A Guide to Buying Cannabis Seeds

Buying cannabis seeds is one of the most exciting parts of the growing process. We all daydream about our chosen seed’s potential, the reward of a successful harvest, and the process along the way. However, there are thousands of cannabis strains to choose from, and finding the right one may seem challenging. 

This article will cover everything you need to know about buying cannabis seeds. We’ll discuss seed types, environments, skill levels, and more.  It will also point you in the right direction for more knowledge..

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Choosing the right seeds for you

A few inescapable factors contribute to a proper marijuana seed selection. The physical factors include:

  • Climate
  • Location of the grow
  • Available gear


The local climate will affect the way a person can grow. Warm climates in equatorial regions are much different than colder northern latitudes, requiring different tools to grow successfully. By selecting cannabis seeds that grow better in hotter or colder climates, growers can set themselves up for success.

Location of the grow

An advantage of growing indoors is that the grower controls the environment. Growers regulate everything from temperature, humidity, wind, and pest pressure. However, you need specific equipment to achieve ideal results. 

An advantage of outdoor growing is the free power of the world’s best grow light, the sun. The trade-off; outdoor plants must deal with heavy winds, storms, bugs, and more. Buying seeds from hardy strains is a must for outdoor growers.

Available gear

Access to grow equipment can influence the seed purchasing decisions of growers. For example,when you have no access to grow tents and cannot maintain total darkness for the plant’s lifecycle, an autoflower seed would be a great option. 

Similarly, when you cannot control heat, cold, or humidity, whether due to budget, climate, or availability of products, selecting seeds tolerant of those conditions will lead to healthier plants.

The next group of factors for choosing the right cannabis seeds relates to the grower directly. An honest assessment of these can steer you in the right direction. They include:

  • Skill level
  • Time availability
  • How many plants 

Skill level

We all must start somewhere, and that is OK. There is a wide selection of cannabis seeds that are perfect for new growers on the ILGM menu. For advanced growers, we’ve got you covered too. 

Older growers joke – it’s called weed because it grows like a weed. However, there is some skill involved. Many strains are easy to grow, but some require special feeding mixtures, different light intensity levels, and specific training techniques to maximize yield.

Want to up your skill level? Be sure to check out the Marijuana Grow Bible. You can download it for free over here:

Time availability

This factor can affect the seeds a grower chooses and how they grow them. The amount of time spent training, defoliating, and feeding can be affected by your seed choice.  Tall plants generally need more training; shorter plants generally need more defoliation. 

Flowering times are also important. Short flowering plants are ideal if your weather is only good for growing four months a year. Plan ahead when you select your seeds; you can find height information and flowering times on every ILGM strain.

How many plants?

Once a grower knows the dimensions of their garden space, they can start selecting seeds to fill it. It’s tempting to shove as many plants in that area as physically possible but to find out why you don’t want to do that, read our article on the best number of plants to put in a grow tent. Growers that choose seeds resulting in taller, thinner plants may be able to fit more plants than someone  selecting seeds that produce shorter, wider plants.

A third set of factors to consider is the actual type of marijuana seeds and the plants they produce. What is the desired effect of the flowers? That answer will influence the seed selection. We will dive into more detail about the differences between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains below. 

Some cannabis seeds only produce female flowers, they’re called feminized seeds. Some plants don’t need a change in light schedule;  those are from autoflowers seeds. For a quick and easy (and fun) way to use all of this information to select the perfect seeds for your garden, try our strain selector tool.

Cannabis seed types

Photoperiod seeds

Photoperiod refers to the number of light hours a plant receives in a 24-hour cycle. Photoperiod plants must receive at least 14 hours of light to stay in a vegetative state. To induce flowering of a photoperiod cannabis plant, growers will change their photoperiod to 12 hours on / 12 hours off. Absolute darkness is required during the lights-off period. 

There are three main types of photoperiod seeds;


‘Regular’ seeds result from breeding a male and female cannabis plant. Because they carry both the X and Y chromosome, these seeds will produce both male and female plants. Only the females produce flowers. The males produce pollen, which can be used with the females to create seeds. Growers that don’t want a seeded crop will remove males from the garden when they show their sex.


