If you’re hoping to order cannabis seeds online for the first time, you may be nervous. No wonder! Especially if you’re here in the US, it can be nerve-racking and stressful the first time you do it.
Along with all of the legal nuances we can all perceive, you have other issues on your mind. You are probably concerned about buying the right seeds. You want to ensure you’re selecting trusted sources—the best seed banks that will protect your privacy so you won’t get ripped off.
Browse through any cannabis grower forum to get a sense of some of the challenges: missing packages, poor quality seeds, and unresponsive customer service are all on the table. Fortunately, when you shop the top seed banks, you get the best results.
We’ve rated each of the 10 best online seed banks here based on several core criteria. We also included a seed bank FAQs section to answer some of your questions about buying cannabis seeds online. Here you will find everything you need to know about buying marijuana seeds online, including how to identify a trusted online seller, what rules to be aware of, which seeds to choose, and more.
Short on time? Check out our favorite seed bank:
This guide to cannabis seed banks covers ten of the top marijuana seed banks in the world–but focuses mostly on seed banks that ship to the USA and Europe. For seed banks that ship to the eastern Pacific ocean area, check out this Australian seed bank. Read on for our team’s informed opinions (none of which constitutes legal advice—there is no legal advice anywhere on this website or page).
Last Updated: September 12th, 2020
On This Page:
- 1 Best Marijuana Seed Banks to Order from Online
- 1.1 #1 I Love Growing Marijuana (Editors Choice)
- 1.2 #2 Crop King Seeds (Best for Canadian Residents)
- 1.3 #3 Quebec Cannabis Seeds (Canada)
- 1.4 #4 Seedsman (United Kingdom)
- 1.5 #5 High Supplies Seed Bank
- 1.6 #6 Seed Supreme (England)
- 1.7 #7 Sensi Seeds – Best Seed Shop for European Customers
- 2 What we love about them
- 2.1 The Mission
- 2.2 Family Business
- 2.3 High Quality Genetics
- 2.4 Insightful Information
- 2.5 Shipping
- 2.6 #8 MSNL Seeds (Netherlands)
- 2.7 #9 True North Seed Bank
- 2.8 #10 Pacific Seed Bank
- 3 What Makes a Good Seed Bank
- 4 Seed Bank Strategies: tips and tricks for ordering cannabis seeds online
- 5 Is It Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds?
- 6 Buying Cannabis Seeds Online Safely
- 7 Online Seed Bank Payment Methods
- 8 How Much Do Cannabis Seeds Cost Online?
- 9 What Types of Cannabis Seeds Can You Buy Online?
- 10 How to Know Your Cannabis Seeds are Real
- 11 Final Thoughts: Best Online Seed Banks
Best Marijuana Seed Banks to Order from Online
#1 I Love Growing Marijuana (Editors Choice)
|Accepted Payments:||Bitcoin, Cash, Debit & Credit Card, Bank Wire|
I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM) started out as one man’s passion project and grew into one of the most trusted online sources for cannabis seed and growing knowledge. Among the world’s most popular online seed banks, marijuana growing expert Robert Bergman founded ILGM in the Netherlands after growing and experimenting with his own strain development.
Since its start in 2012, ILGM has now grown into a center for sharing information on growing. Now it has become both a beginner-friendly cannabis seed bank and a source of expert knowledge.
What we love about them
ILGM guarantees that your seeds will germinate if you follow their guide, and if they don’t, you get your money back.
ILGM has an entire selection of guides and strain database with one hundred and seventy-three pages at the time of this writing, so it’s easy to muse through the world’s best varieties to find the ones that will work for your grow. There is also a very active forum you can turn to for expert advice.
Compared to a best seed bank pick like Seedsman, ILGM actually doesn’t have the biggest selection—so you may have to supplement occasionally for something very unusual. But with dozens of strains on offer, it’s still an impressive spread of prolific strains.
