On January 1st 2018, recreational marijuana finally became legal in California! This means that anyone over the age of 21 can walk into a recreational dispensary and legally buy weed. So is it still worth applying for a medical marijuana card or renewing your existing card? The simple answer is yes! Buying weed with a medical card from a medical dispensary has many advantages over buying recreational marijuana.
1. It’s much cheaper to buy weed with a medical card
Sales tax and other local taxes will apply when you purchase recreational marijuana. This means that on average you'll save over 25% when you buy your weed from a medical dispensary. In some Californian cities where additional taxes are applied you'll save even more! When you factor in these savings, most medical cannabis users will quickly offset the cost of their medical card. You could easily end up saving hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
2. Getting access to medical weed is much more convenient than recreational marijuana
The issuing of licenses for recreational dispensaries is happening very slowly. There are currently only about 100 in operation around Oakland, San Jose, San Diego and Berkeley. On the other hand, there are well over 1000 medical dispensaries to choose from.
3. Medical marijuana gives you access to stronger weed and a greater variety of strains
Medical cannabis strains are specifically bred to treat all kinds of conditions including insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and depression. This means that buying from a medical dispensary gives you an incredible range to choose from in terms of strains, strength, THC and CBD ratios and the type of high you'll get. A medical card also allows you to buy much stronger THC oils and waxes than those available from a recreational dispensary. In our experience, the staff at medical dispensaries are incredibly knowledgeable and can help you pick the exact type of weed you're looking for.
4. A medical card gives you extra legal protection and you can grow and carry more weed
With a medical card you can legally grow up to 100 square feet of medical cannabis and carry up to 8 oz. In contrast, the new Californian recreational laws only allow you to carry 1 oz of weed. A medical card also gives you extra legal protection if you’re stopped by law enforcement when driving or flying with weed in your possession. Carrying a medical card is worth it for this extra peace of mind alone!
5. Medical cannabis is available to people aged 18 and above
The new cannabis laws in California restrict the sale of recreational marijuana to people over the age of 21. However, with a medical card you can legally purchase weed from a medical dispensary as soon as you turn 18.
How do you get a medical marijuana card?
Getting a medical marijuana card takes as little as 10 minutes and can be done completely online or over the phone! The lawmakers responsible for Proposition 215 intentionally wrote it to make sure that pretty much any adult can easily access the medical benefits of cannabis.
The service we recommend for getting your medical card is OnlineMedicalCard.com. They are the most popular medical marijuana clinic in California and have a team of super friendly doctors that will chat with you and approve your medical card in a couple of minutes. These guys are really compassionate and genuinely believe that cannabis can improve lives. If you need any more proof, their doctors have done over 250,000 evaluations since 2001!
How does the application process work?
Once you head over to their website, the application process is incredibly easy:
Create an online account (if you'd rather apply by phone you can easily do that as well).
Fill in a standard online medical form.
Talk to a doctor via video chat. The doctor is there to explain how medical cannabis might help you and can answer any questions you have.
Immediately receive a doctor's recommendation letter (as a PDF) that you can take into any medical marijuana dispensary to buy weed whenever you like!
The doctor's letter is all you legally need to buy medical cannabis but you can also pay a little more and they'll give you a wallet sized ID card that's much more convenient to carry around.
The legalization of recreational cannabis in California is a fantastic step along the road to recognizing the benefits of weed and seeing it fully legalized around the world. However, for the foreseeable future if you live in an area of the United States where medical marijuana is legal, we recommend that you hang on to your medical card because it will save you money and get you access to much better weed.
We often get asked where to buy cannabis seeds and whether it's safe to buy seeds online. In this guide we'll review and recommend the seed banks we use and trust as well as teach you everything you need to know about safely and discretely buying weed seeds online.
There are several advantages to buying seeds from a quality online seed bank.
Seeds banks offer a huge range of strains to choose from, including feminized seeds, autoflowering strains, medical strains and high THC & CBD strains.
They ship to almost anywhere in the world.
They offer a range of stealthy payment and shipping options to protect your privacy and allow you to stay as anonymous as possible.