Bergman and his feminized plants

Shop Feminized Seeds

  • Female plants for healthy bud
  • Quality genetics, high yields
  • All popular cultivars

Feminized seeds are a hack of nature that uses only female plants to breed with. The seeds will produce only female plants because there is no Y chromosome (male). Choosing feminized seeds means growers do not have to look for sex traits on the plants at flowering. It also lets growers know each seed planted will produce buds—no wasted space in the garden.

Fast flowering

Bergman delivering fast flowering seeds

Buy Fast-Flowering Seeds

  • 2-5 weeks faster than normal seeds
  • High-quality feminized genetics
  • Delivery and germination guaranteed

In another twist of nature, fast-flowering seeds mix a photoperiod plant with an autoflower plant. The result is a seed that produces photoperiod dependent (because the autoflower trait is recessive) plants but flowers in less time, thanks to the genetic contribution from the autoflower lineage. Fast flowering seeds get the “fast” in their name by reaching harvest faster, usually by a week or two. 

Autoflowering seeds

Bergman relaxing while plant grows

Buy Autoflower Seeds

  • For new and experienced growers
  • Easy-growing, low maintenance
  • All popular cultivars


Autoflower seeds produce a plant that is not photoperiod dependent to initiate flowering. It uses an internal clock to transition from vegetative growth to flowering. Autoflowers can have similar effects, taste, and terpene profiles to photoperiod plants. Autoflower plants have a Ruderalis lineage. Autoflowers can produce both male and female plants.

Feminized autoflower

All of the autoflower seeds in our store are feminized. Every seed planted will result in a beautiful, bud-producing female plant. Because it also has the autoflower trait, growers will not need to change the lighting schedule for the plant to begin flowering. These traits make them the most popular type of autoflower seed.

Every cannabis seed type has unique characteristics that may appeal to certain growers while detracting others.

To learn more about the subject, read our in-depth article – Types of weed seeds: regular, feminized, and autoflowering explained

Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica: Choosing a subspecies 

The origins of the botanical terms cannabis sativa and cannabis indica date back to the 1700s. This plant was traditionally grown for its strong fiber and the nutritional value of the seeds, but people eventually notted their intoxicating effects. This article highlights the distinctions behind the separate classifications.

Fast-forward to today, where we have hybridized strains that have repeatedly combined sativa genetics with indica genetics and back and forth. We still use the terminology of indica and sativa because we associate them with plant morphology, flowering times, and physical effects.  

Here are some of the associated factors with each type of cannabis.

Types of cannabis:


Bergman is energized

Buy Sativa Seeds

  • Grow beautiful sativas
  • Give an energizing buzz
  • Feminized and autoflower seeds

Sativa varieties tend to be tall, long-flowering plants with thin leaves and wide internodal spacing. Outdoors, they grow best in warm climates with long summers. Effects from sativa varieties tend to be uplifting, euphoric, and cerebral. New growers may struggle with sativa varieties that flower for 11+ weeks because of the need to keep the plant happy for longer.


Bergman couch locked from indica weed

Shop Indica Seeds

  • Grow strong bushy indicas
  • For a relaxing couch lock
  • Feminized and autoflowers seeds

Indica varieties are often short and bushy plants. They have big wide leaves with fat fingers. Combined with the tight internodal spacing, these plants will need some defoliation before flowering. Effects from indica strains are said to be relaxing, pain mitigating, and primarily felt in the body. Growers need to ensure good airflow in the canopy because of the dense nature of indica strains.


Ruderalis is a third type of cannabis subspecies and is rarely found on dispensary shelves. It is a very short plant with fast flowering times. The cannabinoid levels are often low, and the terpenes are lackluster. However, ruderalis is the rockstar that makes autoflowering genetics possible. All autoflowers today can be traced back to the original ruderalis plant. 


Hybrids result from crossing indica and sativa or ruderalis with each other. Hybrid marijuana seeds come in regular, feminized, and autoflower. Hybrids can have the look of one variety but the effects of the other. Some traits are dominant, and some are recessive. Hybrids tend to showcase the best of both indica and sativa subspecies.

