How To Grow Cannabis
Any weed grower will tell you what an enjoyable thing it is to grow your own produce. In fact, nothing comes remotely close to growing your own weed. It is a fascinating and rewarding activity. And when you fire up your first joint, rolled up with your very own homegrown – you will feel like king of the hill.
How to grow cannabis? Growing weed is really easy!
Granted, growing Cannabis Cup winners will take some considerable time and effort, but that is not the point. Everyone started the same way – by trial and error. You can read a thousand books on the subject, and it will not magically turn you into a grand master grower. Only when you get your hands dirty will you start getting what is what.
Understanding the bare minimum and taking action is the best way of how to grow cannabis. A full grown mature plant will need 3 to 4 months to finish, from seed to harvest, so there is plenty of time to read up on what to do at each stage of growth.
We are going to keep it simple, so you get a bird-eyed view of the whole process. Later, it is advised you look into each particular topic in greater detail.
WHAT YOU NEED TO GROW CANNABIS
You only need five main things to grow marijauana. Soil, water, food (fertilizer), cannabis seeds and lights.
Cannabis is a dioecious species, meaning, it can be either male or female. The male plant produces pollen it releases to fertilize the female bud. The female will then produce seed, drop them to the ground and grow into a whole new plant. The main reason for resin glands is to grab that pollen. As soon as the female bud catches that pollen, it will dedicate all its energy into seed production, and then die off. Cannabis is not a perennial plant; it will only live for one cycle.
Since what we enjoy to smoke is the bud, you will want to grow a female plant.
These days, feminized seeds are easily available, which saves you tons of time and resources. So be on the lookout for the feminized seed variety of your favorite strain. If you select the “regular” type of seeds, you may end up with either male or female plants.
CRACKING THE SEED
First, you need to “crack the seed” – slang term for germination. You start by placing the seeds in water and letting them soak for roughly 24h. Nearing the 24h mark, if the seeds have not sunk to the bottom just give them gentle tap and they will drop. That means they have sucked in water through the shell, softening it, kickstarting the germination process.
By the end of the 24-hour soak, put a paper towel on a plate and moisten it really well. Just to the point before water is freely visible. Drop the seeds onto the paper and cover them with another sheet. Place another dish upside down creating a little dark dome. Now tuck it away in a dark and warm place. You may have done something similar in schools with beans.
Give it another 24 to 48 hours, and regularly check the paper towels do not dry up completely. Keep adding bits of water if needed. The seeds need to keep moist and are very fragile at this point. You will start seeing the tap root emerge. The seedling in now ready to be properly sown in soil.
By now you should have a pot with soil in it. Do yourself a favor and do not guess or grab some from the back yard. It could be terrible quality, or worse, contain bugs. Bugs love Cannabis. We hate bugs! Go to a dedicated store or shop online. Quality soil is very important, and also very cheap.
Fill up the pot with soil and give it a brief watering. About 1/10th the volume of the pot. Say your pot holds 10L of soil, give it 1L. Dig a hole about an inch deep and very gently drop the seedling inside. Cover it with soil, put it out under the light and just wait. In a few days, you will see your girl pop out of the ground.
VEGETATIVE VS FLOWERING STAGE
Everything up to this point was by far the most complicated part. From here on it is relatively straightforward. There are two main phases of the cannabis plant’s cycle. The vegetative stage and the flowering stage, sometimes abbreviated to “veg” and “bloom”.
For the vegetative cycle, you will want to keep the plant under an 18 hour on / 6 hours off light schedule. This will guarantee optimal growth rate. Follow the feeding instructions on the bottle and remember the golden rule of fertilization – less is more! So don’t be shy to start by using half what the bottle says, slowly increasing as time goes by.
About a month later switch the light schedule to 12 hours on and 12 hours off. This will trigger the plant into flowering mode. She will triple in height for about a month. Buds will form and start fattening up. You will gradually start feeling the sharp smell of the female flowers. By this time, she will be drinking a lot more water, and able to take more nutrients. After the initial stretch finishes, she will start putting on some weight, by fattening the buds and increasing resin production.
Depending on the strain it can take anything from 7 to 11 weeks for the plant to ripen since you first switched to 12/12.
HARVEST AND TRIMMING
Harvesting is as easy as cutting the whole plant at the base and hanging it upside down in a dark well-ventilated place. Depending on factors like room temperature and relative humidity, it can take as little as two weeks to a month for a thoroughly dried plant.
Once dry, you need to manicure the bud, a process better known as trimming. This is done by removing all the unwanted leaf matter from the actual bud. With a trimming scissor, you go around the bud snipping away all the un-smokeable leaves. Trimming scissors are very cheap and easy to find in any horticulture store. Any scissor would do really, but trimming is a time-consuming job that tires your hands considerably. A dedicated trim tool is a huge time saver.
You should keep the dry bud in a close mason-style jar. Not only will it be airtight and contain the smell, but Cannabis also needs some time to develop a great taste and quality smoke – this is called curing. You can start smoking your weed, it should be great right off the bat – but the longer it stays in a jar, the better the taste.
There, this is how to grow cannabis in a nutshell. There is, of course, tons more to talk about, but this is really all you need to know to get started. As they grow, you should keep on reading and learning to better understand the plant’s requirements and up your game. This will improve your yields and the quality of your buds.
Check our in-depth articles on specific subjects about how to grow great Cannabis!