A guide to buying cannabis seeds
The first couple months of the year is a great time to start planning your cannabis garden to get a head start on the outdoor growing season, which roughly runs from March to November, depending on where you live.
Navigating the cannabis seed market can be challenging when states have different degrees of legality. This guide will answer your questions on buying seeds so you can be on your way to growing your own cannabis.
Is it legal to buy marijuana seeds?
Marijuana seeds are considered a cannabis product just like flower, edibles, and concentrates. Their legality depends on which state you live in. People living in states with adult-use legalization can buy, produce, and sell seeds within their own state, but seeds can’t cross state lines. People living in states with medical marijuana legalization can only buy seeds if they have a medical card.
Seed banks exist outside of the US and can sell them for “souvenir purposes,” but it is illegal to bring seeds into the US and Customs will seize any cannabis seeds they find in packages or on a person.
Where can I buy cannabis seeds?
Many world-renowned seed banks are overseas in the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and other countries where cannabis laws are less restricted. Seed banks provide seeds from a variety of different breeders.
In states with adult-use legalization or a medical marijuana program, you can buy seeds within your own state, either at a dispensary or through a specific seed company’s website.
How to buy cannabis seeds online
Before you purchase seeds online, you’ll need to figure out what strain you want to grow and what breeder you want to buy from.
Because US federal law still prohibits cannabis, it can be hard to find information on seed banks and breeders. Breeders who have a long history and positive reputation are usually a good place to start. To get an idea of what well-established breeders look like, check out:
- Sensi Seeds
- DNA Genetics
- Green House Seeds
- Southern Humboldt Seed Collective
- Exotic Genetix
You can also do some research and find an online grow journal that details the whole growing process of a specific strain from a particular breeder. Through these, you’ll be able to look over another grower’s specific notes and see pictures of the final results.
If you grow some seeds and like the results, try growing another strain from that same breeder and see how it goes.
How to buy cannabis seeds at a dispensary
Although this option is only available to people living in states with medical and adult-use legalization, buying marijuana seeds at the dispensary is far more straightforward. However, your options are more limited.
Dispensary staff should be able to give you information on the seeds they’re selling, but keep in mind that a lot of dispensaries focus on selling flower and end-products. It’s a good idea to call ahead and talk to staff to see if they are knowledgeable about seeds and can give you specific information on growing.
How to look for quality genetics when buying marijuana seeds
Breeders talk about “unstable genetics,” meaning that a seed’s origin is unknown. Make sure that when you buy a packet of seeds that it or the breeder who produced them can list where the seeds came from and how they were crossed and/or backcrossed to get the seed that you hold in your hand. If you can’t get a seed’s history, it could be anything and the result of poor breeding practices.
An inexperienced breeder might cross a male and a female one time and sell the resulting seeds as a new hybrid strain, but professional breeders usually put their strains through several rounds of backcrossing to stabilize the genetics and ensure consistent plants that reflect those genetics.
Which strain should I grow?
Even one weed plant can produce a lot of buds come harvest time, so make sure you grow a strain you like. Note strains you enjoy when you pick something up at the dispensary or smoke with friends, and look for seeds of it when you want to start growing.
Some strains are easier to grow than others because they are more resistant to mold and pests, so if you’re new to growing, you may want to try an easier strain to start.
Some strains also take longer to grow than others. Depending on whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, you may want to grow a quicker marijuana strain if you live in a climate that get cold and wet early in the season. For example, indicas are known for having a shorter flowering time than sativas.
All of this information should be available to you when buying quality seeds.
What’s the difference between regular, feminized, and autoflower seeds?
If you buy a packet of regular seeds, they’ll come with a mix of males and females. A lot of cultivators prefer to grow these because they haven’t been backcrossed—essentially inbred—as much as feminized or autoflower seeds. You’ll need to sex out the seeds once their reproductive organs show during the flowering phase and discard the males—because they don’t produce buds and will pollenate females, resulting in seeded flowers.
Seeds can come feminized, meaning you can just put them in soil and start growing for buds. These seeds are guaranteed to be bud-producing females and growing them cuts out the step of having to sex out plants and discard the males.
It also reduces the risk of having a stray male sneak into your crop—just one male can pollinate a huge crop, causing your females to focus their energies on producing seeds instead of buds.
Autoflower plants change from the vegetative to flowering state with age, not the changing of their light cycle. They have a short grow-to-harvest time and can be ready to harvest in as little as 2 ½ to 3 months from when you put the seeds in the ground. The downside is that, typically, they are less potent, but autoflower seeds are great for people who want to grow cannabis but don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it.
How much do marijuana seeds cost?