Your chosen subspecies can help you determine what plant type will work best in your grow set-up. If you have low ceilings in your grow tent, the short stature of indica plants might be best. However, if you are looking to achieve an uplifting cerebral effect, growing sativas might lead you to your perfect strain. To go deeper on the subject, peruse our article on Cannabis Indica, sativa, ruderalis, and hybrids

The desired effect of your cannabis flowers 


Cannabis and hemp plants produce phytocannabinoids in varying combinations and ratios. The word phyto refers to plant-originated cannabinoids. The cannabinoid associated with psychoactive effects is THC. Concentrations of THC in flowers can vary, but most adult-use cannabis flowers will test in the 15-28% THC range. The higher the number, the stronger the psychoactive effect.

robert bergman with cbd cannabis plant

Buy high-CBD Seeds

  • High levels of CBD
  • Low THC for a mellow effect
  • Available as fems and autoflowers

Hemp has been the primary source of the cannabinoid CBD; it has it in higher concentrations than other cannabis plants. CBD is not a psychoactive cannabinoid, but some consumers report a sense of relaxation or well-being. There are over 120 cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp, but the majority show up in extremely low amounts. THC and CBD are the dominant cannabinoids, and consumers can use those levels to gauge the intensity of the desired effect.


Cannabis primarily gets its aroma from terpenes. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis and are all around us. Citrus-smelling cannabis and real lemons share the same terpene, limonene. The fresh scent of pine trees in the forest and cannabis that smells like pine have alpha-pinene terpenes. Both limonene and a-pinene have been reported to have uplifting, energizing effects. Those are just a couple of examples; there are over 200 terpenes in cannabis.

As cannabis consumers, we use terpenes to identify characteristics of particular strains. Most cannabis will have a fruity, floral, earthy, or gassy scent. The ratio of terpenes is one factor that makes each marijuana strain unique. Terpenes can also be responsible for physical effects. Myrcene is known to be sedative at certain levels. To dive deeper into the myrcene terpene, check our our selection of the best myrcene strains to grow.

Synergistic effects between terpenes and cannabinoids

Aromatherapy practitioners have used terpenes for centuries. We know their effects, but their relationship with cannabinoids was unexplored until 2011 when Dr. Ethan Russo wrote Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. From there, the synergistic effect between cannabinoids and terpenes has been explored and documented. If cannabinoids cause the high,are the “the steering wheel of the high.”

Isolated cannabinoids have different effects when in combination with terpenes and other constituents. This is often referred to as “whole plant medicine.” To select cultivars based on experienced effects, try keeping a journal of strains that records the THC / CBD content, terpenes, and effects. This can help you identify the right combination for the desired effect. 

Your grow conditions


Bergman taking care of his indoor cannabis seeds

Shop Indoor Seeds

  • Indoor-thriving plants
  • For windowsill or under lamps
  • Feminized and autoflowers seeds

Growers have the most control over environmental factors and pest pressures when growing indoors. An indoor grow lets you cultivate strains that wouldn’t handle the abuse of growing outdoors. However, the available height is one limitation when growing indoors, especially in tents. Take note of the dimensions of your gardening space when selecting seeds to purchase.


outdoor cannabis grower

Shop Outdoor Seeds

  • Grow plants that thrive outdoors
  • Best against mold and pests
  • Feminized and autoflower seeds

Certain strains are better for growing outdoors than others. It is important to pick hardy strains resistant to pests, molds, and other pathogens. Strains with thick branching are best because they can handle more abuse from the wind. Growers with gardens exposed to the direct sun may prefer to grow sativa varieties. In contrast, those in the woods or shaded areas may prefer indica plants for their low and discreet profiles.


Weather and climate will play an important factor in outdoor growing. Sativa strains do best in warm Mediterranean climates with little rain and long days. Indica strains originated high in the mountains and can tolerate cool and moist environemnts. Another factor is the duration of seasons. Some areas only have three to four months of good weather for growing. Fast-flowering autoflowers might be best in those climates.

Garden area 

I love consuming sativa flowers, but my tent is too small to grow one properly. It is possible if I do a lot of early training and flip it into flower after a few weeks. Still, it is less work and better yields if I choose a plant that fits better in my available space. 

It is essential to consider the restrictions of your grow space before purchasing marijuana seeds. Find strains that work in your space, don’t force things, and your grow experience will be better.

Where to buy cannabis seeds

With the proliferation of legal cannabis worldwide, there has been an influx of breeders and sources to buy cannabis seeds from. The low entry bar has led to a higher ratio of garbage compared to quality genetic. Breeding the finest quality stock requires more than having a camera and an Instagram account. In this next section, we will detail why buying from a known and trusted company is best.

