Cannabis Seeds UK Law: Growing Marijuana in the United Kingdom
Like the USA, the UK is slowly warming up to the cannabis craze. Indeed, a landmark 2018 decision out ofParliament downgraded cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 status mainly to help doctors prescribe the drug. Although UK law might be relaxing a bit, that doesn’t mean you could break our bongs by Buckingham just yet. There are many important restrictions on the buying, selling, growing, and smoking of cannabis still on the books. If you’re caught breaking any of these laws, you could face serious financial penalties and even jail time.
Let’s run through all the legal issues surrounding cannabis in the land of tea and crumpets.
Purchasing Seeds In The UK
For a nation that’s so strict on the use of cannabis, the UK’s laws surrounding cannabis seeds are surprisingly lenient. Interestingly, it’s completely legal for anyone to purchase or sell dormant cannabis seeds in the UK. You also won’t face prosecution if you’re caught with unplanted cannabis seeds in your home.
Shop owners who sell cannabis seeds, however, should place labels on all of their products that make it clear they aren’t intended for planting. Cannabis seeds should only be used for recreational purposes like fishing or feeding birds. Customers should also err on the side of caution and just keep their yapper shut when buying cannabis seeds. Even if you’re asking about growing marijuana purely out of curiosity, these questions could easily be taken the wrong way and vendors could refuse to sell you cannabis seeds.
Growing Seeds In The UK
Since marijuana remains Schedule 2 drug in the UK, it’s illegal to plant cannabis seeds. This also means, of course, that it’s illegal to sell, share, or possess weed in the UK. You could face as high as 14 years in prison and/or a hefty fine if you’re caught in any of these scenarios.
The only time police will make an exception is if you’re only caught with a very tiny amount of cannabis (about one ounce) in your possession. It’s not a wise strategy, however, to bet on catching a chill cop. You could also legally use marijuana for a legitimate medical purpose, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
Smoking Weed In The UK
Obviously, since it’s illegal to grow, sell, or possess weed, you also can’t smoke cannabis recreationally in the UK. Anyone caught in the act of ingesting weed could face several years in jail and an unlimited fine.
Despite this legal status, marijuana remains one of the most common illegal recreational drugs used in the UK. Government statistics reveal about 7 percent of UK’s population has used or is using marijuana recreationally, and the drug is especially popular with young adults.
Because marijuana is so commonly used in the UK, some police forces have begun reducing the number of cops focused on this issue. For instance, officers in Durham told the press they aren’t prioritizing the search and seizure of marijuana. Even though local officers might have different priorities, this doesn’t change the national policy on marijuana use.
What’s The Deal With Medicinal Cannabis?
As mentioned in the intro, cannabis was downgraded to Schedule 2 status in 2018. This means UK specialists can legally prescribe cannabis to patients with certain ailments. While this new legislation opens the doors to the UK’s budding medicinal cannabis industry, keep in mind that this is only the first step. Indeed, the NHS admits it’s having a difficult time adequately filling out new requests for medicinal cannabis.
One of the major issues surrounding medicinal cannabis has to do with licensing. There are currently only a few cannabis drugs on the market that have gone through rigorous pharmaceutical testing, and research into cannabis’s medicinal potential is still only in the initial phases. The drug industry is struggling to figure out how to adequately regulate herbal, oil, and tincture formulas of cannabis, especially considering different strains of this drug could have significantly different physiological effects.
There are, however, two cannabis-infused drugs that are widely recognized by the medical establishment. Anyone in the UK who suffers from multiple sclerosis or epilepsy should ask their doctor about Sativex or Epidiolex, respectively. Both of these cannabis-derived drugs have been manufactured and tested for these specific diseases.
Could UK Residents Chill With CBD?
Another question UK residents have about cannabis regards the legal status of the popular compound cannabidiol (CBD). Found mainly in the hemp plant, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that some claim helps with a myriad of health conditions ranging from anxiety to epilepsy.
