How Long Should You Be Germinating Cannabis Seeds: A Full Guide

Cultivating cannabis is as much an art form as it is an act of nature. Growing your own weed from the comfort of home can be a life-changing experience as you bring forth the fruits of your labor to enjoy. With that said, growing weed can be quite a bit more difficult than it might appear at first glance, particularly when discussing the first stage of the process: germinating a seed.

Seed germination is integral to the growth of your weed plants and vital to the overall process, as you no doubt already understand. Whether you are growing your favorite sativa, indica, or hybrid plant, you need to know how to get that beautiful taproot to emerge.

Let’s take a deep dive into the world of cannabis germination so that we can better understand the process, implement our tips and tricks, and bring about better cannabis as a result.

Introduction to Weed Seeds

Small in size and oval in shape, a cannabis seed is covered in a membrane known as the albumen, which protects the core of the seed until it is ready for germination. Within this core we have the embryo, which the new plant will grow and emerge from, expressing the genetic code of the lifeforms inside. This is where the taproot begins to form and from where it will emerge.

Different Kinds of Cannabis Seeds

While a seed may be a seed, there are unique differences in the world of cannabis germination. We’ll carefully outline the core options that are available on the market today so that you can understand your options and plan for success.


An autoflower seed operates without the need for photoperiod conditions to trigger its flip from the vegetative state to the flowering state. Thanks to the way that they have been created, their switch to the flowering stage is as automatic as a timer going off. After a fixed amount of time, your autoflower plant will begin to flower no matter the light stimuli or environmental conditions surrounding the plant.

An autoflowering seed is ideal for novice and lightly experienced growers as it provides a definitive transitory time no matter the conditions of the environment.


Photoperiod seedlings may manifest into male or female plants. As cannabis is an annual plant with a flowering season determined by the environment, your photoperiod seed will grow a plant that transitions from veg to bloom due to environmental factors including light stimuli.

For outdoor growers, photoperiod plants will begin to flower and produce buds around autumn as the days begin to shorten. Indoor growers will have to accommodate their seeds by adjusting in-house light cycles to best replicate outdoor growing conditions.


A feminized cannabis seed will produce only female plants. As a result of their efficiency (with little-to-no loss due to male plants), feminized seeds can become costlier than their alternatives. A feminized photoperiod strain will produce a female plant that requires 12 hours of light as well as 12 hours of darkness for it to transition into the flowering stage. Consider a feminized cannabis seed when you want to maximize the resources that you have available to you.

Regular Cannabis Seed

Regular cannabis seeds provide a 50/50 chance of providing either a male or a female plant. Growing traditional cannabis through a regular seed is one of the most popular ways to attempt the act. A regular seed or two is much cheaper than their feminized alternatives.

The Art of Seed Germination

In nature, marijuana plants will thrive based on numbers alone to repopulate. In a controlled growing environment, it is more affordable to focus on maximizing the germination rate of a smaller number. Germinating cannabis at home can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

More important than having the best gear in the industry, learning how to properly germinate a seed can make a massive difference in your growing adventure, whether you are sprouting CBD or THC-infused plants.

Here are a few ways to expedite the germination process.

Perform an Inspection

No matter where you opt to acquire your seeds from, perform a physical inspection of them before you plant them in their growing medium. Most seeds will germinate, but weaker seeds will produce weaker plants. A healthy seed will be firm to the touch (though you shouldn’t touch it) with a dark complexion. A seed that is pale green or even white will have trouble germinating and probably will fail.

Select Your Growing Medium

Most weed seeds will sprout just fine when wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. Place the seed on its towel in a cool, dark, and dry place. Allow the seed to sit for up to 24 hours before checking for a taproot emerging from the shell. Repeat this process for up to a week. Some seeds may take up to seven days before a sprout appears.

Set Your Temperature

After you’ve analyzed your purchase and selected your sprouting technique (of which there are many), it is time to control the temperature of your growing room. A seed will require idealized temperatures to germinate quickly and effectively. Ideally, you want your cannabis to sprout in a room that hovers between 71 degrees and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Environmental factors such as excess light and humidity can impact the overall health of your plants. Take stock of your grow room and monitor environmental factors to help machinate a successful grow.

Factors That Impact Germination Success Rates

The germination rate of your cannabis will vary based on several environmental factors. In the right environmental conditions, most healthy cannabis seeds will begin to germinate within 12 to 36 hours.

  • Moisture Levels: Humidity levels are best kept between 70 percent and 90 percent, depending on the plant, your grow room, and the environment around you.
  • Warm Temperature: Warm temperatures are better for most seed choices, so sit around 71 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit if possible. If it’s too hot or too cold, growers will notice a lag in the sprouting process.
  • Undisturbed Growth Process: Excess handling can cause damage to the seed, thus delaying its eventual sprouting.

How Long Should It Take For My Seed to Sprout?

Ultimately, timelines will vary based upon the type of seed as well as the growing conditions surrounding it. In an idealized and optimized environment, most cannabis will begin to manifest its taproot between 12 and 36 hours.

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