Why Are Cannabis Seeds So Expensive? (& How To Reduce Cost)

When I first started growing, I was shocked at how much seeds cost to buy.

I couldn’t understand why cannabis seeds were more expensive than other garden seeds.

Read on to find out why cannabis seeds are so expensive, and my tips for getting them cheaper.

How much do cannabis seeds cost?

Cost of 5 White Widow seeds at different seed banks
Cost of 5 White Widow seeds at different seed banks

The cost of cannabis seeds depends on a number of factors, including the strain, whether it’s feminized, where you’re buying it from, and the quantity you’re buying.

However, a single cannabis seed usually costs around $10-20.

Let’s look at the cost of 5 White Widow seeds at several popular seed banks. Please note that these prices may be slightly different in your local currency.

Seed Bank5 White Widow Seeds (FEM)
ILGM$89
MSNL$61.60
Weed Seeds Express$37.67
Herbies$24.22

As you can see, the seed prices vary quite a bit, with Herbies having the cheapest seeds at $4.8 per seed, and ILGM having the most expensive at $17.8 per seed.

Why Are Cannabis Seeds So Expensive?

why are cannabis seeds so expensive

Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why cannabis seeds cost so much.

1. Breeding takes a lot of time and money

The main reason why cannabis seeds cost so much Is due to the time and money that goes into breeding seeds.

Breeders invest huge amounts of effort into researching and breeding strains, sometimes growing hundreds of plants just to find the right ones to start breeding with.

This process can take many years.

As you can probably guess as someone who grows weed, this large-scale experimentation costs a lot of money in terms of energy, water, rent, and manpower.

You’re paying a premium on your seeds so that you don’t have to do this yourself.

2. The value of the end product

Dried Buds
Dried Buds

Seed prices are somewhat dictated by the end value (your bud)

One plant grown under the right conditions can easily produce between 1 and 5 ounces of bud.

If you were to buy that same bud at a dispensary (or even a dealer) it would cost hundreds of dollars. If you think of it like that, a $10-$20 seed doesn’t look that bad.

3. E-commerce sites cost a lot to run

When you buy cannabis seeds online, there are a lot of expenses incurred by the e-commerce website.

Some of these include:

  • Storing the seeds
  • Paying staff members
  • Marketing
  • Navigating legal restrictions in different countries
  • Dealing with returns, refunds, and busted shipments
  • Purchasing seeds from breeders
  • Picking and packing the seeds

All of the overheads have to be factored into the pricing of the seeds that they sell.

4. Supply and demand

Basic supply and demand principles also apply to cannabis seed prices.

Unlike other products, seeds are organic and therefore have a limited shelf life. Seed banks are constantly having to refresh their supplies.

Therefore, if demand is high and stock is low, seed prices go up.

How can you reduce the cost of cannabis seeds?

Luckily, there are several great ways you can reduce the cost of buying cannabis seeds online. Here’s how I do it:

1. Make use of seed bank promotions

Making use of Seed bank promotions is a great way to save money when buying seeds online. Seed banks are desperate to get you to purchase from them and many of them offer excellent promotions.

Here are some of my favorites:

Free seeds:

Free seed offers are my personal favorite. Since cannabis seeds can last a long time when properly stored, I like to buy my seeds in bulk.

I regularly use the ILGM and WSE offers below and gets 40 seeds for the price of 20.

That’s enough for 4 grow cycles.

Discount codes:

Payment discounts:

2. Buy seeds from cheap seedbanks

As mentioned earlier in the article, the price you pay for a particular strain can vary wildly from seed bank to seed bank.

In my experience, the quality of the seeds is usually pretty similar, but you might have to sacrifice things like fast shipping speed and good customer service. Some of the cheaper Seed Banks to use are:

1. Herbies
2. MSNL
3. Seedsman

3. Wait for sales

Using seed bank sales is another excellent way of reducing the cost of your seeds.

These are usually seeds that the seed banks are looking to clear and you can get some great deals.

For example, MSNL has a sale section on its website and regularly offers up to 40% off seeds.

If you use these sales together with some of their other promotions (such as getting 10-15% off by paying with Bitcoin) you can save up to 65% on your seed orders.

Are Cannabis Seeds Worth the cost?

Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis Seeds

In my opinion, buying high-quality cannabis seeds is 100% worth the cost.

If you’ve ever tried growing bag seeds, then you’ll know just how frustrating it can be to grow poor-quality seeds that all turn out to be hermies.

I actually considered trying to get started breeding a few years ago but quickly came to the realization that I just didn’t have the time, money, space, or patience for it.

The convenience alone makes buying $10 cannabis seeds worth it.

Why are feminized seeds more expensive than regular seeds?

Feminized cannabis seeds are more expensive than regular cannabis seeds because breeders need to go through a few extra steps, such as treating the plant with colloidal silver and other chemicals, to ensure that the seeds produced are 100% female.

If you buy regular seeds, you can expect 50% of them to be male.

These male plants will not produce any buds while taking up valuable space (and energy) in your grow room.

After 6 weeks or so, you will have to start inspecting your plant for signs (pollen sacks) that they’re male and throw them away before they pollinate your female plants.

In my opinion, this convenience is 100% worth paying extra for.

James Alexander James Alexander
Hey, I'm James! The founder and head writer here at GreenBudGuru.com. I started this site to share my passion and knowledge of all things cannabis. I used to work as a budtender in central Amsterdam, and have over 7 years of growing experience.

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