We've personally used all of the seed banks on this list with the exception of AMS. The feedback we've received on their reliability and customer service means we're confident to include them on our list.
Bank Transfer (not anonymous but there is nothing linking you to a specific product)
Stealth and privacy protection
Seedsman allow you to pay with bitcoin which is totally anonymous.
They also offer the option to remove any branded packaging from the seeds and to have your seeds shipped hidden inside an unrelated product for extra stealth. The product you get varies depending on what size package they need to ship you.
No mention of Seedsman or seeds is printed on the outside of the packaging and if you're purchasing from outside the U.K., no identifying paperwork is sent with your package.
Operating successfully since 2003 and have thousands of satisfied customers.
Over 3000 strains available including feminized, autoflowering, medical and high THC strains.
They almost always have some kind of promotion running where you can get discounts and free seeds. For example, if you pay with bitcoin you get a 25% discount, 8 free seeds and 15% off every subsequent bitcoin order you make. In most cases they'll also let you swap out your free seeds with another strain you prefer from the same breeder.
In addition to their own line, Seedsman stocks seeds from over 100 other seed banks including well known players such as Sensi Seeds, Dutch Passion and Barney's Farm.
Medical strains are categorized on the website by the condition they treat which makes it really easy to find a strain to suit your symptoms.
The cost of shipping varies depending of which country you're shipping to and it can get a bit pricey if you choose the stealth option and guaranteed shipping. For example, a small package of 9 seeds costs around $12.50 to ship to the U.S. with package tracking and guaranteed delivery. However, they sometimes offer free shipping promotions to different countries so it's worth keeping an eye on the promotions page.
Here's how to pay with bitcoin on seedsman:
How To Pay By Bitcoin On Seedsman.com - YouTube
Here's an example of the Seedsman stealth packaging option:
Bank transfer (pretty much anonymous as there is nothing linking you to a product)
Postal order (U.K. only)
International money order
Stealth and Privacy Protection
Although they don't offer bitcoin as a form of payment, you can pay by bank transfer which is almost as good because your payment isn't tied to a particular product. You can also choose to have your seeds shipped hidden in a stealthy unrelated item for an extra fee.
MSNL are the oldest seed bank and have been operating their online seed bank since 2003.
Affordable, but this is partly because they have a much smaller custom selection and don't carry seeds from other big seed banks.
Standard shipping is free if you spend more than $72 and the stealth shipping options become cheaper the more you spend.
Every MSNL order gets at least 5 free seeds included and if you spend more than $67 you can get 3 free feminized seeds.
The website has useful categories & filters such as low smell, fast growing and short if you have a shorter grow tent or limited space.
Their selection of seeds is carefully curated and extremely high quality but they carry a smaller range of strains.
They don't offer bitcoin as a form of payment, but bank transfer works almost as well if you're worried about stealth.
Stealth shipping is expensive but gets cheaper the more you spend.
AMS offer bitcoin as a anonymous payment method. Their packaging is nine and discrete but they don't offer the option to hide your seeds in stealth packaging like the other seed banks on our list. No mention of the contents is printed anywhere on the packaging.
If any of your seeds don't germinate you can send them back and they'll replace them with fresh seeds - this is a nice addition that many other seed banks don't offer.
They only carry a small selection of strains.
No stealth packaging option available except for the standard discrete envelope.
Shipping is expensive outside of Europe ($20 U.S) and you pay the same regardless of how many seeds you buy.
Protecting your safety, privacy & anonymity
Is it safe to buy cannabis seeds online in the USA?
As everyone knows, the laws regarding cannabis in the United States are a complete mess. It's illegal to possess, sell, cultivate and transport weed at the federal level, but many states have their own laws that make cannabis legal. The result of this confusion means that when you're figuring out where to buy cannabis seeds, you won't find reliable or reputable cannabis seed banks located within the United States. Sending seeds within the U.S. (even where weed has been legalized) is covered by federal law and the seed banks would be prosecuted.
