By Luke Sumpter

The initial thought, when asked whether it is ok to touch cannabis seeds with bare hands, is of course! Why wouldn’t it be? Well, it depends on who you ask, but you could be causing irreversible damage, especially if you decide to store the seeds long term.


It is not unusual for people who buy their weed off the street to find the occasional seed lodged within their bud. More often than not, it is an annoyance, but if a seed is found in a particularly awesome batch of weed, it can be treated like a diamond, reverently handled and stored away for later growing. However, when it comes to germinating the seed, it falls flat on its face, completely failing to sprout.

While many usually chalked it up to bad luck or genetics, it turns out there could be another cause, one that many rookie growers fall for – touching the seeds with their bare fingers. This is a problem because our fingers are covered in essential oils, and while we may not feel them, they do rub off on seeds. If left for a long time, they can undermine the integrity of a seed, and even cause it to fail completely when it comes to germination.


There are numerous ways to move your cannabis seeds from point A to point B without damaging them. Below are a few techniques involving common household items.


Most people have a set of long metal tweezers in their bathroom cabinet. This tool can be used to pick up individual cannabis seeds and sow them with surgical precision. You can also use them to carefully inspect each seed. Either hold them close to the naked eye or wield a magnifying glass in the other hand for a closer look.


Everybody has a roll of this stuff in their kitchen. This material can serve as a barrier between the oil of your hands and the shell of cannabis seeds. Most kitchen towel is highly absorbent and will suck up any oil and prevent it from penetrating through to the other side. Although kitchen towel is cheap and accessible, using a whole sheet to handle a single seed limits dexterity and accuracy. This can be particularly problematic if you're attempting to sow a seed in a tiny hole. If you're using kitchen towel, tear off a small strip or corner to increase handling accuracy and scope of view.


Disposable gloves put your hands in close contact with cannabis seeds. This will give you much better control and more sensory feedback than a sheet of kitchen towel. They enable you to move all of your fingers individually and much more efficiently than any other method. They don't quite have the accuracy of tweezers, but they do make handling multiple seeds at a time a lot easier.


You can always just tip your seeds out of their original packaging and directly into the growing medium without touching them. This also puts them in minimal contact with unsavoury environmental conditions and possible contamination. Sure, this technique is more clumsy than the others, but it definitely saves both time and effort.



A lot of growers and breeders dispute this as a myth, stating they grow cannabis seeds they have touched without a problem. Whereas if you talk to biologists and botanists, they will tell you that in their expert opinion, oils do have an effect on seeds, especially in the long term.

So who is right? Cannabis breeders are clearly able to grow seeds after touching them, so it is not a definite thing, but at the same time, there is scientific backing to suggest it is a dangerous practice. If you ask us, why take the risk? You will probably get away with it if you are putting a fresh seed directly into soil, but if you plan to store it, what is the harm in wearing a pair of disposable gloves, or using tweezers? Touching cannabis seeds with your bare hands is not an instant death sentence, but if there is even the slightest chance that it could cause a seed to fail – and there certainly are dangers – then the extra precaution is worth the effort if.

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