How Long Do Cannabis Seeds Last?

As dogs are man’s best friend, so are cannabis seeds the best friend of every farmer. After all, without them cannabis cultivation is impossible. Hence, the reason for the vast number of seed banks both virtual and physical selling viable seeds for cultivation or breeding.

To any cannabis grower, knowledge of seeds whether feminized or regular seeds is very important to have an optimal and healthy harvest. In satisfaction with this knowledge, this article has been written to give farmers and cannabis enthusiasts helpful hacks so they can make the most out of their seeds. Keep reading to learn these hacks that would come in handy.

What are Cannabis Seeds?

Every human starts as a cell so does every plant starts its life cycle as a little seed. Cannabis seeds are simply seeds that grow to become cannabis plants once their roots break out from the outer shell of the cannabis seeds. Cannabis seeds can either be regular, feminized, or auto-flowering with the middle one being the most popular amongst farmers.

Just like every other seed, cannabis seeds contain genetic information that determines several plant variables like potency, terpene/flavor profile, flowering period, leaves color, and sex.

Size of Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis seeds are little wonders as they seldom go beyond the size of a peppercorn or at best a small pea. Before we proceed, we need to confirm a few rumors and deny a few. It is impossible to decipher the sex of your cannabis plant by looking at its seeds. All seeds look the same whether it is auto-flowering, feminized, or regular. Hence, the saying that you can determine sex by taking a mere glance at its seeds is untrue.

How Long do Cannabis Seeds Last?

Source: grandcannabis.ca

This question has graced the pages of many blogs and articles and to be honest, this question has no definite answer. And this is because several internal or external factors determine a seed’s longevity and viability. For instance, atmospheric conditions like humidity, sunlight, and air are factors to be considered. Hence, when these factors are in place the seed is most likely to thrive while still retaining its potency when it is about to be planted.

Internal factors like Genetics and seed variety are influencing variables when determining how long a seed will last. And one might wonder why? A simple explanation for this may be that the genetic composition allows them to thrive in the harshest of climes probably because they were grown in non-ideal climates.

It is important to state why this question has maintained its relevance because there is still an ongoing debate if a seed can last a few years or a couple of months and the answer to this is its sustenance depends on its storage medium, genetics, and environmental conditions. Albeit research studies show that properly cannabis seeds can last up to 5 years, most seedbanks usually advise farmers to germinate the seeds within the year the seeds were purchased.

Factors That Increase Cannabis Seeds Lifespan During Storage

Source: leafly.com


During the storage of cannabis seeds, light is their greatest nightmare. Hence, Herbies advises that you place them in a container that blocks all sources of light or one that light cannot easily penetrate. This is because constant exposure to light weakens the seeds, affecting their viability and subsequently their growth. For regular growers of cannabis, it is no secret that darkness is just as important to the healthy germination of seedlings just as light is.


Temperature is an important variable that must not be compromised. Scientifically, a temperature within the range of 42°F- 46°F is advised. To increase the life span of seeds, storing your seeds in an area or enclosed space with a constant cool temperature is very important. And this is because cool temperatures are the optimal temperatures for the delicate tissues couched in the seeds as it extends their lifespan.

Quick tip for storing in the freezer

If you notice, this is why most seeds stored in freezers remain viable even after a good number of years. Why? Because the temperature which is advised to be around -15°C to -20°C makes the seed’s embryo survive for long period. However, growers must be careful, especially those who are storing only on a short-term basis as shaking the seeds during carriage or mishandling them may shatter their fragile embryo.

Also as an added tip, when storing by refrigeration the seeds should be placed in a container that the fridge light cannot penetrate when opened.


Source: maximumyield.com

It is the nemesis of any farmer to see seeds that they have kept for an oncoming planting season germinating in their storage medium or being tainted by fungi or mold as a result of inconsistent humidity levels.

Seedlings are very delicate and sensitive when it comes to humidity. Therefore you should put them in a low-humidity container. Any container that exceeds a relative humidity of 40%-60% may kill your seeds. The ideal relative humidity is 20%-30%.

Quick Tips for Cannabis Seed Preservation

  • Use an opaque container to shield the delicate seedlings from light exposure
  • Use Silica sachets if you stay in an environment with relatively high humidity
  • Ensure that you handle seeds with care during movement or placement in the storage medium to prevent shocking them
  • The seeds should be stored in a cool and dry place

Wrapping up

Regardless of your growing experience, knowing proper storage techniques and tips is a skill that you should have in your arsenal. This is because it sets you apart from mediocre growers and also saves you a great deal of money. How you might ask?

The average cannabis plant produces a hundred seeds with some varieties producing more. Rather than disposing of unused seeds after harvest. You can dry them, cure them and put them in appropriate places for proper storage.

Lastly, the quality of the seeds sold by the seed bank must be high as you might tick all these boxes and still lose your precious seeds if the seed is of a low quality.

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