How To: Spot Top-Shelf Quality Cannabis How else would you know if that avocado is ripe enough without examining it closely or giving it a good squeeze… you know getting your senses involved. The You just picked up a new strain that you've been waiting to try. The moment you get home, you rip into the package and take in its smell. When you dive in Seeded Buds: Why Does My Weed Have Seeds? You are browsing online and checking out all the different strains. There is a local dispensary that is selling medical cannabis at an unbelievable
How To: Spot Top-Shelf Quality Cannabis
How else would you know if that avocado is ripe enough without examining it closely or giving it a good squeeze… you know getting your senses involved. The same applies to weed. You need to get your senses involved. That’s one of the reasons we hate the new trend of putting weed in glass jar tin cans. They don’t allow you to examine the weed before purchasing it. But that’s another discussion for another day.
A guide to ensuring you’re not getting jerked + actually are getting top-shelf cannabis:
You never want your weed to have a grassy, hay smell or smell of ammonia. That’s an instant sign of some low-quality bud. Either it wasn’t dried properly, cured properly or a mixture of both. Always looks for some type of a distinct smell — pungent, citrus-y, pine-y, diesel. Something that is pleasing to the nose. Make sure it doesn’t smell like chemicals. How would you know? You’d be able to tell. Chemicals hit the nose in an unnatural way. There’s a big difference between the smell of a diesel, pungent aroma vs. a chemical aroma. If the smell makes you go ‘mmmm…’, you should be straight.
Cannabis is a plant. It should look pretty. Is it heavy in trichomes? Trichomes are those tiny little crystals that usually cover the bud. They tend to be shiny, sticky + always carry the most amazing aromas. If the bud isn’t covered in a blanket of frost, it’s not it. Has it been trimmed properly? Weed that hasn’t been properly trimmed are usually signs of a rushed job. If they’re cutting corners on manicuring the weed for bag appeal, where else did they cut corners? Does it contain any seeds? Top-shelf bud should be sinsemilla—it should never contain seeds. If you find a seed, that just means some issues came about during its growth cycle, but it shouldn’t be too big of an issue. If you find a seed in a strain you like, save it. If you find multiple seeds, that’s a major red flag that the bud is not high quality.
You may not always get to touch the bud, but when you do check for freshness + density. You never want bud that feels a bit too moist or too dry where it’s crumbling. The former could mean it wasn’t properly dried and the latter could mean it hasn’t been properly stored. Always opt for buds that are sticky to the touch with a bit of weight. Some strains are light + airy, while others are denser. The main thing to look out for is a bud that’s too light or too airy. That is a sign of not receiving enough light during the flowering phase resulting in a less potent bud.
Is the price reasonable or too good to be true?
In New York City, an eighth of quality bud can cost anywhere from $50-$75. From your local dealer, $40 is a reasonable deal. If you’re paying less than $40 for an eighth, you’re more than likely getting some mids. Be wary of $25 eighths. While it’s definitely smokable, there’s probably something wrong with it in terms of overall quality—not potent enough, wasn’t cured properly, dried out, etc. If you’re paying more than $60 + it’s in a branded bag, find a new person. Don’t waste your time on whatever Gelato they just put in a branded bag.
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I Found a Seed in My Bag of Cannabis. Can I Grow It?
You just picked up a new strain that you’ve been waiting to try. The moment you get home, you rip into the package and take in its smell. When you dive in deeper, you spot something buried within the bud. It’s small, round, and has an outer casing.
Congratulations, you’ve found a seed. More specifically a bagseed, as the seeds found in packaged or bagged flower are commonly called.
Maybe congratulations aren’t quite in order. Depending on where it came from, who you ask, and if the seed is viable or not will affect your level of excitement.
While finding a seed in your stash is not ideal for truly exceptional flower and much less common than it once was, it is a pretty ordinary occurrence. Anyone who has been smoking cannabis for some time has undoubtedly come across a bagseed. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower or you’ll see it pop, spark, and crackle as the heat of your lit bowl pops the precious kernel within.
