Ready to dip your fingers into some potting soil and grow cannabis from seeds?
Here’s the lowdown on how to pick the right seeds, select the right chemovar, and stay on the right side of the law, when you grow cannabis from seeds.
There’s a lot to think about for those who wish to grow their own medicine. Popping a random cannabis seed into a pot may yield something. However, for those chasing high-yielding and potent medicinal plants, there’s a lot to learn. From feminized seeds to autoflowering seeds, and from cannabinoid and terpene profiles to legality, those who grow cannabis from seeds often undertake a fulfilling journey to acquiring their medicine.
Growing Cannabis at Home. What Does the Law Say?
For those looking to dip their feet into the world of home gardening, then the first port of call is to check in with the law. As cannabis legalization takes hold across much of North America, the legislation still varies widely depending on the jurisdiction.
In US states where cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use, the law generally permits four to six plants per household for personal use. Bear in mind that regulations vary widely across the US. Some states embrace medicinal cannabis; in others, it remains strictly illegal to cultivate cannabis regardless of the intended use.
Anyone planning to grow cannabis from seeds in the US should research state laws before commencing, and inquire about the benefits of a medical cannabis card.
Aside from offering patients the ability to purchase more potent forms of cannabis concentrates and tinctures, a medical cannabis card often allows patients to grow additional plants in states where cultivation is legal.
In Canada, where cannabis is legal at the federal level, the laws are somewhat more transparent. Four household plants are the limit imposed upon recreational users, but for those patients medicating for complex conditions, this may not be enough. For those who require more, similar medical cannabis exemptions exist. Patients can apply for an ACMPR license—something that allows them to grow as much cannabis as they’ll need to treat a specific condition. The upper limit to the number of plants will correlate to the daily prescription obtained from a licensed doctor.
Things To Do Before You Plant
For those who don’t own their own home, you’ll need to check the clauses in your lease and possibly involve your landlord. Even in legal jurisdictions, landlords are within their rights to prohibit cannabis grows on the property. Aside from fire hazards, one of the main reasons is the potential for interior damage. Due to the higher humidity levels required, mold formation is often a valid concern for some landlords.
Plan For Additional Expense
For those lucky enough to live in suitable climates, outdoor growing is a cheap and convenient way to cultivate cannabis without the associated expense of indoor production.
Those growing indoor cannabis for the first time should prepare to see a spike in their electricity bill. Depending on the grow size, indoor lighting costs quickly add up.
For those who decide to mount a more professional operation aimed at higher, more potent, yields, then factor in the expense of additional equipment including climate control, ventilation, exhausting, etc.
Select a Soil Medium
Many ready-made commercial soil mixes are available for purchase. Alternatively, growers can make their own living soil with some time and a little patience.
Choose The Right Cannabis Seed
Thanks to decades of artificial selection, modern cannabis comes in a wide variety of forms. The abundant number of modern chemovars sport everything from high-THC to high-CBD varieties along with complex terpene profiles that often exhibit potent medicinal benefits. There’s an almost infinite amount of variety of complexity inside. Each one modulates the therapeutic benefits differently based on the profile. Consumers should research the condition they wish to treat in order to narrow down the potential list of chemovars.
Aside from the plant compounds, there are also various types of seed available. Feminized seeds only produce female varieties of the plant and eliminate the need to “weed out” the males.
Autoflowering seeds are unique in that they don’t require conforming to a strict light cycle, but rather, they flower based on time cycles. While this makes them an appropriate choice for beginning growers, bear in mind that autoflowering varieties are often less potent due to the underlying Ruderalis genetics. For those requiring high quantities of THC or CBD for conditions such as chronic pain, photo-period seeds may be the superior option.
Carefully Tend to Plants
The glistening buds that commonly fill the jars in dispensaries are the result of months of dedication. A good grower puts their heart and soul into their work. Many things can and do go wrong while growing cannabis, and home growers should be ready to react should disaster strike.
A pest infestation can wipe out a crop, and mold formation can render any affected buds unusable as medicine. Things to keep in mind are a well-ventilated environment to keep both mold and pests from proliferating. Ensure tight climatic control where possible, and keep the plants happy.
Growers should attempt to maintain both temperature and humidity within a specified range. The range depends on the point of the grow cycle.
Humidity levels should start out at 65-70% in the seedling stage, with temperature in the range of 68-77°F (20-25°C). During the vegetative phase, lower humidity levels of 40% are acceptable, while the temperature can rise to between 72-82°F (22-28°C).
It’s during flowering where conditions become more critical. Humidity must hover strictly in the 40-50% range, while the temperature should remain in the range of 68-79°F (20-26°C).
If at First You Don’t Succeed
Mistakes will happen, and some first grows even end in failure. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying!
To successfully grow cannabis from seeds is a hugely rewarding experience. It’s one that often enables dedicated growers to connect with the plant in all-new ways. It is also one where the grower can come to see their organically grown and pesticide-free plant as something much more powerful than the herb they once saw in dispensary mason jars.