So, you’ve got a green thumb and want to try cultivating cannabis in Australia?
Growing your own plants can be a rewarding and fun experience, but there are a few important factors to consider when growing at home.
But before we get stuck in, it’d be remiss of us not to remind you that it’s still illegal to obtain and grow cannabis without a licence in Australia. Different rules apply in the Australian Capital Territory, which we’ll explore further in the article.
If you’re interested in learning more about the growing process, selecting the right seeds, and where to purchase seeds, read on because our guide covers it all.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to cannabis terminology. For the purposes of this explanation, we’re going to refer to hemp as high-CBD hemp and marijuana as high-THC marijuana.
The first thing you’ll want to consider when growing your own cannabis is which species you want to grow.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in both the hemp and marijuana plant. However, the hemp plant contains a much higher concentration of CBD and a much lower concentration of THC.
CBD has been praised for its therapeutic benefits, treating various conditions, including sleep disorders, stress and anxiety, seizures, and pain and inflammation.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in high-THC marijuana that is responsible for the feeling of being high or stoned.
While CBD is found in marijuana, it’s in much lower concentrations than in hemp. THC has been noted to help with conditions such as pain, nausea and low appetite, spasticity and glaucoma.
Decoding Cannabis Species
Cannabis species and subspecies have been debated for centuries.
Undoing centuries’ worth of misinformation is no easy task. Like strain names, the terms Indica and Sativa can be equally misleading.
Indica is a term used to describe cannabis with a sedative effect, while Sativa is uplifting.
Thanks to some very dubious cannabis classification a few decades back attempting to place cannabis into one of two categories (broad and thin-leaved), literature, media and research have latched onto the ideas of Sativa and Indica.
We are now finding that cannabis is far more complex than this. So much so that Sativa and Indica are not only limited classifications but actually misleading.
Cannabis has grown on earth (every corner of the earth) for a very, very long time.
And it has co-evolved with humans into tens of thousands of different species and types.
Some more useful proposed classifications seek to organise cannabis into narrow and broad-leaf hemp and marijuana along a spectrum.
But it needs to be noted that this is a spectrum and not a concrete classification group.
Cannabis generally thrives in warm temperate climates and requires a lot of sunlight.
A cannabis plant will grow to maturity within 2-6 months; it depends on variable factors such as whether it’s growing indoors or outdoors, how big you want the plant to reach, nutrients, water and sunlight.
As an estimate, the cannabis plant growth cycles look a little something like this:
• Germination period 3-10 days
• Seedling 2-3 weeks
• Vegetative stage 3-16 weeks
• Flowering stage 3-11 weeks
Not to start a war of the sexes here, but the ladies rule supreme in the cannabis queendom.
Cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning each plant has distinct male or female features. The females produce large buds which are brimming with cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds.
The male plants grow a pollen sac, and if they aren’t removed from the crop will pollinate the females. Once a female is pollinated, all her energy will go towards growing seeds.
Seeded weed isn’t necessarily bad, but it reduces the amount of consumable bud you’ll yield from a plant, and if there’s a lot of seeds, it can reduce the potency.
The male plants are great if you’re planning on breeding, but in reality, many cultivators will remove male plants as soon as their pollen sacs start to develop to avoid pollination.
Okay, so what the heck does this all mean when buying Australian cannabis seeds?
A seed bank will usually have three different options when purchasing cannabis seeds.
If you get a pack of regular seeds, they’ll grow into both male and female plants. If you aren’t planning on breeding, you’ll need to sex the plants once the plant’s reproductive organs develop.
This just means removing the male plants from the crop.
Feminised seeds are bred to eliminate the male chromosome, ensuring the plant will grow to be female.
The advantage of purchasing feminised seeds is that it saves time and money as you won’t need to remove any male plants.
Feminised seeds are an easy option for people first starting out.
Autoflower seeds are another popular option for beginners.
This type of seed begins flowering at a specific stage of development and isn’t light-dependent like a regular plant.
Typically, a cannabis plant will start flowering when there’s a change in light and is in an environment with uninterrupted darkness for 12 hours .
How to buy weed seeds online in Australia
It’s pretty safe to assume you won’t be able to pop down to the local nursery and pick up cannabis seeds.
So what’s the best way to find marijuana seeds for sale? There are a few options.
You can explore online forums such as Reddit; there are groups dedicated to discussing cultivating cannabis in Australia, such as AusGrow.
You can also search for Facebook groups to join or pages to follow, such as Weed Seeds Australia.
However, if you just want to go straight to the source, we’ve listed a few websites you can visit.
Where to buy cannabis seeds Australia
Australian Cannabis University
We’ve written about the Australian Cannabis University before. In short, they are a not-for-profit, community-focused, private education facility where the curriculum is focused on cannabis.
They offer some fantastic online courses and resources if you’re interested in learning more. However, if you spend $1 and become a member, you’ll have access to their online shop.
They sell a range of different cannabis products, including organically grown high-CBD seeds.
Canna Seeds is a seed bank with a range of different strains from various breeders. These are primarily high-THC marijuana seeds with options for both autoflower and feminised seeds.
These seeds are not shipped from within Australia, so it’s essential to understand that customs may intercept them. Educating yourself on any legal implications of importing cannabis seeds is important.
According to the Frosty Flowers website, they ship from Victoria, so this may be a good option if you want to buy marijuana seeds online in Australia.
Similar to other seed banks, they sell a range of different seed types and cultivars. There are plenty of options to look through on this site.
Is it legal to import cannabis seeds in Australia?
Australia has some of the strictest biosecurity laws in the world.
According to The Office of Drug Control, you can only obtain cannabis genetic material (seeds) from an international supplier if you have a cannabis licence and permit, an import licence, and a permit under the Customs Regulations .
The Customs Prohibited Imports Regulations allow specific hemp products to be imported without a licence. These include :
• Hulled hemp seeds
• Hemp seed meal
• Hemp fibre
• Hemp seed oil if:
◦ the total cannabidiol (CBD) content of the hemp seed oil is 0.0075% or less
◦ the total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of the oil is 0.005% or less
Is it legal to grow hemp or marijuana seeds in Australia?
Unless you have the correct permits and licences, it is illegal to grow hemp or marijuana in Australia.
Each state has differing laws regarding the possession and use of hemp and marijuana.
In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), it’s legal to :
• Possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis or up to 150 grams of fresh cannabis.
• Grow up to two cannabis plants at your home per person, with a maximum of four plants per household.
In all other Australian states and territories, recreational cannabis is illegal, and it’s illegal to grow cannabis plants from seeds.
So, if you choose to buy weed seeds online in Australia, remember you do so at your own risk.