There’s no denying that South Africa is one of the best places in the world to grow marijuana, or dagga, but the laws on marijuana in the country are a bit complicated. So if you live in South Africa or you plan to visit, it’s a good idea to know the laws of the land so that you don’t run into any unnecessary legal trouble. In this article we’ll discuss the marijuana laws on the books in South Africa, if it’s legal to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, the best seed banks to use, and which strains grow best in the South African climate.
Is it Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds in South Africa?
Although it’s common knowledge that marijuana grows well in South Africa, there are some laws and legal hurdles you may have to jump to do so. Here are some things you should know whether you live in the country or plan to visit it.
- Marijuana is decriminalized in South Africa. Both recreational and medical marijuana is considered legal for personal use by adults in their own homes.
- It’s legal to grow and cultivate cannabis in South Africa for personal use.
- It’s legal to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa and to possess them.
- Medicinal use of marijuana is legal in South Africa.
- It’s not legal to use marijuana in public, around children or around adults who don’t consent to it.
- It’s not legal to use marijuana in your home if it’s not for personal use. So, no crazy house parties.
- It’s not legal to buy or sell cannabis.
2021 South African Cannabis Laws
It wasn’t legal to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, or to grow and cultivate cannabis in the country until recently. In fact, it was a Schedule 7 drug.
However, there has long been an underground cannabis industry in the country. These people buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, grow them and then sell them for money. They call the plant “dagga”. This underground weed industry has brought drug cartel activity from West Africa into South Africa. The cartels used to grow their weed in West Africa, but the ideal climates in South Africa have made an attractive cultivation venue for them. Because of this the United States counter-narcotics division has even been providing specialized drug training to South African police to combat this outlaw behavior.
It’s recently become legal for adults to use and grow cannabis in their own homes, so long as they’re growing and possessing it for personal use and not selling it. This has changed the way the government and law enforcement in the country legally approach the country’s love of the plant.
Government’s Views on Whether You Should Buy Cannabis Seeds in South Africa
Many times it’s hard to tell what a government’s official stance on marijuana is, but that really isn’t the case with the South African government. They’ve made it quite clear what they think about weed.
The government has drafted the South African Position Paper on Cannabis which states that for the purposes of public safety and health, cannabis prohibition is important. To that end the CDA (Central Drug Agency) enforces these drug laws. (If you live in the United States and plan to travel to South Africa then you can compare the CDA to the Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA in the states.)
But then cannabis was decriminalized on a national level in 2018 by the Constitutional Court. So it can be inferred that the government probably frowns on cannabis use, but since it’s so widely accepted and used by South African people they made laws to reflect public opinion on the plant. It’s pretty likely that many government and health officials still don’t like the idea, but have to follow the ruling.
Personal Cannabis Use in South Africa
In 2017 someone brought a case to the Western Cape High Court and the judge made a ruling that said it isn’t constitutional to prohibit an adult from using or cultivating marijuana on their own property. This ruling also says that it should be legal to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa. Then the ruling was ratified by the Constitutional Court a year later. Of course this ruling was met with celebrations throughout the land. So does this mean that marijuana is now legal and you can buy cannabis seeds in South Africa now?
Sort of. First of all, this ruling never specified how much weed you can possess for personal use. That could be a nearly infinite amount, so you can expect more regulations regarding that later. In fact, the 2020 Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill suggested limits and restrictions on how much weed an individual can grow and possess for personal use, and how much they can legally share with another individual. It also defines what amounts of cannabis are considered to be traficable or commercial crimes, and specifies that individuals caught with this amount of weed can serve between 6-15 years in prison for these offenses. However, this bill hasn’t been passed yet.
It’s still illegal to buy and to sell cannabis. But if you can buy cannabis seeds in South America and then grow them, you can really take advantage of this ruling because it’s legal to cultivate weed on your own land. It’s also perfectly legal right now for someone to gift you seeds, so you can take advantage of that too.
