a small grow tent for your own supply or in a huge legal cultivation facility for a dispensary, it’s always best to be as efficient and effective as possible, and that means getting the best return in terms of quality and quantity from the time, money and effort that you’ve invested cultivating.

Selecting cannabis mother plants

Although many cannabis growers use seeds on each and every crop, whether growing under artificial lights or outdoors, some of them prefer to keep their mother plants in an indoor grow space and consistently take cuttings to get them to flower whenever it suits them. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages; on the one hand, when cultivating from seeds you get a greater variety of flavours, aromas and effects than when you grow from cuttings. In addition, plants cultivated from seeds are usually more vigorous and productive.

However, when using clones, you obtain identical plants, with exactly the same flavour, aroma and effect. In some cases, if you are looking for a particular flavour or high, it’s the easiest way to achieve it. For this reason, many growers cultivate from seed in order to choose the best specimen to keep it as a mother plant for their future crops. In this article, we explain how to do this.

Auto-Flower, Fast Version & Photo-Dependent. what’s the difference?

Nowadays we growers are faced with more choices than ever when buying cannabis seeds, which can be a little overwhelming for some of us. It’s not uncommon to find a seed bank offering several different versions of their best genetics, so as well as feminised seeds, we can often find the same strain also being sold as an “auto” and sometimes even a “fast version”. What exactly does all this mean, and why do breeders offer these different options?

Rare cannabis strains

Most interesting and curious cannabis strains

Throughout the history of marijuana, breeders have strived to find the best possible specimens of each strain in order to get hold of the highest quality plants, refine their lineages, and obtain new hybrids that are as solid as impressive. But the truth is that Mother Nature is unpredictable and sometimes she surprises and delights us with some unique and out of the ordinary plants, which stand out for their morphology or ability to adapt, developing very different traits to what we commonly consider as marijuana.

Botanical inquisitiveness has led some breeders who have encountered these “mutant strains” to investigate whether they possess interesting features that could be used in cannabis breeding, thus popularizing these hybrids’ peculiarities, pros, and cons.

How to make feminised cannabis seeds

Until the 1990s, any cannabis cultivator was aware that, at some point, they had to separate the male and female plants if they didn’t want the first ones to pollinate the latter, which results in plants completely full of seeds. However, those were the days when pioneering seed banks like Dutch Passion were revolutionizing the cannabis scene with the birth of the first feminized cannabis strains, or in other words, seeds that only develop into female plants. At the beginning of the 20th century, many seeds banks were offering this type of seeds, feminized versions of classics strains that had been cultivated during many years as regular plants.

We are sure that by now you’d probably have grown some feminized seeds, maybe even though you are a purist and the fiercest defender of regular seeds. But. do you know where feminized seeds come from? Are you familiar with the processes used by both breeders and growers to obtain them? In this article we explain everything!

Hemp and Marijuana – what’s the difference?

Classification and taxonomy of cannabis

Even though it is estimated that the cannabis plant has been accompanying humanity for millennia, confusion still exists today regarding the classification of its species or varieties. In fact, the debate on how to classify this plant has been active for more than two centuries: are the different varieties of cannabis typical of a single and very diverse species? Or is it a polytypic genre with several species? In this article we will investigate and explain the main differences between hemp and marijuana.

About this Cannabis Blog

This is the official blog of Alchimia Grow Shop. This blog is intended exclusively for the use of adults over the age of 18 years.

To buy equipment for growing cannabis at home you can consult our catalogue of cannabis seeds, grow shop and paraphernalia