10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cannabis Seeds
Marijuana is big business these days, and with more states than ever before making the consumption of pot legal, it’s no surprise that the concept is one that is always close to the top of newspaper headlines.
If you talk about marijuana, you have to talk about marijuana seeds. Unless you are growing cannabis at home, you probably don’t even think much about the seeds. That is, of course, unless you find one now and then.
The interesting thing about cannabis seeds is that they are quite fascinating, and most people never even give them a second thought. These little brown seeds all generally look the same, but these small, speckled hulls hide hundreds of different variations of the plant. The same seeds that create industrial hemp or a refined sativa, also create autoflowering marijuana and strains with strange names, such as Poochie Love.
There are more than 400 chemicals found in cannabis seeds, and they, too, contain THC. This is the chemical in marijuana that provides the mind-altering affect that we feel after consuming it. As you might know, smoking marijuana allows people to feel the effects of THC, but so does eating the plant and even taking it in pill or caplet form.
Regardless of the legal status of marijuana, more than 50% of Americans admit to at least using it one time, and the use of the plant as a medicine goes back to at least 2800 BC. More studies are being done on cannabis than ever before and some fascinating facts about it have been brought to light. Sit back, relax, and read on to learn 10 new things you didn’t know about cannabis seeds.
- All Cannabis Seeds Look the Same…No Matter What Strain They Are
One of the most fascinating things about cannabis seeds is that they all look the same. It doesn’t matter if they are Blueberry X Blueberry indica or Blue Dream sativa, the seeds will be identical. What does this mean for people who grow marijuana? It means that you must buy seeds from a reputable source to be sure that the seeds are what they say they are. It is impossible to know just by looking at the seeds. Instead, you will have to see what grows after planting the seeds.
Good quality cannabis seeds will be brown in color and usually have a pattern on them that look like tiger stripes. If you try to squeeze cannabis seeds between your fingers, they should be hard and you would not be able to get any give from them. They might range in size from the size from as small as a tomato seed, or can be as large as a pea. Most are described as the size of a match-head. The size of the cannabis seed has no indication of the size of the marijuana plant that will grow from it, the type of strain it is, or the vitality of the plant that the seed will become.
- Cannabis Seeds Contain Vital, Healthy Nutrients
Another very interesting thing about cannabis seeds is that they contain almost a perfect balance of the essential fatty acids that we all need. These include Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9. This is why you will often see hemp seeds in health food stores, and you might even know someone who eats hemp.
Hemp and cannabis actually come from the same plant, the seeds just come from different parts of the plan. Whether a seed is called a hemp seed or a cannabis seed depends on a couple of different factors.
Cannabis seeds is the term used when describing a plant, Cannabis Sativa, which is known for having potent glands on them known as trichomes. This is where THC comes from, which as you know, is what produces the psychiatric effects.
Hemp seeds also come from a Cannabis Sativa plant, but in this case, it is a plant that has only small amounts of THC. This is surprising to many people, but yes, technically, hemp contains THC, too. However, it’s only in small amounts. In the United States, hemp can be sold and consumed, but only if there is less than 0.3% THC. Hemp is usually used in oils and ointments, but people also use the seeds in food.
As you might imagine, allowing hemp on the market in the United States while limiting the use of cannabis, has caused a lot of controversy. Part of this is because the law has been around since the 1970s, and it was based on only a single study.
- The Oldest Cannabis Seeds Ever Found Is More Than 4,800 Years Old
We briefly mentioned above that there is evidence that people have been using cannabis seeds since at least 2800 BC. These seeds were found in China, but they are certainly not the only time throughout history that cannabis seeds were found, and in some cases, there were actual stashes of marijuana found.
In 2008, approximately two pounds of marijuana was found in the Gobi Desert. It was found in a grave that was approximately 2,700 years old. The Journal of Experimental Botany called the find the “world’s oldest marijuana stash.” Several tests have been done on the marijuana that was found, and it showed that this stash had marijuana that had the same psychoactive properties that people find in the plant, today.
What does this tell us? It tells us that the ancient people didn’t just use hemp and cannabis to make rope or clothing. Instead, they likely used it to get high. Based on the other artifacts that were found in the same grave, the individual was probably a holy man or priest. We also know that there was no pipe or similar object found in the grave, which means they likely were not smoking it. Instead, it was in a bowl…no, not that type…which could indicate they were ingesting the marijuana in other ways. There are other graves in the area, so researchers are focused on seeing if others contain marijuana, too.
