Understanding the Shelf Life of Cannabis Seeds and Prolonging their Viability

by duncan Winter on Feb 15, 2024

Understanding the Shelf Life of Cannabis Seeds and Prolonging their Viability

If you are an avid grower of cannabis seeds, questions like "how long do cannabis seeds last?" and "what factors affect their longevity?" must be among the many questions that cross your mind. 

Like all seeds, cannabis seeds are subject to the passage of time. Multiple factors, including temperature, storage conditions, and humidity, play crucial roles in determining their longevity. Understanding these factors is essential for preserving cannabis seeds for extended periods.

In this blog, we have included everything you need to know about prolonging the longevity of cannabis seeds. We'll explore the various factors that affect their viability and provide insights into how you can increase their shelf life.

How Long Do Cannabis Seeds Last?

Cannabis seeds, if stored properly, can remain viable for a few years. However, their success rate diminishes over time. On an average, you can expect cannabis seeds to retain their potency for up to 2 to 3 years.

Factors Affecting Seed Longevity

Listed below are all the factors that affect the longevity of seeds:

1. Temperature

Consistency is key when it comes to keeping cannabis seeds at the right temperature. It is best to avoid storing seedlings in uncontrolled environments such as garages or sheds, where temperatures can fluctuate greatly, especially in the summer. Seeds should be stored at a minimum temperature of 5°C (41°F) or below. 

Cooler temperatures are better for long-term storage as they slow down the loss of seed viability.

2. Humidity

Humidity is essential for maintaining ideal conditions when storing seeds. However, too much moisture can encourage the rapid growth of unwanted fungi and bacteria. High moisture settings can lead to rot in the fridge or damage from frost in the freezer. It is crucial to ensure that seeds are completely dry before storing to reduce these risks. Seeds bought from reliable sources usually arrive in airtight containers, indicating thorough drying. 

It is best to extract seeds only as needed for immediate use and promptly reseal the container to preserve their quality and prevent freezing.

3. Light

While cannabis seeds require light to germinate, excessive exposure may cause them to lose dormancy and even undergo mutations. Storing seeds in darkness, provided other requirements are met, ensures they remain dormant.

Labeling the container with the strain name, quantity, and storage date can streamline the storing process and aid organization.

How To Tell If Cannabis Seeds Are No Longer Good

Now that you know how long do cannabis seeds last, listed below are three procedures to determine if cannabis seeds are no longer viable:

1. Visual Inspection–

Inspect the appearance of the seeds. Healthy seeds are dark brown with a hard outer shell. Avoid seeds that are light green or white, as they may not be viable.

2. Float Test–

Place the seeds in a glass of water. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom, while non-viable seeds will float.

3. Germination Test–

Attempt to germinate the seeds to determine their viability. If they fail to sprout within a reasonable time frame, they may no longer be viable.


In conclusion, understanding the shelf life of cannabis seeds is essential for any grower. By considering factors such as temperature, humidity, and proper storage techniques, growers can prolong the viability of their seeds and ensure successful cultivation. While cannabis seeds can last for a few years if stored correctly, their longevity ultimately depends on the care taken in preservation.

So, remember to prioritize proper storage practices and stay mindful of how long do cannabis seeds last, ensuring a fruitful and bountiful harvest for years to come.


  • Are Old Cannabis Seeds Still Good?
  • Yes, old cannabis seeds can still be viable if stored properly. However, their viability diminishes over time.

  • Can You Save Seeds from Cannabis?
  • Yes, you can save seeds from cannabis for future use. Proper storage is key to maintaining their viability.

  • How Long to Keep Cannabis Seeds in the Dark?
  • Store cannabis seeds in a dark place for optimal preservation. Avoid exposing them to light for extended periods.

  • Can You Germinate Cannabis Seeds Too Long?
  • Yes, you can germinate cannabis seeds for too long. Over-soaking or exposing them to excessive moisture can hinder germination.

    Also Read :- Complete Guide on How Deep to Plant Cannabis Seed