The growing legal status of cannabis in the US has made growing your own cannabis plants from seeds a viable option for many people.
When you grow your own cannabis, you not only get the benefits of your own supply, but you also know exactly what product you’re getting.
Of course, since growing and using cannabis is still in the early stages of regulation, it’s important to ensure your seeds come from reliable seed banks.
Unfortunately, some scammers want to take advantage of the lack of regulation around such a popular market.
How to Find Reliable Seed Banks online
It’s up to you, the buyer, to determine whether a seed bank is reliable or not. If you’re in a state or country where cannabis seeds are fully legal, then it’s usually easier to find reliable marijuana seed banks through local suppliers.
However, even if you live somewhere with murky legality, you can still follow steps to find a reliable seed source.
- Check review platforms
- Read reviews from cannabis bloggers
- Visit forums to check what growers say
- Check grow diaries and journals
- Review your feelings
- The quality of the seed bank's assortment
- Does the seed bank sell strains that you’re familiar with?
- Check and compare pricing and promotions
- Does the seed bank offer reliable payment methods?
- Is the seed bank offering reliable tracked shipping methods?
- Do you get a delivery guarantee with your order?
- Does the seed bank guarantee germination?
- How does the seed bank deal with your privacy?
- Can you reach the customer service easily?
1. Review platforms
When you first start looking for a seed bank, reviews are probably the first thing you look at to find out whether you want to give a company your business.
You can find customer reviews on Google, the store’s website, and cannabis seed review websites. Check what part of the world the review is coming from and what the reviewer ordered.
Look out for reviews that seem too good to be true. Some scam sites generate or purchase fake reviews. That’s why it’s good to check reviews from multiple sources.
If an online seed bank has a physical storefront somewhere, that’s also a good sign that they’re a legitimate business. Check their social media accounts for recent activity, and for what people are saying about their products.
2. Reviews from cannabis bloggers
Another great source for reviews is from reputable cannabis bloggers who make it their career to seek out quality and reliable sources. You can find these bloggers on YouTube, their websites, and any other places where you’d seek out information about cannabis.
3. What growers say on forums
During your research, you can also check on popular growing forums. Reddit is a great place to find discussions from real people about their experiences with different seed banks.
You’re likely to find out quickly if a certain seed bank is a scam or not by checking the grower forums. Chances are, someone else has already called the company out if it’s a scam.
Forums are also a good place to ask for suggestions and tips for finding seeds and growing plants from seeds.
4. Grow diaries and journals
Certain websites, like Grow diaries, operate as space for cannabis growers to document their flowers’ growth journey from seed to adult plant. Often, you can ask questions and view comments on different growers’ documented stages.
Growers who use these online journals often document what seeds they’re using, where they sourced their seeds, their methods, and materials. Scroll through these different journals to find out which reliable seed banks successful growers use.
5. What does your feeling say?
Modern consumers online shop now more than ever. Since you likely spend so much time on reputable websites, you know what they should look like. If a seed bank sets off some alarms in your head, there’s probably a reason.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about a seed bank:
- Does their website provide well-researched and helpful information?
- How detailed is the information on each product’s page?
- Is the seed bank writing blogs?
- Do they have a relevant FAQ section? And does it answer questions?
The more information a website provides, the better. When you’re researching a new seed bank if the information is unclear or lacking, it’s a good sign you should trust your gut and move on to another store.
6. The quality of the seed bank's assortment
A quality product is the most important thing for a reliable seed bank to have. There are so many cannabis strains to choose from. A reliable seed bank should have choices for Indica's and Sativa's, as well as CBD dominant cannabis.
If you’re interested in growing, then you’re probably already familiar with some cannabis strains.
7. Does the seed bank sell strains that you’re familiar with?
A large array of different kinds of cannabis strains and especially familiar strains are a good indication that their business is reliable.
There are different kinds of seeds you can purchase, and what you want depends a lot on your experience and growth expectations.
Check to see if a seed bank has the kind of seeds you’re looking for.
Feminized seeds are more likely to create female plants, which create the flower. Getting feminized seeds improves the size of your harvest, which creates more buds.
Autoflowering seeds are great for beginner growers. They are super rugged and resilient. As their name suggests, these seeds will automatically flower after a certain time has passed, regardless of other outside factors.
Auto-flowering plants were developed in harsh terrains, like in Central Asia and Russia. These areas have smaller growth seasons and less temperate climates.
The main downside of auto-flowering is that they produce smaller plants with a smaller yield. But if you’re a beginner grower, you’ll be happy just to see any flower yield at all.
Experienced growers like to use regular seeds because they get both female and male plants. Once the plants have grown, they can keep cultivating the desirable plants, and even take cuts from the best plants to clone them.
Growers can keep the female plants to create their own seeds. Some people say that this method grows the strongest cannabis plants. That may be true. But if you’re a beginner grower, regular seeds are riskier.