All the seed banks we recommend are based in Europe. In the U.K. and Europe it is illegal to grow cannabis but it is legal to buy, sell and possess ungerminated cannabis seeds. We've never known anyone to have problems shipping seeds to the United States from Europe except for the occasional missing package.
In the extremely unlikely event that your seeds are intercepted at some point in their journey, the very worst that's likely to happen is that your seeds are confiscated and destroyed. We can confidently say that the feds will not break down your door and you won't end up in the big house if you order seeds online from a trusted European seed bank.
Having said that, there's no reason not to be as discrete as possible when ordering seeds and seed banks that offer stealth packaging and anonymous payment options (e.g. bitcoin) should be at the top of your list when considering where to buy cannabis seeds online.
We also recommend paying extra for guaranteed shipping because this means if your seeds go missing for any reason the seed bank will replace them free of charge.
If I live in a location where marijuana is illegal, is it still safe to buy seeds?
The seed banks we recommend will ship to any country in the world, but they make it very clear that you are responsible for knowing the local laws in your area. The authorities in many countries where marijuana is illegal will happily turn a blind eye and aren't the slightest bit interested in chasing people who order a few seeds online. Other governments take cannabis possession extremely seriously and if you live in such a country you should not order seeds online for your own safety.
What’s the best way to pay for seeds to remain anonymous?
When you're weighing up where to buy cannabis seeds, if the seed bank offers bitcoin this is a good sign that they are discrete and care about their customers privacy. Bitcoin is completely anonymous and the transaction cannot be traced back to you. Having said that, we've seen evidence of many people from the US, Canada, Australia, Europe and elsewhere who happily purchase seeds using their credit card and have never had an issue.
I’m still too nervous to buy weed seeds online - where else can I get them?
The main advantage of buying seeds online is that you know exactly what you're getting. You can buy strains based on your specific requirements - THC & CBD content, height, flowering time, medical applications and many other factors. If you don't feel comfortable buying online for whatever reason then the best bet is to try and get seeds from someone you know. Failing that, there's no harm in trying to grow the seeds you found in the bottom of a bag of weed!
Germination & strain selection
Will all my seeds germinate and what happens if they don’t?
Regardless of where you buy cannabis seeds, unfortunately there is no way any seed bank can guarantee that all the seeds they send you will successfully germinate. In Europe, the possession, sale and shipping of cannabis seeds is legal but germinating and cultivating them is not. For this reason, most seeds banks cover themselves by using the disclaimer that seeds are sold as 'souvenirs' and they won't make any guarantees or refunds if the seeds you receive don't germinate. However, high quality seed banks rely on satisfied customers to stay in business so you can be sure that they've done everything to ensure all the seeds they sell are viable. The exception is AMS that do offer a refund service and will replace any seeds that don't successfully germinate.
In addition to having viable seeds, specific conditions are need to maximize the chance of your seeds successfully germinating. You can read our article about how to germinate weed seeds if you'd like to learn more.
If I buy feminized seeds are they guaranteed to be female?
Feminized seeds are more expensive because they have been specifically bred and treated to mature into female plants. If you look after your plants and give them the correct growing conditions, feminized seeds are 99% guaranteed to stay female. However, if your growing conditions are poor there is still a chance that feminized seeds can flip and turn into hermaphrodite or male plants.
Most seed banks also offer 'regular' seeds that are cheaper and come with no guarantees they will be female. In our experience, regular seeds turn out to be female around 75% of the time. If you have poor lighting or inadequate nutrient levels during your grow, you are much more likely to end up with a hermaphrodite or male plant when growing from non-feminized seeds. Weed plants turn into hermaphrodites in a last ditch effort to reproduce when they sense a poor growing environment.
What cannabis strain should I grow as a beginner?
We get asked this a lot and it's not an easy question to answer. In addition to how easy the strain is to grow, you also need to consider the type of high the weed will give you when you smoke it! There's no point in spending time and effort on growing an easy strain if you end up with weed that doesn't make you feel good.