However, marijuana advocates and enthusiasts in the country are hopefully optimistic that future legislation of this type could lead to not only decriminalization but legalization of the plant. They hope that it will eventually be legal to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, and to cultivate them in any amount you desire.
What Legally Happens if You Buy Cannabis Seeds in South Africa?
This country is a place that provides the ideal climate to grow marijuana, so it’s great that it’s legal to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, cultivate and possess them for personal use. So what happens if you get caught with the seeds in your possession after you buy cannabis seeds in South Africa?
It’s pretty likely that you’ll get a light punishment such as a fine because of the gang activity and violent crime that happens in the country, so marijuana offenses usually get light sentences because they’re comparatively lesser crimes. However, you should know that the maximum sentence is 25 years in prison if the authorities decide you have enough that you aren’t using them for personal use at home. Just because they USUALLY dole out light sentences doesn’t mean that marijuana offenses are ALWAYS met with a slap on the wrist. If the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill passes, that maximum sentence will drop to 6-15 years instead of 25.
Medical Marijuana Use in South Africa
Several members of the South African Parliament have made have been pushing for alterations to the Medical Innovation Bill. As the name of the bill suggests, it would make only medical marijuana use legal. If it were passed it would still be legal to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
However, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health outright rejected the bill in 2017. They say that the bill is unnecessary because there is already a Medicines and Related Substances Act on the books. This act contains allowances for medical marijuana use and using marijuana for research purposes.
This is the process you’ll have to go through to qualify for legally accepted medical marijuana use in South Africa in 2021. First you submit a Section 21 application to your doctor who will then pass it along to the Medicines Control Council. If the Director-General approves the application, then congratulations! You’re now approved to use marijuana for medicinal use, but there are conditions you’ll have to follow.
Buy Cannabis Seeds in South Africa as a Tourist
As of 2021, cops really aren’t bothering with tourists who have a bit of weed or a few cannabis seeds on their person. Their energies are currently more focused on people who are in possession of crystal meth.
If you’re out walking around and you’d like to find someone selling weed on the street, rub a fist across your palm. Alternatively, you can say “chise iree”. This is how you buy cannabis seeds in South Africa or buy weed in this country.
You’ll typically be given an amount that will fit in a “bankie”, which is a bank coin bag. You can buy this amount even if it isn’t delivered to you in this type of bag. It’s not a good idea to get caught making this transaction because it’s still illegal to buy or sell cannabis in South Africa, so discretion is crucial. And if you want to further avoid legal trouble, limit your use of cannabis to your hotel room as personal cannabis use is legal for adults in their homes.
Grow Conditions in South Africa
Everyone knows that South Africa is a great place to grow weed. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t conditions and pests that you’ll need to know how to deal with. Before you buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, here are some of the conditions you can expect.
In the Summer months, much of South Africa reaches temperatures of over 30 °C. Some strains are going to handle this heat better than others. Typically strains that are sativa-dominant grow tall and create long roots to find water deep down in the soil, which gives them an advantage in the heat.
Extreme wind conditions can be common in many regions of South Africa, with windstorms capable of causing damage to your plants and property. You can reduce the risk of damage by securing your plants to stakes or surrounding them with a wire cage. If using stakes, make sure you allow them to remain flexible with the wind.
Mould & Mildew
Bud mould and mildew are also issues to keep an eye out for. Bud mould can be identified as a brown discoloration of the buds and usually begins with the sugar leaves. Mildew is a white powdery fungus that usually coats the leaves but can also infect buds if it is severe. In early stages, careful removal of the affected areas is sufficient to preserve the plant. You can also use preventative products to reduce the chance of mildew developing.
Several critters and other creepy crawlies can be a danger to your plants in South Africa. Thrips, fungus gnats, leaf miners, caterpillars, and grasshoppers are all common and can cause damage to the leaves, the bud, or even strip entire plants. Pesticides, even organic ones, can typically only be used while your plants are still in the vegetative state, so instead you should plant companion plants to draw attention away from your cannabis. The companion plants are typically those preferred by the pests and will allow your plants to grow safely.