- One Marijuana Plant Can Produce Thousands of Cannabis Seeds
It is shocking to know that a single marijuana plant can produce hundreds, if not thousands of cannabis seeds. It all depends on the efficiency of the pollination, the size of the plant, and how the plant is grown.
Many people try to produce seeds on their own. To do this, you would need a male plant and a female plant. The male plants mature a bit faster than the female plants by about two weeks. Once the female plant is pollinated, which can be tricky to master, it takes anywhere from four to six weeks to produce seeds. As the female plant begins to develop seeds, there is a noticeable difference between the looks of fertilized plant and one that is not fertilized. Seed buds are also quite small.
After several weeks of growing, someone can test to see if the seeds are mature by picking a single seed off of the plant. Again, a mature cannabis seed should be brown in color, be very hard, and should have visible stripes. Once the seeds seem mature, all of the seeds can be harvested. These seeds can be really deep into the plant, so sometimes people really have to dig into the plant in order to get all of the seeds out. Again, there can be hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of seeds to harvest.
- Cannabis Seeds Can Remain Good for a Decade
If cannabis seeds are stored correctly, they can remain good for up to 10 years. However, you have to make sure that you take the proper steps to ensure that they remain healthy and strong.
Keep in mind that not all cannabis seeds will not make it to the 10-year mark. Instead, it’s best to think about cannabis seeds reasonably remaining usable for around four to five years.
To make sure that cannabis seeds will last as long as possible, they must be stored correctly. Seeds should be stored in a dark place away from direct sunlight. They also must remain dry, so they shouldn’t be stored in a place prone to moisture. Finally, they should be stored in a cool place.
Many people choose to store their cannabis seeds in a refrigerator. You can get very good results from storing them in a fridge. It’s dark, it’s cool…but, refrigerators often harbor moisture. If seeds are stored in an area with too much moisture, they could grow mold. It’s best to store them in an airtight plastic container in the fridge if you are going to do that. Some people will also vacuum seal the seeds.
There are others who choose to store their cannabis seeds in the freezer. However, it’s possible that the seeds could get too cold. If these seeds freeze, it could rupture the cells in the seed. If this happens, the seeds will not germinate. If the seeds don’t germinate, they obviously cannot grow into a plant.
- Most Cannabis Seeds are Either Indica or Sativa Strains
The vast majority of cannabis seeds on the market are either indica or sativa strains. There is a third strain, too, called ruderalis. Most of the marijuana out there is a hybrid of these strains or a mix up of them. You might see, for instance, a strain described as sativa-dominant, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all sativa. This is due to the dizzying array of hybrids that have been created.
Indica strains are known for being more sedative in nature, where sativa is often seen as more invigorating. The hybrids, which fall somewhere along the indica-sativa spectrum, will take on the traits of the dominant parent, in most cases, but genetics is a tricky topic, even when it comes to plants.
Medically, indica is often used to treat conditions such as anxiety, pain, muscle spasms, and insomnia. Sativa strains are often used to treat conditions such as depression, mood disorders, fatigue, and ADD. Indica plants typically yield more seeds than sativa, because they are generally larger plants. Again, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all indica-dominant plants will yield 1,000 seeds, nor does it mean that all sativa-dominant plants will be smaller than indica plants. The strains have different taste profiles, as well.
Ruderalis isn’t as talked about in the cannabis world. It has a lower concentration of THC in it naturally, but it is autoflowering, which makes it attractive to growers.
Remember, it’s not possible to tell if a cannabis seed is an indica-dominant seed or a sativa-dominant seed. So, it’s important to keep labels on seeds while storing them.
- Cannabis Seeds/Hemp Seeds are Found in Bird Food
Have you ever heard the story about the old grandma who liked to feed the birds? She fed them bird seed with cannabis seeds in it, and she inadvertently grew pot plants in her front yard. Well, this story is false, unless it happened before 1960s when Congress passed a new law.
Here’s what happened: Back in the 1930s, the US was hit with the thought that hemp was terrible, so Congress essentially banned the use of hemp, except for in bird seed. For many years, decades, in fact, the seeds that were found in bird seed was viable, which means they could be planted and would grow into plants. In the 1960s, however, people started smoking cannabis and hemp recreationally, and Congress once again had to act. So, they started sterilizing all of the hemp seeds that went into bird seed. This means that it cannot grow and the seeds will not germinate. This is also the same hemp that is found in bird food, today.
The sterilized hemp seeds still contain most of the nutrients that they are known for in regards to being a health food, but you cannot grow the plant from these seeds. So, if you are interested in hemp seeds for the health benefits that they offer, the sterilization of the seeds is no big deal. However, if you are interested in hemp for other reasons, the sterilization kind of ruins that.
