Substances having anesthetic-like properties were examined for stimulation of redroot pigweed and witchgrass seed germination. Chemicals included the n-alcohols through C-5, 2-propanol, benzyl alcohol, diethyl ether, chloroform, and 2-bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethanol. Redroot pigweed seeds required the far-red absorbing form of phytochrome (Pfr) for an anesthetic substance to increase germination, but in witchgrass seeds the active anesthetic substances stimulated germination without added Pfr. The correlation coefficient comparing relative activity (RA) versus the membrane/buffer partition coefficient (M/B) of the active substances was very poor (−0.37) for pigweed seeds but was −0.91 for witchgrass. Leakage of cellular materials, including electrolytes, substances absorbing at 280 nm, and amino acids from seeds treated with either active or inactive anesthetics, was not particularly indicative of effects on germination in both species. Application of increased pressure (0.965 MPa) during anesthetic treatment, which in animals prevents anesthesia, was found to act oppositely and increase seed response to ethanol in redroot pigweed seeds, but in witchgrass seeds pressure suppressed the stimulatory action of ethanol. In both species, pressure appeared to have an action of its own, but for this action to be expressed the presence of a stimulatory anesthetic was also required. The results do not appear to support a good relationship of anesthetic activity with seed membrane lipophilic components in redroot pigweed seeds, but the relationship seems likely for witchgrass seeds.