Scuffing the shell of the cannabis seeds with fine sandpaper (60 to 200 grit) lets the water more easily soak through the shell and kickstart germination. The easiest way to do this is to form a tube with a piece of sandpaper, with the textured surface on the inside. Place your thumb over one end and drop in your seeds. Then, placing your finger over the open end of the tube, shake the tube 20 times.
To begin the “Water Glass/Paper Towel” Cannabis Seed Germination Method, you will need a few simple items you probably already have around the house:
- Thick paper towel with no dyes or perfumes, preferably unbleached
- Distilled or spring water (bottled), or rain water. (We cannot guarantee successful germination in tap water. If you must use tap water, pour it a few days early, and let it sit out before beginning the germination process.)
- A glass or cup, about 8oz in size
- A glass or plastic dinner plate (do not use Styrofoam)
- Tweezers (don’t touch the seeds with your bare hands)
This fellow didn’t follow the “5 seed max” rule!
Pour room temperature water (75-80 degrees Fahrenheit) into the glass. Remove the cannabis seeds from their glass, medical-grade vial, and place them in the water.
Note: Place no more than 5 seeds in each glass. Use a separate glass and paper towel for every 5 seeds you germinate.
After the seeds have soaked for a few hours, they may sink to the bottom of the glass. If they have not, a gentle tap of your finger on the top of the seeds should make them sink. If any of the seeds do not sink, leave them for another hour or two and try again.
Your cannabis seeds should be fully submerged within the first few hours of the process. This keeps them away from any dust or debris that may settle on the surface of the water. Once all the seeds are resting on the bottom of the glass, leave them in a warm, dark place for 14 to 18 hours.
Caution: The cannabis seeds should not sit in the glass of water for more than 18 hours.
After 14 to 18 hours:
Place the paper towel, folded a few times, onto the plate. Pour the entire contents of the glass onto the plate, so the cannabis seeds fall onto the paper towel. The paper towel should soak up the water and be saturated. Carefully drain off any excess water. Space the seeds out across the middle of the paper towel using the tweezers, so they are about one inch apart. This keeps the taproots from tangling as they grow. Fold the sides of the paper towel over, so the seeds are completely covered. Do not press the paper towel down, just set it gently onto the seeds.
Place the plate in a dark place at room temperature. Keep the paper towel wet while the seeds are germinating. Water can be misted or sprinkled over the plate as needed. How often or how much water you’ll need to add will depend on the humidity level of the room. Check the dampness of the paper towel every few hours to make sure it hasn’t dried out.
This cannabis seed has sprouted a nice, healthy taproot.
The cannabis seeds will usually take up to seven days to develop a good taproot. Some seeds could take as long as two weeks. The seeds are ready to plant when the taproot is between 1/4 and 3/4 inch long. Check the seeds a few times a day to monitor the taproot length, but don’t touch the delicate new growth.Caution: Your order is no longer eligible for the Germination Promise if you did not follow this method exactly.There are a number of reasons your seeds may not germinate, even if you follow the method outlined above. Due to seeds being a 100% natural product, it is impossible to guarantee that every seed we sell will germinate.
If your cannabis seeds do not germinate, it is possible…
- The room is too warm or too cool
- The paper towel dried out too much, or there was too much water on the plate
- The seeds were not soaked long enough
- The water had too many additives
- The seeds are no longer viable (if you purchased them months or years ago)
If you followed this method exactly and your seeds did not germinate, try this “last ditch” method before giving up: Place the seeds back into a cup of water. Let them soak until the seeds crack open and the taproot is visible. Then continue from step two.
*The cost of the replacement cannabis seed(s) is covered by 1st Seed Bank. We will provide Loyalty Points (Store Credit) for all approved replacements. Shipping costs are the responsibility of the customer. Please contact us for exact shipping costs. Cannabis seeds purchased more than 60 days prior to complaint are not eligible for the Germination Promise.
To learn more about planting your cannabis seeds, and the plant’s life cycle, check out these articles:
Following Germination – planting your cannabis seeds in the growing medium
The Vegetative Stage – The growth period from when your seed sprouts above the surface, until it begins to develop buds.
The Flowering Stage – The growth period from the development of cannabis buds, until harvest.