By Luke Sumpter

Some plants act as natural parasite repellents. Basil is a garden favourite worldwide because its strong scent is good for us and our recipes, but pests such as aphids and flies hate it. Companion planting is based on the idea that plants can form cooperative partnerships that deter pests and encourage better garden health, even without pesticides. Basil is a great companion plant for your cannabis garden too.


There are many varieties of basil hybrids. The most commonly cultivated is sweet basil, or Genovese basil, but we also have Thai basil, lemon basil, holy basil, and many others. It is one of the most used herbs in cuisines worldwide, and it’s very easy to grow. The same compounds that make basil’s aroma so pleasant also show therapeutic potential in essential oil form.


Different species of basil produce different essential oils containing terpenes and other biochemical compounds. The qualitative and quantitative composition of these essential oils can be quite diverse, however, common basil contains high concentrations of estragole and linalool, together with cineole, eugenol, and myrcene. This combination of aromatic compounds is the reason why basil leaves can make even the simplest of recipes so tasty. The same combination acts as a bug repellent, similarly to citronella or lemongrass, and research has found basil essential oil to have antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

Fresh basil leaves are a great way to add flavour to recipes, and some dishes rely on basil as their primary ingredient, such as pesto alla genovese. Basil leaves are most commonly used fresh and added at the last moment as cooking degrades its aromatic compounds. Basil essential oil is less suitable for cooking, for it’s much more concentrated and potent as an active principle than raw leaves, stems, and flowers.

The potential health benefits of basil essential oil range from the ability to treat nausea, motion sickness, indigestion, constipation, and respiratory problems, up to fighting inflammation and bacterial/viral infections. It can be used aromatically, topically, or internally, and you can also use basil oil to sanitise kitchens and bathrooms, prevent contamination, purify the air, and enhance your mood. You can even add basil oil to your mouthwash or toothpaste, which can also be homemade.



Members of a companion cannabis garden should be planted close together, but not so close as to cause competition for root space, air, light, and nutrients. Basil is a great companion plant for a wide variety of veggies, including pepper and chili pepper, eggplant, potato, tomato, asparagus, cabbage, beets, beans, as well as herbs like peppermint.

It’s a short-lived, mostly annual plant that grows best in moist, well-draining soil in a sunny location. It doesn’t require more than 8 hours of sunlight a day, and it benefits from some shade in the afternoon. Daytime temperatures must be above 21°C (70°F) and nighttime temperatures must be above 10°C (50°F) to avoid damage. When transplanted, basil seedlings should be spaced 30cm (12in) apart, with 45cm (18in) between rows.

The apical growth of the plant can be pinched to encourage the growth of new shoots, similarly to what happens with cannabis. Harvesting leaves regularly keeps the plants productive, and the fresh leaves can be kept for a short time in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer.

There is no way basil can steal nutrients and light from a grown-up cannabis plant, and it is said that this herb has the power to improve the flavour of veggies, cannabis included, when they grow together as companion plants. True or not, with all these advantages and few hassles, there’s no reason not to plant some basil around your ganja garden.

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Sweet Basil is a favourite culinary herb and excellent pest deterrent when used as a companion plant for cannabis. It is easy to grow and will add some versatility to your grow patch.

Buy Sweet Basil Royal Guardians

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