Want to learn how to grow medical grade cannabis? We’ve got you covered. Check out our blog for tips and tricks on how to get started.
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As the legal landscape around cannabis changes, more and more people are interested in growing their own at home. While it may seem like a daunting task, with a little planning and effort it can be a fun and rewarding hobby.
Before getting started, it’s important to do your research and make sure that you are aware of all the laws and regulations in your area. Once you have a solid understanding of the basics, you can start planning your grow operation.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when growing medical grade cannabis:
-Start with high quality seeds or clones from a reputable source.
-Make sure your grow space is clean, well ventilated, and has plenty of artificial or natural light.
-Choose a soil mix or hydroponic system that will provide the best environment for your plants.
-Be diligent about monitoring temperature, humidity, and other factors that can affect plant growth.
-Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and take steps to prevent them from taking over your grow operation.
With proper planning and care, you can grow high quality medical grade cannabis at home!
The Basics of Growing Cannabis
Growing your own medical grade cannabis can be a rewarding and therapeutic experience. Not only will you have a personal supply of high-quality medicine, but you will also know exactly what went into producing it. Here are the basic steps of how to grow medical grade cannabis.
Soil is the foundation of every cannabis grow operation—the quality of your cannabis will only be as good as the quality of your soil. While it is possible to grow high-quality cannabis with hydroponic systems, the majority of today’s top growers still prefer soil.
There are two main types of soil used in cannabis cultivation: coco coir and potting mix. Coco coir is made from the husks of coconuts and is a popular growing medium for cannabis. It retains water well and provides good drainage, two important qualities for a successful grow operation. Potting mix, on the other hand, is a pre-made mixture of various ingredients—usually some combination of perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, and composted bark—that provide everything a plant needs to thrive.
If you’re just starting out, we recommend using a quality potting mix like FoxFarm Ocean Forest. Once you’ve got a few grows under your belt, you can experiment with different mixes and soil amendments to find what works best for you.
Once you’ve chosen your soil, it’s important to test its pH levels before planting. Cannabis plants prefer a slightly acidic environment with a pH between 6 and 7. You can test your soil’s pH with an inexpensive meter or strips from your local gardening store. If your soil is too alkaline or too acidic, you can adjust its pH by adding lime or sulfur to raise the pH level or vinegar or peat moss to lower it.
Light is one of the most important things to consider when growing cannabis. Cannabis plants need a certain amount of light per day to grow properly, and the amount of light will determine how quickly your plants grow and how much yield you can expect. The best way to provide light for your cannabis plants is to use artificial lights , such as LEDs, HIDs, or CFLs.
Cannabis plants also need a dark period during the day in order to thrive. This dark period helps the plant produce energy so that it can grow properly. If you are growing cannabis indoors, you will need to provide a dark period by turning off your lights for 12 hours each day.
Air is one of the most important aspects of growing cannabis. The plant needs a constant supply of fresh air in order to grow properly. One way to ensure that your plants get enough air is to grow them in a well-ventilated room. Another way to supply your plants with fresh air is to use a fan.
You will need to water your cannabis plants daily, and you will need to monitor the humidity levels in the room where you are growing them. You can do this by using a humidifier or by placing a bowl of water in the room.
You will also need to provide your plants with light. Cannabis plants need about 18 hours of light per day during their vegetative state, and about 12 hours of light per day during their flowering state. You can provide your plants with artificial light by using fluorescent bulbs, HID bulbs, or LED bulbs.
It is also important to fertilize your cannabis plants. You can use organic fertilizers, or you can use chemical fertilizers. Cannabis plants need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in order to grow properly.
Temperature and Humidity
To ensure a bountiful crop of top quality cannabis, growers must provide their plants with the ideal temperature and humidity conditions. Depending on the stage of growth, different temperatures and humidity levels are required.
For example, during the vegetative stage, when the plant is growing leaves and stems, a temperature between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 77 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level between 40 percent and 60 percent is ideal. During the flowering stage, when the plant is growing buds, a lower temperature between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit with a higher humidity level between 50 percent and 70 percent is best.
Providing your plants with the proper temperature and humidity conditions is crucial to their growth and development. By creating an optimal environment, you can maximize your plants’ potential, yielding a bountiful crop of top quality cannabis.
Water is vital to the health and growth of your plants, and cannabis is no different. The amount of water your plants will need will depend on a variety of factors, including the size and age of your plants, the type of soil you’re using, the temperature and humidity of your grow room, and how often you water.
As a general rule of thumb, young cannabis plants will need to be watered more frequently than mature plants. Be sure to check the soil regularly to see if it’s dry; if it is, it’s time to water. Overwatering can be just as detrimental as not watering enough, so make sure you don’t go overboard.
If you’re growing cannabis in soil, you can tell when your plant needs water by simply sticking your finger into the soil. If the top few inches are dry, it’s time to water. If you’re growing in hydro or coco coir, you can use a meter to check the moisture level of your growing medium.