Ok, so you found a bagseed. Now what?
Is Bagseed Good or Bad?
Seeds found in finished cannabis flower can develop for a number of reasons. A nearby male plant can accidentally pollinate a flowering female. More commonly, though, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.
Seeds can also form in plants with genetic disorders or instability, like hermaphrodites–plants that develop both male and female reproductive parts. Generally these conditions are viewed as negatives, and for that reason alone, temper your expectations with any plants you start from a bagseed.
If found before lighting it on fire, the first thought from excited smokers is: “Let’s grow some weed!” But before you jump in headfirst, ask yourself a few questions to help decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.
Was the Seed Found in Good Cannabis?
The first and most apparent question you should ask yourself is whether you enjoy the cannabis that the seed turned up in. If you don’t like the flavor, effects, or even the looks of the bud, then it’s probably not worth growing.
Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag.
Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find a mature seed in some really nice herb. Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag of kind bud.
So don’t discount your bud just because there’s a seed or two in it. While not ideal, it could be the origins of the next great cannabis strain.
Are You Ready to Grow?
Growing cannabis takes a certain level of commitment. Plants need nurturing for months in the right environment with a close eye for detail. All this takes investment. Whether it’s time, energy, or financial resources, you’ll have to commit to the whole process if you want to produce something you’re proud of.
Fear not! If you’re simply curious to learn how cannabis grows and less concerned with the overall outcome, you can plant a couple of bagseeds outside and see what the result are.
If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear. That is, if the seeds you found are viable.
Is the Seed Viable?
If you like the strain and you’re ready to grow, then it comes down to whether or not the seed is viable, or able to successfully germinate. For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint and it must be strong enough to “pop” through its hard casing and sprout its crucial tap root.
Immature seeds tend to be light in color and have a soft outer shell.
Stress on a plant and unstable environments can produce bagseeds, and often, a bagseed’s viability is questionable at best.
There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating. Immature seeds tend to be light in color and have a soft outer shell.
Visual signs like tiger stripes–dark stripes that resemble tiny roots or veins on a leaf–are generally good. A seed with a solid shell will withstand a little pressure when pinched between your fingers. If it crumbles or cracks, the seed will be effectively destroyed, but don’t agonize over your loss.
In some cases, even if a seed isn’t completely mature, there’s still a chance it could be viable. But often these are extremely weak, take long to develop, and express other unfavorable characteristics. Growers usually discard weak plants to free up space in their limited gardens.
However, I’ve watched seeds that I had zero faith in their ability to germinate turn into strong, healthy plants–but that isn’t common.
You might also find a mature seed that has been physically damaged through poor handling, like rough trimming. In those cases, it probably isn’t worth the effort to try and germinate the seed.
But if the seeds you found look decent or even questionable, you might as well germinate them and see what sprouts.
Time to Germinate
Viable or not, there’s only one sure way to find out. Once you’ve decided you’re going to see what those beans can do, it’s time to germinate. Germination is the incubation period that encourages seeds to sprout and develop into a new plant.
There are a number of different ways you can germinate cannabis seeds, but they all require the same things to be successful: water, heat, and air. For a complete, step-by-step guide, check out our article How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds.
Even if your seed sprouts fast and grows vigorously, it has roughly a 50/50 chance of being female and producing seedless, cannabinoid-rich flowers.
Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.
Seeded Buds: Why Does My Weed Have Seeds?
You are browsing online and checking out all the different strains. There is a local dispensary that is selling medical cannabis at an unbelievable price. Really? Only forty dollars per ounce? And it is a great strain that you usually buy. Seeded weed? What does that mean?
Photo Credit: SpliffSeeds.com
At the top of the discounted ‘flash sale’ status of the cannabis, you see a phrase that confuses the heck out of you. And it stands out like kind of a warning; “heavily seeded.” Unless you are a cannabis expert, you probably think seeds are no big deal. They are still natural, right? And they probably have the same amount of THC.