Where to Buy Cannabis Seeds in South Africa
If you live in the country and are researching where to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, most people will tell you that using bag seeds initially is best. This is because when you buy weed and are blessed with mature seeds in the bag, it’s cost efficient to use them. Plus, you already know the effects of the strain the seeds came from because you’ve already used it.
Another option you have to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa is to use an online seed bank. Look for reputable banks with good reviews and options like guaranteed delivery. And check that they offer international shipping, or ship worldwide.
If you don’t know where to begin searching for an online seed bank, here are a few of our recommendations:
Crop King Seeds
Crop King Seeds is one of the most reputable and top rated online seed banks in the world. They sell a wide variety of strains and are available to ship worldwide, so they’re a good choice if you want to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa. Crop Kings ensures both secure and discreet shipping of all cannabis seeds, going so far as to disguise your ordered products if necessary (i.e. storing your seeds inside of objects like a pen, flashlight, or birthday card). Though they can be a bit pricey, Crop King Seeds sells high quality seeds and guarantees your privacy.
One of the top seed banks in the UK, MSNL offers discreet worldwide shipping. Though they offer less variety than other seed banks, MSNL offers high quality products at lower rates than their competitors, making them a good option if you need to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa on a tight budget. In addition, they offer “guaranteed stealth” shipping that ensures your products arrive discreetly and guarantees that your items will be replaced at no charge if they fail to arrive. Guaranteed stealth also comes with a tracking option so you can monitor the shipping progress.
Another good choice for first time growers or veterans is WeedSeedsExress. Though they’re a bit of a newcomer to the online seed bank market, they offer great prices and good variety if you’re looking to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa. Like the other seed banks on this list, they offer worldwide guaranteed shipping and ensure that any lost packages are replaced at no cost. WeedSeedsExpress also has several resources available to help you learn more about growing your plants in an effort to aid and educate first time growers.
If you’re looking for the highest quality and our five star recommendation, look no further than SensiSeeds. They carry several award winning strains and offer excellent customer service as well. SensiSeeds has a long established reputation for quality seeds and service, offering premium strains and competitive prices as well as promotional offers. They also guarantee discreet worldwide shipping, so their a great choice when you need to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
Seedsman is another great choice for quality seeds at low cost rates. Their also offer genetically modified products resistant to pests and disease to make your growing experience easier. They also offer a wide variety of strains at low price points, making them a great choice if you have a limited budget. With discreet and secure shipping to a worldwide market, Seedsman ensures that their quality products are available wherever you are. This makes them another excellent choice if you’re looking to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa at a low cost.
Another popular choice from the UK is SeedSupreme. Seed Supreme offers discreet global shipping for all of their products and offers nearly 4,000 strains of cannabis with a price range of around $24 USD to over $100 USD depending on the strain. With such a wide variety, SeedSupreme is a great place for beginners or veteran growers to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa. They’re sure to have something for you in their vast product range.
SensibleSeeds has a 20 year market presence and a well-established reputation for quality and variety. Offering over 3,000 strains from 150 vetted breeders, SensibleSeeds is a fantastic choice for any budget. Their pricing is friendly to beginners and veteran growers alike, and with worldwide discreet shipping they’re a solid choice if you want to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
If you’re in the market for premium seeds with a high germination rate (95%), then Paradise Seeds is a good option to consider. They offer high quality premium seeds and monthly promotions to offset their somewhat higher prices. Even though they are a pricier option, Paradise Seeds has a long established reputation for seed quality and a guaranteed 95% germination rate. Paradise Seeds offers worldwide shipping to most countries, making them a good choice for premium growers looking to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
Mary Jane’s Garden
Though they primarily specialize in Canadian strains, Mary Jane’s Garden offers global shipping with a range of high quality seeds that cater well to the international market too. They primarily focus on ensuring that their customers receive only the highest quality products. If you’re looking for high quality when you buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, Maryjane’s Garden is definitely worth a try. They offer free shipping on orders over $200 USD and have great customer service.
