How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Germinating cannabis seeds is the start to all the amazing strains we see today. Please keep in mind we do not condone germination of cannabis Or hemp seeds in countries it is not legal to do so. Light Seeker Seeds takes no liability for your actions. All the content on this page and is for educational purposes only! 


There is a handy, simple test to check if your seeds are bad similar to a bad egg test. Just drop them in a cup of water (only once you are ready to actually germinate them). If they sink to the bottom and stay there then they are healthy and ready to be used. If the seeds float then there is a pretty high chance that they are not going to germinate. Don't throw them out just yet though, give them 3 days or so to see if they do sprout a tap root. There are a couple of common methods used to germinate cannabis seeds. Let's quickly run through them, starting with our favorite germination method to our least favorite.


This method is simple, straightforward, and is the method of choice for most home growers. All you need is:

  • A few paper towels (unperfumed and uncolored best if theyre natural as possible)
  • Water that has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and at a temp of 22C or so
  • A spray bottle
  • Your cannabis seeds
  • A plate and plastic wrap, a plastic bag, or resealable container

Wet one of the paper towels and give it a light squeeze to remove any excess water. Lay it down flat and place 2 to 3 seeds onto it, with a spacing of about 2 centimeters between each seed. Then all you have to do is wet another paper towel, ring it out slightly, and place it on top of the seeds. Once this is all done place the envelope into the  container, and store the seeds in a dark, warm area.

 The paper towel method is the most common choice amongst growers and while there are benefits of the seed contacting soil directly from the beginning i prefer to know exactly what seeds have popped before placing them in the soil, so that i dont waste any space. i have almost never had a seed not pop above soil after i planted it from a paper towel germination. 


 This method should allow the seed to germinate in 2 to 3 days. Check the seeds every day, and if the paper towel is starting to dry out then give it a light spray with your pH water, after 3-4 days you should have 100% germination, if popping okder seeds some will scrape the outer shell to help them pop easier ir place in hydrogen peroxide to soften them up, if after 3 days it hasnt popped ive also seen breeders like capulator just physically very carefully squeeze the seed and crack the outer shell while being careful not to crush the embryo inside and if done carefully enough then this works as well. if after a week you still have some that havent germinated  or something went wrong, they either got too hot, too cold, or they werent stored properly. Please consider your own mistakes before trying to blame the breeder. 


This method is just as easy and straightforward as the paper towel method. The only reason it's not number one on the list is that it requires the use of Rockwool, which is not as easily available for everyone as paper towels. And i prefer not to have a block of rockwell trapped in my roots as i then will have to remove it later before i can compost my weed stems when i harvest.  The list of needed items is:

  • Water that has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and at a temp of 22C or so
  • Rockwool cubes
  • A spray bottle
  • Cannabis seeds
  • A container as mentioned in the paper towel method 

So, why is Rockwool a preffered germinating medium by many growers over paper towels? First up, paper towels are sometimes fragranced or colored. This is not good for cannabis seeds, so its best to get undyed and unbleached organic paper towels, with Rockwool, you don't need to worry about this at all. Rockwool also has great water retention properties, meaning you will not need to re-wet it as often as you do with a paper towel. It also provides a great home for your baby plant for the first 2 weeks or so, which gives you more time to get your growing medium set up. First up, soak the Rockwool cube overnight in your Pho -adjusted water. Then just drop your seed into the opening on the top of the cube, and place the whole thing in a sealed container. You should see the tap root after 24 -72 hours.




, there are a bunch of cannabis cultivators out there that love this method of germination, and yes it will work in most instances. But, in my experience, the rate of germination is not as high as the previous 2 and i dont prefer this method cuz its too “sloppy” to me to have all the seeds floating and getting tangled together. It is the most simple method though. All you need to do is drop your seed (or seeds) into a glass of pH-adjusted water and let nature take its course. Be very careful when transplanting the seed to its growing medium. Of course, you can just plant the seed directly into your soil or coco-coir - but this makes it much harder to check on the progress of the germination. There are also a bunch of targeted products for seed germination on the market. These work well but are usually pretty high priced. Why drop a bunch of cash on a piece of equipment when a paper towel, a container, and some ph adjusted water will do the exact same thing. You can also do a few key things to help your seed germinate quickly, especially if they are old seeds that haven't been left in ideal conditions.


  • Using finer-grade sandpaper, softly and gently score the outer shell of the seed. This helps the germinating moisture to penetrate the shell, which becomes tougher the older the seed is.
  • If the outer shell is really thick and tough you can use a super sharp knife or even a scalpel to make a small incision in the shell.
  • Carbonated water can help with germination, as can adding fulvic acid, or hydrogen peroxide to the water before soaking or spraying the seed and that's it!

Check out my other blog  on How to Store Cannabis Seeds 

To learn about making seeds and pollen storage or to grow your own organnabis check my other articles and youtube! 

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