How many times have you scrolled through your local dispensary website, looking for a good deal? Some medical cardholders have one or two strains that they prefer. And they will only buy specific strains. That is because they learned that the unique physiological effects help them manage health symptoms best.
Patients who have a high tolerance to cannabis may also choose a stronger or more potent strain. Particularly people who have severe chronic pain symptoms. But for others who have a lower tolerance, the specific strain may not matter as much. Cannabinoids are natural anti-inflammatories. And other than potency, there is no clinical research to support that some strains work better than others for pain.
For American seniors or individuals who are living on a fixed disability income, two things matter: efficacy and cost. Naturally, you want to save money and may choose a discounted cannabis when one is available. And frequently, the least expensive cannabis from your local dispensary will be ‘seeded weed.’
Cannabis with seeds can be featured as a BOGO (buy one get one free) offer. Or it can be sold as discounted as $40 per ounce. If you have a medical card, is seeded cannabis worth buying? The answer is that it depends on how you consume your cannabis. And also, how much work you want to do to separate seeds and stems from your medical marijuana.
Why Do Some Cannabis Flowers Have Seeds In Them?
A cultivator traditionally will do everything they can to harvest cannabis before it produces seeds. That is because whole flower with seeds are less desirable to consumers. It doesn’t smell different. Seeds do not impact the potency of the strain you are thinking about buying. But seeded weed is somewhat of an inconvenience. It takes a little work before you can smoke it.
Cannabis plants produce seeded buds for two main reasons. First, the cannabis was allowed to mature, and cultivation was delayed. Cannabis is an annual plant. After blooming flowers (buds), the next step in the plant’s life cycle is to produce seeds that will create the next generation of the plant.
The second reason that cannabis grows flowers that are heavily seeded is pollination. Male cannabis plants are typically separated from female plants. But if a large amount of male pollen floats over to a female cannabis plant, it creates a problem. You end up with whole flower that looks like a cluster of seeds mixed through the colas or bud. Temperature fluctuations can also produce seeded cannabis.
Seeded flowers are essentially a mistake in the cultivation process. If a grower has cannabis clones that are producing a large number of seeds, they will destroy the plants. And they will start new seedlings from a different “family tree” or plant lineage. The seeds aren’t entirely useless, but they are considered a lower-grade weed for consumers who want to smoke the flowers.
Can You Smoke Cannabis Seeds?
If you have purchased some cannabis from your dispensary, chances are you may find a seed or two in your container or bag. However, if you are shopping for discounted cannabis and choose weed labeled “heavily seeded,” you will get a high volume of seeds.
Understand that because of the cost of growing, some dispensaries may still try to sell seeded cannabis. Other types of dispensaries (particularly high-end recreational retailers) will not even sell cannabis flowers that are heavily seeded. It’s a quality and reputation issue. Often seeded cannabis flowers are repurposed into edibles or tinctures at the dispensary. And they are not sold as smokeable flower.
However, other dispensaries are okay with retailing seeded cannabis for a discounted price. It’s less work for them, and they can recoup some of the production costs that way. But behind the scenes, if that particular crop yielded a high instance of seeded flower, chances are the clones were destroyed after harvesting.
Smoking seeds (even if you put them through your grinder) can create some side-effects. The same chemistry makes popcorn pop makes cannabis seeds do the same thing in a joint or bowl. The seed shells conduct heat better. Having a lit joint or flaming a bowl that is doing the “snap, crackle, and pop” of your favorite breakfast cereal is kind of scary. Especially when it is close to your face, some people report getting headaches and nausea from smoking cannabis seeds.
Are Cannabis Seeds Good for Growing?
The first time you get seeds in your weed, you may be excited. Maybe you can grow your own plants (if your state legalized home-grow for patients). Many people think that if they get seeds from their favorite strains in the dispensary, they can cultivate plants at home. And some people are successful at creating seedlings from cannabis they purchased at a dispensary.
However, given the side-effects of smoking cannabis seeds and stems, it’s not recommended. If you have purchased a discounted ounce of cannabis that is heavily seeded, you will likely pass on the genetic flaw.
Cannabis plants have a strong genetic memory, and plants that produced heavily seeded weed will result in new plants that do the same thing. They will grow lower quality cannabis. And you don’t want to go through all the expense and work for rank instead of dank weed.
Some of the seeds that are found in dispensary purchases are mature seeds. Others are undeveloped. So, if you have ever tried to plant some of those seeds and got nothing, you probably had undeveloped seeds. They cannot germinate, no matter what you do to them.
What Can You Do With Cannabis Seeds?
The perception of saving money on discounted seeded weed isn’t realistic. You are paying by the ounce. Even though it’s less expensive, you are losing some of that volume weight. Much of what you are buying in seeded weed can’t be smoked. But that doesn’t mean it is useless.
First, you are going to have to separate the seeds from the smokable parts of the flower you purchased. The seeds can be used in other ways. They are high in nutrients. Consider them a superfood! If they have the hull (shell) intact, about 35% of the volume provides essential fatty acids. This includes healthy fats like omega 3, 6, and 9 and GLA. They also contain high levels of iron, copper, potassium, zinc, magnesium, folate, thiamine, B vitamins, and vitamin E.
Cannabis seeds are also highly digestible. You can eat them raw, shelled, or unshelled. Some people also grind them into a dry powder and use them as a nutritional supplement in foods like smoothies. You can also add ground cannabis seeds into your coffee for added health benefits.