- Cannabis Seeds are Used to Make Hemp Oil
You can buy hemp oil, also known as hempseed oil, and use it for its medicinal properties. This oil is manufactured from Cannabis sativa, but again, it does not contain a significant amount of THC. To manufacture hemp oil, the seeds are cleaned in order to remove 99.99% of impurities. It’s possible that there will be trace amounts of THC in hemp oil, but it would not be enough to cause any significant change or feeling.
The hemp seeds go through a process called “cold pressing,” which is essentially the process of pushing the seeds through an extruder and collecting the natural oil from the seeds. The oil at this point is virgin oil, and this is the oil that has all of the medicinal properties. You might also find refined hemp oil, but that is very light in color, has almost no flavor, and doesn’t have the natural fats and minerals. This oil is used for body care products and as industrial lubricants, plastic, fuel, or paint.
Virgin, or unrefined, hemp oil is praised for its high levels of fatty acids. You already know that the oil contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, but you probably don’t know that the ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 acids in hemp oil is the exact ratio that is required by the human body. Our bodies do not make these fatty acids naturally, so we have to get it from food sources, such as hempseed oil. There are also studies of hempseed oil that could have it manufactured on a much larger scape as it is a candidate for the production of biodiesel fuel.
- Worldwide, Cannabis Seeds are Used for Spiritual Purposes
Across the world, cultures use cannabis seeds for a number of spiritual purposes. For instance, some people who practice the Taoist religion believe that hemp seeds, when mixed with ginseng, can help people to see the future. The Taoists also believe that if you eat hempseeds on their own, you can keep demons from entering into your life.
Cannabis seeds are also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is most commonly used as a laxative. It is also used as a sedative, to help with pain relief, to treat nausea, and to help with nervousness.
Other cultures, such as those who follow the Sikh religion, forbid the ingestion of hemp seeds. However, they use the hemp seeds in a special drink that is consumed by Sikhs. This drink, called “bhang,” is an edible form of cannabis that is made during certain festivities throughout the year. People who follow the Hindu religion also drink “bhang.”
In Poland, cannabis seeds are used during the Christmas holiday in a traditional soup recipe. The soup, called Siemieniotka, is made for the Christmas Eve dinner. The seeds are cooked, pulled from their shells and then ground into a paste. That hemp paste is then mixed with honey and milk before eating. This is part of the ancient traditions of the people of Poland and dates back to the time before Christianity was introduced. Like many Christmas time traditions, originally, this was part of pagan celebrations.
- The Dutch Explorers Took Cannabis Seeds With Them on Their Journeys
You also probably didn’t know that the Dutch explorers, during the Golden Age of exploration, was also considered to be the golden age of hemp. In general, this occurred throughout the 17th century. This was the time where the Dutch had great improvements in science, trade, art, and military, and they became one of the world’s superpower.
By this point, the Dutch possessed several colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They also founded the Dutch East India Company, which helped to establish a worldwide shipping trade…and here’s where hemp comes into play.
Holland was one of the largest nations in the world that relied on the sea, and this, they needed hemp, which was the main way they built ships, thanks to the strength of the hemp ropes and other products. In addition to wood, hemp was the most needed product when it came to shipbuilding. In fact, a replica of a 17th century Dutch ship, called the “Batavia,” used more than 13 miles of hemp rope! In addition to that, the sails of the Dutch ships were made of hemp.
As you can imagine, the Dutch used a lot of hemp, and as they set out into the world, they had to have a source of hemp. Since hemp seeds grow into hemp quite quickly, it was easy for them to take along with them. Thus, hemp was cultivated throughout the world.
Cannabis seeds have many properties, they are used in many ways, and they have even been the source of spiritual beliefs and urban legends. You learned that hemp seeds and cannabis seeds are one in the same, or at least they come from the same plant!
In the United States, federal law states that all parts of the marijuana plant, including cannabis seeds, are illegal to carry. This excludes hemp seeds, however, which have been sterilized. Though federal law says one thing, over the years, the states have had their say, too, and in most cases, the law of the particular states is the law that is abided by. So, if the state in which you live has legal marijuana, and more and more are changing into those states each year, you might be able to have legal cannabis seeds.
There are a lot of conditions, even in states where legal seeds are available, so you must meet those conditions before you can legally carry them. Thus, make sure, before you start carrying cannabis seeds around, that you fit into the small legal window of opportunity for cannabis seeds. If not, you could not only face state charges for possession, but also federal charges.