If you're growing indoors, the best general advice we can give is to pick an autoflowering strain that will automatically enter the flowering stage of growth at a certain age, rather than rely on you to change the lighting conditions. Other advice to make indoor growing easier is to pick a fast flowering, short strain so you don't find your plants trying to push through the roof of your grow tent!
If you're growing outdoors, it can be easier because you've got mother nature to back you up and take care of lighting and (hopefully) watering. On the downside, you have a lot less control over the growing conditions and you're at the mercy of the weather, pests, insects and thieves. Picking a strain that's known to be hardy and disease resistant will give you the best chance of success.
It's also worth paying a little extra for feminized seeds because this will give you the best chance of avoiding males or hermaphrodites ruining all your hard work.
Which strain should I choose to help with my particular medical condition?
When you're deciding where to buy cannabis seeds online, you'll quickly learn than some seed banks do a much better job than others at helping customers find strains for medical use. For example, Seedsman has an extremely handy filter on their website that allows you to filter strains by specific medial conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia or muscle spasms.
If you have any doubts about whether weed can help your health issue and what strain to grow, make sure seek medical advice from a qualified medical marijuana doctor.
We just want to make sure it's clear that we're not lawyers and all the advice we've given here on where to buy cannabis seeds assumes that shipping, receiving, possessing or growing cannabis seeds is 100% legal in your location. If it's not then we can't advise you to act on this information in any way and you should campaign your representatives to change the laws and make weed legal where you live!
We've compiled this list of videos to help beginners master some of the skills required to grow weed. If you're thinking about attempting your first grow, hopefully they'll give you a visual sense of some of the steps involved to understand if you might enjoy it. Some of the videos have been around for years and others are more recent, but we learned something useful from all of them and hopefully you will too!
The list is divided up into sections so you can skip to topics you're interested in. Do you know any other informative videos that will help beginner growers? Let us know!
Germinating and panting your weed seeds is where it all begins! There are several reliable techniques for germinating seeds and everyone has their favorite.
Planting seeds - Jorge Cervantes
Jorge Cervantes features a few times on this list of videos, and for good reason - he's a master grower and literally wrote the book on cultivating cannabis. In this video he steps through the exact process he uses to plant germinated seeds into pots.
Jorge Cervantes: Planting Seeds - YouTube
Starting from seed - John Berfelo
This isn't the most highly produced video and there's a bit of shaky cam going on, but John does a good job of talking through the entire process of seed germination and planting.
Starting From Seed How to start Growing Cannabis - YouTube
How to germinate cannabis seeds - Just Grow It
This video is a nice demonstration of how to germinate weed seeds using a glass of water and a paper towel and then plant them in soil.
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds! (100% SUCCESS RATE!) - YouTube
Cloning weed plants
If you're lucky enough to have access to weed clones, they're a great way to grow because you can guarantee female plants and you know that your mature plant will be identical to the plant your clone was taken from. If you have a favorite plant, taking cutting from it and growing clones can guarantee you an endless supply of awesome weed.
Cloning tutorial - School of Hard Nugs
This video is very nicely produced and will walk you through the entire process of cloning your favorite weed plant into rockwool cubes.
Cloning Tutorial: Clone Cannabis at Home | Step by Step Guide to Taking Marijuana Clones - YouTube
Taking clones (2 parts) - Jorge Cervantes
This is another great video from Jorge and will teach you everything you need to know to successfully clone weed. His demonstration of how to cut and prepare the end of the cutting is great.
Jorge Cervantes: Taking Clones Part 1 - YouTube
Jorge Cervantes - Taking Clones Part 2 - YouTube
Understanding and caring for seedlings
The seedling stage of growth is the most delicate and dangerous time for your plants. They barely have a root system and they're very susceptible to damage and disease from nutrients, lights and over or under watering.
This two part video moves along at a fast pace but contains some great tips on how to care for your seedlings throughout the first 2 weeks. Lighting, watering and humidity are all discussed.
Marijuana seedling week 1 - YouTube
Seedling Week 2 - YouTube
Nutrients & pH
Plant nutrition is a complex topic and every grower seems to have their favorite techniques, recipes and 'secret' nutrient formulas that will grow the biggest buds. For beginners, if you buy a quality nutrient kit and follow the feeding schedule you'll get it right every time.
