How to Preserve Cannabis Seeds?
When it comes to getting the most from your cannabis seeds, you must know how to store and preserve them properly. As such, we have come up with a quick guide to help you understand how to store and preserve cannabis seeds so that they can live up to their full potential.
What Can Damage Cannabis Seeds?
If you’re trying to think about properly store and preserving your cannabis seed, you first need to be aware of the things that can cause damage to them. This is especially true in terms of storing cannabis seeds, as most growers will need to store their cannabis seeds at some point in time before planting them.
Some of the factors that can be responsible for damaging cannabis seeds include temperature, light exposure, humidity, storage medium, pests, and age; we’ll be looking at all of these factors to make sure you’ve got the right storage system in place to protect your cannabis seeds.
One of the most significant factors that can impact your stored cannabis seeds’ quality is that of temperature. Indeed, if your cannabis seeds are stored at an unsuitable temperature, they can be a lot less effective when it comes to germinating them.
The ideal temperature for storing cannabis seeds is between 43 and 47 degrees Fahrenheit, as this will prevent your seed from accidentally germinating. For experienced and professional growers, having a dedicated refrigerator in which to store your seeds is essential. For small-scale or personal growers, contrastingly, your average refrigerator can be an excellent alternative to this if it is a no-frost model or if it has a fruit and veg section.
Alternatively, cannabis seeds can be frozen and remain productive! If you don’t intend on using your cannabis seeds anytime soon, freezing them can prolong their lifespan. To do so, ensure that the seeds are well vacuum packed and stored in a dark container. When you are ready to germinate your cannabis seeds that have been frozen, do so immediately without waiting for them to thaw out for best results.
Did you know that while your mature cannabis plants need light to grow, cannabis seeds can be damaged by light? The seeds should always be stored somewhere dark to prevent them from germinating early or otherwise using up their energy store prematurely, which would make it impossible for them to germinate and grow into a young plant capable of supporting itself.
Humidity can be a big problem for cannabis seeds for several different reasons. Indeed, the ideal humidity for storing your cannabis seeds is below 21% and 30% humidity. Below this, pests are a particular problem for your seeds, and you will likely find that the dry environment will attract insects and fungi, risking your cannabis seeds greatly. Alternatively, between 31 and 60% humidity, you will find that your cannabis seeds begin prematurely germinating; however, a humidity of 61% or higher will usually be fatal for the seeds, and they will die.
Insects and Pests
As we’ve already mentioned, insects and pests can be a big problem for your cannabis seeds. Indeed, at low humidity, pests can be attracted to your seeds and may begin killing them. It’s essential always to be aware of this and provide your cannabis seeds with a sterile, pest-free environment in which to store them if possible.
Invariably, if your cannabis seeds are old, then they may be much less likely to germinate; seeds only have a specific life span, after all. So, it would help if you always tried to use your cannabis seeds as soon as possible after purchasing them. If you aren’t planning to use them immediately, freezing your cannabis seeds can be a viable option for long term seed storage.
Are my Seeds Good Still?
If you’ve attempted to store your cannabis seeds but you’re not sure if they are still suitable for germination or not, there are a few simple ways in which you can check this or help the seeds to germinate if they still have the potential but are struggling to get started.
First, you should check the seeds before trying to use them. Placing the seeds in water can help you determine this; if the seed floats, it’s likely to be respiring and filled with gas, so it is probably unviable (although you can leave them in the water for up to 72 hours to see if they germinate). If they sink, they’re likely still good to go!
To give your seeds a pre-germination boost, remove the rugged seed ridge with a sharp knife and “scar” the seeds by scratching the tough outer shell with sandpaper, which will help warmth and moisture get into the seed boost germination success. If all else fails, making a small cut in the seed’s shell may give it away to break through and germinate if it’s still struggling.
Ideal Storage Conditions
The ideal storage method will vary from seed to seed, so you should always check this. For short term seed storage, a container placed in a dark cupboard or drawer is usually acceptable, so long as the temperature and humidity remain stable. For a few months or so, medium-term storage is better suited to an airtight container such as a mason jar or Ziploc bag; these can be sealed and stored in the fridge, ideally in the fruit and veg section. Finally, long-term storage should be done in a sealed container, ideally, vacuum sealed, and placed in the fridge or – better yet – frozen.
Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t need to be difficult, but it’s important to remember that they need to be stored properly. If your cannabis seeds are old or stored incorrectly, they may be less likely to germinate; factors including temperature, light, humidity, pests, and pathogens can all have an impact. So, it would help if you always strived to give them the best storage conditions possible.