Growing cannabis or marijuana at home is possible nowadays, both indoors or outdoors. With the right supplies and equipment, you can mimic the best conditions for your marijuana plants for them to grow healthy with generous buds.
Cannabis growers aim to produce flowers filled with trichomes that hold terpenes and cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Terpenes hold the flavor and aromatic profile of cannabis plants whereas cannabinoids are responsible for the pleasurable and therapeutic effects of marijuana buds.
So, how do you grow cannabis at home? Below are some of the best marijuana home growing practices you can apply:
Know The Right Strain For You
Cannabis plants come in various strains that require specific needs. The two major types of marijuana include indica and sativa. Cannabis indica plants have broad and dense leaves and they tend to grow short and wide. Indicas induce sleepiness whereas sativas have euphoric effects.
Get to know the different cannabis species and some sample strains below:
Because of cannabis indica’s short flowering periods and generous yields, the indica strains have been popular amongst marijuana growers. With a short flowering period, cannabis plants mature sooner than cannabis sativa strains. Hence, outdoor gardens can exist in areas where the fall to winter season changes quickly.
For indoor cannabis cultivators, a short flowering stage means more cycles yearly. The higher yields incentivize cannabis growers to cultivate with indicas, giving them higher profit margins. In addition, growing cannabis indicas is suitable for gardens indoors where the space is small.
Some examples of cannabis indica strains include Granddaddy Purple, Northern Lights, and Big Bud. They have medical properties that are sought by patients, helping them handle different signs and symptoms of a disease.
Cannabis sativa strains come from places that are close to the equator where people experience long summers and mild winters. Sativas grow long and usually take more time to finish flowering than indicas. Generally, they’re not the first pick for cannabis growers because they grow tall indoors. In addition, sativas tend to have lesser yields. However, if you’re more interested to explore sativa strains, you can choose sativa strains because of their pleasurable and varying effects.
Cannabis sativas offer good qualities when cultivating. The time for a sativa strain to complete the flower cycle is compensated by its faster vegetative stage. You can find purebred sativa strains with faster flowering periods and increased yields. Because they come from the equator, marijuana sativa strains can handle heat better as compared to most cannabis indicas, perfect for indoor gardens, in which controlling temperature is costly and difficult during summer.
Some of the examples of cannabis sativa strains include Super Silver Haze, Strawberry Cough, Durban Poison, and Trainwreck. They tend to have euphoric and psychedelic effects because of higher tetrahydrocannabinol or THC content than indicas.
Cannabis hybrids blend cannabis indicas and sativas to get the best of both worlds. Breeders crossbreed various strains to come up with the desired effect, flavor, aroma, and other qualities they want in a cannabis plant. You’ll find many cannabis strains that are hybrid. Usually, they lean toward either sativa-dominant or indica-dominant traits.
Marijuana hybrids may inherit the indica strain’s shorter flowering and retain the cerebral high of a sativa strain. Breeders decide what qualities of strains are best matched and crossbreed two or more strains. This process can take years. Because cannabis hybrids blend the best attributes of each strain, they’re very popular in the market.
Read More: Top 7 CBD Strains from the Best Seed Banks
Use The Right Size Of Grow Tent
For home cannabis growing, using a grow tent is highly recommended. Grow tents come in different sizes, converting your indoor space into a cannabis-friendly contained area. In this way, you can grow marijuana all year round.
You might want to consider buying a small and a medium grow tent instead of a single large tent. By doing so, you can grow short-day plants. One tent can be used to provide summer lighting and the other tent is intended to mimic fall lighting to ensure generous harvests.
When choosing a grow tent, make sure it’s made with high-quality materials. You will use the grow tent for many years, so it’s important to choose one with great features like several compartments and lightproof material to grow your marijuana plants.
Test Soil Moisture Before Watering
Testing the soil for moisture is crucial before you water your marijuana plants. You don’t want to overwater your cannabis plants, which can harm their growth and development. So, it’s important to ensure the right timing when watering your marijuana plants by using the chopstick method.
With this, you can gently insert the chopstick into the soil, and push it down about one to two inches. If the chopstick is clean, then the soil is dry and you can water your marijuana plant. On the other hand, when the chopstick comes out dirty, it means the soil is still wet or moist. Hence, watering isn’t necessary.
You can use one of the best hydroponic water systems to eliminate the problems associated with soil medium. A hydroponics system uses a nutrient-charged aqueous solution to the roots, keeping your marijuana plant hydrated and fed.
Install A Cannabis Smell Control System
Air quality is important in indoor growing cultivation, aside from providing the right amount of water, light, and humidity. The strong skunk smell of marijuana plants comes from terpenes. They act as deterrents for predators such as insects and mammals. Cannabis plants produce over a thousand different types of terpenes. However, only a few can be smelled by the human nose, including limonene and pinene.
Of course, you don’t want your neighbors to smell your cannabis plants from the outside. Hence, it’s crucial to have an odor control system in place to avoid facing issues later on due to the skunk scent other people can smell from your property.
So, how do you control the odor that comes from your indoor grow room? Check out these marijuana odor control tips:
Use Activated Carbon Filter
An activated carbon filter can trap the skunk smell of cannabis in your indoor grow room. The porous characteristic of activated carbon can absorb cannabis odor and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), trapping them on its wide surface area.
Use An Air Purifier
Air purifiers recirculate the air and purify it. The main use of an air purifier is to get rid of any bacteria, mold spores, and VOCs. Ozone-based air purifiers, on the other hand, have an ultraviolet (UV) light and a fan to promote proper air circulation.
Consider A Combination Of Carbon And HEPA Filter
If growers opt for a combined high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and carbon filter, they not only control the cannabis smell but also airborne particles and dust as well as microorganisms that could harm the plants.
Provide The Right Fertilizer
Your cannabis plants need fertilizer to grow big and resinous buds. But what essential nutrients do marijuana plants need to grow? They need nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and other essential nutrients in smaller amounts. Your cannabis plants obtain some of these nutrients from the water and soil compost. A full spectrum marijuana fertilizer includes all the minor and major nutrients that cannabis plants need.
When choosing a fertilizer for your cannabis plants, you need to check the NPK ratio. Nitrogen is crucial in plant growth as it’s needed for the proper development of leaves and branches in the vegetative phase. In the flowering stage, nitrogen takes a lesser role. An increased amount of potassium and phosphorus levels are necessary during the flowering period.
Know When Your Buds Are Ready For Harvest
You need to wait until the marijuana buds stop developing new, white hairs. The buds are fragrant and plump. When the white hairs darkened and curl in, it marks the start of the harvest window.
When trimming and harvesting the buds, you should clip the large or fan leaves. You can pluck the fan leaves clipped with scissors or with your fingers. Some growers clip the fan leaves later once the buds are cured to slow down the drying process, producing more flavorful buds.
Dry And Cure Newly Harvested Buds
Once you’ve trimmed all the beautiful fat buds, hang them upside down to dry in a cool, dark place. You need to provide adequate ventilation for them to dry properly. Make sure to dry your cannabis buds gradually and slowly to gain the best effects and results.
After the marijuana buds have dried, you can cure them so they taste and smell good with the best effects. When curing your buds, place them in a tightly closed mason jar and store them in a cool dark place. Open the mason jars once a day after two weeks to get fresh air and release moisture.
Growing cannabis at home entails having the right knowledge, skills, tools, and equipment to provide your plants the right conditions they need to survive. It takes patience, hard work, and dedication to care for marijuana plants. As you learn more about the right nutrients, water, fertilizer, temperature, and other things marijuana plants need, you can hone your skills and become a better cannabis cultivator.