The UK law currently allows for the purchase, sale, and consumption of CBD products that have been extracted from EU-approved hemp. Also, all legal CBD goods should have no more than 0.2 percent of the high-inducing cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The Future Of UK Cannabis Laws
As the 21st century rolls on, it’s likely Westminster will roll back their restrictive laws on cannabis. Indeed, recent UK surveys suggest public support only continues to grow for cannabis legalization. Although the future of cannabis legalization looks bright, UK residents must educate themselves on the current rights and restrictions related to weed.
The condensed version of the UK cannabis laws is that citizens can buy and sell cannabis seeds, but they cannot grow, possess, sell, or use the marijuana plant. The only exceptions to this rule are if you use a hemp-derived CBD product or have a prescription for medical marijuana from your doctor. To better understand cannabis’s sticky legal status in the UK, you can read through the country’s “Controlled Drugs List” on this official website.
10 places to buy the best cannabis seeds that ship to the UK
Just because seed banks online are popping up everywhere doesn’t mean every resource is trustworthy. How can you know who to trust when growing weed is illegal in the UK?
Not to worry – we’ve compiled a list of the best cannabis seeds that ship to UK, as well as a guide to ordering seeds for the new British buyer.
Before we discuss our top picks, let’s first mention our criteria for making such a definitive list and how surprisingly sober we were when putting the facts together.
We decided to evaluate all weed companies for:
– Quality of weed seeds
– Germination guarantee
– Live customer service
– UK Stealth packaging
– Popular & rare marijuana strains
– Affordable pricing
– Fast and/or free shipping
1. Top weed seeds in the UK – Crop King Seeds
2. Collection of various seed banks – Seedsman
3. UK bulk sales – Quebec Cannabis Seeds
4. Free weed seed deals – Marijuana Seeds NL
5. Best UK stealth packaging – MJ Seeds Canada
6. Safest way to buy cannabis seeds online – Sonoma Seeds
7. Most innovative cultivators – SunWest Genetics
8. Best for hard to find seeds – Rocket Seeds
9. Fastest UK shipping – Mary Jane’s Garden
10. Best customer support – Beaver Seeds
Is Buying Cannabis Seeds Legal In The UK?
As you might have heard by now, cannabis is illegal to possess, sell or grow in the UK, even though almost every decent human being does it.
Nevertheless, getting charged with unlicensed production or trafficking is a headache, as cannabis is still considered a Class B drug, carrying a maximum penalty of 5 years in her majesty’s slammer.
Oddly enough, it’s not necessarily illegal to order marijuana seeds from a legally established overseas seed bank, like the ones reviewed on our list.
Legally speaking, no one can prove what you’re planning to do with those seeds, and whether or not they’re purely for collectible, personal use, or research purposes only.
You need to spark up a J and do some… “research”, yeah?
– You can buy marijuana seeds as a “novelty item”
– Customs still might confiscate the weed seeds
– The best cannabis seeds companies offer delivery guarantees
– You can also get “discreet packaging” or “stealth shipping” to the UK where the seeds are hidden in everyday items
Top 10 Best Seed Banks That Ship to the UK
1. Crop King Seeds – Best Overall Cannabis Seeds
– Wide selection of seeds
– Guaranteed germination & delivery
– Founded in 2005
– Not much in the way of discounts
Crop King Seeds is one of the longest-standing and most successful marijuana seed banks in the world and still offering the best-selling strains and new hybrids.
From top sellers like Dwarf Low Flyer Autoflower seeds to feminized seeds like Black Indica and Durban Poison, the site has a huge selection to choose from.
You can also expect “growing marijuana seed” guides, 24-7 chat support, a charge-free telephone number, and discreet packaging to the UK.
We liked CKS because of its wide range of strains and new seeds, with 500 new seeds released for the year.