ILGM offers feminized, fast flowering, and autoflowering strains as well as regular strains, and you’ll find all the classics. For example, seed selections include Bergman’s Gold Leaf, Cheese, Durban Poison, Jack Herer, Northern Lights, OG Kush, Purple Haze, Trainwreck, White Dream, White Widow, and ILGM’s own Gelato and Gorilla Glue cultivars.
ILGM wins at customer service, and not just because they do guarantee their products. They also invest substantial time and energy into responding to customers online and otherwise, and it shows in their Trustpilot reviews, for example. And if for any reasons customs comes down on you, ILGM will send you replacements for what they confiscated for free.
Great Shipping Capabilities
Although they are a Dutch company, ILGM ships just about everywhere, including Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, as well as the EU. Shipping to the EU and the US is free. Shipping is only free to Australia and New Zealand for orders over US $150.
ILGM is our team’s top choice for best online seed bank, and here are some bonus tips:
Bonus: Use the free ILGM Grow Bible which can assist you even if it’s not your first grow.
Bonus: Purchase with Bitcoin for a 10 percent discount.
#2 Crop King Seeds (Best for Canadian Residents)
|Accepted Payments:||Bitcoin, MasterCard, Visa, and Interact E-Transfer|
Operating out of Vancouver, Crop King Seeds (CKS) has been around since the mid-2000s and is one of the most well-regarded Canadian seed banks. In addition to their range of popular cannabis seed varieties, they also offer more than 30 unique in-house strains that Crop King engineers have cultivated over time.
What We Love About Them
CKS stands by their seeds. They guarantee a germination rate of at least 80 percent. They will also replace your package for free if it doesn’t arrive, or if you don’t like what you received.
All of Crop King Seeds’s in-house strains, and there are more than 30 of them, cannot be found anywhere else. Like most of the higher-end seed banks, they sell CBD strains, medicinal varieties, and feminized, regular, and autoflowering seeds.
Ease of Use
Crop King Seeds makes it fast and easy to order cannabis seeds online. The site is easy to use—just follow the prompts. Search using the filters, including seed type (auto-flowering, feminized, regular), strain type (hybrid, indica, sativa), and THC level.
Crop King takes privacy seriously. Although marijuana seeds are legal in Canada, even there orders ship in unmarked envelopes. In the rest of the world, CKS basically ships in “stealth” mode, encasing your order inside pens, DVD cases, whatever. Crop King Seeds is also among the few seed banks—and businesses—that does not save your payment information.
Bonus: Subscribe to the newsletter for special discounts, news, and coupons.
#3 Quebec Cannabis Seeds (Canada)
|Accepted Payments:||Bitcoin, MasterCard, Visa, Cash|
Quebec Cannabis Seeds (QCS) is a seed bank that has been in business since 2013. A Canadian-based best seed bank selection, QSC delivers a great selection, especially of next-generation cannabis seeds.
What We Love About Them
Scientific Skill, Artisanal Talent.
The top reason the QSC team is a persistent fan favorite is its in-house team of seed breeders. These people really know their business, and the QSC cannabis geneticists generate some high-quality, creative, successful cultivars that demonstrate a deep knowledge of the genetic features of the plant.
The QSC team is just as well-versed in how to care for cannabis seeds, and protect them against common diseases and pests. They also engage in an impressive level of research and development, and that’s why they consistently breed great quality cannabis seeds which produce well. From high-yield varieties to unusual phenotypes, QSC’s team knows.
The attention to detail the scientific team brings to research extends to the rest of the QSC operation. QSC subjects every seed they sell to a strict inspection process before shipment so that only the best are ultimately chosen.
QSC sells dozens of varieties of cannabis seeds, including high CBD strains, and regular, feminized, and auto-flowering and seeds. Some of the best-selling seeds of their brand are QC black gold marijuana seeds, Quebec gold 2.0 feminized, Jack Herer feminized, and AK47.
Shipping options. QSC’s approach to shipping, payment, and customer service is promise exactly what you can accept and deliver, reliably. Therefore, they only accept Visa or Mastercard credit card payments. However, they offer shipping all over the world, and it’s good.
