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Is It Bad To Touch Marijuana Seeds With Your Bare Fingers?

touching marijuana seeds

(image via stuffstonerslike.com)

Will It Harm Cannabis Seeds If You Touch Them With Your Fingers?

I have found marijuana seeds in my marijuana on many occasions. I am sad to admit that for a very long time in the 1990’s I smoked brick weed that always had seeds in it. I always remember spending long amounts of time de-seeding the bammer, and would look at the pile of schwag left over after the seeds were out of it and thinking about how crappy my dealer was. I also remember back in the day when I would get the rare chronic, and would find a seed. It was practically like finding the holy grail. I would pull it out, admire it for awhile, then put it away for safe keeping.

Some of those seeds were lost very quickly, or discarded for one reason or another, likely by accident. But there was one strain that I valued above all. It was called ‘The Project.’ Loyal readers likely have read articles in which I have talked about this strain. It got it’s name from a grower that I knew growing up. He had ‘the regulars’ that he had been growing for a long time, and ‘the project’ strain that he was still trying to figure out how to grow optimally. When he got it dialed in, I am being completely honest when I say this, it was hands down the best cannabis I had ever seen.

The story goes that his friend traveled to Hawaii on a vacation, tried the strain (which was a pure sativa according to the grower I knew) while he was there, and took some seeds back with him in the late 1980’s. Like most marijuana stories like this one, who knows what is truth and what is fiction, but at the end of the day, the quality of that strain was like nothing I have ever seen, and trust me, I have seen quite a bit of marijuana in my day.

I consumed that strain for over a decade, and there was only one batch that I ever found seeds in. They weren’t the strongest looking seeds, but I remember pulling them out, putting them in a film container, and keeping them safe just in case there was anything to do with them. So when that grower quit growing that strain at the end of the 2000’s, I pulled out the seeds hoping to bring the genetics back to my group of friends and family. None of the seeds did anything. At the time I chalked it up to the seeds just weren’t developed enough, but I would later learn that I had possibly made a fatal mistake that a lot of rookies make.

Keep in mind, I made this mistake a long time ago, way before Google was on my phone to do a quick search, or before there was YouTube to where I could learn from others’ video tutorials online. The mistake was that I touched the marijuana seeds with my bare fingers. To be fair, I was pulling apart a dank nug at the time, and the seeds popped out from behind some sugar leaf so it’s not like I botched a seed extraction operation. I was young, uneducated, and also took for granted that the strain was being grown by someone else, assuming that he would always grow it.

Your fingers contain oil, and that oil transfers to the seed when you are handling it. I have heard from some growers that are very adamant that this is a wives tale, and will point to other seeds that they handle of other plants and they are fine. But I have also talked to a lot of seed geneticists that give me weird looks when I ask them if it’s bad for the seeds. The expression on their faces is like, ‘Duh? Are you an idiot?’ As if it was the stupidest question I could ever ask.

My approach to this subject is that if there is even the slightest chance that touching the cannabis seed with bare fingers is bad for the seed, why risk it? Why not be 100% sure and avoid the whole thing by getting a pair of tweezers? Obviously if you were in a situation like I was and you had already accidentally touched the seed because you didn’t expect it to be in there, then handle it as minimal as possible, throw it in a container, and hope for the best while keeping realist expectation levels.

If you want to start growing, you should download a free marijuana grow bible written by Robert Bergman. He knows a ton about seeds and cultivation, and since the book is free, you have nothing to lose. I always offer up that free resource. All top quality marijuana seeds are available at his marijuana seed shop too if you are in the market for those. Genetics are gaining in popularity as more and more people start growing, and I’d imagine if you are reading this article, you may fit into that category. For any growing related question you can also visit Robert’s marijuana support page, which is a forum that I check out quite a bit for advice and tips.


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Johnny Green


  1. Storing seeds in a dry cool place will increase the time they will remain viable. I have seeds that are almost 10 years old and still good

  2. Which has nothing to do with the BS this article is about.
    Seeds can last decades if stored correctly.

  3. Is weed blog short on credible subjects and stories worth discussion? The waste of a an Article makes me ponder this.

  4. Whyiowa4medical on

    Your answer is NO!!! Some hygiene doesn’t hurt man nor plant one little bit, but seeds do spread via the feces of many birds and other wildlife.