The company offers two guarantees, one for germination, and the other for delivery, once you pay for Express Registered with Tracking.
2. Seedsman – Best Variety for Cannabis Seeds in UK
– Founded in 2003
– 40 promotions throughout the year
– Bitcoin discounts
– Loyalty program currently on hiatus due to “social sharing abuse”
– Difficult process for any lost orders
Seedsman drives a hard bargain with discount deals like 3 for 2, and up to 25% off Bitcoin purchases. There are roughly 40 different promotions every year, all averaging about 20 percent off the listed price.
But what makes Seedsman’s seed bank remarkable is its large selection. The company gets its catalog from over 80 trusted breeders all over the world and can offer as many as 1,500 strains to UK weed growers like yourself.
Customer service is well-reviewed, though it’s only email-based, and they are forbidden to provide any growing advice. Fortunately, you can also purchase some guides on how to grow your own “collectible seeds”, if that’s something you might fancy at some point.
3. Quebec Cannabis Seeds – Best Bulk Sales for UK Customers
-Better for bulk & mix pack deals
– Not clear whether they offer a delivery guarantee
Quebec Cannabis Seeds promises consistent quality on cannabis strains, with “optimum THC and high CBD levels.” While they do feature top-sellers like Auto Bruce Banner Feminised Seeds and Amnesia Haze XL auto-flowering seeds, their most exciting deals come in the way of mix packs and bulk seeds.
You can buy cannabis seeds mixes of feminised, auto-flowering, fast version, and Quebec Gold quality, in packs of 100. All packaging is handled discreetly and seeds are shipped inside inconspicuous items.
That’s just a DVD in the post… wink wink.
Seeds are guaranteed, and the company has confidence in its 80% germination rate. While confiscated packages won’t get you a refund, QCS is pretty good at making sure their seeds don’t get caught at customs.
4. Marijuana Seeds NL – Best Deal for Free Seeds
– Rewards program with money back the more cash you spend
– Accepts multiple forms of payment
– Free seeds with most purchases
– Not much in the way of guarantees
While much of the world was still debating the magic of cannabis, Amsterdam was busy producing it – and since 1999, providing individuals and companies with cannabis seeds.
We love you, Holland.
The most original of UK seed banks is Marijuana Seeds NL, offering a wide range of seeds, from feminised to autoflowering seeds and regular seeds, to special value packs for potency, taste, and environment.
The company is proud of its quality genetics and its founders traveled the world to find the best marijuana strains and develop testing procedures that would ensure stability. You can also expect “double free” seed deals, depending on the season.
Regular shipping is free after £55 and stealth shipping is free after £100.
5. MJ Seeds Canada – Best for Discreet Packaging
– Founded 2009
– Accept Paypal, bank transfer, & other payment methods
– Very discreet packaging
Questionable germination guarantee
While MJ Seeds Canada does have a high germination rate, their priority appears to be affordability in shipping and cannabis seed prices.
The germination guarantee is not as highly touted as the delivery guarantee, but the delivery is guaranteed when you pay for tracking and insurance.
However, they take their discreet seed billing and packaging seriously and alternate shipping methods regularly, so as not to build a pattern and arouse suspicion around your weed seeds.
The store’s 24-hour shipping policy is also unique, because of the fact that MJSC has multiple stores, offices, and warehouses to ship from.
6. Sonoma Seeds – Safest Way to Buy Marijuana Seeds Online
– Many payments supported, including cash
– High germination rate & guarantee
– Telephone customer support
– Not as much in the way of discounts
Sonoma Seeds is based in Canada and offers 300 Canadian dollars (around 175 GBP) for international shipping, which is all well and good. However, compared to $200 in free shipping offered by the likes of Crop King Seeds and the like, it’s a bit pricier.
Still, one of Sonoma’s advantages lies in the variety of supported payment methods, including bank transfers, Bitcoin, credit cards, and even carefully hidden cash, which is untraceable.
