Cannabis Seeds South Africa in 2020

Everyone has been ferociously Googling “Cannabis Seeds South Africa” over the last 19 months in South Africa. For various reasons, but mostly because since the constitutional court judgement of September 2018 everyone is interested in growing their own weed. To grow weed you need the seeds. Because everyone who wants to grown needs seeds, there are still a lot of South Africans who have questions related cannabis seeds. I’ve been getting emails, DMs on Instagram and even WhatsApp messages from friends and family and this post is an attempt to answer the most common questions I get asked.

Here is a list of all the questions I’ll be answering:


*Yes! On 22 May 2020 Government Gazette 43347 was published. This Gazette completely removes the cannabis plant from the Schedules to the Medicines Act. Last time I checked the seeds were indeed part of the raw plant. In the gazette there are also changes to the medical scheduling of THC and CBD that has an impact for selling anything containing these substances, but cannabis seeds don’t contain any THC (that’s Tetrahydrocannabinol, the cannabinoid that makes you high and the government doesn’t like) and since it is part of the raw plant material you should technically be able to buy cannabis seeds from your local nursery.

I doubt we will be seeing cannabis seeds for sale in the herbs section of our local nurseries in South Africa in the near future, but I’m more confident now than ever that you can simply buy the seeds that you need online. As long as you buy from a reputable seller buying your seeds online is safe, secure, private and you can get your seeds to your door without even having to leave your house. Especially now, not having to leave your home is a huge bonus.

What do cannabis seeds look like?

Cannabis seeds can vary in size and color, but for the most part they are almost teardrop shaped little brown seeds that often have a brown line or “tiger striping”. They are about the size of a match head, although I have seen larger and smaller seeds in the past. At one end of the seed will be a node where the seed was attached to the cannabis plant, and on the other end there is a sharper “tip”. When planting cannabis seeds, it is always wisest to have the sharp tip pointing down.

Cannabis Seeds South Africa

Cannabis Seeds in South Africa in tha palm of my hand next to a matchstick for scale

Cannabis Seed Bank South Africa – what, where, who

A cannabis seed bank is just a place that has a collection of various cannabis seeds that are made available to the public. Seed banks were originally created in an attempt to simply preserve and store seeds of various plants. With cannabis seed banks the idea was similar, but in an effort to preserve cannabis seed strains. You have heard all those wacky names for weed like Gorilla Glue, Girl Scout Cookies, Northern Lights, Blue Dream and Durban Poison. These are all names given to different strains of cannabis. Cannabis strains are developed over years by tirelessly breeding different cannabis plants with other cannabis plants until you have a collections of specific traits that was bred into the strain over generations, a.k.a. husbandry.

Cannabis Seed bank South Africa

Modern day Cannabis Seeds banks are extremely popular online. There you can browse and read up on any particular strain for any particular seed breeder, and in most cases even make your purchase before having your cannabis seeds delivered to your door.

Can I buy cannabis seeds from international sellers?

Yes. There are local options too, and even some local options to get international breeder packs. But all in all you can buy seeds from any website that will deliver to your address. I have purchased Dutch Passion seeds from both local stockists as well as from international seed bank sites. Although I waited a couple days more for my international order, the prices where pretty much the same. Also, with many international seed sites they often throw in a free seed or two or they have some free seed deal going. Free seeds are always a nice bonus, but not something you should bank on.

What cannabis seeds should I buy?

The fact is that it all comes down to personal preference. My suggestion would be to start by looking for a strain you have enjoyed in the past. From there you can do some research regarding how easy the strain is to grow, how much you can potentially harvest from that plant and how long the plant takes to flower. Then you ca start looking at price. Some of the more well known breeders are not cheap, but comes with the advantage of the plant growing as it says on the box.

I can’t tell you which breeders or strains are the best cannabis seeds to buy. There are just too many for one man to buy and grow. But I can share some of the names of the cannabis seed breeders that I have been very happy with:

  • Barney’s Farm
  • Dinafem
  • DNA Genetics (Reserva Privada)
  • Dutch Passion
  • FastBuds (autoflowering only)
  • Cape Ape Seeds
  • Nirvana
  • Seedsman In-House Genetics

There are of course many other quality cannabis seed breeders out there. These are just the ones that I have personal experience with.

How much should I pay for cannabis seeds in South Africa?

The more well known the breeder, the higher the cost. If you buy Dutch Passion White Widow they could cost you anything between R140-R380 per seed depending on the amount of seeds you buy and the seed bank you buy from. Buying sealed breeder packs from well known breeders does mean that you will get what you pay for, and if it says White Widow on the box it will grow like the Dutch Passion White Widow you paid for.

If you don’t know the breeder or the seed bank you are running the risk of not getting the best quality cannabis seeds. The buds might not grow as dense as the photos you saw online, or the colour of the plant might be completely different. There are a vast array of things that could impact how a cannabis plant grows, but the biggest factor by far is genetics and with well know breeders at least you know you are getting quality genetics.

There are many cannabis seed banks in South Africa that sell cheap seeds that they buy in bulk. Slapping different names on boxes doesn’t change the genetics in the seeds though. Especially if you are a first time grower I would not recommend spending more than R300-R400 on your first 3 seeds.

What are feminized cannabis seeds?

As the name implies, feminized cannabis seeds will sprout a female cannabis plant. This is a big deal for those of us growing cannabis for the flowers of the female plant. I don’t have to tell you that, since you are reading this. But I’m going to explain it in any case:

When solutions of benzothiadiazole, gibberellic acid, silver thiosulphate, silver nitrate, and colloidal silver are used seeds can be produced that only contains the female chromosomes of the plant. These seeds are almost 100% sure to grow female cannabis plants.

The flowers of the female plant is what is dried and smoked, and the reason most people will grow their own cannabis. Most of the cannabinoids are found in the trichome rich female flowers of the cannabis plant.

What are autoflower cannabis seeds?

Autoflower cannabis seeds begin flowering after a certain time period, regardless of the light cycle in the growing environment. This means that the plant will start flowers when it reaches a certain age. The age can differ depending on the autoflowering strain you have, but anything from 8-12 weeks is common place for when flowering starts. Any autoflower cannabis seeds you buy should give you an indication of when the flowering will start.

Many personal grow “growers” opt for autoflower seeds. The plants are generally smaller, meaning a smaller harvest. But not having to be too concerned about maintaining an artificial light cycle in a small space takes a lot of the pressure off growing your own cannabis.

When should I plant my cannabis seeds in South Africa?

Basically, what season or time of the year is best to grow cannabis in South Africa. A common question and in South Africa a pretty easy one to answer. For the most part if you have your seeds in the ground by September, you will have a nice full spring and summer season for you plants to grow and mature. Regular cannabis plants (not-autoflower) are dependent on the light cycle of day and nigh to start flowering and mature. The female cannabis plant starts flowering when the daylight hours are shorter than night time hours.

A sprouted marijuana seed

In the more temperate parts of South Africa where temperatures don’t often dip below zero I have seen plants grown outdoors throughout the year. For a cannabis plant to grow to it’s full size potential outdoors in South Africa September is a good time to plant your cannabis seeds. If you want to control the light cycle and grow indoors then you might be interested in a grow tent kit.

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