  5. Whyiowa4medical on

    I stand by Sniglet, molds and other nasty’s, too tiny for the human eye, can wreak havoc with any seed strain, including a few I must re-create. I was well connected with my states domestic market long before many reading this were even born and started a grow co-op of my own in 1984. I obtained both domestic strains and a few true imports. When I found my Nepalese strain had been crossed with a Northern India strain it strongly improved the Nepalese Temple Ball strain and was the first medical strain I came into contact with. It was a potent brain injury strain that customer’s referred to as my “seizure cure” as it reduced injury related seizures to so near zero and seizures from birth to absolute zero. I have published the story of this strain which even brought a friend back from doctor assured death when dosed through his ventilator. He regained consciousness in 6 days and was back at work in six weeks. I know the genetics of this strain and I am able to re-create it. I took the strain to Iowa State University and had friends determine the strain test. I received a report that this strain was very potent in THCA and one particular non-psychoactive form of THC that is considered irritating to body tissue. It was moderate in THC, but the combination of more uncommon elements would make you swear it was two and a half times stronger in THC. It had a long duration of effect as well. Be inspired, the “Project” is being accomplished today in Minnesota, as there are $50 oz.s selling at that price ONLY because they are seeded. Next year we had better put on our “space helmets” for these breeding results.
    At my grow operation I took a clue from animal confinement and I merely showered in and out and this was very sufficient to prevent all molds and bacteria. There is bacteria in the soil for certain, but just like the human body there are some bacteria we cannot live without and some we do not live very well with. Storage is the real culprit as I could have saved seeds from this beauty of a 7 year, very popular, and today vital strain, but while cannabis does have stronger seeds than others and can lie dormant for many years; just as in all of medicine, clean hands and body are vital as a clean body does not exude enough harmful oil to contaminate a seed. When stored for a number of years it is very possible for the seed to be dead from touch bacteria and mold growth as the hard shell is semi-porous. So, were I expecting to try to save seed stock for five or more years I would scrub with Hibcleanse after showering and gently package the seeds. Medical/surgical scrubs are available at any pharmacy and do wonders during “flu” season as well.

  6. Seeds like anything else that’s alive has an expiration date.. I “think” Cannabis seeds have 3-5 years shelf life.. This is my own personal experience..

  7. As an experienced grower of many plants, including cannabis….

    LOL. Seriously, the hard seed coat IS protection. Some seeds go through the digestive systems of animals and come out fine!

    However, there is one reason to disinfect hard coated seeds with either a 5% bleach or hydrogen peroxide: mold spores. Seedlings succumb to damping off fungi among others. Hard seeds of any type can do with a quick disinfectant rinse to kill any spores on the surface before planting, as damp, warm environments are perfect for molds. Not necessary but one extra layer of protection if you’ve got that ONE seed from a favorite strain and you don’t want to see it die from damping off.

  8. I’m about to find out if this is true or not. Have about 50 seeds I’ve collected over the past several years – will be attempting to germinate 8 of them later today. =P

  9. I have seeds that are over 9 years old, they have been touched and handled many times. They are fine

  10. Closet Warrior on

    I call bullshit on that guys. How did it survive through the centuries w/out modern knowledge of seed handling dos and don’ts , which in my experience, I prefer to hold them up to a light and check for cracks or deformities so as to not waste my time and I’m sure that has been practiced for generations because I was taught this method by an older gentleman who really knew what he was doing.Hey darthhillbilly, if you get the chance, try crossing Berry Bomb w/Bubble Gum kush, bubblegum, or Juicy Fruit. You will love it. Easy, strong genetics, high potency, flavorful!!! I’m a country boy gone of the same era, I got it lol. Did I mention how potent those mixes were. I think I did, I can’t remember, lol.

  11. darthhillbilly on

    I want to cross Blue Dream, Northern Lights #5, and Super Silver Haze….call it Blue Light Special…lol…I’m an 80’s kid.

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