Want to know if weed seeds go bad? Are you looking for a way to make the rest of your weed seeds last longer after planting them? Weed growing is an expensive and time-consuming hobby. You do not want your investment to go to waste either by selling bad weed or, even worse, letting your personal stash go bad.

With our guide on how to store weed so it lasts longer, you’ll never have to throw spoiled cannabis away again in your life. Moreover, you can differentiate good seeds from bad ones using experts’ tips.

How Can You Tell if Seeds Are Still Good? has seeds that are durable and can last for quite a while, but it’s essential to know when they’re no longer suitable for planting.

They’re probably still good if you’ve stored your weed seeds in an airtight container. However, you should inspect them to ensure there isn’t any mold growing or any signs of deterioration like discoloration or cracking.

Good Weed Seeds


Just as different varieties of cannabis plants exhibit varied traits and characteristics, so do the seeds they produce.

One of the most noticeable ways these differences manifest themselves is in appearance: cannabis seed colors can vary from green to brown and white gold, while their shapes may be round or oval.

In addition to their appearance and size, the overall condition of a seed matters a lot, and it can tell you how well it’s been stored and whether your grower properly germinated it.

Cannabis seeds may look similar but display unique characteristics when they mature into full-grown cannabis. Breeders create hybrid strains by selecting desirable traits from parent strains and marrying them together.

The characteristics of each plant will exhibit the best traits from their lineage, making it easier for breeders to adjust their selection process when aiming for desired traits in the offspring.

When buying marijuana seeds, remember that any seed, given the right conditions, can grow into a potent plant.

However, it is still possible to decrease the chance of getting low-quality seeds. By looking for these critical signs of quality, you will improve your chances of growing good weed seeds into healthy plants.

Brown Color

When buying viable and healthy weed seeds, look for those with a brown color. The shade of brown will vary from light to dark, and some seeds feature more consistent shades, whereas others display turtle shell or tiger stripe patterns.

The coloration of seeds is a good indicator of vigor and viability. As a general rule, the darker the grain, the better it is.

Many factors contribute to that darkness, including genetics and environmental conditions. However, darkening is also influenced by how long the seeds have been stored.

Some sellers package seeds for several months before selling them; these seeds will eventually become much darker than those freshly packaged immediately after harvest.

Tear-Drop Shape and Large Size


Like their flowering counterparts, healthy weed seeds can exhibit any number of shapes and sizes.

Some cultivars are more compact than others, which means their seeds will be smaller and contained within a smaller shell. They look almost as if they had been wrapped in a protective layer of hermetically-sealed packaging.

Other seeds appear more cylindrical and bloated than spherical, which is typical for some strains. However, there are some instances where it’s a sign of your seeds being gotten from low-quality sources or too much calcium or magnesium in the soil.

Cannabis seeds are distinctly shaped with a round head and tapered body. Seeds that do not follow this shape may indicate genetic flaws or other problems with the plant that it develops into low-quality seeds.

Still, you can’t decide the quality of seeds based on shape and size alone. Regardless of their size or shape, every healthy cannabis seed will have an identifiable color pattern, a slight transparency to its shell, and a consistent firmness to its form.

Waxy Sheen

The exterior of seeds can also be a great indicator of plant health. Seeds with a golden sheen on their shells are generally healthier than dull and matte seeds.

So, looking for weed seeds with smooth and shiny shells is essential. These signals indicate that the seeds were adequately cared for during their growth.

Young Seeds

Learning how to tell the age of seeds is an important skill. If you want to grow your weed, it’s essential to know how old the seeds in your basket are.

Generally, the best age for marijuana seeds is 11 months or less, and seeds less than a year old tend to germinate faster and produce better crops.

By storing your cannabis seeds in the refrigerator, you can extend the life of your seed. However, when you plant them at a young age, they will grow more quickly and produce more robust seedlings than planting older seeds.

Fortunately, there’s a trick you can use to tell how old your seeds are – just squeeze them! If they feel firm, they are relatively young and haven’t been stored in the pantry for too long. But if the seed is soft, it has likely been stored for quite some time.

Bad Seeds


Some signs indicate weed seeds are no longer viable. Some of the primary features of weed seeds that are gone bad are as follows:

White or Green Color

Bad cannabis seeds can be green or white, and the presence of either color means the pot seed is not yet ready for use.

Green marijuana seeds are unlikely to germinate and grow into a healthy plant. If you see green hues, then growers harvest the seeds too early. The seedlings may survive but likely won’t grow as vigorously as they otherwise would have.

Irregular (No Tear-Drop) Shape

Weed seeds that are round or tear-drop in shape are ideal for germination. However, some weed seeds are less developed and will have flat or irregular bodies as they mature, and they also have a smaller chance of producing successful plants.

Older seeds

As the seeds get older and their moisture content decreases, they become more fragile. Therefore, old seeds often feel slightly floppy and spongy, with a cracked appearance.

