Rescuing Old Cannabis Seeds – 5 Tips to Germinate Them Easily

Discovering the efficient way to germinate marijuana seeds? Old cannabis seeds can have a hard time to germinate but it is still possible. Scan through the article to have knowledge about the five effective guidelines to germinate old cannabis seeds.

It is truly disappointing to exert efforts when attempting to germinate cannabis seeds only find out that the seeds have grown too old. Luckily, there is still hope that these seeds will germinate, so it’s still not the end for your seeds to grow. The reason old seeds can be difficult to get going is that the seeds’ ability to absorb water through their shell has diminished. Aside from hardening of shells, it can also be tough to split or break the seeds.

What is Germination?

Before we go further in discussing ways to rescue old cannabis seeds, let’s first check what germination is all about.

Access Science defines germination as “the process of development of seed (a fertilized ovule containing an embryo, which forms a new plant upon germination)”.

To tackle the problem of old marijuana seeds not germinating properly, growers must need to overcome the problem of poor absorption.

Marijuana seeds require these three things to germinate:

1. Water
2. Heat
3. Air

In times of germination, you can observe little white sprout that coming out from the cannabis seeds. This is considered as the first root of the plant and it is called taproot. The taproot will eventually get longer causing it to push the seed up, and after the shell splits the first leaves of the plant will emerge. These first-round leaves of the plant are known as “cotyledons”.

5 Tips to Germinate Your Old Seeds

1. Scarifying Your Seeds

Scarification also referred to as scuffing the shell, helps water to pass through an older seed’s hard outer shell.
Steps to scarify old cannabis seeds:
Line a small box or a small container with sandpaper.
Place the seeds inside.
Shake the box lined with sandpaper with seeds for a minute.
Remove the seeds from the box.

Changes are not too visible but doing the process has made small micro-abrasions to let some water reach the inside of the seeds to hopefully trigger germination.

2. Immerse the Old Cannabis Seeds in Supplemented Water

Two ways to enhance your water for the germination process:

Use lightly carbonated water.
Aside from using carbonated water, you can also add supplements such as fulvic acid, germination booster, hydrogen peroxide to help the seed’s water absorption.

3. Remove the Seed’s Ridge

The seed’s outer shell is made up of two parts or sides. The side of the seed that is more pronounced than the other is the ridge. To remove the ridge, run a sharp blade along the ridge on both sides at a 90-degree angle. Make sure to gently handle to avoid further damaging of the seeds. Getting rid of the ridge will help the seed to open and obtain water.

4. Paper Towel Germination

Paper towel germination is another frequently used method in rescuing old seeds. To do this place a couple of wet paper towels in a container. The wet paper towels should be at room temperature before carefully placing your seeds onto the towels inside the container. To maintain humidity you may want to place a lid on the container. Mist the paper towels each day with room temperature water to avoid the towels from drying out. This method may provide successful results by making sure that the seeds do not become too try or too wet and always use room temperature water.

5. Slice the Seed

In the worst-case scenario, you may need to apply much force to open the seeds. In this stage, the only possible way to help the seeds germinate is to slice it open.

Transplanting Germinated Marijuana Seeds

You’ll know that germinating the old cannabis seeds was successful, once you see the taproot. This is the best time to transfer your germinated cannabis seed into its growing medium. A small 2-inch pot is a good place to start. Stuff the pot with loose, airy potting soil and put a hole in the middle about a quarter-inch down. Use a pair of tweezers to gently transfer the seeds, and then drop the seed in the hole you made with the taproot facing down. The next step is to lightly cover the germinated cannabis seed with soil. Do not over-water because it may cause the delicate sprout to suffocate and eventually die. Use a spray bottle when providing moisture to the soil.


Germinating cannabis seeds do not always go smoothly as planned. Hopefully, with this new information in hand, you shouldn’t have a major issue giving a bit more life into those old seeds of yours. If they are still not germinating after following the tips, then those cannabis seeds are beyond help.

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