Germinating Cannabis Seeds is the first step in starting what will be your final harvest. It is a natural process that allows a seed to come to life, opening and turning into a bud.
Triggering the Germination
Three primary external stimuli trigger the germination of a seed: water, air and heat. All three must be present to allow Cannabis seed to thrive. Let’s start with water. When a seed comes into contact with water, a process called “imbibition” is activated, which is the rehydration of the outer shell of the grain (which will open under the embryo pressure, hydrated and ready to sprout as a bud). The second stimulus a seed needs to germinate is air. This allows the embryo to perform its vital functions, such as photosynthesis and transpiration. Finally, a cannabis seed needs mild temperatures to develop its nucleus. All the necessary nutrients for the embryo to grow and escape outside are already present in a seed. The only stimuli he needs to sprout properly are the three parameters, as mentioned above.
After a few days, cannabis seeds are ready to take their first steps. The outer casing has now opened, allowing a taproot root to escape to the outside, prepared to develop in the surrounding environment. Once the right conditions are found, the essential part is immersed in the depths of the substrate, while two small embryonic leaves, called cotyledons, emerge from the opposite end. These will give the last push to the shell of the seed, definitively separating it from the seedling. Do not be tempted to manually remove the seed from which the cotyledons begin to spill out, as you risk only damaging the seedling. When these small leaflets appear, we must start to provide the young plant with a high intensity of light, to facilitate the conditions to trigger the photosynthesis process and, therefore, produce the fuel for its future growth. There are several techniques for germinating a Cannabis seed, some more reliable than others. As a precaution, we recommend that beginning growers start to grow only a part of the seeds available to them. For example, if you have ten seeds, only five can begin to germinate, and the rest can be kept for the following week. This way you will avoid ruining a whole package of seeds because of a wrong germination technique, and you can count on new seeds with which to try again. If you are unsure of your cultivation skills and have already germinated seeds in the past, then there is no reason not to use a package at once. In general, cannabis seeds tend to grow better at temperatures of 21-27 degrees Celsius (69-80 degrees Fahrenheit), requiring 2 to 7 days to develop the first shoot. Though there are people who think differently, the seeds should have sprouted in the sunlight.
Some more advice:
If you buy low quality or dubious seeds, your chances of success will be significantly reduced, regardless of your cultivation experience. Seeds with pale shades of colour tend not to germinate, probably due to their immaturity. However, there are Cannabis varieties that can produce lighter seeds, so be careful. If a seed bank has sold you seeds of a pale yellow colour, contact them and ask if it is a particular genetic or if there was any mistake in the selection process.
Other factors that could hinder the germination of a Cannabis seed are unbalanced pH levels, exposure of the grain to air and drought, the depth in which it is planted, over-fertilisation, possible external damage or poor soil quality. Always pay close attention to where you put the seeds to germinate. An excessively cold place could damage the seeds, pushing the future plant to stunted growth. If you decide to plant the seeds in a soil-based substrate, avoid regularly removing the surface layers to see how the germination phase is progressing. Do not rush, sooner or later they will come out. Your intervention could seriously damage the young and take root. There are varieties of Cannabis that tend to develop a rather weak stem. If you see your seedlings are bent sideways, support them with a small brace (a toothpick or a stick, to be removed once it has regained sufficient strength to defend itself). Avoid using sticks and collected plant material outside; they can contain dangerous pathogens, such as pests or moulds.