Buying at a reputable seed bank

There are many advantages to buying from an established seed bank. Established seed banks like ILGM have a long and tracked history of providing quality genetics and excellent customer service. Customers must be satisfied to survive in the seed business, or they won’t return. Thousands of examples can be found online of growers having fantastic results with ILGM cannabis seeds.

Proper breeding and selection involve hundreds if not thousands of plants to identify the highest quality traits. Seed banks like ILGM can grow large numbers to bring consumers the hidden gems buried in the genetics of each strain. Our ability to have large facilities also means a wider selection of cultivars, with something to please every palate.

Robert Bergman with a wheelbarrow full of weed

Shop High-Yield Seeds

  • Our high-yielding cultivars
  • High-quality genetics
  • With germination warranty

The backend of any seed purchase is equally important. Can you reach customer service if you have a question? The ILGM support center is available with one click. What do companies do with your personal information? Are they selling it? You can find exactly what we do with our information here

How secure is your financial information with that website that popped up last week? ILGM treats this sensitive data with the utmost respect. Our payment platforms are 100% secured, and all seed orders are shipped with track & trace capabilities in discreet packaging. Finally, what is their warranty? Will they replace seeds that don’t germinate? We do because we guarantee our work; we’re proud of it.

Bag seeds or buying seeds from social media

Caveat emptor is Latin for “let the buyer beware,” which anyone attempting to buy seeds from social media should be. There are too many scams to cover, but many buyers send money and never hear or see anything from the seller again. 

Instagram is littered with fake accounts reporting to be specific breeders and offering “legitimate” seeds. Speaking of fake seeds, seeds all look alike; sellers could put any seed in a bag and call it whatever strain is hot. Unreputable dealers often do.

Bag seeds can also be a gamble. People finding a bag seed often think if they plant that seed, it will be exactly like the flower they got it from. This is far from the case. If the seed was created by male pollen, genetics from another plant will influence the offspring. If the seed was created by pollen from a hermaphroditic plant, the offspring would share those genetics. Even if it grows, you can end up with an undesirable hermaphroditic offspring.

Buying seeds at a dispensary

Not every dispensary carries cannabis seeds. There is an attitude from some owners that if people can grow the flower themselves, they won’t come back to the store to buy flowers. If a dispensary near you has seeds, it can be a good way to find an undiscovered local breeder. 

In terms of overall selection, dispensaries can’t compete with a large seed bank’s selection. For more on this topic, check out our in-depth piece on reputable seed banks in the U.S.

How to ensure quality genetics

Our top three tips for getting the best quality and support for your money:

  1. Buy from reputable seed banks that stand by the quality of their work
  2. Always check online for reviews of the company and for grow reports of their genetics
  3. Understand and identify characteristics of quality seeds

To understand how to ensure you’re buying from a reliable source, visit our article on where to buy marijuana seeds. You’ll also find unfiltered online reviews from ILGM customers at Kiyoh.com.

Identifying good cannabis seeds

Although seeds look alike, there are visual indicators of their quality. Color is one indicator. Dark seeds are the goal. Light seeds may have less vigor, but green seeds are immature and undesirable. It is common to see tiger stripes on fully matured seeds, but not all mature seeds will have them. Want more on this topic? Read our article about recognizing quality marijuana seeds.

Store your seeds properly

The viability of seeds goes down as time goes by; how you store cannabis seeds can accelerate or slow the process. The three things that seed collectors must avoid are heat, humidity, and light. Seeds are best stored in a cool, dry, and dark location. With the right precautions, you can store seeds for many years without losing much vigor. Read our article on how to store cannabis seeds to learn how to keep your seeds long-term. 

Is it safe to buy cannabis seeds online?

The 2018 Farm Bill declared plant material below 0.3% THC hemp in the United States. It basically makes Hemp legal. The caveat is the “source rule, ” meaning products derived from high-THC cannabis plants were still considered illegal due to their source. The DEA has issued a public statement that says this no longer applies. 

Any material below the 0.3% THC threshold will be considered hemp and legal. Cannabis seeds contain <0.3% THC. U.S. residents can check the status of federal and state laws on the NORML website. 

When browsing the ILGM store, your personal information is safe and secured. More importantly, so are all of our payment options. We make personal security and privacy a top priority for our customers. Our packing is discreet, with no mention of cannabis or labeling anywhere on the outside. Through our many years of shipping cannabis seeds within the U.S., we have developed effective shipping methods. Arrival is guaranteed.

