When it comes to growing medical cannabis for the first time, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed about all there is to know. Indeed, growing cannabis isn’t quite as straightforward as, say, growing a tomato plant!
There are a number of different things that you will need to do throughout the crop’s cultivation process in order to successfully grow cannabis to start with, and once the crop has grown, harvesting and storing the buds is a challenge in and of itself! Don’t panic, though; if this is your first time growing cannabis, we’re here to help you learn how to grow your own cannabis from home.
Of course, before you even think about getting started, it’s vital that you consider the legalities of growing cannabis. The rules regarding cannabis use and cultivation have been rapidly evolving in recent years all around the world. Therefore, there is no one hard and fast rule for what is and what is not legal when growing cannabis.
So, check with your country’s laws as well as the rules for cannabis cultivation and possession in your state or region, too. You’d be surprised how much variation there can be! For example, the rules regarding cannabis cultivation and use can vary from state to state in the US, with some states have legalized both recreational and medicinal marijuana to some degree; other states may have only legalized one or the other, and some states are still firm in their stance that both medicinal and recreational cannabis is illegal.
So, you think growing cannabis is right for you. That’s great! Unfortunately, right from the get-go you will need to think carefully about how you intend to be growing cannabis to get the best results.
First, you should think about what the purpose of cannabis is going to be. Why do you want cannabis? Are you growing cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes? This is an important question to ask yourself, because not all cannabis plants are created equal and different strains offer very different effects, with some strains being purely medicinal in nature and others not being medicinal, and instead of giving an overwhelmingly powerful recreational high!
Next, you should consider how you’ll be growing your medical cannabis – will you be running an indoor growing operation, or will you be growing your marijuana seedlings outdoors? This will impact the strain of seed that you choose as well as the resources and equipment that you’ll need.
Both indoor and outdoor growing systems, of course, will need some generic basic equipment. You’ll want a good growing medium for both – choose a compost or soil that is the appropriate PH for the strain you have chosen.
Growing cannabis indoors requires far more equipment than outdoor growing. As well as having a suitable space, you will need to make sure you have appropriate pots for the plants to grow in, LED lights to provide the plants with light, a cooling system to remove excess heat from the environment, and the like.
Once you have considered the above, the next thing that you’ll need to do is source your seeds. Ideally, you should head to a reputable medical cannabis seed bank that provides seeds in your area for seeds. This will help you make sure that you are buying seeds that are of high quality. As a new cannabis grower, you should strongly consider choosing an autoflowering strain, too, as these seeds need a little less care and TLC to get flowering than other strains which are not autoflowering.
Make sure you choose a strain that will also be suitable for your chosen growing location; if you’re growing your seeds indoors, you will want a strain that won’t grow too tall as it approaches maturity. Meanwhile, if you’re growing seeds outdoors, make sure that you choose a strain that is hardy and tough and will be able to withstand the pressures that the environment will place upon the growing plants.
Germinating your medical cannabis seeds is a relatively easy process, although you should check with your chosen seed bank if they have a recommended method for the seeds that they supply. In general, though, a straightforward, cheap, and reliable method for germinating cannabis seeds is as follows:
- Moisten a paper towel with water and place it on a plate.
- Place seeds on top of one-half of the damp paper towel and fold the towel over them so that they are fully covered by the paper towel.
- Cover the paper towel and seeds with another plate and leave for a few days. Usually, seeds will sprout within about 4 days using this method. Always ensure the paper towel remains damp.
- Once the seeds have sprouted, remove them from the paper towel and place them into a small well in your chosen growing medium. The emerged root should be pointing downwards into the growing medium.
- Once the seedling has emerged from the soil and has grown two early leaves, ensure that there is access to a light source; ideally, during these early stages, a light source should be provided about 4 inches from the seedling and kept on 24 hours a day until the seedling is older and more mature.
Once the seedling has established itself, care should be taken to follow the instructions for care provided by the breeder (if any are available). Ensure the seedling always has access to water in the soil and, if growing indoors, monitor the seedlings to make sure they don’t grow too close to the light source (which can get very hot!)
When the cannabis is ready to harvest, the buds should be carefully removed and treated in such a manner as to preserve their freshness, prior to storing them in an airtight jar for use at a later date. Be careful to time the harvest right for the best results!
Growing medical cannabis seeds can be a little daunting when you’ve never done it before, but once you know how, can also be a highly rewarding activity to engage in. And, with laws around the world-changing rapidly regarding cannabis cultivation and consumption, what better time than now to get involved?