When they are exposed to temperature changes or light, cannabis seeds begin using their store of nutrients.
You can ‘test’ your seeds once you have removed them from storage. Place them in water. If they sink, they should be fine. However, if they float, it is more likely that they are bad seeds. You can still try to germinate, but there is a greater risk of producing poor-quality cannabis, or else the seeds fail to sprout. You can keep floaters in water for approximately 72 hours to see if they sprout a tail.
What’s the Right Storage Temperature?
You must keep your seeds in a location that is cool, dark, and dry. It is best if you keep the seeds in their original packaging. When they are exposed to temperature changes or light, cannabis seeds begin using their store of nutrients. This is a disaster because they ultimately won’t have the nutrients to germinate.
Another option is to freeze the cannabis seeds. If you go down this route, please ensure that you vacuum pack them first. Then put them in a dark container. Also, it would help if you germinated these seeds immediately once they come out of the freezer. Don’t allow them to thaw first.
For short-term storage, place the seeds in a container with desiccant. Seal it, and place it in a cool, dark place.
Ideally, you want to store your seeds in a cool, dark, and dry place. Whenever possible, keep your seeds in their original packaging. At Royal Queen Seeds, we’ve specially designed our packaging to protect our seeds until you’re ready to plant them.
Older seeds often have an extra tough outer shell. Gently scratching this shell with some sandpaper can help moisture and warmth enter your seed at the time of germination. Try gently scarring your old cannabis seeds just before soaking to help them sprout.
IDEAL CONDITIONS FOR CANNABIS SEEDS
Cannabis seeds have three main enemies:
Humidity is easily one of the biggest threats to your seeds. Here is how different levels of humidity (% relative humidity) affect your cannabis seeds:
Ziplock bags, for example, are great because you can remove all the air from them to create an almost vacuum-sealed container for your seeds. Once vacuum-sealed, put your bag inside a dark plastic bag or dark container to protect your seeds from your fridge light.
If only being stored for a few months, cannabis seeds should do fine in a grip-seal bag, placed in a mason jar or some other type of airtight container. For more long-term storage, a vacuum-sealed package is a much more popular option. Many seasoned seed-savers like to add a food-grade desiccant to their package as well.
Frequent inquiries from new growers are often related to cannabis seeds. How can they be stored safely? How long will they last in storage? Will they retain the same qualities as newer seeds? When stored appropriately, yes, you can grow prime cannabis plants with decade-old seeds, just as you could with seeds that are only a few months old.
It’s also important to note that when freezing seeds, every time they are thawed and refrozen, they become less viable. Both freezing and refrigeration can also lead to excess moisture, so that’s something that needs to be monitored closely.
THE ATMOSPHERE IS KEY – COLD, DRY & DARK
Furthermore, seeds should never be exposed to direct sunlight and should be kept in a dark, dry place. Excess light and humidity can lead to premature germination. Ideally, 9% or less humidity is preferred.
A few basic things to remember are, always store seeds in a cool, dark, dry location, and never let them see direct sunlight.
As mentioned above, seeds require cold temperatures so they don’t lose their essence. Either freezing or refrigeration will do. However, when keeping seeds in the refrigerator, keep them as far back as possible so they won’t be exposed to any temperature changes when the door is opened.
Cannabis seeds should be stored somewhere cold and frigid. Whether you store your seeds in a freezer, refrigerator, or even a cabinet or drawer, it’s important to leave them there until it’s time to germinate. Rapid temperature variations will destroy the genetic integrity of your seeds.