Every cannabis grower hopes to have a plentiful harvest full of top-shelf buds. One of the best ways to meet that goal is by planting quality genetics. But with so many breeders out there, it may be difficult to determine the best cannabis seed banks for your needs.
Cannabis seeds are technically legal across the United States since they contain less than 0.3 percent THC, according to the 2018 Farm Bill. In the last six years, dozens of online seed banks have popped up vying for market share. Offering feminized cannabis seeds and autoflowering seeds in many of the most popular strains, there are endless genetics from which to choose.
The best cannabis seeds for an operator may vary depending on whether a grow is indoors or outdoors, their preferred growing medium, and the ultimate goal for the crop. For example, are you hoping to extract rosin or sell smokable buds? These questions must be considered prior to selecting marijuana strains and, by proxy, a source for those genetics.
As the cannabis industry evolves, it’s imperative that plant genetics are consistent, stable, and able to produce high yields. This will ultimately lead to a robust supply chain and a satisfied consumer base. While interstate commerce may be years away, sourcing the best cannabis seeds from a trusted breeder is one the easiest ways for multi-state brands to establish customer loyalty.
How to pick cannabis strains to grow
With so many varieties available, it can be difficult to know which ones to plant. Fortunately, there are a few ways to narrow down the list.
When growing outdoors, it’s important to think about the climate. Those in warmer areas can manage a late finisher, while gardens in cooler climates must harvest faster. Controlled agriculture environments have a bit more flexibility, but the overall size of a facility is another matter.
Cannabis plants come in all shapes and sizes. Some are tall and lean, while others are stout and bushy. The potential height and width of a specific strain should be taken into account, especially as it may impact overall output.
For indoor grows, shorter indicas may fare better since they take up less space. Plants that like to stretch may end up too close to lights, which can be damaging for developing buds.
Terpene and cannabinoid profile
Supply and demand are basic business principles, and cannabis is no different. Growers know they must deliver on-trend strains to buyers while striking a balance with consistent sellers. Having a good mix of hype and old-school varieties is always recommended for bigger growers. At the same time, craft cultivators may want to focus on specialty varieties or minor cannabinoids making waves, such as THCV.
Cannabis can be used in many different ways, from industrial hemp fiber to top-shelf smoke. Cultivators can choose their genetics wisely by considering the market and what potential buyers are seeking. Growers who want to create concentrates may select varieties that offer elevated resin production, while those offering smokable flower may want a more robust bud structure. Always communicate your goals to breeders to determine which seeds are going to perform the best.
8 best cannabis seed banks 2024
This list of the best cannabis seed banks in the world features something for everyone, from commercial cannabis cultivators to craft home growers. With a wide variety of cannabis strains and thousands of satisfied customers, each entry has what it takes to set your operation up for success.
Cookies Seed Bank
Known for its groundbreaking Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) strain, Cookies revolutionized the scene with its dessert-forward varieties. The brand’s highly sought-after genetics tend to have high THC levels, incredible resin production, and fan-favorite flavors.
The Cookies Seed Bank has an impressive number of cultivars available, including crosses of legendary strains like Gorilla Glue, Gary Payton, and, of course, Cookies. There’s also a selection from the sativa-leaning Lemonnade line, meaning your garden can get a full spectrum of varieties.
Auto flowering seeds are becoming more popular, and Fast Buds is one of the best marijuana seed banks for these genetics. Instead of traditional photoperiod varieties, which rely on light intervals to mature, autoflowers are time-dependent. They tend to produce at a much faster rate, making them ideal for both experienced growers seeking high yields and novice cultivators who want an easy entry point.
Fast Buds has a dizzying amount of genetics in its catalog, including indica-dominant strains, sativa-leaning favorites, and CBD-rich varieties. The company won several accolades at last year’s American Autoflower Cup and is poised to perform well in the 2024 competition. Fast Buds recently introduced its “Fastflowering” line, which are photoperiod strains that allow growers to harvest up to two weeks earlier than other typical varieties.
