Learning how to store cannabis seeds shouldn’t be hard, but every red-eyed stoner thinks they have the perfect method and unfortunately many of them are just plain wrong. Not to mention there are a number of warnings that should go along with different types of cannabis seed storage methods that are often missed. Seriously – how many times have you acquired some seeds, only to lose 50% or more of them as duds? It happens all the time, and the primary reason is because people don’t know how to store cannabis seeds.
As a stay-at-home mom, I spend a lot of time in the garden and kitchen. Making sandwiches.
I’ve also been involved in cannabis culture since I was very young, so I have learned the hard way about storing seeds and other food items. But after a friend of mine recently lost around 70% of the NYC Diesel seeds she had acquired, I decided it was time to write a guide to help people preserve their cannabis seeds the right way, the first time, every time.
But the problem is that this issue really starts at seed companies, which means that they need an education in the matter as well. That’s why even very careful growers lose seeds at germination – not because of what they have (or haven’t) done to the seeds, but because of something the seed supplier did. This means that if you’re buying seeds from a supplier, you need to be able to ask the right questions to help determine if the company you’re looking at is legit or shit.
Preserving Cannabis Seeds – I Fucking Love Science (<<<<<<Have you seen this woman’s Facebook page?)
First of all, if you don’t give a crap about science, you don’t care about good weed either, so you shouldn’t be smoking it. Badass dank was developed through science, and the fundamentals of storing cannabis seeds is based on science too, so listen up.
But let’s talk science in simple terms. Imagine the conditions necessary for a cannabis seed to germinate. In many regions of the world, we’re talking about a springtime germination that’s wet, with a significant rise in the temperature range during the day and night combined with changes in the amount of light.
So there you go – we used our limited knowledge of science to figure out the three main things that we need to protect cannabis seeds from:
This means that the best way to store cannabis seeds is to restrict moisture and light and control the temperature where the seeds are located. It’s pretty simple, but let’s break this down further in bullet points in order to understand precisely how to store cannabis seeds. These bullets are in random order; deal with it.
- Protect seeds from temperature changes. Don’t take them out and look at them, don’t transport them if you can avoid it – just leave them alone in a climate controlled environment. The exact temperature is not nearly as important in a consistent temperature, but just above freezing works very well if you can manage it.
- Keep humidity at 10% or less
- Store seeds in airtight containers
- Do not expose seeds to light (including artificial lights)
- Vacuum pack your seeds if you can
- If you store seeds in the fridge, take extra precautions to protect from moisture and light
- Don’t handle cannabis seeds. Handling means you’re exposing the seeds to temperature changes, light and moisture, not to mention the oils from your grubby hands is caustic.
- Freezing seeds is okay, but expect to lose quite a few of them. Freezing seeds damages them at the cellular level; some to the point of termination.
- Storing seeds at room temperature is okay provided these other points have been met
- Use rice, silica, desiccants, vermiculite or some other substance to ensure the storage container stays dry
Properly stored cannabis seeds can remain viable for a quarter century or longer. In fact, we don’t really know just how long pot seeds can stay viable for. Some examples of other seeds that were tens of thousands of years old and still germinated (1) tell us that cannabis seeds may have the same type of potential if handled with care, and probably a little bit of luck too.
Just remember to be careful when ordering seeds, people. Not every supplier knows what they’re doing, and with cannabis seeds costing upwards of $10 each, not many of us can afford mistakes. I don’t grow anymore, but lots of people that I know who do use this Weed Seed Shop, and if I were to grow again, this is exactly where I’d get my seeds too. These seeds are feminized, so you don’t have to waste your time germinating and growing male plants if you’re not looking for pollen.
Also keep in mind that even if you start with viable seeds, if you don’t know what you’re doing during germination, you may lose some or all of your seeds anyway. This means that learning how to store cannabis seeds is really only the beginning of a ton of knowledge that is needed to grow the diggity-dankest of nugs while keeping your expenses and energy consumption low.
I store my seeds in vacuum sealed bags placed in Tupperware with locking lids, and then the storage containers are placed in heavy duty black contractor bags to block out the light. I’ve placed these in basements, attics, closets, and once I even buried them outside, and the seeds came out just fine every time.
What methods of storing cannabis seeds have you had success with?
(1) Rachel Kaufman 32,000-Year-Old Plant Brought Back to Life—Oldest Yet National Geographic 02/21/2012 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/02/120221-oldest-seeds-regenerated-plants-science/