Why Do Weed Seeds Go Bad?


Here are five factors why weed seeds could go bad:


Fresh air is not suitable for seeds. Germination will occur in the fresh air, which can lead to the seed rotting and you wasting your money. Invest in a vacuum sealer and put them inside a sealed plastic container for optimal storage.


Choose a dark and warm place for storing the seeds. Being in a dark place is vital since light could signal the seeds to germinate, preventing them from growing well in their natural environment.


To successfully store and grow seedlings, the conditions need to be perfect. Too dry, and the seed can dry out and rot. Too wet, the seed will become infected with mold or fungus that can stunt growth.

You must store the seeds in dry conditions with a relative humidity of 8 to 10%.


Cold temperatures can put germination on hold, while warmth can prematurely trigger germination. Meaning that if the weather gets cold and wet, or bad humidity or some other factor obstructs successful germination, your seed will have already used up some of its stored energy when it was triggered to germinate.

Environmental Fluctuations


Environmental fluctuations are the worst ones among all factors that increase the chance of your weed seeds going bad. It’s crucial to store seeds under steady conditions. If the environment changes, the seed thinks it needs to grow, so it uses up those nutrients and becomes unusable.

Insects and Disease

While this is not too common, cannabis seeds can be affected by pests and diseases. Like any plant, they can be affected by a blight in the area that can pass on from other plants, or the common pest in the soil may gain access to the seed. Therefore, ensure that the place you store your seeds is free from any pests, and decontaminate the area before storing.

How to Prevent Weed Seeds From Going Bad?

To prevent weed seeds from going bad, you can store them in a cool dark place like a kitchen cabinet. Keeping the seeds in an airtight container will prevent them from drying out.

Another way to prevent your weed seed from going bad is by keeping them in their original packaging or at least an airtight container that prevents moisture and sunlight from reaching them.

Do Old Seeds Lose Potency?


If you’re talking about losing the ability to germinate, then yes—old weed seeds will lose their potency to grow over time when not stored properly. The same is the case with seeds’ cannabinoids content.

However, there are a few reasons why old weed seeds can retain their potency even after they’ve been sitting around for a while.

Reasons why old weed seeds can retain their potency:

  • The seed itself may not have absorbed any moisture from the surroundings and may remain dry inside its shell. As long as it stays dry, it won’t decompose and lose its potency.
  • You may protect the seed from decomposition by being stored in an airtight container (like a jar or plastic bag). Using this kind of storage also means moisture won’t reach the seed, preventing it from losing potency over time.
  • The seed might have been frozen (and therefore killed) before being stored so that it wouldn’t germinate before you wanted it to!

So the old weed seeds will lose their ability to germinate if they’re left alone too long without being kept in a cool and dark place. An occurrence like this is why it’s essential to check the seeds every few months, especially if you’ve been storing them for more than a year.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do Old Seeds Produce Weaker Plants?

Some seeds are more sensitive than others, and some will not produce the same quality plant if they’re old. However, most seeds—even very old ones—can still grow healthy and viable plants if appropriately stored and used correctly.

Can You Use Seeds From Last Year?

Yes, you can. Just make sure to check other indicators of good-quality seeds before germinating them.

Weed seeds are viable for several years but will lose viability over time. Generally, weed seeds, when stored in a cool and dark place, will be viable for over 16 months. But you can keep them for over 5-10 years by putting the seeds in the freezer.

Can Expired Seeds Still Grow?


Yes, expired weed seeds can still grow. Expired seeds still can germinate, but it’s far less likely than with newer seeds.

The lifespan of a cannabis seed is about five years, but it can last up to 10 years if stored properly. The water content of the seed itself determines how long it will remain viable for planting.

If a seed has a high water content (the amount of moisture in a seed), it will have less viability than those with lower moisture content.

How to Revive Old Weed Seeds?

If you’re a weed seed enthusiast or even a casual stoner, you’ve probably found yourself in the unfortunate situation of having some seeds that have gone bad.

Whether they’ve been sitting on your shelf for too long or they don’t germinate anymore, there are ways to revive your old weed seeds and get them back into action. Here is the most common method for restoring old weed seeds:

Sandpaper Method

Roll up a sheet of fine sandpaper and insert the seeds with the abrasive side facing inwards. Now place seeds inside this tube and cover both sides with your hands. Shake for a few minutes or longer if needed. Doing this can help create minor abrasions in the shell that allow moisture to enter more effectively.


For growers looking to start a cannabis garden, seeds are the first step in creating a sustainable crop each year. Yes, weed seeds can rot or become unusable if you do not store them properly. Therefore, you must be aware of basic telltale signs that could differentiate good seeds from bad ones.

When selecting seeds, look for new, fresh specimens less than a year old and germinate them as soon as possible so they have time to grow before it’s time to plant them in your garden.