QSC offers “stealth shipping” for all orders for a flat fee of $10.For Canadian customers, this means the seeds come as packaged. In the US and other countries, this means the packages of seeds come inside “stealth” packages without logos containing random objects that seem like gifts, such as DVDs. Shipping time ranges from 5 to 9 days inside Canada, to 2 weeks in the US, and and 2 to 3 weeks in other countries.
Bonus: Buy QSC seeds to get stealth shipping and free seeds on every order.
#4 Seedsman (United Kingdom)
|Accepted Payments:||Bitcoin, Credit Card, Cash, Debit Card, Bank Transfer, Money Order, Pot Money|
Seedsman is a cannabis seed bank based in the UK. Open since 2003, they are now a well-known and trusted source throughout the EU—and the US now, too.
What We Love About Them
To start with, selection. Seedsman has more than 3,000 varieties of cannabis seeds on offer, all to be shipped to you online. They often carry new and limited edition strains that we can’t find elsewhere, and both photoperiodic and auto-flowering seeds in the same strain.
Seedsman strains also run the gamut, from rare and tougher to cultivate, Cannabis Cup winners to strains that are beginner-friendly, and perfect for first-time growers. They also provide information on medical diagnoses that is devoted to medicinal growers, and sections for high CBD and high THC seeds.
But it’s more than that.
Their extensive range is laid out in an organized, user-friendly way, on an easy-to-navigate page. This keeps choosing the right seeds based on your specific goals straightforward, at least until it comes down to just eliminating great options. Sort to find what you need by cultivation method, growth characteristic, strain type, or other criteria.
Seedsman also cultivates their own seeds, so they are not just a curator, but also a source and brand. This ties into their mission of preserving cannabis genetics.
Shipping and Payment Choices
Seedsman offers many payment options, including credit cards, money orders, checks, and different types of cryptocurrencies. They also provide an “ultra-stealth” unmarked parcel delivery option, and even if your package somehow doesn’t make it, Seedsman will replace it, no questions asked.
Seedsman is also known for various promotions all year long, and different discount programs and freebies. It’s worth signing up for their email list and watching the website and social platforms for special offers.
Seedsman is in the UK—where it’s illegal to grow. But they still spend a notable portion of their profits to support legalization efforts, which to us is pretty cool.
Tip: Contact Seedsman via email or chat if you need help, because their phone number is automated.
Bonus: Pay with Bitcoin to get 15 to 25 percent off every order, plus extra free seeds!
Bonus: For larger orders, get freebies.
#5 High Supplies Seed Bank
|Shipping:||Worldwide, but not guaranteed|
|Accepted Payment methods:||Visa, MasterCard, Bitcoin, Cash, Bank Transfer|
In 2006, the founders of High Supplies established the seed bank to share the strains they loved best with the world and spread their love of cannabis culture. They also aimed to bring better cannabis growing and breeding to the scene, and meet the high demand for quality cannabis seeds.
Within about one year, High Supplies carried over 20 regular cannabis seed strains in their catalog, including well-known feminized strains such as Northern Lights, White Widow, and Power Plant. Today, High Supplies carries feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds in a range of sativa and indica varieties, such as Blue Dream, Pineapple Express, Amnesia, and OG Kush.
What we love about them
Anyone who has ever gotten stuck growing cannabis seeds knows how valuable it is to have a live chat feature, and High Supplies does. This means their cannabis experts are there to help you right away, and if you make a fatal error with your first five seeds and send them photos, they will usually explain to you what you did wrong and replace your seeds.
You can confirm on Trustpilot that High Supplies responds to reviews like clockwork, letting you know they make problems right. High Supplies really does care about customer satisfaction.
Fresh, High Quality Seeds
High Supplies cannabis seeds boast a first-class genetic heritage that has been refined by generations of controlled breeding. This results in higher yields of potent marijuana.
High Supplies cannabis seeds are also fresh, never purchased in bulk. This is part of the reason why the company can afford to guarantee fresh seeds on delivery.
