Beer lovers of the world have long enjoyed being able to make their own special “home brew” and consume something that they’ve crafted to suit their tastes, making the whole experience more rewarding. Similarly, for decades people have been making their own wines and “moonshine,” putting their own spin on their favorite drinks. Nowadays, another group of enthusiasts is joining the the “do it yourself” community and that is, of course, the cannabis community.
With laws changing in the last few years to make marijuana legal recreationally or at least medically in around half the country, more people are wanting to take control of their herb by growing their cannabis. Some states, like California, now allow you to have a number of your own plants for personal use, bringing the whole industry out of obscurity and making weed breeding a legal hobby.
Why Grow Your Own Marijuana Plant At Home?
The benefits of cultivating your own weed are numerous. Controlling your own supply means that you know exactly what you’re getting and you never have to worry about running out. While setup costs can be a little expensive when growing cannabis, in the long run, you’ll actually save money as you’re no longer subject to ‘retail’ prices. Being able to grow in your home means you’ll have full discretion as well, a huge advantage for many people who like to keep their private life private.
While a lot of the country is moving towards more progressive cannabis laws, if you plan on producing your own weed, it is important to check the state and city laws that apply in your particular location before doing anything.
What You Need To Know To Breed Your Own Weed
It may seem intimidating to breed your own plant at first, but it is actually quite simple. There is a reason it is known as weed - it’ll grow almost anywhere and is very good at adapting. That isn’t to say it won’t require some work. To ensure that you get a plant that yields quality bud you need to control the light that the plant receives.
Weed plants grows in two distinct stages, dictated by the light they receive. The first stage, known as the vegetative stage, is where the leaves and stems grow. During this phase, the plant will not flower at all, but the rest of the plant will continue to grow. In the wild, this stage occurs during the spring and summer when light is at it’s strongest.
The second stage is the flowering phase, where the plant will evolve into flowers (buds) that you can then harvest. In nature, this starts to occur during the fall and is triggered by the light cycle changing (i.e., days getting shorter).
Inside Or Out?
When deciding to grow weed at home, the first thing to do is to decide whether you’ll be doing it inside or outside. Growing cannabis outside may appear easier as you have a free natural light source already - the sun - however doing it this way will mean you’re subject to the natural seasonal cycle. That is, you’ll need to plant only in spring and harvest in the fall.
For people who live in areas where growing weed outside is impractical or want to be able to advance to a different cycle, growing inside is a better option. By doing this, you can control the light that is given to the plant and ‘trick’ the plant into acting as though it is spring/summer until you decide you want to harvest. To do this, you need to supply the plant with up to 18 hours a day of light.
To get the right kind of light, you’ll need high-intensity discharge light bulbs set on a timer to give the plant the appropriate amount of light each day. Obviously running high-intensity lights for 18 hours a day can get expensive on your electricity bill, so that should be factored into your decision making.
It is important to have your weed plants growing somewhere that they will be cut off from lights during the “dark” or natural night time. If during their supposed dark times they receive light it can cause the plant to have abnormalities and not flower properly.
If you do decide to go the inside route, another consideration is to ensure that your cannabis plant has sufficient ventilation so that it gets enough oxygen. This can be difficult to balance at times while ensuring the blackout the plant requires at night.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SEEDS
Once you have your set up ready, it’s time to acquire seeds. For most people in the US, this can still be difficult. One option is to use seeds found in the weed that you buy from your usual supplier (bag seeds), although this can be unreliable and you’re a 50/50 chance of ending up growing a male plant, which will useless for you as only the female plant flowers with the bud containing THC. If you do end up with a male plant, the best thing to do is to throw it away as soon as possible.
A better option is buying online, or if you are lucky enough from to be in a state with a legal dispensary, you can purchase from there. The big advantage of buying this way is that the seeds sold are usually “feminized” meaning you’ll only grow the harvestable female plant.
Strains of marijuana fall into 3 main varieties - indica, sativa or hybrid. Your choice within those types, however, is almost endless. There are hundreds of strains offering all kinds of different benefits and qualities, including some that are easier to grow or that have different potency. You just need to choose the type that is right for you.
When planting, simply use a basic soil that is relatively ‘airy’ that allows the roots plenty of oxygen and use organic type fertilizer - stay away from the likes of Miracle Gro and others that use artificial nutrients.
Last Words of Advice On How To Develop The Perfect Weed Plant
The whole process from seed to weed is around four months. The initial phase, the vegetative state, where the plant grows should last for around then months. Then the plant will move into the flowering phase. This will happen either naturally outside or by you changing the lighting cycle down from 18 hours a day of light to 12 hours, inducing the plant to flower.
Once you have the flowers, you can harvest the buds at which time you need to dry them for 1-2 weeks before another 1-2 weeks of curing the get the best possible product.
If you’re growing weed outside you’ll only get one of these four-month cycles per year, but if you’re doing it inside you’ll be able to harvest up to three times per year - once again making it a better option for many people.
Once you’ve smoked something you’ve watched flourish from seed to bud, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that can’t be matched by buying from any other source. Within time you’ll learn how to do things from experience and be able to make the finest green to suit your tastes.