Cheap Weed Seeds Vs. Expensive Ones: Is There Really a Difference?

Brown Seeds
Photo by 42 North

The marijuana wave is here with us, and people want to grow the plant for various recreational and medicinal reasons. Seeds lie at the growing process’s heart because they determine your cultivation’s overall harvest. 

Equally, the seed market responds to this need via various seed strains. These seeds sell at different prices ranging from cheap to expensive. But do expensive seeds really differ from cheap ones? If they do, why do some costly seeds often fail to produce the highest-quality plants? 

This post answers all these lingering questions and examines other pertinent factors regarding seed selection. Keep reading to learn more about these seeds and make an informed choice. 

Factors Determining Cannabis Seed Prices

Let’s discuss the factors determining seed prices before examining the big difference between costly and cost-effective ones.

Preservative Process

Preservation processes affect seeds’ overall pricing. After harvesting, all marijuana seeds are carefully processed and packed for storage to keep them healthy before planting. This preservation may involve chemical substances and long periods of open-air storage to dry them before storage in a cold place to prevent unwanted sprouting. Seeds that undergo proper preservation maintain their DNA, quality, and integrity. All these factors influence overall seed pricing.  

Legal Restrictions

Seeds can cost more or less based on the legal restrictions they face. Many growers are legally confined to growing a certain number of cannabis plants annually. Besides, shipping to areas with high legal inhibitions is costlier and affects seeds’ final market prices.

Plant Genetics 

Plant genetics is another factor affecting seed prices. A plant’s DNA determines its cannabinoid power and overall quality. Therefore, seeds with superior quality cost more than those with inferior genetics. Besides, excellent DNA in some high-cost seeds comes from accurate cross-breeding needing many years of research and development. If you need varieties with specific qualities, you will have to pay more for them.  

Production Process

The production process also affects overall seed pricing. All seeds need to be harvested at their maturity cycles to retain all the nutrients and cannabinoids consumers need. Harvesting cannabis early reduces its quality; you can know those seeds by their green or white coloring. Inversely, seeds that underwent a complete maturation cycle are usually shining brown.


Transportation is another factor driving overall marijuana seed prices. If an American online seed seller buys their seeds from a Canadian grower, the final price in the US will be higher than that in Canada, and vice versa. 

Market Demand

The law of demand and supply also affects weed seed prices. Marijuana seeds that become more popular usually attract higher demand. In turn, increased demand pushes prices higher unless there is an equal supply boost in the market. Mostly, such rising demand outpaces breeders’ production and supply speed, pushing rates higher. 

Seed Variety

Seed variety is another factor influencing weed seed costs. Cannabis strains vary and have different qualities, such as their unique CBD and THC profiles. They can come in indica or sativa types and exhibit other traits like signature taste, flavor, and smell. 

Natural Versus Feminized and Auto-flowering 

Feminized seeds produce up to 99% female plants, which produce the precious buds weed connoisseurs want from their plantations. Growing natural seeds gives you a 50/50 chance of getting male and female plants. That means feminized seeds guarantee you higher yields than natural ones. Consequently, they cost more than their natural counterparts. 

Also, going for auto-flowering seeds means getting varieties that flower on their own within a month. This shorter flowering period gives you two to three harvests per season. Getting this harvest level costs you more than opting for natural seeds. You can get more information about seed price determinants and purchase options at

How Do These Seeds Differ?

Cheap seeds differ from expensive ones in four distinct ways. Let’s shed more light on these dissimilarities. 

Usage and Popularity 

Seeds that attain “celebrity status” in the market differ from those that don’t. Popular seeds are naturally more expensive than cheaper ones and vice versa. One of the reasons for this difference in usage and popularity is that most cheaper seeds aren’t specialized. 

