Cannabis seeds are the very essence of our mission, not just part of our company name. We love them, we’re fascinated by them, and we want to share our knowledge with you! Here are ten facts about cannabis seeds that every ‘cannasseur’ should know.
Cannabis seeds may all look pretty much the same, but within those brown, speckled hulls, the potential for infinite variety is captured. From industrial hemp to carefully refined sativas, from the latest autoflowering strains to the oldest cannabis seeds yet found, it all starts from a seed! Here we present ten interesting facts about cannabis seeds for you to enjoy and share.
1. All cannabis seeds look the same
There is no visible difference between regular cannabis seeds, feminized cannabis seeds, autoflowering cannabis seeds, and seeds for growing industrial hemp plants. For this reason, always buy your cannabis seeds from a reputable seed bank (such as Sensi Seeds and White Label Seed Company) so that you definitely know what you’re getting.
2. Cannabis seeds are edible
You can eat cannabis seeds, and they’re good for you! Cannabis sativa L. seeds are a great source of protein, and contain a near-perfect balance of the essential fatty acids (EFA) omega 3, 6 and 9. These are vital to human health and cannot be produced by the body. It is better to eat hemp seeds than cannabis seeds as the former are a lot cheaper! There is no difference in the EFA content of the seeds – just the THC content of the plants they produce. Cannabis seeds do not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or any other psychoactive substance.
3. A single cannabis plant can produce hundreds of seeds
A single cannabis plant can produce hundreds of cannabis seeds – even over a thousand! – depending on its size and the efficiency of pollination. Some hemp strains are bred to enhance seed production for when seeds are the primary crop – for example, for use as a food source.
4. Humanity has been using cannabis seeds for millennia
The oldest cannabis seeds we know of are 2,700 years old and were found in 2007 in a grave in China. As a species, our relationship with cannabis goes back thousands of years that we can trace, and many more that we can only guess at!
5. Size doesn’t matter!
Cannabis seeds are usually around the size of a match-head. They can vary by variety from not much larger than a tomato seed to almost as big as a small pea. The size of the seed is no indication of the size (or vitality) of the cannabis plant that will grow from it.
6. They like being kept cool
The best temperature to store cannabis seeds is 5 – 7 °C (40 – 45 °F), which is usually the temperature of the door in a domestic refrigerator, handily enough. Cannabis seeds should also be kept perfectly dry to avoid both mould and premature germination. This holds true whether you are keeping cannabis seeds as a souvenir or hemp seeds as food!
7. Cannabis seeds are collector’s items
In many countries, the possession of cannabis seeds is legal (usually because they do not contain any THC) whereas germinating them is harshly punished. Many people are forced to buy and preserve their seeds as collector’s items, in the hope that legislation in their area will soon change to a more enlightened approach to home cannabis cultivation.
8. Hemp seeds can be magical!
Hemp seeds were used by young women to conjure visions of their future husbands. Going out on Midsummer’s Eve (or other significant date, depending on the location), the woman would scatter hempseed on the ground whilst reciting a rhyme that begins “Hempseed I sow, hempseed grow…” nine times. Once this was done, she would look back over her left shoulder and hopefully see her future husband holding a scythe (giving scythes another traditional connection to hemp – see below!). This practice was popular in the 19th century CE.
9. The Scythians used them recreationally and industrially
The Scythians were the ancient race who gave their name to the scythe, thanks to their use of these curve-bladed tools to harvest their crops – including hemp. By 450 BCE, some of their religious rites incorporated hemp seeds, which they threw onto smouldering fires inside small tents where they sat inhaling and bathing in the fumes.
10. Sometimes they germinate by accident!
Hemp seeds are a common ingredient in bird food, and there is an urban legend of accidental crops caused by someone – usually a grandmother – emptying the bird food bowl at the bottom of the garden and then being arrested six months later for the flourishing plants they were unwittingly growing. In 2014, something like this actually happened, although the story had already been circulating for years.