Growing weed is extremely simple— it’s called “weed” for a reason—so don’t be concerned if you’ve never grown anything before. Our simple, easy-to-follow guide will assist growers of all levels, particularly first-timers. Growing marijuana, whether indoors or outdoors, is enjoyable and rewarding, but it can also be challenging and time-consuming. So we’ll walk you through the entire growing process, from seed germination to plant growth and harvesting, and best practices and how to troubleshoot common issues.
Because the plant was illegal for so long, growing techniques were often passed down orally. As a result, many myths and traditions surround weed cultivation, making it difficult to separate good, sound advice from hearsay. Also, because it was illegal, there is a wealth of information on indoor growing and maximizing harvests, and training plants to make the most of a small space.
These are all fantastic resources, but not every grower wants to make the time investment to grow a lot of weed. So instead, some growers like to grow a little weed and smoke something they grew themselves.
Enjoy, and most importantly, have fun —growing weed is therapeutic and relaxing, and nothing beats smoking weed you’ve grown yourself!
The first thing you’ll require is a location to grow. I recommend investing in a good grow tent. They’re inexpensive, designed to grow inside, and can be quickly set up and taken down by one person. Unfortunately, some tents come with complicated hydroponic equipment packages. Your best bet is to use your tools and learn how to grow weed without using expensive plastic. Some even have separate chambers for vegetative growth and cloning, making them ideal for people who live in one-bedroom apartments or studios with limited space for growth.
To begin, you’ll need a grow light. HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lighting systems with ballasts, bulbs, and reflectors are appealing. LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and CFL (Compact Fluorescent) systems are available if the heat is an issue. Next, purchase a light covering your tent’s footprint and a timer to control when your light turns on. You’ll also need an exhaust fan and an activated carbon filter to reduce heat and eliminate odors.
A thermometer/hygrometer is also required for measuring temperature and humidity.
If you cannot obtain marijuana seeds or clones from a dispensary or a friend, you will need to have some cannabis seeds shipped to you. Online retailers like Zamnesia.com offer a variety of autoflowering and feminized cannabis seeds that are perfect for beginner growers.
A simple loose, loose and airy soil mix in 3-5 buckets is ideal for beginners. It is far more forgiving than any hydroponic system. First, cut holes in the bottoms of the buckets and place saucers beneath them. Next, purchase a watering Can and soil mix with nutrients.
Weed Growing Instructions
It’s time to start growing your seeds or clones after planting them. Lower your reflector closer to the plants rather than stretching them to reach for the light. As your plants grow, gradually increase the lighting system. Set your light timer to turn on for 18 hours and off for 6 hours per day. The plant will grow leaves and branches but no flowers (unless it is an auto-flowering plant) during this vegetative stage. At all costs, avoid overfeeding and overwatering your plants. Always err on caution, as it is always easier to add more nutrients or water than remove them. Marijuana roots prefer a wet/dry cycle, so lift your buckets and weigh them to see if they need watering or not. Burnt leaf tips are the first sign of overfed plants. The first rule of growing weed is to learn to get out of its way.
When growing space is limited, some basic rules apply: Because square footage is little, plans must make the most of every available inch. This means growing Indica-dominant strains like Hashplant or Afghani #1 or Sativa strains like Super Silver Haze, Jack Herer, or Kali Mist using drastic trellising and training techniques.
Start pruning early and often. Then, just above the node where two new shoots will emerge, cut or pinch branches. If you keep up with this process, your plants resemble bonsai bushes, with plenty of bud sites but few stretching out and significant gaps between nodes. This is the most efficient way to get larger yields from small spaces, but your vegetating time will increase, so plan accordingly. If you prune or pinch plants after they’ve started flowering, you’ll only be reducing your harvest if the branches are close to the light. Bend or tie them down to prevent burning. A trellis system made of chicken wire at canopy level (also known as the ScrOG or Screen of Green system) will help spread bud sites and increase yields significantly. To fill empty spots, train growing shoots to grow horizontally along the bottom of the screen.
It is just as important to know when and how to harvest your buds to understand how to grow weed. First, examine the trichomes closely with a loupe or a magnifying scope; the tiny glandular stalk and head are sometimes called “crystals.” They look like miniature glass mushrooms with a stem that forms a bulbous round clear top. The psychoactive compounds are found in the brain (THC, CBD, etc.). Harvest when most of the gland heads turn cloudy white but before they turn entirely amber. If you want a more sluggish stone, harvest them when they are mostly amber.
After harvesting, you will trim and hang your buds to dry. Depending on the humidity and heat in your area, this process should take a week or two. It’s best to keep this process slower than 3-4 days to avoid locking in that “green” chlorophyll flavor. If you believe your nuggets are drying out too quickly, add a humidifier to your drying room. Never leave a fan directly on your drying colas to avoid mold and bud-rot. Instead, make sure air is circulating. When you’ve determined that your buds have sufficiently dried, jar them.
The stems should snap rather than bend, and the outsides of the flowers should be bone dry. There will usually be lingering water within the bud, and the curing process will gradually “sweat” it out. Always use opaque jars (those that cannot be seen inside) and keep them in a cool, dark place. Open the jars to check the moisture level, and leave them open if condensation forms on the inside of the glass. Slowly but steadily, opening and closing the jars once or twice a day will replenish the moist air with dry air. Your buds should burn and taste great after three weeks to a month of curing.
You now understand the fundamentals of marijuana cultivation, from seed to harvest. So get out there and get growing!