Other positives include an 80% germination rate, 500 strains to choose from, and premium customer support, including a telephone line with business hours.
What makes Sonoma Seeds unique is the flexibility of payment options, guaranteeing your privacy and giving you options.
7. SunWest Genetics – Most Innovative Cultivation Methods
– 500 strains to choose from
– Phone & internet support
– Free cannabis seeds included with larger purchases
– Not a lot of information on the company or its practices
SunWest Genetics focuses on improving the genetics of cannabis, including diversifying the gene pool of strains. Specifically, the company tries to improve strains for medicinal purposes and breed new varieties with additional benefits.
The company is outspoken about its quality control process but did not provide much information in the way of growing fundamentals for newcomers.
So you’d better know how to grow weed in the UK!
In terms of presentation, they have a lot to offer, with a variety of strains (over 500), fast and reliable phone and email support. The company is quick to stand by its products, offering a guarantee for quality and germination, which stands at 80%.
8. Rocket Seeds – Best for Hard to Find and Popular Seed Strains
– Works with other UK seed banks to find certain seed strains
– Germination guarantee
– Free seeds with higher purchases
– More like a convenience store than a unique brand
Not only does Rocket Seeds work with the world’s most successful breeders, but the company also goes out of its way to search for multinational sources of new strains.
The good news is you can find almost everything from here, from feminized seeds like 3 Kings and Acapulco Gold, or AK-47 auto-flowering, or even fast version seeds like Baklava MJ which can deliver a fast yield with little maintenance.
Rocket Seeds is such a team effort that you might find yourself working with the likes of Beaver, Crop King, Sunwest, and Mary Jane’s Garden – other seed banks that can find those hard-to-get strains.
It’s basically GoCompare for weed seeds.
9. Mary Jane’s Garden – Best Shipping Deals on Weed Seeds
– Reputation for high-quality seeds, no deformities
– Established 2003
– 90% delivery rate to UK
– Same-day shipping
– No telephone support
Mary Jane’s Garden has had almost 20 years in the business and has developed a reputation for a wide selection of strains and high-quality seeds.
What Mary Jane highlights is a more exacting selection process, weeding out the weed seeds (get it?) that might be damaged or unnaturally formed.
You’re left with the crème de la crème!
The delivery rate is 90% to the UK, above average, meaning the company knows how to secretly package your seeds!
Surprisingly, Mary Jane has one more distinct advantage over its competitors – a same-day shipping policy that beats even our top selection.
10. Beaver Seeds – Best UK Seed Banks Customer Support
– Established 2009
– Same-day shipping to UK
– Guaranteed delivery with extra insurance & tracking options
– Not a strong assurance of a germination guarantee
– Not as many discounts as competitors
Beavers Seeds cuts out the low-quality affordable stuff and stocks only the highest grade of cannabis seeds. You’ll find popular brands like Gorilla Glue and Banana Punch to bulk Indica and Sativa regulars.
The company offers same-day UK shipping, a rarity, not to mention a tracking system to practically every country on the globe.
Besides accepting multiple forms of payment, including cash, and guaranteeing a germination rate, what truly impressed us about Beaver Seeds is its 24/7 seed bank telephone support.
Cannabis Seeds UK FAQs
How do seed banks ship to the UK?
While there are many seed banks that ship to the USA and countries where weed is (somewhat) legal, it can be a bit trickier to buy weed seeds in the UK.
Because growing cannabis seeds in the UK remains illegal, practically all reviewed seed banks offer discreet and stealth packaging.
Not only does this involve carefully selected phrases on billing and address labels, but even within the package itself, the seeds are often hidden.
Marijuana weed strains can be clandestinely stored in:
– Greeting cards
– Christmas gifts
– Toys for children
– DVD cases
– Video game cases
– And more!
Some companies, such as Crop King or Seedsman, will often change up their shipping methods so that local laws or UK customs don’t become suspicious.