Cannabis seeds usually come in a pack of 10 or 12 seeds and start at around $40 a pack and go up from there. Some high-end genetics can run between $200 to $500 a pack.
Feminized and autoflower seeds will cost more because more breeding work was put in to creating them and they take less time for the grower to get buds.
How many seeds should I buy? Are they all going to survive?
When you grow any amount of seeds, a percentage of them won’t germinate, even if you get them from a reputable breeder. Always count on a few not germinating or dying off, or roughly 1/4 of the total you put in the ground.
When growing regular seeds, some won’t germinate and some will have to be discarded because they’ll turn out to be males. With feminized seeds, some won’t germinate, but a higher percentage of them will turn into flowering plants because there won’t be any males.
If you want six total cannabis plants to harvest for buds and are growing from regular seeds, start with about 4 times as many, or 24 seeds. Some won’t germinate and some will turn out to be males, and then you’ll want to discard down to the six best phenotypes. If growing feminized seeds, you can probably start with about twice as many seeds in this case (about 12); a couple won’t germinate, and then discard down to the six best phenotypes.
Make sure to always stay within your state’s legal limit of growing plants.
How do I buy strain-specific cannabis seeds?
Strains like Blue Dream, Gelato, and Original Glue have gained in popularity in recent years. Check out these resources on how to buy these types of cannabis seeds:
Pat Goggins contributed to this article.
Navigating the cannabis seed market can be tricky from a legal perspective. Get the answer to your top questions about buying cannabis seeds today.
Is it legal to buy weed seeds online?
The purchase of cannabis seeds as a collector’s item or for other purposes than growing weed is generally considered legal. However, the legality of cannabis seeds is often very confusing. Many countries tolerate the use, possession and cultivation of small quantities of weed, other countries have a total ban while more and more countries are legalizing cannabis or working on it. However, cannabis seeds are a separate story in this discussion.
Are cannabis seeds legal?
In 1962, a single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was signed by 180 Member countries in the context of a global legislation that considers cannabis an illicit substance. Not the seed itself.
Strictly seen, a cannabis seed is not a weed nor a drug. The seed contains no narcotic components so you won’t get stoned or high from it. What it makes complicated is that you can grow a weed plant from a cannabis seed.
Conclusion: technically cannabis seeds are legal in all of these 180 member countries. In theory, it’s perfectly legal to buy cannabis seeds as long as they are not germinated and the public prosecutor can’t prove that you intend to grow cannabis. Many countries therefore don’t see cannabis seeds as illegal but also not as legal. The seed itself is often allowed, but the germination of the seed isn’t always. A lot of ambiguity.
We therefore provide an answer per country for the question: is it legal to buy weed seeds online?
The legality of cannabis seeds per country
In Europe it’s legal to buy and sell small quantities of cannabis seeds (online). However, selling seeds in bulk to individuals isn’t allowed. Especially because selling bulk is considered an encouragement for large-scale breeding. At the same time it remains unclear where the line is drawn between small and large scale quantities. Many seed banks therefore sell seeds in small quantities.
In addition, in spite of the 1962 treaty most countries have their own point of view regarding cannabis seeds. We therefore strongly advise everyone to check the legality of cannabis seeds in their own country before buying.
Please note: Below, we present a list of countries and a short explanation of their law’s when it comes to cannabis seeds. We have done our greatest effort to explain the regulations as clearly as possible.
Having said that, the regulations concerning cannabis seeds change from time to time. Because it’s impossible for us to keep up with the regulations for each country, the presented information should never be interpreted as legal advice. Besides, we don’t encourage the purchase of cannabis seeds to citizens from countries where cannabis seeds are illegal.
Click on a link below to find more information about the legal status of cannabis seeds in your country.
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Is it legal to buy cannabis seeds in usa?
USA inhabitants face conflicting regulations. On the federal level, cannabis seeds aren’t legal. This also applies to importing cannabis seeds from outside the US. Even when living in states such as Michigan, Oklahoma, Vermont, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Columbia where it’s perfectly legal to grow medical marijuana and in some cases even for personal recreational use.
However, this doesn’t stop most US citizens from buying cannabis seeds overseas. Especially as the quality of seeds in Europe is considered better, there is more choice and no known consequences of buying cannabis seeds overseas.
Tip: Weedseedsexpress ships to the USA in a very successful way. We therefore recommend checking all our marijuana seeds.
Are cannabis seeds legal in Australia?
It’s perfectly legal to buy cannabis seeds in Australia and to grow your own weed when you possess a prescription for medicinal cannabis. If you haven’t such a prescription and you are caught with marijuana seeds, the police will probably consider the seeds as illegal and confiscate them.