Another concern may be the interception of a shipment by Customs officials. It has been our experience that this is a very rare occasion. Personal amounts of cannabis seeds are extremely low on the priority list. In such cases, Customs can send a letter to the recipient notifying them of a seized package. There are no legal or other consequences if you receive this letter. If you do, let us know, and we will replace your order right away. Again, this is extremely rare.

How much do cannabis seeds cost?

A wide range of prices, quality, and strains are available today. Prices range from $5 per seed to over $500 per seed. Price can be reflective of stability and the breeder’s efforts to lock in particular traits, but sometimes hype is what fetches a higher price. 

ILGM feels that quality genetics should be available and affordable to everyone. Most of our selection is between $5-$15 per seed. If you like deals, check out some of the sweet bargains on our deals page.

How many seeds should I buy?

When buying from smaller breeders and random seed banks, it is wise to buy more seeds than you anticipate to grow. You never know what sort of germination rate those seeds will have. However, at ILGM, we guarantee germination. If you pay for five seeds, you’ll get five plants; otherwise, we replace them. 

Let your grow space size and the plants’ morphology guide your purchasing decision. If you’re wondering how those two correlate,  read, how many plants can I fit in my grow tent. ILGM offers single strains in packs of 5, 10, and 20. We also offer mix packs with three different strains in packs of 15 (3×5) and 30 (3×10) for those looking to try a variety. 

Experienced growers know that it is beneficial to have seeds on hand so they can get started before the harvest of the previous crop. With other companies, shipping can sometimes take over a month, throwing off the whole schedule. Try and think a grow or two ahead and make sure you’ll have seeds when you need them. Buying roughly double what you intend to plant is wise.

After reading this article, you should have a general idea of the important factors contributing to selecting cannabis seeds. These factors include climate, garden size, available gear, skill level, type of seeds, number of plants, and more. They all contribute to your seed-buying decision. 

If you’re still uncertain which seeds are right for you, review this article and click on the links in each section. These links will take you to in-depth knowledge on that specific topic. 

Once you’ve made your seed selections and placed your order, download Robert’s Grow Bible for all the guidance needed to grow cannabis that you’ll be proud of. 

Have fun popping those seeds!

Avatar for Chad Westport

Chad Westport

Independent Marijuana Breeder

Chad Westport is a lifelong grower and cannabis educator. He specializes in controlled environment agriculture and has a degr ... See profile

12 comments on “A Guide to Buying Cannabis Seeds”

  1. Bought several orders from you all were bunk. You even sent me a replacment order. These seeds were worse than the bunk orders. For they were hermies. Since then ive purchased orders from other vendors same shit. I think youall use the same seed bank. I love to grow but its hard when you waste your money.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment. We’re sorry to hear this. However, we do have plenty of happy customers. So despite your disappointing results, we do not sell bunk seeds.
      Hermaphroditism can be a result of environmental stressors, so make sure there is nothing in the setup and growing conditions causing this. Learn more about hermaphroditism here:
      And I did notice you do not appear to have notified us of this last issue. If we can rule out any environmental factors, we’d gladly help you out with this issue of course.
      So feel free to contact our customer support team about this.

      Kind regards,

    • Hi Chandra,

      Thanks for your message. You can get seeds at ILGM.com! And make sure to check out your local laws to get familiar with any local legal restrictions!

      Kind regards,

  2. I’ve grown your white widow autos and northern lights autos and both grow absolutely amazing with nice thick and sturdy stems which I love. But then I tried the gsc extreame which I thought was gonna be fire like the rest but they only grew to 1 inch with very skinny and week stems and they would not grow past the 1 inch mark! They look totally healthy but they just won’t grow anymore! And I had super high hopes for these seeds. I guess I just got a bad batch or something

  3. Hello,
    I see ILGM recommends GYO seed bank as a reputable seed bank, but i see Alot of negitive things said about gYO.
    Does ILGM stand by their claim?

  4. Geraldo,

    Thanks for your interest. Perhaps you would enjoy our support forum as well. We have many friendly and knowledgeable growers willing to always help you succeed. 🙂

  5. I did too….please let me know when u ordered Bc I ordered on 3/29 and they shipped on 3/30. No package as of yet….

  6. I’m very happy to uncover this site. I need to to thank you for your time for this pulcitalarry fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to see new things on your blog.