If you have a prescription for medical marijuana but are struggling to find a source, if you simply want to save money, or if you want to go into the business of selling medical marijuana, but you haven’t a clue on how to get started, this is the place to be.
Come to us green and we’ll send you off green-thumbed, with a solid knowledge of strains, growth methods, and best procedures for harvesting and curing your crop – a real blueprint to homegrown, high-quality medicinal marijuana.
We recommend starting small and growing from there (pun intended), lest you decide farming is not for you but you’ve completely decked out your entire house and remortgaged the kids to finance it – you’ve gone beyond the point of return. Alright, without further ado, let’s get to it, fledglings!
In what environment should I grow my medical marijuana?
We recommend that you grow your crop indoors with soil for security, control, predictability, and ease. While you can grow more marijuana outdoors, the quality of the crop can be greatly affected by pests and fluctuations in temperature or rainfall. These environmental issues make crop control – and the consequent crop quality – an expensive affair. Another option is hydroponics (growing plants without soil) which achieves higher yields than either of the other two options; however, its high yields come with an expensive price tag, a complex set-up, and a demanding maintenance regime. So avoid the headache and stick with indoor soil.
Which strain is best?
Well, there can be no definitive answer here: it will depend entirely on the individual and requires some experimentation. The types available – Indica, Sativa, and hybrids – are more or less suitable for treating different illnesses depending on their varying THC, Cannabinol, and Cannabidiol contents. The various strains of Indica and Sativa each come with a unique smell, taste, and strength profile so it’s best to do your research prior to committing to any one strain.
Our main recommendation here is to pick a strain that is easy to grow. A few examples: AK-48, Northern Light, Aurora Indica, Northern Light Blue and Critical Express (autoflowering).
Your reputation pro-seeds you!
Note: You’ll need a medical marijuana license in order to purchase seeds legally. If you’re unsure how to get a medical marijuana card online check out some of our other articles which detail the process.
Auto-flowering seeds: the buds in flowers are what contain the active ingredients in medical marijuana, so getting your plants to flower is essential. Unlike normal cannabis plants, which require 24 hours of light to grow and then 12 hours of light to flower, autoflowering plants flower with 24 hours of light. This means you quickly get from seed to weed with no need to separate growing plants and flowering plants. Definitely worth considering for the inexperienced grower.
Feminized seeds: There are both male and female marijuana plants, but only the female plants grow the buds that produce a high. You can – and should – purchase feminized seeds to ensure that you get a high-yield crop.
Note: Under stress, female plants will produce male flowers. Plant stress is onset by under or overwatering, lack or excess of nutrients, ph-imbalance, or irregular light-cycles – here the Goldilocks principle should be applied (it needs to be “just right”).
I’ve Soiled Myself!
If using garden soil, note that Marijuana needs soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7. For overly acidic soil, use lime to increase pH. To increase acidity, add coffee grounds. Alternatively, you can buy a soil mix designed for marijuana.
Water We Gonna Do?
Ideally PH neutral (pH7). Raise water’s pH by adding either some lime, wood ash, or a pre-mixed solution. Lower water’s pH by adding sulfur, phosphoric acid, or a pH-lowering solution.
Tend to Your Tent!
If you don’t want to use an entire room a grow tent is ideal. They come in all sizes, holding from 8 up to 256 plants. They keep light out, offer easy hookups for your grow lights, are waterproof, and provide an exhaust point. Fantastic for the uninitiated and we’re going to assume this is the set-up you’ll be using.
Let There Be Light!
To grow, your plants will need light provided by bulbs that provide a full spectrum of light, unlike normal household bulbs. We recommend going with LED lights: though they will cost more initially than some other options, they’ll save money in the long-run.
Block out all external light. Your marijuana plants will need total darkness for large periods of time.
The easiest way to germinate your seeds is by soaking them for a day in a glass of distilled water and then placing them in a warm, moist paper towel. Once it has sprouted, it needs to be put into the soil.
At this stage, it is best to put a seedling under at least 16 hours light every 24 hours – but make sure the light is not too bright.
In the flowering stage, your marijuana plant will finally produce smokable marijuana. During this stage, you will need to reduce the amount of light it receives to just 12 hours. You will also need to adjust down the brightness of the light, using a bulb with 2700k. Run this light regimen until your plant is ready to harvest.
The best way to tell whether your plant is ready for harvest is to check the plants’ trichomes (extremely fine hairs that can be seen along the surface of the buds). Using a 30x magnifying glass, check that around 80% of trichomes are cloudy, 15% are amber and 5% are clear. If this is the case, it’s time to cut and dry.
Drying and Curing
Don’t smoke it yet! You need to dry and cure it first. To dry the weed, hang it until the buds are dry to the touch, but do not snap when bent. The most common technique for curing is known as “burping”, which involves putting your bud in an airtight glass jar and opening it for a couple of minutes every 12 hours over the course of a month – how cute!
And there you have it. Your guide to growing your own medical marijuana. Hopefully, this beginner’s guide to growing your own medical marijuana has provided the inspiration to get started and the knowledge to take you to the end. Make sure you get your 420 card before you begin and enjoy growing!