Humboldt Seed Company
Providing some of the best weed seeds the Emerald Triangle has to offer, Humboldt Seed Company is revered for its diverse catalog of regular, feminized, and autoflower varieties. The company’s annual seed catalog highlights new and classic cultivars, denoting which are easy to grow and the strains that may be better for experienced growers.
In addition to its long list of in-house genetics, Humboldt Seed Company has had several successful collaborations with master grower Ed Rosenthal, ska rock prodigies Slightly Stoopid, and fellow breeders Sensi Seeds. The company’s new triploid varieties, which are resistant to pollination, could be the future of growing cannabis worldwide.
North Atlantic Seed Co.
North Atlantic Seed Co. is a one-stop-shop cannabis seed bank that offers genetics from over 50 reputable breeders. Whether you want exotic varieties from hype-forward brands like Compound Genetics or fan-favorite strains from old-school seed banks like Dutch Passion, North Atlantic Seed Co. has you covered.
For growers seeking a great deal, North Atlantic Seed Co. has plenty of promotions. Every order includes free seeds, and the website features a rotating list of brand BOGOs. A “Canna Coin” loyalty program sees customers earn one point for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed for future savings or freebies.
Royal Queen Seeds
One of the most well-known cannabis seed banks in the world, Royal Queen Seeds operates in 17 European countries and has recently been making a splash in the U.S. With dozens of varieties perfect for indoor or outdoor gardens, the company’s website and brick-and-mortar stores are a treasure trove of terps. Whether seeking classic cultivars like OG Kush and Amnesia Haze or modern dessert strains, RQS has you covered.
Royal Queen Seeds is also known for its selection of F1 hybrid cannabis seeds, which are specially stabilized genetics known for uniformity across crops. These genetics are especially useful for commercial growers. The brand’s website is also an education hub, offering expert tips and tricks on everything from cannabis nutrients to strain reviews. A generous loyalty program rounds out the company’s offerings.
Established in 1985, Sensi Seeds is one of the oldest seed banks in the game. The company launched in Amsterdam with humble beginnings, emerging as one of the best cannabis seed breeders on the planet. Sensi’s catalog now boasts over 500 varieties, from indica-dominant hybrids to pure sativa strains.
Shopping on the Sensi Seeds website is incredibly intuitive. Visitors can search for strains based on environmental climate, projected plant height, flowering time, and potential yield. The ultimate performance of a selected cultivar is ultimately up to the grower, but the insights can prove useful in the garden planning process.
Seedsman is another boutique genetics retailer offering strains from a wide variety of breeders. Featured seed banks include DNA Genetics, Dutch Passion, Cali Connection, and many more. The company also has an in-house Seedsman line of feminized and autoflower varieties. A rewards program offers tons of bonus opportunities, including 250 free points on your birthday.
To help bridge the knowledge gap for new growers, Seedsman offers a great selection of genetics for beginners. Free resources like grow guides and a robust blog mean cultivators of all types can get the most from their seeds.
Support legacy growers in the Emerald Triangle and secure the hottest cannabis genetics in California with seeds from Tangled Roots. This community-focused retailer offers some of Humboldt’s best marijuana seeds, preserving the region’s legendary strains while making them available to the public for the first time. Tangled Roots seeks to raise awareness of the rich culture of the Emerald Triangle and their plight to survive in the age of legalization.
Highlights from the Tangled Roots catalog include Emerald Cup Award winner Green Lantern from Ridgeline Farms and a cross of the High Times strain of the year, Whitethorn Rose by Huckleberry Hill Farms. For top-shelf craft genetics sourced from family farms, Tangled Roots is leading the charge.
Cannabis seed banks – the root of the cannabis industry
Growing cannabis isn’t just about the lights, water, and nutrients—it’s also about the source material. While genetics won’t make or break a garden, they play a big role in a crop’s overall success. By purchasing strains from one of the best cannabis seed banks listed above, growers can rest assured their yields will be bountiful, potent, and attractive to retail buyers and consumers.