You’ll find so many varieties of marijuana seeds on the High Supplies site, from Cheese to Diesel, and Big Bud to Durban Poison. Many strains are medical grade.
High Supplies sells more than cannabis seeds, with a complete list of cannabis growing accessories that can help anyone get started with a new grow, whether a novice or experienced.
Even the freshest noob to cannabis seeds can learn a lot on High Supplies. Just check out the site, and read about each of the seeds to learn THC levels, climate, flowering time, growing time, yield, and more. And the free High Supplies growing guide can show you the best ways to get the highest yields depending on the strain and where you live.
High Supplies packs and ships every parcel completely anonymously. Just your name and address is on the outside of the package, which just looks like anything else you’d order from any other store.
You won’t be disappointed by High Supplies, and here are some bonus tips:
Bonus: Check out the price drop section—you can get 5 seeds for just over $20 sometimes
Bonus: Use the extensive germination tips and growth guide from High Supplies for any climate to improve your results
#6 Seed Supreme (England)
|Accepted Payments:||Bitcoin, MasterCard, Visa, and Cash Payments|
Seed Supreme Seed bank has been carrying thousands of cannabis strains from notable international breeders at an affordable price since 2013. Based in England, they are now not only a reliable source of high-quality seeds, but also a strong local resource center.
What We Love About Them
Thousands of Choices
With over 4,000 types of different seeds representing thousands of varieties, SeedSupreme is among the best-stocked seed banks out there. The site is user-friendly and offers landrace strains, high CBD strains, high THC strains, regular seeds, autoflowering seeds, feminized seeds, staff picks, and more. Some of SeedSupreme’s popular seed varieties include Acapulco Gold, Afghan Kush, Blackberry Kush, Critical Kush, Crystal Gelato, Expert Gorilla, Green Crack, Gorilla Glue, Northern Lights, OG Kush, Purple Kush, Skunk #1, and West Coast OG.
Customer Loyalty Program
SeedSupreme features a unique customer loyalty program. Buy from this seed bank to get “kush” bucks with every purchase you can use toward future shopping as well as perks like free seeds.
Knowledgeable (Within Some Limits)
Although—or maybe because?—it is illegal to germinate cannabis seeds in England, SeedSupreme has become a sort of online knowledge base for growers. The team cannot offer insights on THC levels, germination, yields, or other relevant information about the seeds, so instead they use their online space to provide valuable resources on selecting the best seeds.
Bonus: Take advantage of the customer loyalty program, one of the only online seed banks that still has one.
Bonus: Unusually discreet stealth packaging, very nice.
Tip: SeedSupreme may ship the closest genetic relative of the seeds you chose if they are out of stock, so be sure you are okay with this shipping policy before ordering.
#7 Sensi Seeds – Best Seed Shop for European Customers
|Shipping:||Most countries in the EU, see: https://sensiseeds.com/en/shipping/|
|Accepted Payment methods:||Bank Transfer, Cash, Visa, MasterCard|
|Customer Service:||Ideal—if you have access|
Sensi Seeds is, frankly, a legend among cannabis connoisseurs. In fact, whether or not you yourself partake in the herb, certain strains such as Jack Herer, Northern Lights, and Skunk #1 are everywhere—so much so they have given birth to scores of other classics and been in circulation for years.
All of these plus many more are from Sensi Seeds, one of the biggest cannabis seed banks in history—by design. With over 500 varieties, these genetics have been changing the community since 1985.
The big downside: Sensi Seeds only ships in the EU. The reason is that they are not trying to mess around on the wrong side of various international laws, mainly because changing the way we all think about cannabis culture is part of what this seed bank is all about.
What we love about them
Sensi Seeds is on a mission to bring cannabis culture mainstream and into a place of acceptance worldwide. Sensi Seeds has even been developing medical cannabis for the Dutch government.
As part of its goal of normalization of cannabis use, Sensi Seeds works to promote the recognition of the cannabis plant’s industrial and therapeutic benefits through the world’s first cannabis museum in both Amsterdam and Barcelona. Sensi Seeds hosts the Cannabis Culture Awards with the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.