When a grower makes a little bit of a goof-up, and the cannabis is allowed to get frisky with other plants in the greenhouse, seeded nugs happen. Everyone loves a discount! They are a great deal. Having seeds in your whole flower cannabis must be just an aesthetic thing that people don’t like.
Think twice before you get the bargain basement cannabis loaded up with seeds. No, it’s not going to add more fiber to your diet (although you could use seeded cannabis for making edibles). But as far as using it in your pipe? Definitely read up on why it is discounted before you buy.
Photo Credit: Yarygin | Deposit Photos
The Birds and The Bees: Cannabis is a Highly Evolved Plant
Did you know that about 80% of plants on the planet are self-pollinating? Cannabis is a highly evolved plant. It is a dioecious species, which means it has separate male and female plants. Cannabis plants have three sexes. There can be male plants and female plants. And occasionally, a strain will produce hermaphrodite plants (both male and female).
If you were walking through a medical dispensary’s greenhouse, you would see plants that have zero flowers. Lots of leaves, though, but no buds. Then you would see plants blooming with buds. Guess which one is the female plant?
The male cannabis plant is worth empathizing with. He tries hard but barely gets a date. The male cannabis plant typically has a thinner stalk and fewer leaves. But the male cannabis plant grows and produces valuable pollen taken by the wind or breeze to nearby female plants. (Cue the disco music). And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how marijuana buds are born.
Every time a cannabis plant seeds, it is a 50/50 split between male and female seedlings. Some strains can produce up to 75% of male plants. But you can’t tell in a greenhouse until they have started to grow. It usually takes about six weeks in the greenhouse before female plants begin to bloom. Then the male cannabis plants are separated from the female cannabis plants.
The female plants are valuable because they will produce crops of flowers or buds. Male plants, however, are not the star of the show, and they are either mulched for fertilizer or repurposed into other cannabis products.
What Happens to Male Cannabis Plants?
Dispensaries are interested in cultivating cannabis flowers from female plants. Some of the male plants are kept if they show specific attributes that are valuable for breeding. You plant corn, you get corn? It’s a little more complicated with cannabis. Most of the male plants are incredibly low in cannabinoids. Not all of them but most. And so, other than pollination, to a commercial dispensary, the male cannabis plant isn’t worth keeping around.
During the vegetative growth phase (when cannabis is maturing into a seedling), the male plants have higher THC concentrates in the leaves. It is only when the female plants mature to the adult stage that they have a higher potency. Female plants are the only sex to create sinsemilla. That is the compound that produces the psychoactive effects in THC.
Male cannabis plants don’t have a very long lifespan. Cultivators worldwide have tried to breed in high THC and bloom production in male plants, but with no success. You can’t delay the pollination process for male plants, nor can you breed enhanced resin production for male cannabis.
More sad news for male cannabis plants; their pollen is detrimental to female plants. So, if you have a happy crop of male cannabis plants sending their pollen over to the ladies on the other side of the aisle, it can stifle the crop. It will reduce the size and production of female cannabis plants.
Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plants Have It Worse
The creation of hermaphrodites or both male and female sexed organisms is a rare occurrence in nature. But the genetic anomaly can happen to any species on the planet. And that includes the cannabis plant.
Hermaphrodite cannabis plants are considered trouble. When they are discovered, they are separated from other female plants. A few hermaphrodite plants can ruin an entire harvest and jeopardize the quality of the flowers produced. They are found, uprooted, and destroyed in a way that does not allow them to cross-pollinate with any other plants. It’s very much ‘seek and destroy’ when a cultivator finds them in the greenhouse.
The potential for genetically mutated hermaphrodite plants to reproduce with quality strains is very high. So, it is very much ‘seek and destroy’ when a cultivator finds them in the greenhouse.
Photo Credit: Yarygin | Deposit Photos
What Is Seeded Weed Good For?
When you look at a seeded flower, the composition seems similar but extra chunky. Throughout the bud, you will notice seeds of different sizes. Fully germinated and non-germinated seeds (or baby seeds). More fiber! So, the cannabis seeds must be good for you? Well, they are. Just not in your pipe or cone.
