Published on: 30/06/2021
Here’s why growing cannabis seeds in the uk could be a problem
Sprouting cannabis seeds and growing a cannabis plant is the desire of many marijuana lovers, but it would be good to know what the law says about it before doing so. In the UK, the sale and purchase of cannabis seeds are legal, but germinating them is not.
The issue is that cannabis seeds do not contain THC, so they cannot fall into the products category with a high tetrahydrocannabidiol content that will be considered illegal. In particular, the tolerated THC level of THC cannabis products is set at 0.2 % in the UK.
Marijuana seeds are therefore perfectly legal in the same way as seeds of other common plants, as they have no drugging effect in themselves. The problem would arise if you were to germinate them, as the resulting cannabis plant would then produce inflorescences rich in THC, well above the permitted level.
On 19 December 2019, however, an unprecedented event occurred in Europe as the United Sections of the Court of Cassation issued a historic ruling on marijuana cultivation. The EU Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling on the cultivation of marijuana, stating that it is not a criminal offence to grow it at home with a few specimens and rudimentary means of cultivation for personal use.
It does not mean that the cultivation of marijuana seeds has become fully legal, as the administrative offence remains. However, it is no longer considered a criminal offence. The assessment of the connotation of cannabis cultivation is made on a case-by-case basis by the authorities. But this is a glimmer of openness on the hemp issue in Italy.
In Italy, for example, the only facility authorised to cultivate classic cannabis is the Stabilimento Chimico Farmaceutico Militare in Florence, where medical cannabis is produced. All other existing cultivations are of light marijuana, which contains less than 0.5 % THC.
However, in other countries like Spain, growing marijuana seeds at home for personal consumption is tolerated, but its free use on the streets is not. We will now look at the main methods of germinating hemp seeds in countries where this is permitted.
Sprouting hemp seeds in cotton: a classic technique but with significant risks
One of the most widely used procedures for germinating marijuana seeds, and any other plant, is to place them inside a cotton ball and moisten it with water. From a certain point of view, this method allows you to keep a perfect eye on the germination of hemp seeds, but it also involves risks.
You should be aware that the first rootlets of cannabis seeds are developed into very delicate microscopic filaments, and moving them from cotton to the substrate could damage them irreparably. To avoid this, you should be very careful and use tweezers to make the transition from cotton to pot.
In any case, if you have decided to use this method, you absolutely must take a few precautions, including:
- Avoid crushing the cotton over the seed
- Always keep the cotton damp but not soaked with water
- Keep the humidity constant
- Keep the seeds in the dark
- Keep seeds warm
Cannabis seeds take a variable amount of time to germinate. Depending on the species, it will take from 24 hours to a few days. The easiest way to keep them warm and moist is to put them in a closed cupboard near a source of heat, perhaps improvising a grow box with a plastic bag with holes in it, which you can remove once the sprout has emerged.
Germinating marijuana seeds directly in the substrate: advantages and disadvantages
Another cheap and easy technique to germinate cannabis seeds is to put them directly into the growing medium. If you decide to use this technique, place the cannabis seeds at a minimum depth of no more than 1 centimetre and do not compact the soil on top of them.
The sprout mustn’t encounter resistance to coming out.
As with cannabis seeds in cotton, they should be stored away from light and in a warm place, i.e. in a grow box or in a closed cabinet near a heat source. The substrate should be kept moist but not too wet to avoid letting the hemp seeds rot.
If you have chosen to grow auto-flowering cannabis seeds, i.e. hemp plants that flower automatically depending on their age, you can start them sprouting at any time of the year. However, what you need to do is to ensure that the crop is successful. It is to provide it with the right amount of warmth even in the coldest seasons, perhaps by using the light of a lamp pointed at the seed.
Planting marijuana seeds directly in the substrate doesn’t have any significant drawbacks, apart from avoiding ‘stressing’ the seeds by compacting the substrate too much. You must also avoid adding nutrients to the substrate in the first two weeks, as the cannabis seeds already have all the substances they need for germination.
The most significant advantage of this method is that they are already in their final location. Not having to move the plants avoids irreparable damage to the developing roots and subjecting the sprout to trauma. In short, it is a relatively safe technique that is very much used in home cultivation.
Read also: Growing cannabis seeds: is it legal or not?
Sprouting cannabis seeds in mini jiffies: what they are and what they are for!
Another technique for germinating marijuana seeds, which is more professional than the previous ones, is to use jiffy pots. But what are jiffy pots?
Jiffy pots are discs of dehydrated peat of various sizes, specially designed to germinate any plant, including hemp seeds. They cost very little and are a trendy method for industrial crops, as they provide excellent guarantees of seed germination.
It is very simple to use this technique. Just soak the cannabis seeds in warm water with a pH of between 6 and 7, possibly enriched with a root stimulant, and, once they have swollen, drain them well without squeezing them. Once this is done, place the marijuana seed in the hole provided and press it down so that it sinks about half a centimetre.
Now simply place the jiffy with the cannabis seeds in a grow box or in a dark, warm place and wait for the cotyledons.
Wait for the first two rounded sprouts of the marijuana to emerge. You should continuously monitor the moisture level, preventing them from drying out, especially in the first 48 hours, possibly adding water but not over-soaking them.
Once the cannabis seedlings have sprouted, you can transfer the jiffy directly into the substrate. If they are auto-flowering marijuana seeds, it is best to go straight into the final pot. If you have sprouted feminised hemp seeds, you can go for a smaller pot first. In short, if you want to do things right, using jiffy discs is one of the best methods to germinate cannabis seeds.
Final considerations about cannabis seeds’ germination phase
As you may have guessed, germinating marijuana seeds is a very delicate stage of cannabis cultivation, where you are dealing with a very fragile bud. It is therefore essential to follow the instructions you have read in this article and always keep these three factors under control:
Generally speaking, whatever method you choose to germinate your ganja seeds, if you keep the temperature constant at 25°, the humidity right and grow in the dark, your cannabis seeds will produce healthy sprouts.
But where to buy high-quality cananbis seeds? At SensorySeeds, our online marijuana seed shop, of course.
Here you’ll find a wide range of hemp seed varieties and can choose from the ones that inspire you:
- Feminised seeds
- Autoflowering seeds
- Fast flowering seeds
What are you waiting for? Click here and buy the best cannabis seeds on the market now!