What’s the safest way to buy UK cannabis seeds online?
Many online seed banks in the UK now offer Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency purchases, which are much more difficult for customs to catch and trace.
Some companies like Sonoma Seeds or Beaver Seeds even allow you the option of paying in cash, which is completely untraceable.
You simply send the money wrapped and hidden with your order, and if it’s not confiscated, (which is fairly rare) you get your order back.
You can even track your package if you order the higher-end shipping option.
What different strains of marijuana can you grow in the UK?
Remember, that some marijuana seeds will only excel in special climates and environments. When planning to grow any plant in the UK, you must consider the UK weather, which is typically rainy, cold in the winter, and even slightly cool in the summer.
Basically, our weather is crap.
Marijuana flowering is seasonal, and germination peaks around late spring while harvesting begins around autumn. Many avoid outdoor growing in the U.K., naturally because of anti-marijuana laws, but also because of the rainy climate.
Autoflower seeds will grow easier in most environments and might be the wiser choice for the newcomer, not to mention the “fast-growing” packages, which are made to thrive in most environments.
Easy to Grow Marijuana Seeds for the UK
Some easy-to-work-with strains that are quite popular among newcomers in the UK include:
– Skunk Fast Version
– White Russian Fast Version
– Northern Lights Autoflower
– Critical Autoflower
Skunk and White Russian are set apart from the others because they are called fast-version cannabis plants, made for territories with short seasons, and with expectations of a fast harvest.
Fast version cannabis strains yield results faster than normal flowering times, because of feminised and crossed genetics, mixing photoperiod and automatic female clone genes.
They are also not the same as auto-flowering strains, even though they are also made to grow unusually fast. However, fast version cannabis strains are not autoflower, like Northern Lights or Critical. These are “photoperiod” strains, which are light-dependent and tend to harvest early.
Autoflowering strains like Northern Lights are known to be compact, relatively fast, and with a distinct honey-aroma. It’s considered an easy plant to grow and yet with high THC levels.
Critical is also a well-known strain for both indoor and outdoor growers and is a nice compromise between high yield and reduced flowering time. Critical is appreciated because it can grow in even colder climates.
All of these popular strains are available at sites like our top pick, Crop King Seeds.
Fun but Challenging Marijuana Seeds to Grow in the UK
– Bruce Banner
– Gorilla Glue
– Dos Si Dos Girl Scout Cookies
Bruce Banner, named for obvious reasons, packs a hulk of THC, up to 30 percent! No wonder it’s a hobbyist’s favorite, and known for not only cerebral highs but also more calming sensations.
Gorilla Glue is a common strain name you will find among UK growers, because of its high THC content, as well as its medicinal use for pain relief. It’s more about relaxation and euphoria and is one of the top sellers of most seed sites, including Seedsman.
Finally, how can we not brag about Dos Si Dos, a Girl Scout Cookies / Face-Off hybrid that accentuates the already-celebrated taste with an even stronger high? 70% Indica and flexible for indoor or outdoor growing, fans love the strain for its medicinal power, and ability to relieve depression and insomnia.
Best Marijuana Seed Banks That Ship to the UK: The Takeaway
We particularly admire Crop King Seeds with its 24/7 customer support, its double guarantee, (for germination and delivery), and the wide variety of strains.
However, we are obliged to admit Seedsman had the better reputation on Reddit and other social media sites, so it was a very tight race to the top spot.
If you’re ready to take the next step and start becoming the cannabis hobbyist you always dreamed of, start your journey by working with reliable marijuana seed banks that ship to the UK.
Look for reputation, quality, discounts, and a company that’s ready to help you find your way. Good luck!
Legality Buying Cannabis Seeds in the UK
The world is seeing a huge shift in terms of perceptions regarding cannabis. However, the UK has been largely left behind in this shift, and as such, cannabis is still very much illegal (with the exception of a few specific, high status legal cases).