Being “specialized” means they have distinct traits suitable for solving a specific problem, such as health, among users. For example, a specialized strain can be bred to deal with a medical condition like stress relief, cancer, inflammation, pain management, insomnia, or epilepsy. This characteristic can also affect how some vendors market these seeds. For instance, medical dispensaries will sell such seeds more expensively than an average online seller. 

Being unspecialized doesn’t mean the seeds are essentially bad or poor. Instead, it means they were not bred with a particular purpose. It’s also worth noting that these seeds are affordable and offer reasonable therapeutic benefits to users who can select the proper variety for their health needs.  


You can also distinguish expensive cannabis seeds from cheaper ones by looking at their packaging quality. All costly seeds come in better, special packages. This packaging distinguishes the seeds because it’s waterproof and labeled with all of a strain’s essential details. On the other hand, cheaper seeds rarely come with such packages containing such information. 


You can also distinguish cheap cannabis seeds from expensive ones by their physical appearance. Pricey seeds have a nice, round, and firm touch. Their colors vary from brown to black, making them ready for planting. Inversely, more affordable ones don’t have this shape, color, and texture. Many such seeds can have black and brown marks but lack the markings denoting maturing and readiness for planting. 

Overall Quality

Lastly, these two seed types differ based on their overall quality. Please note that we aren’t talking about the final quality of the cannabis plants the seeds produce, although that’s equally important. Here, we’re talking about the seed’s overall quality. 

Thus, when choosing cheaper seeds, you should expect some of them to germinate and others may not. You must be ready to shoulder this element if you don’t have the money to buy pricier seeds. Selecting costlier seeds means you have a higher germination guarantee. 

How Good Are Cheap Seeds?

Now, what happens if you opt for cheap seeds? Do you burn your fingers by choosing cost-effective seeds? Definitely, you don’t necessarily lose or waste your money. Fortunately, you can get a decent harvest from seeds because other factors also determine the cultivation outcomes. 

For instance, buying and growing costlier seeds under poor conditions doesn’t guarantee higher yields. You must pay attention to other factors that contribute to a good harvest. Also, the cannabis industry is getting regulated. That means with proper legal structures and emphasis on quality, sellers will have to comply. 

Besides, every seed seller or breeder would like to maintain customer loyalty. This motivates market players to pay particular attention to their overall seed quality, pricing notwithstanding. 

How to Save Money on Seeds? 

As you can see, cheap seeds don’t outrightly mean shoddy quality and loss of your money. But how do you save money on seeds without significantly compromising your overall production quality? Below are pro tips to help you. 

  • You may save your own seeds from open-pollinated cultivars. These are non-hybrid cannabis plants producing seeds that germinate into plants that resemble them.
  • Participate in local seed swaps and seed exchanges among cannabis growers.
  • Do a thorough comparison shop at local retail stores and cannabis seed company sites.
  • Buy smaller, less expensive seed packets.
  • Purchase weed seeds in late summer and early fall because prices usually drop during such seasons.
  • Capitalize on discount offers when most online stores go for clearance sales or offer discounts to boost sales among new and existing customers. These offers can give you more and better quality seeds for less money. 
  • Order your weed seeds in bulk because bigger packs cost less in the long term, and store them safely until winter is over. Bulk purchases also help you save on delivery charges. 
  • Buy regular seeds to save money if you feel buying feminized or auto-flowering seeds is expensive. You may save a few bucks, although your overall harvest quantity will be lower. 
  • Lastly, save money on cannabis seeds by purchasing a new variety when it first hits the market. Most market entry prices are usually lower to attract customers from the competition. You can capitalize on these entry rates and save money. 


There you go with all the facts you need to know about cheap weed seeds versus expensive ones. We hope the insights we shared in this post have opened yours and given you a new perspective. The ball is in your court to use this valuable information to make an informed decision. 

This article was written by Tia Moskalenko, a full-time writer at AskGrowers, bringing the knowledge about cannabis closer to regular consumers. Tia is passionate about the weed industry and works to educate people on responsible consumption and the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. 

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