Having the proper nutrients is essential for growing medical grade cannabis. There are three main nutrients that your plants will need: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are typically referred to as NPK.
Cannabis plants are unique in their nutrient requirements. They are heavy feeders that need a lot of nutrients, especially during the vegetative stage when they are rapidly growing. Cannabis plants need three primary macronutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These are typically referred to as NPK.
Nitrogen is important for leaf growth, phosphorus is important for root and flower development, and potassium is important for overall plant health. Cannabis plants also need small amounts of other macronutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. These are typically present in most soils and fertilizers.
Cannabis plants also need micronutrients, which are elements that the plant needs in small quantities. Micronutrients include iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and chloride. These elements are typically present in most soils and fertilizers in sufficient quantities for cannabis plants. However, they can become deficient if the soil is heavily trafficked or if the plant is growing in stress conditions such as high temperatures or low humidity.
While macronutrients are needed in large quantities to maintain plant growth, cannabis micronutrients are only required in very small amounts. Micronutrients are essential for healthy plant growth, but because they’re only needed in small quantities, they’re often overlooked.
Most soil contains enough micronutrients for cannabis plants to grow and thrive, but if your plants are not getting the nutrients they need, you may need to supplement with fertilizer. If you think your plants are not getting enough micronutrients, check the leaves for signs of deficiency. Leaves that are yellow or pale green may be lacking in iron, while brown or burnt-looking leaves may be lacking in manganese.
Micronutrient deficiencies are not common, but if you suspect your plants are not getting enough nutrients, you can supplement with fertilizer. Be sure to choose a fertilizer that is designed for cannabis plants, and follow the directions carefully to avoid over-fertilizing.
The Flowering Stage
The flowering stage is when your cannabis plants produce the buds you will eventually harvest and smoke. flowering is induced by changing the light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. This stage usually lasts between 6 to 8 weeks and can be prolonged by changing the light cycle back to 18/6.
The Dark Period
After the last week of flowering, your cannabis plants will go through a final “stretch,” where they can grow taller very quickly. This is perfectly normal! During this time, you should not change the light cycle or worry about stressing your plants. Just let them be and enjoy the extra height.
Once stretching is complete, your plants will enter the final phase of flowering: the dark period. During this time, you should change the light cycle so that your plants are only getting 12 hours of light per day (and 12 hours of darkness). This last week is crucial for developing mature buds, so make sure to give your plants the darkness they need!
The first few days after the switch, your plants will go through a growth spurt. This is called “the stretch”, and it is when your plants can grow as much as 2x their previous height. During this time, it is important to make sure that your plants have enough space to grow. If you are growing in soil, you will need to transplant your plants into larger pots. If you are growing in coco coir or another type of medium, you will need to fluff up the medium so that it can hold more water and nutrients.
Harvesting and Curing
After all your plants have been harvested, it is time to dry and cure your marijuana. Drying and curing are crucial steps in preserving the quality and potency of your weed. When done properly, your weed will be less susceptible to mold and mildew.
The flowering stage is when the female cannabis plant produces the THC-rich resin that is harvested to make marijuana. In nature, cannabis flowers ripen and are harvested in late summer or early fall. Indoors, you can control the light cycle to make your plants flower whenever you want.
To induce flowering, growers reduce the number of hours of light per day that their plants receive. For most cannabis strains, this means reducing the light cycle from 18 hours per day to 12 hours per day. After about 2 weeks, most plants will start to show signs of flowering such as white pistils (hairs) on the buds.
Harvesting too early or too late can be critical mistakes that affect both the quantity and quality of your final product. When harvesting, you want to look for smells, colors, and trichome visibility to determine when your plant is ready.
Curing is the process of slowly drying and aerating your newly harvested cannabis. It is a extremely important step in processing your plants, and can mean the difference between some very good bud, and great bud. There are several methods of curing, but they all have the same goal: to remove as much moisture from the plants as possible, while maintaining a high level of terpene and cannabinoid content.
The first step in any curing process is to cut your plants down to size. This means cutting the large fan leaves off the plant, and trimming any sugar leaves (smaller leaves with little to no trichome coverage) off the buds themselves. These leaves will not be used, and can actually add unwanted flavors or scents to your final product if they are not removed.
Next, you will need to hang your plants upside down in a cool, dark, and dry place. Many people like to use closets or attics for this purpose. You will need to leave them here for at least a week, but preferably 2-3 weeks. Every few days during this time period, you should check on your plants to make sure they are not drying out too quickly or getting too much air circulation.
After 2-3 weeks have passed, your cannabis should be ready to begin the final stage of curing: storage in airtight jars. Be sure to open these jars at least once a day to allow fresh air circulation. After another 2-3 weeks have passed (for a total curing time of 4-6 weeks), your cannabis should be completely dry and ready for smoking!