Let’s face it – if you’ve used cannabis for any length of time chances areyou’ve already entertained the idea of growing your own cannabis.Maybe you’re not sure if it’s worth the hassle or if there’s much benefit to growing your own cannabis now that legislation has made it more readily available than ever before.
But if you’re thinking about it, then it’s worth investigating the ideafully. That’s why we’ve brought together five benefits to growing your own cannabis as well as an overview on what you’ll need to get started.
Because, let’s face it, growing your own makes a whole lot of sense.
1. You’ll Know EXACTLY What Goes Into It
When you buy cannabis, you can’t be sure how it was grown. This isn’tonly an issue for people who prefer organic and naturally grown weed,either. Maybe you don’t care what kind of soil or compost it was grown in, but were pesticides used? Was the bud quick dried with adehumidifier? These are concerns almost any cannabis user would want to know.
Growing your own cannabis effectively eliminates this concern entirely.Since you’ll be in control of how to handle bugs and pests as well asthe health of the soil, there are no concerns about pollutants.
2. Pick Your Own Strains
One of the worst things about buying cannabis is that you don’t always have the choice you’d like. Some budtenders are extremely well-versed and can offer different strains to help with anxiety, sleep disorders,boosting energy and anything else you can think of. Even the besttender, however, can’t offer what they don’t have. By choosing togrow your own cannabis, you can pick and choose exactly what youwant.
3. Makes it Easier to Branch Out
Guess what – growing cannabis is a lot like growing several other plants, including tomatoes. In fact, many hydro stores back in the day would advertise certain products as being perfect for growing tomatoes as a way to let people know it could be used for cannabis growth.
Once you get the hang of growing cannabis, build on that knowledge to develop a small vegetable garden. Not only will this likely improve your eating habits, the compost from one garden can help feed the other!
4. Never Run Out
As long as you stick to your grow and harvest schedule, there’s no need for you to ever run out of weed again. It’s pretty much every cannabis user’s fantasy!
5. Use the Trim!
While there is plenty of attention paid to the bud, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rest of the plant. Industrious growers can grind the leafy trim and thinner stems to easily make cannabutter. Leafy trim works best for butter but that doesn’t mean the stems are worthless.
Collect all the stems you can from a grow and you can use them to make:
- Tea – Decarb the stems, chop and put them in a filter or tea bag. Steep the stems in boiled water for about 8 minutes and serve.
- Stem Wick Candles – By now most people know making your own candles is pretty easy. Kits can be found in craft stores or online. To make a wick from a cannabis stem, simply strip your longest stem by picking at and then pulling apart the fibers. Braid the fibers together to create a wick and then use as normal.
- Paper – Combine stems and paper scraps and blend until fibers begin to separate. Pour over a deckle (you can make one with nylons and a wooden frame) and let sit for 24 hours.
- Tinctures – Fill a mason jar with cut up stems. Cover with a high-percentage grain alcohol and store in a cool, dark place. Shake the jar once a day for two weeks. Strain out liquid and store in a dark glass bottle.
Bonus – Gardening is GOOD For You
While these are all great reasons to begin growing your own cannabis, there is an extra bonus to all this: Gardening is crazy good for you. Several studies have found a number of health benefits to gardening, including:
- Reduction of stroke risk (British Medical Journal)
- Good source of aerobic exercise (Texas A&M)
- Stress relief (Journal of Health Psychology)
- Free therapy (American Health Care Association)
- Improved quality of life for dementia patients (International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry)
Three Reasons to NOT Grow Your Own Cannabis
While there are plenty of benefits to growing your own cannabis, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. In fact, there are three red flags worth considering when making the decision.
1. Poor Attention to Detail
A large part of any kind of gardening – and especially gardening cannabis – involves a keen eye for detail. Growers check ph levels of the water and soil, monitor humidity and track a number of other factors. They make subtle tweaks and adjustments, tracking any changes before resetting things to try a different approach. In many ways, it’s both a science and an art.
While not every cannabis grower gets so involved with tracking and monitoring these factors, they all do have a basic understanding of the factors that will affect their harvest. New growers are often advised to start a notebook that tracks a host of data to understand the best conditions for their grow.
2. Crazy Schedule
Plants – no matter what they are – require a certain amount of care, especially when grown indoors. A timer can help in terms of providing a light cycle and with watering as well, but these babies will still need your personal attention. Depending on the size of your grow, plan on spending a minimum of 30 minutes a day with various grow related chores. If you can’t commit to that, growing right now might yield little more than frustration and disappointment.
3. You Prefer Quantity Over Quality
In certain stages of life, it’s about quantity over quality. Maybe you give literally zero effs about strain purity, growing mediums or pollutants. There’s nothing wrong with that – but it does make growing your own cannabis more trouble than it’s worth.
None of these reasons are intended to be judgmental or off putting. Life happens in cycles – for cannabis plants and for people. If growing your own cannabis is appealing but doesn’t make sense right NOW, then table it to re-evaluate later.
So you’re ready to jump into growing! No doubt you’ve already looked around online a bit to get an idea of what you need to buy to get things going. There are so many different approaches and options, new growers often become overwhelmed or disheartened by the amount of money they need to invest to get set-up.
You can easily spend well over $1,500 getting set up if you opt for sophisticated equipment; but that isn’t your only option.
The first thing worth deciding is if you will grow indoors or out. Growing indoors gives you greater control over environment as well as protecting it from predators. Growing outdoors has its own benefits, though. You won’t have to worry about setting up a light cycle and you may also be able to skip the watering cycle thanks to Mother Nature.
In all honesty, however, growing a plant indoors is easier, especially for first time growers. A quality grow-tent can be found for as low as $50, which larger and higher quality tents start around $135.
Digital Timer and Lights
Since you’ll need to replicate a normal light and dark cycle, a timer is pretty much essential. Get one with more than one cycle option so you can program in periods of both hibernation / growth and time for flowering. When choosing lights, focus on ones that offer LED broad spectrum lights. These will use less power and better replicate the benefits of natural sunlight.
Seeds, Medium and Pots
You can’t grow without something to grow, right? Reach out to local dispensaries or budtenders to select a strain that will help you reach your personal goals. You might want to mix things up a bit in order to grow one strain to help keep you focused and deliver a boost of energy as well as a more mellow strain for rainy days inside.
It is important to keep things simple, especially as you’re just starting out. You may be tempted to plant as much as you can fit into your tent, but keep it simple. Starting with a handful of plants will make it easier for you to get the hang of things. Don’t forget – you can always expand later!
A large part of growing focuses on the health of the soil. This is why a high quality soil sensor is a must have from day one. You won’t need to get fancy – just pick up a sensor that checks moisture, light and ph to ensure your babies are getting everything they need.
For those who choose to grow, remember to keep it simple, keep it small and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The cannabis growing community is present online and off and ready to help, Chat with people through online groups and message boards as well as reaching out through growing cooperatives and local grow shops.
While growing your own cannabis takes some planning and a commitment to work, there are plenty of benefits that make it a healthy and worthwhile pursuit.