Despite being a huge force in the cannabis industry, Sensi Seeds is still a family run business.
High Quality Genetics
It’s no mystery that Sensi Seeds are great quality genetics. You often see these strains offered from other high end seed banks for good reason.
Sensi offers the cannabis strains that they have been cultivating for decades, and they are medical grade in Amsterdam. Standards there are high, and the industry has been well-established.
You’ll find feminized seeds, autoflowering strains, regular strains, and CBD rich cultivars. Expect to see the biggies like Sensi Skunk, Hindu Kush, and Girl Scout Cookies, and newer trendy strains to try like Guava Jelly, White Gorilla Haze, and Buttercream Gelato.
Sensi Seeds offers lots of insightful grower knowledge that even first-time growers will benefit from. The website also provides strain information and other expert advice. The blog itself is probably the best knowledge base feature, offering up interesting ideas and helpful hints.
For those who are lucky enough to be able to get a shipment from Sensi Seeds, you can expect fast delivery and discreet packaging.
Sensi Seeds is a great choice if you’re in the EU, and here are some bonus tips:
Bonus: @ the customer service team on social during regular hours for FAST response times
Bonus: Use the Sensi Seeds germination tips to improve yields
#8 MSNL Seeds (Netherlands)
|Accepted Payments:||Bitcoin, Cash, Debit & Credit Card, Bank Wire, Money Order|
This trusted source in the Netherlands has been in operation since 1999. MSNL began with the work of an innovative geneticist who helped create more than forty different genetic varieties of cannabis. MSNL is a known quantity and highly reliable—not to mention easy to deal with.
What We Love About Them
MSNL is known not only for selling high-quality cultivars, but also for creating their own. The MSNL experts are changing the face of cannabis genetics by testing all of the seed strains they carry in the development process for their own strains.
They also offer affordable variety packs of regular, autoflowering, and feminized seeds for growers who want to expand and trial different strains. MSNL’s cannabis seed selection is truly impressive, with over 200 strains on offer, including various medicinal and high-yield, high-strength strains. Some of their popular favorites include Afgoo, AK-47, Big Bud, Blueberry, Blue Dream, Cheese, Girl Scout Cookies, GDP, G13 Haze, Nitro Lemon Haze, NYC Diesel, Northern Lights, Pineapple Kush, Sour Diesel, THC Bomb, Thai Stick, White LSD, and White Widow.
High Success Rates
Among online seed banks, MSNL stands out for its high germination rate of about 90 percent. This is in part because of the extensive cannabis breeding program that MSNL participates in. It is also because experts inspect all MSNL seeds, avoiding the perennial problem of damaged seeds, and enabling this high success rate.
Value. Every order from MSNL includes at least five free seeds, your route to saving money. How many you get depends on how much you spend, of course, but you will always get five. Orders over £100 GBP come with 10 free seeds, five each of the regular and feminized.
Rewards and Specials
MSNL offers a rewards program which benefits anyone who needs seeds regularly. For every £1 you spend, you get three points, and these points apply to future orders for discounts. Points never expire and rack up enough to pay for entire orders. Other promotions and discounts pop up on the site regularly, and sale prices can sometimes take 30 to 50 percent off your total.
Shipping and Payment Options
MSNL ships worldwide. Shipping times are under 25 days, and usually far less. MSNL offers standard, stealth, and “guaranteed stealth” options, from £5.95 to £16.95—with stealth options hiding the seeds in some way and “guaranteed stealth” shipping adding tracking information and a replacement guarantee.
If you order enough, they will discount the shipping or make it free. In the UK all orders over £55 ship free, and that’s true all over the world for standard shipping. International orders over £55 pay £4.95 for stealth and £10.95 for guaranteed stealth shipping, with prices dropping for every additional £50 until all shipping options are free, everywhere in the world, for orders over £250.
Bonus: Buy value cannabis seed packs of ten seeds at a time to save significantly.
Bonus: The more you buy, the more free seeds you’ll get (with that 90 percent germination rate, too).
