Storing cannabis the right way ought to be easy, but every other avid stoner thinks they know the perfect seed storage method, which is often not the case. Not to mention there are different storage methods that should be adhered to with different cannabis strains.
Honestly speaking- how many times have you stored seeds only to lose almost half the loot? It happens more times than you realize- and the reason for this is simple: people don’t know how to store marijuana seeds the right way.
I’ve been in the marijuana industry for quite some time, and I’ve learnt the hard way the importance of proper seed storage. But after a neighbor of mine who’s a perennial marijuana grower lost more than 70% of the seeds he had in store, I realized that even the veterans don’t know everything about marijuana seed storage.
That’s why I decided to pen down this guide to help both newbies and old-timers preserve their loot correctly, every single time.
How to Preserve Marijuana Seeds: A Brief Answer
Cannabis seeds should be stored in a dry, dark and cool place, where there’s no dramatic light and temperature changes. If stored correctly, you can grow high-quality marijuana plants with 7-year old seeds as you would with 6-month old ones.
Why is Proper Seed Storage Important?
With the right storage method, marijuana seeds can remain in good condition for 7-10 years. Seed storage is extremely important. Someone who’s just harvested high-quality strains may want to keep them until the next planting season. Others who live in regions where cannabis growing is not yet legal may want to hoard their favorite strains in the hope that cultivation may become legal in the near future.
Whatever the reason is, keep in mind that it all starts and ends with proper seed preservation.
Ideal Environment- Dark, Cool, Dry and Air-Tight
Outdoor cannabis plants usually sleep during winter and wake up during spring or summer. With storage, you need to continuously keep seeds in winter conditions. Here’s how:
Nights are long during winter and shorter during spring season. Spring is when germination occurs, and we want to avoid that at all times. This means seeds should always be kept in a dark place.
Again, you want to maintain winter conditions. This means keeping seeds cool. You have two options here: the fridge and the freezer. Excessive heat and temperature fluctuations may trigger the process of germination.
All seeds require oxygen to germinate. So to prevent germination, you should keep them in an air-tight container to prevent oxygen from getting in.
You should ensure marijuana seeds remain dry at all times. There are many reasons for this. First, moisture is the number one culprit behind germination. Basically, it triggers the release of hormone ethylene. Secondly, it allows the seed to start breathing. Third, it encourages the growth of mold and fungi. And lastly, it brings insect attack.
That said, you shouldn’t let them become totally dry. They will die. 2-3% humidity is ideal. The best way to maintain that is to store them with silica gel. Most store-bought seeds come with silica gel.
For long-term storage, say a few weeks, you can use rice. This also works only for a short time because rice will absorb moisture and get soggy, which means you’ll have to change regularly, and this is not ideal as you need to leave them undisturbed.
Finally, remember to put cotton wool inside the storage jar. It will help maintain dryness and reduce disturbances when you need to remove the drying agent.
Best Methods for Seed Storage
To properly store weed seeds, you need to have a perfectly good container (made out of one material). This is mainly because different materials expand at different temperatures, which will disrupt the balance inside.
Glass is usually the best material. Glass jars are good at keeping the air at bay. But they are transparent- and you may need to use a film canister to block out light. Luckily, you can buy a film glass can in your local store.
Alternatively, you can buy a light-proof container like those used to store the medicine. It’s best to avoid plastic and metal containers because they are prone to drastic temperature fluctuations.
Short Term Storage
If storing only for a short time, your best choices are a cupboard, drawer and fridge. A dark, cold and dry cupboard is recommended.
A fridge is also a good choice. However, you need to keep the jar in the far back corner to avoid light and temperature changes. The vegetable section is often the best place because it has a temperature of 4-8 degrees which is perfect for weed.
Long Term Storage
This is where there’s a lot of debate. Some people say freezing is bad. Others think it’s okay provided you do it right. If you decide to freeze, you’ll need an air-tight container made of plastic. Glass may shatter and regular zip-lock bags aren’t good either. You’ll also need food-grade silica gel. Both can be bought in the local store.
Once the seeds are frozen, let them remain that way until they are ready for planting. In other words, never defrost them and then freeze them back again. They will not germinate. As mentioned, keep a food-grade silica gel inside the container too. You want to maintain the right humidity until it’s time to sprout them.
Again, a cool, dry and dark cupboard will work just fine. Seeds can remain perfectly viable in a cupboard for up to 2 years.
It’s important to know how to store marijuana seeds the right way. Keep them in a dry, dark, cool and air-tight place to avoid germination. Cannabis seeds can remain in good condition for up to 7 years.