In short: cannabis seeds are illegal for non-medicinal users and it can be hard to order cannabis seeds online as many seed banks such as Nirvana stopped shipping to Australia. Especially as many shipments were confiscated. Nevertheless, Australian customers can still order cannabis seeds in online stores. Here at Weedseedsexpress but also at ILGM. Just like ILGM, Weedseedsexpress has developed great stealth shipping methods with which almost all shipments pass customs.
Reading tip: check all our high quality weed seeds or read more information about the legality of cannabis in our blog Cannabis seeds Australia.
Is it possible to legally buy cannabis seeds online in Canada?
Are you a Canadian resident and planning to buy cannabis seeds? Good news! The federal government made it legal to grow four plants per household. However, the seeds have to be bought from a legal domestic source and laws concerning home growth vary from province to province. For example in B.C, plants may not be visible to the public and in New Brunswick the plants must be in a confined space..
The bad news is, there are only a few legal selling points and the choice is very limited. Many Canadian growers therefore buy their seeds from seed banks outside Canada.
Again, ILGM and Weedseedsexpress are your best bet to make sure you receive your seeds safe and sound.
Is it legal to buy cannabis seeds online in the UK?
If you live in the UK and are planning to buy marijuana seeds, we have some good news! In the United Kingdom it’s 100% legal to buy and sell cannabis seeds. Besides, the law doesn’t provide any restrictions on where to buy your seeds. You can therefore buy your seeds (online) in the United Kingdom or from an international source. However, keep in mind that the germination of cannabis seeds is still illegal in the UK.
Reading tip: want to know more about buying and growing weed in the UK? Check our blog: cannabis seeds uk
Is it legal to buy weed seeds online in New Zealand (NZ)?
In New Zealand cannabis seeds are illegal. It’s therefore not possible to buy cannabis seeds in a store. Yet, and even though it’s actually not allowed, there are plenty of options like buying online. For example at Nirvana, ILGM and Weedseedsexpress.
Reading tip: check our blog cannabis seeds NZ to find out more about buying weed seeds as a citizen from New Zealand.
The legality of cannabis seeds in Germany
Living in Germany and planning to buy cannabis seeds? Good news! Even though Germany is the only European country that prohibits the sale of cannabis seeds, there is free movement of goods within the EU. It’s therefore permitted to receive cannabis seeds in Germany.
Please note: as a German grower you have to buy your seeds from a source within the EU.
Can cannabis seeds in South Africa be legally purchased?
South Africa has decriminalized the use of cannabis in a private room, but there are still many questions. For example, whether you can buy cannabis seeds legally.
South Africa has a strange policy when it comes to cannabis seeds. In South Africa the purchase and sale of cannabis seeds is prohibited, but you may have cannabis seeds in your possession. Many customers therefore purchase their seeds online.
Please note: as the postal service in South Africa is pretty slow, please buy your seeds at least a month upfront the start of your culture
Is it possible to buy cannabis seeds in the Netherlands online and in a legal way?
In the Netherlands cannabis seeds are legal and may be bought and sold. However, the legislation is unclear about the amount of cannabis seeds you can buy or sell without promoting large-scale breeding. What might be amazing is that growing more than 5 cannabis plants is illegal in Holland and is seen as a criminal act. However, if you cultivate a maximum of 5 cannabis plants it will be tolerated by the Dutch law.
Are cannabis seeds legally for sale in Spain?
Spain is a decentralized country with autonomous regions that can define their own regulations. Nevertheless, the policy of the provinces on cannabis seeds is almost the same everywhere: buying and selling cannabis seeds in Spain is permitted for private use. It’s therefore not strictly illegal to own and grow a few cannabis seeds in Spain unless it can be proven that you are planning to trade in weed.
Legality of cannabis seeds in France
In France, weed seeds are legal as long as they are not used for the cultivation of a cannabis plant but residents in France can’t buy cannabis seeds in head shops. They have to buy the seeds online.
Is it possible to buy cannabis seeds in Italy legally?
Italians can buy cannabis seeds both online and in stores but like in many other countries the germination of the seeds is an illegal activity.
Is it possible to buy cannabis seeds online in Mexico legally?
To us it’s unknown whether cannabis seeds in Mexico are legal or illegal.
Want to buy top quality cannabis seeds?
Weedseedsexpress ships to customers worldwide and without tracking, shipping is free of charge. We have developed great stealth techniques to make sure your shipment will arrive safe and quick and in case it doesn’t, our delivery guarantee provides a one time free reshipment. We therefore kindly invite you to enter our webshop and start shopping online.
Tip: check all our top quality weed seeds
Before you start growing you might wonder: Is it legal to buy weed seeds online? Check it out and buy at Weedseedsexpress. Get 20% FREE seeds!