The Best Cannabis Nutrient Feeding Schedule - It's Chronic
This guy goes uses the General Hydroponics Flora series nutrients (which we highly recommend) but abandons the feeding schedule in favor of his own recipe. We haven't tested it but it looks like it might work well and he does a good job of breaking it all down week by week. Let us know if you give it a try!
The Best Cannabis Nutrient Feeding Schedule-- General Hydroponics -- Better Than The Lucas Forumla! - YouTube
How To Mix a 3-Part Hydroponics Nutrient Solution - Everest Fernandez
This is a pretty simple video that shows how to mix the General Hydroponics flora series 3 part nutrient kit. Even though it might all seem obvious, Everest explains the process simply and clearly for raw beginners and gives a few good tips and tricks.
How To Mix a 3-Part Hydroponics Nutrient Solution - YouTube
How to manage pH when growing cannabis - Nebula Haze from Grow Weed Easy
This video from Nebula Haze at Grow Weed Easy is a great explanation of how to test the pH of your nutrient solution before you feed it to your plants.
How to manage pH when growing cannabis - YouTube
Humidity - Growing Marijuana
This is a nice video from Growing Marijuana that will teach you everything you need to know about the science of how and why humidity affects your plants. The different humidity requirements of the indica and sativa strains are also discussed.
Soil and soil amendments
Mixing soil - Jorge Cervantes
In this video, Jorge will walk you through some of the different soil mixes and amendments he adds to make sure his soil is well aerated to support good draining. We've reviewed many of the soil mixes he uses in the video so check out our article on the best soil for growing weed if you'd like to know more. We've also included a pretty comprehensive list of the various soil amendments and their uses.
Watering your plants
How to water seedlings days 1 to 16 (2 parts) - Grow Pot Cheaply
We actually find it pretty difficult to find simple and clear information on how and when to water your weed plants, especially when they're young and delicate in the seedling stage. This video does a nice of job of stepping you through the nutrient and watering schedule for the first 2 weeks until your plants hit the vegetative stage.
4 how to water seedlings day 1 to 7 - YouTube
How to water Marijuana from days 8 to 16 and mix nutes - YouTube
Harvesting your weed plants
After all your hard work, knowing when and how to harvest your plants to get maximum yield is extremely important!
How to Harvest your Cannabis (the whole process) - Pigeons 420
Pigeon 420 always features a massive bong rip at the start of his videos but he knows his stuff and we like his style. This is a really good video that walks you through the whole process of harvesting your weed.
How to Harvest your Cannabis (the whole process) w/Pigeons420 - YouTube
Checking Cannabis Trichomes For Harvest - GreenBox Grown
This video doesn't teach you how to harvest but concentrates on looking at your plant trichomes to figure out exactly when is the best moment to harvest for maximum yield and potency.
Checking Cannabis Trichomes For Harvest - YouTube
Drying and curing your plants
In our final section, we take a look at videos that will help you correctly dry and cure your plants. Properly drying and curing your weed after you've spent so much effort growing is important to prevent mold, improve flavor and reduce the harshness of the smoke.
Drying Big Buds - Jorge Cervantes
Jorge makes his case in this video for wet trimming your buds before drying to save yourself work and speed up drying time. The bud he pulls out of his pocket is thing to behold!
Drying Big Buds - Marijuana Growing Tips by Jorge Cervantes - YouTube
When is your Cannabis Dry Enough to Cure - Pigeons 420
In this video, Pigeons420 gives a nice explanation of how to figure out when you buds are dry enough to put in jars and start the curing process.
When is your Cannabis Dry Enough to Cure? w/Pigeons420 - YouTube
Drying And Curing Your Buds - NorthWest Jay
This video is pretty long but it contains lots of useful knowledge nuggets on drying and curing your buds, including using humidity pouches to help the curing process.
EP#59 Drying And Curing Your Buds Plus Dry Weights - YouTube