There is a market for marijuana seeds because they contain many health benefits. They are a great nutritional resource and have more than thirty (30) healthy fats. Some of the types of healthy fats include alpha-linoleic acid, which is the plant version of omega-3 fatty acid. They are also a high source of plant-based clean proteins.
Fiber! Boy, are cannabis seeds full of fiber, and they are great for digestive health. So much so that some clinical studies have suggested that cannabis seeds can reduce intestinal and colon cancers. Both soluble and insoluble fiber is found in cannabis seeds.
The soluble fiber is absorbed quickly and makes you feel full longer while providing energy. The insoluble fiber has a cleaning effect. It doesn’t digest but has an exfoliating impact as it travels through the digestive tract.
There are many supplements and nutritional products that are made from cannabis seeds. Also, for cosmetic products and skincare. Cannabis seeds are also high in an amino acid called arginine, which helps with muscle relaxation, blood vessel dilation, and reduced blood pressure. Cannabis seeds are often used for nutritional products sold for weight loss.
Why Are There Seeds In Cannabis Flower the Dispensary is Selling?
Full disclosure? Cultivators and dispensaries know that ‘seeded weed’ is a goof up. They know that it still can provide some wellness benefits. However, both the aesthetic and some of the seeded weed side-effects make the product less desirable to patients.
Does seeded weed still have THC and psychoactive properties? Yes. The cannabis potency is usually not any different, and it is still tested before being sold. The website of the dispensary will confirm the THC content in the description of the product.
Seeded weed happens when pollen from a male cannabis plant touches the female plant. Congratulations, you have a baby seed. But a lot of pollen can interact in a single exchange (from more than one male plant). That’s when you end up with bud that looks like an apocalypse of seeds in the cannabis colas.
Photo Credit: TeriVirbickis | Deposit Photos
Can You Grow Cannabis from Seeds You Find In Your Medical Bud?
If you live in a state that has legalized home-growing for personal use, you may be looking at those seeds and wondering if you should plant them? What would happen if you collected all the seeds and then tried to plant them?
Some seeds would germinate, and others would not. But when you are trying to cultivate seeds from a cannabis strain that has been prone to seedy weed, you would not want to grow plants that had the same properties. That would be lower quality cannabis. And you’d be stuck with more seeds. No one wants to reproduce a mediocre hybrid.
What Happens if You Smoke Cannabis With Seeds In It?
It’s cheap. Maybe you are thinking of just throwing it into the grinder and packing your bowl to see what happens? Well, unfortunately, when you incinerate seeds, you are changing the chemistry quite a lot. And while they can produce psychoactive and physiological effects (you will still get high), they can also produce some side-effects.
Both cannabis seeds and stems should be picked out and not consumed. They both contain cellulose, which burns at a hotter temperature than marijuana flowers. And that cellulose, when incinerated, produces carcinogenic toxins (cancer-causing). It makes the smoke hotter and harsher on your respiratory tract.
Some of the other side-effects that patients have experienced when smoking weed seeds are:
- Gastrointestinal and abdominal pain
- Sore Throat
Finally, if you do happen to roll some cannabis seeds in your cone, it’s going to freak you out a little bit—the seeds pop and crackle. Very loudly when you incinerate them, it’s kind of feels like taking a drag off a lit firecracker. No thanks!
What Do I Do With Cannabis Seeds If I Can’t Smoke Them?
Just because cannabis seeds are not ideal for smoking doesn’t mean that they will go to waste. There are other ways you can repurpose them after you separate or sift them from your bud.
Try placing stems and seeds on a baking tray in the oven for about 40 minutes to decarboxylate the cannabis. That activates it. Then, you can grind them up and use them to create a tea or a cannabis-infused butter. You can even add it to your flour if you want to bake some buzz-worthy edibles at home.
Another cool idea for seeds and stems is to add them (after decarboxylation) to a liqueur. You’ve seen vodka’s with hot peppers in the bottle, right? Same thing! You can place them into a bottle of vodka or whisky for a week and then filter them out. Repeat this process every week for a few months to build up the THC content in the alcohol.
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