Marijuana Seed Banks and Breeders: Cannabis Seeds Primer
Posted by Steve Davis | November 10 2011 | 12942 views | Comments ↓
Look for healthy marijuana seeds like these!
(Click to enlarge)
Quality marijuana seeds, how can I get them?
That’s among the top five questions I get asked. I’m going to answer it in an FAQ format so you have all the info you need to get the best marijuana seeds in the world...
What is a quality marijuana seed?
• A quality marijuana seed germinates easily within 1-5 days of planting.
• A quality marijuana seed grows out to be what the seed seller said it would be. For example, if a seed catalog says the seeds are feminized and it's an Indica-dominant strain that grows short and stocky and has a 60 day bloom phase, but you plant the seeds under optimal conditions, and some are males, and the females grow tall and have an 80 day bloom phase, that’s not good.
• A quality marijuana seed is fresh enough to sprout easily for at least 1-3 years after you procure it, provided you have stored it in optimal conditions.
When you buy marijuana seeds online, how do you deter getting ripped off?
• Getting quality seeds from online sellers is a huge challenge, but it can be done.
• There are several seed-seller rating services on the Internet; I don’t trust any of them.
• Before you purchase from an online seed-seller, email the seller and ask whether the specific marijuana strains you’re interested in are actually in stock.
• In writing, ask seed sellers their specific guarantee, returns, defective seeds and lost-order policies. Specify that you want seeds in original breeder packs.
• Go on marijuana Internet forums to look for reviews on seed sellers. Post questions asking other growers about their experience with seed sellers you’re interested in. Listen to comments from people you trust.
• When you order seeds, insist that the seller ships them so you and the seller can track them.
• Don’t order from a seller who only accepts cash, money order or certified check.
How can you be sure that ordering marijuana seeds online won’t get you busted?
• NEVER order seeds to be delivered to an address registered to your name and/or where marijuana grow op is located.
• Order only from legitimate, trustworthy seed sellers (of course, it’s hard to figure out who is a legitimate, trustworthy seed seller).
• Do not order using a credit card issued to the grower, and/or that has a grow house address as the credit card billing address.
• If you don’t want the security and convenience of a credit card order, pay only via cash or money order. Use a fake name. Use an address that has no connection to you at all.
What common problems may happen when you order marijuana seeds online?
• Slow email and phone call responses, or no response at all.
• No confirmation of order.
• Overcharged amount/double-charges
• Never receive seeds or incredibly slow delivery.
• Refusal of refund/refusal to re-send or correct lost or defective orders.
• Seeds don’t germinate.
• Seeds not in breeder pack (a breeder pack is the original packaging that the seed breeding company sells its seeds in).
• Wrong seeds/too few seeds/defective seeds/cracked seeds/hermaphroditic seeds.
• You order feminized seeds and get non-feminized, or vice versa.
• Seeds don’t grow out to be the strain you ordered.
• “Free” seeds not sent with paid seeds.
What are the scariest things about ordering marijuana seeds online?
• If the seller is a rip-off, jerk or twit, and you challenge them on it, they have information about you and can use it against you.
• Most seed orders make it to you just fine, but some get intercepted. If authorities intercept your marijuana seeds, it can be charged against you as a federal crime, depending on where you live. Please note that the seed sellers themselves operate in a legal "gray area," meaning that as long as they don't knowingly sell seeds to marijuana cultivators, they're within the law. That's why most seed sellers have disclaimers that say they are selling only "souvenirs" not intended for germination and criminal cultivation of marijuana.
• If a seed seller gets busted, their records fall into the hands of law enforcement. This happened in the Marc Emery takedown, and several growers got popped.
What do marijuana seed sellers tell me are the worst problems they encounter?
• Seed breeders not providing quality seeds.
• Seed sellers often have to get seeds via a broker or bundler who is the interface between the seller and the seed breeder. The broker/bundler might not be ethical, timely or professional.
• Customers falsely claiming that seeds did not arrive or germinate.
• Customers canceling orders after orders are shipped. Customers putting photos or videos of seed packaging online: DO NOT DO THIS. THE SHIPPING METHODS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE STEALTH!