If you need to find the balance between price and quality, give SunWest Genetics a look. They offer a handpicked selection of quality seeds, giving them a unique variety, and sell them at low cost rates and good deals. They also offer free shipping on any orders over $200 USD, and will ship worldwide. When you need to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa at affordable rates and don’t want to lose out on quality, consider checking out SunWest Genetics.
Best Cannabis Strains for South African Growers
Knowing what seed banks to use when you buy cannabis seeds in South Africa is great, but what about what strains are popular? Below are some of the most popular South African strains available from the previously listed seed banks.
Originating in the South African city of Durban. This strain is 100% sativa and has become one of South Africa’s most popular strains, even becoming popular worldwide. It features pine and sweet earthy notes in its flavor profile, creating a complex taste experience your sure to enjoy. Because it’s sativa, you won’t become one with your couch like you would with an indica. Instead, you’ll often find yourself feeling happy, blissful, and energetic. Durban Poison is great for daytime use or as your go-to wake and bake.
Another 100% Sativa, Kwazulu grows naturally in the areas surrounding Drakensburg Ridge in South Africa. Kwazulu was originally cultivated by a well known tribe of warrior- farmers known as the Zulu. The cultivation secrets were passed down for generations as the plant was important to their warrior culture. Because it has galvanizing properties, it’s long been said that the Zulu used it to fight off British invaders in 1879. It’s a hardy strain that’s resistant to pests, mould, and mildew, making it a good choice for first timers and veterans when you need to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa. Kwazulu also boasts THC levels between 17-20%, and because it’s a sativa you’ll get an energetic and uplifting high. It carries a spicy, pungent aroma and a fruity flavor you’re sure to enjoy.
An African sativa strain with high THC levels, Power Plant is not to be attempted by inexperienced cannabis users or those sensitive to high levels of THC. You’ll receive a happy, uplifted mood along with a boost of energy that also tends to make users quite chatty. This makes Power Plant great for things like anxiety and stress relief. It’s got a pungent woody and earthy smell and a peppery taste.
A fan favorite hybrid with a 60/40 indica-sativa split, white widow is known around the world. It gains its name from the frosty white trichomes that cover the bud, giving it a unique appearance and a THC content of 20-25%. It won the 1995 High Times Cup. White Widow was created by crossing a South African landrace sativa with a South Indian landrace indica. It’s a very hardy plant that’s resistant to cold climates, pests, and mould. Even though it’s indica forward, the hybrid properties it carries means you won’t get that “locked in” feeling associated with indicas.
You’ll be energized instead of tired and have a sense of euphoria. It’s great for conditions like depression, PTSD, chronic pain, anxiety, and stress. It’s worth noting that this is one of the most potent cannabis strains in the world. It has a unique and strong aroma that is often described as spicy and skunky mixed with berries. It’s flavor profile is spicy and fruity. White Widow is an excellent choice for to consider when you buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
This strain gets its name from the enormous buds it produces. We’re not sure precisely how long this strain has been around, but we know it’s been in existence since at least the 1970s. It’s a mostly indica based hybrid (85% indica/15% sativa). We know it was around in the 70s because just before the Nixon administration came into power and brought the war on drugs, it was shipped to Sweden where they perfected its genetics. We’re not certain about its parent plants, but they’ve long believed to have been Afghani and Northern Lights.
It smells sweet and fruity and has a spicy/sweet flavor profile. Big Bud also grows well in warm climates, making it a great choice when you need to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa. It also boasts THC levels as high as 26%, though you will likely experience the heavy feeling associated with most indicas. The effects usually lead with euphoria and progress to relaxation that can sometimes lead to that “locked-in” feeling. It has pain relieving and sedative properties, making it great for sleep disorders, chronic pain, muscle spams, or fibromyalgia. Not a strain to smoke on busy days.