Bonus: Use the value points program to save a ton of money over time on high-quality seeds.
#9 True North Seed Bank
|Accepted Payments:||Bitcoin, Cash, Debit & Credit Card, Bank Wire, Money Order, E-Transfer|
This Canadian seed bank does not breed its own cannabis seeds, but instead sources and supplies high-quality cannabis seeds. While it’s not as high-end for serious growers as some of the other options, True North Seed Bank is a great place to start for some, and here’s why.
What We Love About Them
So Easy If You’re in the North American Cannabis Community
Let’s face it: most of our readers right now are looking to order seeds for delivery in the United States or Canada—and maybe sometimes Mexico. But North American readers are most interested in these seed banks, and True North Seed Bank is a great choice for us. It has fast delivery times, convenient live help, and varieties that grow well for us.
This seed bank offers a wide range of strains sourced from some of the cannabis seed industry’s biggest names. True North’s comprehensive cannabis seed database clearly displays the availability of seeds based on cultivation type, sex, strain, and variety. Best selling strains include Atomic Bomb, AK48, Pineapple Express, Quarter Pounder, and Red Poison—and they are all really easy to search, sort, and find.
True North Seed Bank offers numerous cryptocurrency payment options, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, but you can use other digital currencies, too. True North also offers flash sales, promotions, and monthly drawings that can make it worth your while to stick around.
Bonus: Free seeds in every order.
Bonus: Free shipping anywhere for orders over $420.
Tip: Without “guaranteed delivery insurance” which costs an extra CA$15 you are not necessarily going to have help from True North if your order is lost for any reason. This “guaranteed delivery insurance” is only available in the US and Canada.
Tip: There are no guarantees of product quality or seed germination, so that’s a risk.
Tip: Since all debit and credit card payments are subject to a 7.5 percent card processing fee, which is a little high, try using cryptocurrency.
#10 Pacific Seed Bank
|Accepted Payments:||Mail-in Payment, BitCoin, Zelle (US customers), Interac eTransfer (Canada Only)|
Pacific Seed Bank is a great source for both high THC and high CBD seeds. They offer excellent customer service and support for customers all over the world.
What We Love About Them
Variety of Seeds
Like other seed banks, Pacific offers regular, feminized and autoflower seeds. They source their seeds from various farms across the US and the Netherlands. Currently, you can shop over 150 strains on their site including high-THC, and CBD seeds. They sell fan favorites and some lesser-known strains that all come from certified farms.
To cater to seed skeptics, they offer a 90% germination guarantee as well as a generous refund policy. If you reach out to them expressing issues with your seeds, they will either replace the seeds or issue you a full refund. Pacific Seed Banks also guarantees that their feminized seeds are 100% feminized, and they’ve eliminated the possibility of receiving male plants.
They have customer service agents available via email and phone ready to answer questions about anything from seed choice to shipping logistics. Customers regularly praise them for their quick response times and willingness to help with order information.
Bonus: They ship worldwide, and have payment options that cater to shoppers in different regions, making it easy for anyone around the world to place an order.
Bonus: Package tracking is available as an add-on to any order, worldwide, when you choose express shipping.
What Makes a Good Seed Bank
If you’re hoping to buy marijuana seeds online, the best seed bank may be difficult to identify. When defining what makes a good seed bank, keep these core criteria in mind.
- Worldwide shipping (including US and Canada)
- Discreet shipping choices, including stealth shipping options
- Reliable shipping, ensuring most shipments reach customers when promised
- Reliable seed banks have strong market reputations, reflected in reviews and forum performance
Responsive customer service
- Generous policies including refunds for damaged, missing, or poor quality seeds
- Good variety of weed seeds or “strains”
High quality seeds
- Each seed described in detail
- Customer reviews for the seed varieties
- Discount section with sales
- Broad spectrum of promotions that work for you
- Rewards/loyalty program
Ease of Use
- Do they accept multiple currencies?
- Do they accept multiple payment methods?
- Is the website searchable?