• Customers expecting immediate, easy service as if seed selling was the same as Amazon.com selling books.
Here is what seed sellers themselves told me about the marijuana seed business:
• “It’s a black market industry, risky for everyone involved," one seed seller said. “There are hundreds of marijuana strains and breeders, and it’s hard to stock all of them. When seeds don’t germinate or grow out properly, it’s hard for us to get compensation from the breeders. Many seed sellers are barely breaking even. When you have goodwill towards customers you often get abused. We’re sure that many of our customers who say they didn’t receive seeds or there’s a seed problem actually did receive them or they did sprout fine; they’re just trying to scam us.”
• “You see people slagging this seed company or that, or saying this one’s great or that one is, but when you look closely you see it’s people who work for a rival seed company or they are promoting their own, so you can’t trust what is being said,” said another seed seller, referring to online marijuana forums and seed seller rating sites.
OK, so I’m sure you’re wondering who I recommend as honest, legit online seed sellers. I’ve been evaluating online seed sellers for many years, via my own experiences and what I hear from other professional hydroponics marijuana growers.
Obviously, I don’t know all about all online marijuana seed sellers. However, I have heard plenty of true good & not so good stories over the years, and have been keeping a list of “good and bad seed sellers.”
I have anecdotal data on the top 30 or so marijuana seed sellers you see listed on most seed bank rating sites. Out of all of them, I recommend only two: Seedmadness.com, and Attitude.
Another one I like somewhat (because they have low prices and because I’ve always gotten my seeds to me on time) is marijuana-seeds.nl, however, I am almost 100% sure that marijuana seeds they sell aren’t from the original breeders but are “knock-offs” of the original seeds.
Does the fact that I recommend only three out of the dozens of cannabis seed sellers mean I am saying all other seed sellers are bad or that Attitude and Seedmadness are perfect?
No. But I am telling you that these three are the best ones my grower network associates and I have experienced. You can expect easy ordering online, email confirmation of your order within 1-3 business days, your order ships within 1-5 business days, and you receive your cannabis seeds within 10 days-3 weeks after you order (unless something happens that is out of the control of the seed seller).
When there are problems with delivery, inferior seed stock, out of stock seeds, and other common issues you'd experience in any retail purchasing environment, Attitude and Seedmadness handle it promptly and with a refreshing focus on satisfying customers.
This starkly contrasts with some other marijuana seed sellers whose attitude is, "We've got your money, we know where you live, don't bother us or else. Maybe you'll get your seeds, maybe you won't- sucker."
Is it worth it to use marijuana seeds instead of growing from clone? It is if you want to keep marijuana from deteriorating genetically. Reliance on clones is great for making it easy to do sea of green, guarantee females, and grow the same strain over and over.
On the other hand, reliance on cloning is like the mono-cropping mistake that Big Ag makes. Here's what I mean:
Nature needs to spread diverse pollen to diverse flowers so genetics can be dispersed to create stronger, more adaptive plants. Growing from seed and breeding your own marijuana strains increases the diversity and strength of the cannabis gene pool. Growing from clone does not.
What happens if the cannabis gene pool gets too small? It could make cannabis susceptible to an epidemic of pests or pathogens that wipe out a lot of marijuana plants, that’s what. Cloning limits the marijuana gene pool. Therefore, if you love marijuana and want to ensure a strong marijuana gene pool, grow from seed and clone, not just clone.
When you want to get incredible genetics that will never be available at a dispensary, via clones, or from bagseed, marijuana seed banks are the way to go. And when you want to be a breeder yourself, you need quality seeds so you have quality male plants, and so you can grow out different phenotypes, select the best ones, breed them, and/or make motherplants from them.
If you own a marijuana seed-selling business, or are a professional hydroponics marijuana grower who wants to talk honestly and politely about the marijuana seed business in an intelligent way, feel free to use our comments section.
The bottom line is, the marijuana seed business is a somewhat seedy business, but you can get the marijuana genetics you want if you’re careful and smart, and if you pay close attention to the info I gave you in this article.
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Thursday, 03 November 2011
Photography by (c) Copyright, Steve Davis, 2011
Article by Steve Davis, on Nov. 10th 2011