Ten things you might not know about cannabis seeds
Some “Did you know?” fun facts about Cannabis seeds!
- Cannabis seeds contain the “genotype” of the plant, the genetic code which provides the instructions for building the finished “phenotype”. This DNA is often a hybrid of genetics from the three recognized cannabis sub-species: Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis.
- Many of the commercially available cannabis seeds are feminized: this means that they are likely (but not guaranteed!) to produce female plants rather than male ones. This is very handy for breeders who otherwise have to great lengths to make sure that they separate the male from the female plants.
- Genetics from the Ruderalis sub-species are often included in popular strains because this is the only one of the three main types which flowers based on age rather than the length of daylight exposure – thus creating autoflowering seeds. This, along with the fact that Ruderalis is a very hardy herb, means that it is prized for creating hybrids even though its natural THC content is extremely low.
- Cannabis seeds can be stored for years without significantly reducing their viability. They need to be somewhere dry, dark and cool; ideally they should be stored at around 6C, and in an air-tight or vacuum-packed container.
- The majority of cannabis seeds on the market are hybrids from a dizzying lineage of cross-breeds. Seeds of landrace strains are different: they’re from plants which occur naturally in the wild, and their genetics have been shaped by natural – rather than artificial – selection.
- Hemp oil, which is produced by pressing cannabis seeds, is used in the manufacture of a wide range of beauty products and plastics, but it is also prized as a food supplement because of its high levels of essential fatty acids (EFAs). The seeds themselves contain no THC, so hemp oil is not psychoactive.
- Cannabis is a pretty hardy weed, so it isn’t actually that difficult to get the seeds to turn into seedlings: they will grow whenever and wherever they get the chance. To germinate they need moisture, warmth and a little bit of time. Most seeds will start to produce roots within 72 hours of being tucked up somewhere damp and humid, and although they are very delicate at this stage, they will grow quickly if they get sufficient sunlight and nutrition.
- Cannabis seeds have been found on a wide range of archaeological sites, including in Viking ship burials and within the tombs of Chinese mummies. Often they appear in contexts where hemp was not widely used for rope or textiles.
- In southern Poland there is a traditional soup called siemieniotka which is made from cannabis seeds. It is traditionally enjoyed at Wigilia, the Christmas Eve supper that forms the focal point of the Christmas festivities.
- The law regarding cannabis seeds changes from country to country – and even within countries. So while it’s perfectly legal to purchase and own cannabis seeds in many countries please check your local laws to make sure that owning a few seeds is not going to land you up in jail!
Seedscanner lists over 16,000 cannabis seeds (and counting!)