- Are the shopping functions smooth, easy-to-navigate, with secure checkout options?
Seed Bank Strategies: tips and tricks for ordering cannabis seeds online
If you want to get the most from your online seed bank, keep these seed bank tips and tricks in mind:
Stick to Feminized Seeds
Feminized seeds yield three to five times more than autoflowering varieties (and forget regular seeds unless you have a special purpose). There are a couple of reasons to go with auto-flowering seeds: for beginner, inside growers that want to grow without a lamp—on a windowsill, for example—or for a quick, stealth growing season outside, use autoflowering seeds. Otherwise, stick to normal feminized and suffer fewer duds and less wasted time.
Try a Test Run
If you’ve never used a certain seed bank, make your first order smaller. This way you can see how it goes, and what the seed quality is like.
Check the Shipping Fine Print
Among online seed buyers who have had bad experiences, shipping times are a top complaint. Many of these can be resolved by reading the fine print on shipping, closely. And realize: seed banks that are further away, in the EU if you’re in the US, for example, just take longer.
Research and Invest in Customer Service
Sooner or later, every single seed bank, no matter how great, is going to ship you seeds that won’t germinate. Every once in awhile, even the most diligent shipper is delayed. This is why customer service will always matter.
Know What to Look for in an Online Seed Bank
To ensure your seeds are the highest quality, make sure your seed bank employs or works with breeders who understand plant genetics, and how seed origin relates to plant quality. Seed banks should be transparent about where they source seeds, how their seeds are produced, and whether they are crossed or backcrossed.
Less experienced breeders may fail to achieve the genetics they were intending, and they may or may not know that. To confirm results it’s important to conduct backcrossing tests, or you can produce hybrid strains that are difficult to identify. Transparency and the ability to trace seed origin protects you from sub-par breeding results.
Choose Varieties Wisely
If you’re a novice grower, some marijuana strains might be a bigger challenge than others.
Play the Numbers
Even the best quality seeds will have some percentage that fail to germinate. If you’re less experienced, buy two or more times as many seeds as you need to grow to make up for the seeds that fail to germinate and the plants that die off. (And remember, make sure you’ve checked the local, state, and national laws where you are.)
Is It Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds?
Cannabis seeds are still classified as marijuana products by the US federal government, even though they cannot induce psychoactive effects, and are not fully-bloomed plants. Regardless, cannabis seeds are legally in the same category as concentrates, edibles, flowers, and oils.
This means the laws of your specific US state control the legality of buying cannabis seeds online—but only inside that state. Most recreational states and some medical marijuana states allow either any adults, adults over a certain age, or medical card holders to purchase seeds inside state lines.
However, because of federal law, cannabis seeds can’t cross state lines, no matter where you buy them, or why. Cannabis, as a schedule I drug, also cannot be imported from outside the US, including in seed form.
Check local, state, and national laws first, before you buy cannabis seeds online. Protect yourself from legal exposure.
Buying Cannabis Seeds Online Safely
Especially if you’ve never bought from an online cannabis seed company before, you may not be sure what to expect, and it may all seem risky. Here are some facts and suggestions to help you through this:
US customs laws don’t place you on a black list for cannabis seeds. If your package gets confiscated, you lose money in some cases, because your seeds get thrown out. Either your seed bank will or will not replace them—and most will. Sometimes, CBP will send you a letter explaining why they kept your package.
People order cannabis seeds online daily, at relatively low legal risk. On the other hand, you never know who will be targeted or how the law is changing state to state, unless you’re an expert.
Go local with your research. Where do growers in your state like to buy their cannabis seeds? Research cannabis seed banks in your state. Find online forums to get more feedback about your seed bank options.
Online Seed Bank Payment Methods
Before you make that large purchase from a new seed bank, consider all of the payment options. Online payment platforms such as PayPal and Stripe do not support cannabis seed banks due to their terms of service.
In some cases, credit card or debit card payment may be your only option. Credit cards tend to offer more consumer privacy and purchase protection than debit cards, so choose wisely. And remember, notify your bank if you don’t typically make purchases outside the country.