If you’re not confident in your ability to grow from regular seeds, then you will probably want to seek out auto-flowering seeds or feminized seeds. That way, you ensure that you get your money’s worth of crop.
8. Pricing and promotions
The upfront cost of cannabis seed may seem like more than your average plant seed. But, if your crop is successful (and with the right seed bank, it will be), then you’ll save money by having your own supply of flowers.
On average, one pack of generic seeds costs about $40 for a pack of 10-12. The prices go up from there. You can expect to pay more for high-end genetics or auto-flowering and feminized seeds.
Look out for prices that seem too good to be true. Just like overly positive reviews can be a sign of a scam, so can super low prices. It could be a scam, or it could be that you won’t get the quality seeds you expect.
Many times, different seed banks run promotions for certain strains or types of seeds. If you’re patient, you may find a good deal for a particular strain you’ve been eying.
For example, right now we have discounted cannabis seeds. That often includes regular seeds and feminized seeds.
Just like with any purchase, it’s worth it to shop around and find the best deal on seeds. Don’t skimp on quality, and get the strains you’re most excited about.
9. Reliable payment methods
Another thing to look for when seeking out a seed bank is their methods of payment. Look out for seed banks that only accept money or bank transfers as payment—you may never see that money again or get the product you paid for.
Most seed banks have the usual online options for payment: credit/debit cards, cash, and bank transfers, or other popular e-payment forms.
Because cannabis seeds are not legal everywhere, some credit card companies may not approve the transaction.
Because of previous complications around using credit/debit cards at seed banks, many stores are not accepting popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
10. Shipping and tracking
Shipping cannabis seeds is a tricky business. The US federal government doesn’t allow any cannabis products to ship over state lines, even to states where cannabis is legal for recreational and medical uses.
Many EU-based seed banks won’t ship to countries or states where cannabis is not fully legal. If you’re in a state or country where that’s the case, you may find your options more limited.
Shipping times vary, but you shouldn’t have to wait more than 12 days for your seeds to arrive. If you order seeds domestically, then it should take no longer than five days to arrive.
Seed banks that do ship to places where cannabis is illegal to have the option of stealth shipping. This is when they take the seeds out of their original packaging and put them in something else.
It’s only a good option if you’re purchasing seeds from a direct seller. If you’re purchasing seeds from a reseller, then the original packaging is important to know that the seeds you receive are the ones you ordered.
Stealth shipping or discreet shipping isn’t just for getting into illegal states. It’s also a method to stop theft. Stealth shipping typically costs extra for small orders. But large orders usually come with free, discreet shipping.
Like with any other online purchase, make sure the seed bank provides tracking on your order.
11. Delivery guarantee
You should always look for a seed bank with a delivery guarantee, especially when you live in an area where cannabis seeds are illegal. A delivery guarantee is for anything that could go wrong with your shipment.
You want to look for coverage against theft or for seeds getting held at customs. Depending on your situation, you’ll want to have all your bases covered. Many seed banks will replace your order in the case of a delivery issue.
Some seed banks offer a free delivery guarantee. Others, you might have to pay extra for it. If you live in the US and are ordering internationally, a delivery guarantee is likely worth it.
12. Germination guarantee
Not many seed crops are 100% successful. Whenever you plant seeds, it’s a little of a gamble for how many seeds will produce plants. There are a lot of factors that go into it, many of which are out of your control.
Many seed banks offer germination guarantees for up to a percentage of your seed purchase. That means if some of your seeds don’t germinate, they’ll send you more for free.
If a seed bank doesn’t offer a germination guarantee, that doesn’t mean they’re not still a legitimate seed source. Germination guarantees are often expensive. You’ll either pay for it through more expensive seeds or pay an additional cost for the assurance.
Also, the guarantee doesn’t cover user errors. You’ll likely have to prove that you followed all the seed bank’s instructions. Still, if you’re trying out a new seed bank, a germination guarantee is very nice to have.
13. How does the seed bank deal with your privacy?
Privacy is a big concern for a lot of private buyers who buy from seed banks. Before you begin business with a new store, check if they store customer information.
If you’re in an area where cannabis is illegal, then you want to make sure there aren’t any documents that could incriminate you in the future. If you’re concerned with privacy, you’ll also want to consider paying with cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency offers a discreet way to pay for a seed supply without a bank record of the transaction.
14. Customer service
Good customer service can make or break your experience with a seed bank. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their products, pricing, and promotions.
The more customer service you interact with, the higher likelihood of a successful order. If a company has no customer service or minimal response, it could be a sign that the business is not legitimate.
Weedseedsexpress, one of the Most Trusted Seed Banks
Weedseedsexpress has the experience and knowledge to get you on your way growing cannabis flowers of your own. From beginner to expert growers, we have what you need.
Not Sure Where to Start?
No problem! Visit our list of the best cannabis seeds for beginners. These are the easiest to grow and are highly resilient.
As one of the most reliable marijuana seed banks around, we’re happy to help in any way to get you started growing!