As a result, growing cannabis – even on a small scale for personal use – is illegal too.
This differs from many other countries, where exceptions have been allowed for personal cannabis growing on a small scale. However, until the rules change, it is still going to be important for UK residents to stay on the right side of the law – and as such, knowing how to buy cannabis seeds legally in the UK could be of great benefit.
Current UK Cannabis Laws
The UK is falling behind many other countries globally – in particular, the United States of America and Canada – in terms of its cannabis legislation. As a result of this, ever since cannabis was made illegal in 1923, cannabis has remained an illegal drug.
In 1923, cannabis was added to the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1920. It was then further classified as a class B drug in 1971 with the arrival of the misuse of drugs act; though this means that cannabis is not considered one of the most dangerous drugs, it is still highly regulated as a class B drug, which is the same as amphetamines. This, ironically, is a far more lenient view of cannabis than in the US (where many states have taken action to legalize cannabis); indeed, in the USA, cannabis is actually classified as a drug akin to cocaine or heroin.
Penalties for Cannabis Use in the UK
When it comes to first offences, most UK residents will simply be given a warning. However, the penalties for cannabis use and possession after this first offence are usually more serious, with a penalty notice of disorder being handed out and a fine of up to £80. Third time offenders and later will then be liable for imprisonment and this will almost certainly end up on the individual’s criminal record, too. The maximum jail time for cannabis is 5 years, in line with the rules for other Class B drugs; however, it is important to note that there can be an unlimited cash fine as well as this.
With that being said, the punishment for cannabis use or possession in the UK is generally more lenient than the maximum jail time or fines, and most people – even repeat offenders – will get away with a much shorter jail time.
Factors that are taken into consideration when fine value or jail time is being decided on usually include the person’s level of involvement in the cannabis growing or selling operation, the scale of the cannabis growth/possession, and the criminal history of the individual.
Can Cannabis be Legally Purchased in the UK?
After all of this, you might be wondering – is it actually legal to purchase cannabis (or cannabis seeds) in the UK? Well, luckily, there is an option available to you.
A licence is obtainable from the Home Office to permit you to grow or obtain cannabis and this licence costs just shy of £600. It permits individuals to grow cannabis either for personal or industrial purposes (if a low THC strain is being grown that is intended for medicinal use) or for research purposes. However, recreational cannabis use or seed possession is still entirely illegal in the UK.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, we highly recommend that you take the legal route when it comes to cannabis; though the penalties might not be as strict for cannabis use in the UK as in some other countries, the UK police are very hot on cannabis. As such, there is a pretty good chance you’ll be found out if you try to grow cannabis illegally – indeed, it’s always better to stay on the right side of the law, and after all, there are provisions in place to make growing your own cannabis legal.
It is important to note here that cannabis seeds are actually legal in the UK, since cannabis seeds aren’t classified in quite the same way as cannabis itself. The seeds can be legally purchased for use as bird food, fish bait, or for a collection. However, it is illegal to consume the cannabis seeds and growing the seeds (without an appropriate licence) is also still illegal.
Where to Source Legal Cannabis Seeds in the UK?
If you want to source cannabis seeds legally in the UK, there are a few seed banks where you can buy them. Some UK licensed shops are actually able to sell legal cannabis seeds, and it is also legal to buy cannabis seeds online and have them delivered by mail! As such, if you don’t want to go into a physical cannabis seed store or if there isn’t one local to you – they are still very niche shops – then there are plenty of cannabis seed banks that will ship seeds to the UK for bird seed, fish bait, or collector purposes.
The final takeaway here, then, is that owning a small number of cannabis seeds is legal in the UK – so long as you don’t germinate the seeds and they are used for fish bait, bird seed, or as part of a collection. However, it’s important to make sure that you source your seeds from a reputable seed bank; luckily, there are many that are either UK-based or that ship to the UK, so you won’t be stuck for choice!