Some seed banks will accept cash sent to them, but this is risky. Remember to check that they accept your currency, in cash or otherwise. As well, lost cash cannot be recovered, and disreputable sellers can scam cash buyers very easily.
The most efficient payment option for buying cannabis seeds online may well be cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. In fact, some seed banks offer discounts for Bitcoin shoppers.
Digital currencies like Bitcoin are efficient and fast, clearing instantly. They also offer total financial freedom, allowing you to pay for cannabis seeds anywhere around the globe, anytime. Finally, Bitcoin transactions are totally private and secure.
How Much Do Cannabis Seeds Cost Online?
Typically, one pack contains 10 to 12 seeds total. Depending on the type of seeds, the seed bank, and the quantity, you could spend anywhere from US$50 to US$500 per package or more.
For genetically-modified seeds, unique cultivars, or specific strains you might pay much more than US$500. And remember, this is just the base cost of the seeds. You’ll also need to cover customs and/or shipping feeds if you’re ordering internationally.
What Types of Cannabis Seeds Can You Buy Online?
One of the best things about buying cannabis seeds online is the array of choice. However, this means you need to understand what’s out there, and what the differences mean for different growers.
Here are a few of the different reasons for choosing regular seeds, autoflowering seeds, and feminized seeds, and some pros and cons of each.
Naturally growing cannabis plants produce regular seeds. The offspring from these seeds are typically about fifty percent male and fifty percent female—the female variety being the kind that produces the cannabis “flowers” or buds. You can’t tell in advance what you’ll get, but you’re certainly going to have many plants that will not flower.
On the other hand, regular seeds are often purer—the landrace varieties, for example. These have not been backcrossed or inbred as much, so some growers prefer them. Just remember to plant extra seeds to cover the loss of the male plants.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are very simple to grow and they germinate reliably. After some number of weeks—usually fewer than other seed types—they simply enter the flowering phase.
Autoflowering seeds can flower automatically this way as they age even when they get more or less light. This makes them a good choice for beginners in particular who can’t use grow lights, or prefer to grow outside but don’t have much of a growing season.
In the bad old days, autoflowering seeds were always poorer quality, with less bountiful yields, compared to other seeds. But these days, more autoflowering seed varieties yield impressive crops of high-quality medicine.
One drawback to autoflowering seeds is limited harvest size due to size. Feminized seeds produce three to five times more, typically.
Feminized seeds are simply cannabis seeds that are all female. Typically, male cannabis plants pollinate female plants and seeds develop. However, when male plants are not available, female cannabis plants can self-pollinate. If there are no male chromosomes present during pollination, the plant does not produce any male seeds.
The benefits of using feminized seeds include saving lots of time and money. Male plants can reduce your yield because they pollinate your females. Instead, you’ll have to catch and weed them out at the right age, and then you’re left with spaces where you could have a viable plant.
So although feminized cannabis seeds cost more, you also get a flower-producing plant from every single seed you germinate. Assuming you buy from a quality seed bank, that’s more for your money.
How to Know Your Cannabis Seeds are Real
There’s nothing worse than spending the money and going to the trouble of choosing seeds and placing an order, only to get ripped off with fake seeds. At least you can tell whether your cannabis seeds are real before you spend time planting them.
Marijuana seeds look dark brown. They often have light-colored or white stripes, depending on how they are coated. If you rub the coating off, you see the lighter colored seeds.
This doesn’t mean that light seeds without a coating aren’t real. It could mean the seeds have been handled a few times, or that they just didn’t grow a coating. However, coating is typically a good sign.
Evaluate the seed bank’s website before you order at all. Scam sites do exist, and it’s worth your trouble to research the brand.
Final Thoughts: Best Online Seed Banks
Whether you want to improve the genetics of what you’re already growing or you’re just hoping to grow from the highest quality cannabis seeds, it’s important to know where to start. Many online cannabis seed banks may let you down–but not the ones on this list. The best seed banks of 2020 can cover just about any grower out there today.