The rapidly expanding legal cannabis industry has brought with it a burgeoning group of dedicated growers. For as long as cannabis has been enjoyed worldwide, there have been folks with green thumbs willing to ply their garden until their favorite strains are ready. Every successful chop and harvest starts with a healthy cannabis seed, something only possible with the right storage and preservation practices.
Today, we are going to explore the world of cannabis seeds to understand better how they function, their key differences, and how to store and preserve these seeds for both short and long-term use.
Are you ready to become a master grower? Let’s dive right in!
A Living Organism
A cannabis seed can present as a hardy little thing with a tough outer shell. Despite their rugged nature, cannabis seeds are living organisms that must be treated carefully, ensuring the vitality of the embryo inside. Environmental conditions are massively important to the health and vitality of your cannabis seeds as those factors will inhibit the end result of its growth stage.
To best set yourself up for success as a cannabis cultivar, you should get into the habit of practicing optimal cannabis seed storage. As you’ll soon find out, properly storing marijuana seeds requires close attention being paid to key environmental conditions.
Let’s explore how we can optimize our cannabis seed storage to better allow for fruitful harvests down the line.
Key Storage Conditions
As living organisms, cannabis seeds must be tuned to their environment to ensure both short and long-term safety while in storage. To keep your seeds in the best conditions possible for germination at a later time, keep a close eye on the following factors.
By ignoring any of the following environmental factors, you are potentially making it harder for your seeds to germinate in the future.
Humidity is the enemy of your cannabis seeds and, as such, must be expertly controlled. Avoid high levels of humidity to reduce the risk of mold presenting on your seed. Seeds will germinate at high levels of humidity, but that doesn’t mean we want to store them that way.
Here is a handy chart for storage while referencing relative humidity levels.
- 80% Humidity And Up – Ideal conditions for germinating your seeds.
- 40% – 80% – Problematic zone for fungi.
- 20% – 30% – Ideal conditions for short-term seed storage.
- 18% – 20% – Ideal conditions for medium-term storage.
- 8% – 14% – Best conditions for long-term storage.
Even when you are sourcing your cannabis seeds fresh from the plant, it may still be necessary to properly store them before germination. Follow the humidity guidelines outlined above to measure best practices for your situation.
Low levels of humidity will inspire better germination rates, but low temperatures are also integral to the process. As a delicate living organism, cannabis seeds can survive much longer at cooler temperatures where their biochemistry will begin to slow down. Think of the way that we store food in the refrigerator to preserve it.
You can store your cannabis seeds in the freezer to allow for better long-term storage, but these temps can eventually inhibit the health of the embryo. Use the freezer only for very long-term storage.
Cannabis seeds were never designed to withstand light and are best stored in the dark away from any brightness. Cannabis seeds should be kept away from light exposure for as long as possible, ideally through storage in a dark humidity-proof container.
Where and How to Store Cannabis Seeds
Once you’ve come to an understanding of the core aspects of seed storage, you can begin implementing these practices at home. We’ve rounded up a few ways to approach storing your cannabis seeds and we’ve segmented them up into short and long-term solutions.
Short Term Storage Solutions
Short-term seed storage is likely the most common practice for hobbyist growers. Short-term storage solutions are relatively simple and largely focus on temperature and humidity fluctuations.
- Dark Drawer / Cupboard
- Ziplock Bags
No matter where you store your cannabis seeds, make sure that you are avoiding any rapid fluctuations in temperature, light, or humidity levels. Place your seeds into a ziplock bag and set them in a dark drawer or cupboard for storage.
NOTE – Store your seeds in an area that cannot be accessed by pests, pets, or children. Traditionally, storing your seeds high above the ground will reduce or outright eliminate the possibility of rodents or pests making a meal of your seeds.
Long Term Storage Solutions
If you plan on storing your seeds for longer than a couple of months, you will want to utilize an airtight container and a dark, cool place for storage. Seal your container of seeds and place them in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Sealed Bag / Container
As temperature fluctuations can become commonplace in refrigerators that are often used, it might be best to get a second refrigerator to leave your seeds undisturbed during daily activities.
NOTE – Pay attention to the humidity level inside of your refrigerator. Low levels of humidity can trigger your seeds to begin consuming nutrients, causing them to fail long before you ever begin the germination process.
How Long Can I Store Cannabis Seeds?
Proper storage practices can go a long way toward ensuring the health and vitality of your seeds.
When properly stored in the refrigerator, cannabis seeds can enjoy germination rates exceeding 50% well after 5 years of storage. Cannabis seeds that are stored in a drawer should be utilized much sooner.
Final Thoughts on Storing Cannabis Seeds
Whether you are acquiring feminized seeds or regular cannabis seeds, proper storage practices should be implemented as early as possible. Growers looking to use their seeds immediately should not worry too much about storage longevity beyond avoiding light and temperature fluctuations.