Germinating your cannabis seeds is the first step to getting your crop under way. It is the process in which life within the seed is stimulated, turning it from a seed into a sprout.
There are three main stimuli that trigger germination; Water, air and warmth. All three must be present for the cannabis seed to successfully grow. The first is water; the seed goes through a process called “imbibing”, this is where the seed soaks up water around it, eventually causing the seeds shell to split as the embryo inside expands. The second factor which is required to trigger germination is air. This will ensure that the embryo that it has what it requires to perform photosynthesis and transpiration. Finally the cannabis seed needs a degree of warmth to trigger growth. The embryo contained within the seed has a small store of food to get itself going; it just needs these indicators to give it the go-ahead.
As your cannabis seeds take their first steps into life they will develop a tap root, which bursts through the shell of the seed. As it continues to grow it will produce 2 small embryonic leaves known as the cotyledons; these will push off the remainder of the seed shell – do not attempt to remove it yourself, you are likely to do more damage than good. When these leaves appear it is very important to start providing the seedling as much light as possible, allowing it to start its process of photosynthesis, which produces the fuel for its future growth.
There are a few methods by which you can germinate you cannabis seeds, some of which are more reliable than others. It is generally recommended as a novice cultivator, that if you have 10 seeds start by germinating 5, followed by the other 5 the following week. This will ensure that if you spoil your first batch due to poor technique, you will still have some seeds left to try again. If you are confident in your skills, and you have done this a few times, then there is no reason not to do them all at once.
Generally speaking, cannabis seeds germinate best in temperatures of 69-80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27 degrees Celsius), and will take around 2-7 days to germinate. Although many believe otherwise, it is fine to have your seeds germinate in daylight.

If you buy low quality/immature seeds then you are not likely to get very good success rates, no matter how experienced you are. Indicators of a bad seed can be a pale whiteness in color, but this can also be the appearance of some specific strains – so do some research or contact your seed bank if they have sent you white seeds you were not expecting.
Other factors that can cause cannabis seed germination to fail are incorrect pH levels, seed exposure/drying out, the incorrect depth, over feeding, physical damage or bad soil. Take care where you store you germinating seeds as well; for example, a cold draft could end up damaging your seeds, causing the growth to be stunted.

If you are growing in soil then refrain from the urge to uncover your seeds to see how they are doing - no matter how long you think they are taking. It will do more harm than good, as you can damage young roots.

Finally, some strains of cannabis can grow with fairly weak stems. If you notice your seedlings leaning to the side, prop them up with a small stick until they are stronger. Never use a stick from the outside; they can bring in unwanted, negative variables such as pests.