Another sativa-forward strain (80% sativa/20% indica) with landrace parents. Amnesia Haze won 1st place in the 2004 Cannabis Cup and the 2012 Sativa Cup. People call it the ultimate hybrid because it has genetics from Hawaiian, Jamaican, Thai, Cambodian, Afghani, South Asian, and Haze sativa plants. This strain has a strong earthy smell with notes of pine and citrus for a complex aroma profile and a similar flavor that’s a bit sweeter. It prefers warmer climates but you may wish to grow it indoors or with companion plants because it is susceptible to pests.
Although its name suggest it would produce a high so strong you won’t remember your own name, it’s more of a mellow cerebral euphoria. Although it does provide some energy and provide a boost to creativity and chattiness, it’s not so much energy that you feel hyper. This makes it great for getting things done after work. Its enjoyed by those with mood disorders, stress, and fatigue. Amnesia Haze will gently energize you and leave you with a smile on your face, making it another great choice when you need to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
This sativa-dominant strain (70% sativa/30% indica) grown in the Kenyan hills surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro. The tribes who cultivated it called it “elephant fattener”. It smells a little skunky with sweet and citrus notes and had a complex flavor profile with herbal, sweet, citrus, tea, earthy, and spicy tastes. It prefers a warm climate, and is resistant to mold and mildew making it a great option to consider when you go to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa. This strain is also referred to as “Elephant Stomper” because of its intense energizing effects and the uplifting feeling it produces. It’s great for a mood booster or if you need to get things done.
If you enjoy sweet tasting cannabis and are a fan of Skittles candy, this strain is perfect for you. It’s a hybrid with a to/30 indica/sativa split and carries 14% THC content. Zkittlez was created by crossing Grape Ape (Indica) with Grapefruit (Sativa). Zkittlez has a sweet, sour, and fruity smell with a flavor profile with notes of berry, citrus, and grape. This strain loves warm climates, making it an easy grow for South Africa. Its cerebral high helps to uplift the mood of those suffering from depression and provides focus to those with ADHD, and the body high helps those suffering from insomnia and chronic pain. All in all, Zkittlez is a solid choice for aspiring growers looking to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
This is a sweet, fruity hybrid strain that pack a THC punch (25%). It’s an indica-forwards hybrid with a 60/40 split for its overall composition. Wedding Gelato was created by combining Wedding Cake and Gelato 33. Its got a really strong, almost sickeningly sweet aroma and a complex flavor profile with notes like herb, lemon, and strong vanilla that combine to taste like toffee. Wedding Gelato isn’t a fussy plant and it’s fairly easy to grow anywhere. This strain is well-known to be great for anxiety in small doses. And its indica properties make it an excellent choice for anyone suffering from chronic pain or sleep disorders. While it won’t knock you out like some indicas, it can relax you and help you sleep. Wedding Gelato’s easy-growing nature make it a great choice to consider when you need to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
This well known sativa has been grown since 25,000 BCE. We know this because it was depicted in ancient cave paintings found in Swaziland. The Nguni tribe is known to cultivate it and the Soho tribe uses it medicinally. Its been used to create numerous other strains, partially due to its sativa effects, its resilience and easy growth, and its gorgeous buds dotted with orange and purple. It produces earthy, sweet, fruity, and citrus aromas and has a flavor profile consisting of sweet, fruity, and woody flavors. It’s 100% sativa, so it will leave you feeling happy, creative, focused, and energized. People often use it for things like stress, depression, and lack of appetite. Its hardiness and ease of growth make it another solid choice to consider for anyone wanting to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa.
So, as you can see, there are scores of options available to you if you want to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa. Though the laws can seem a bit complicated, you’ll typically be fine as long as you aren’t growing more than what is considered acceptable for personal use. There are several locally available strains of cannabis that are also quite popular worldwide, and with the right preventative measures and care, you can grow excellent plants in South Africa’s climate.