Medicinal marijuana growing is a practice more and more medical marijuana users are turning to. It enables them to always have a constant supply at hand.
Growing medical marijuana is not an easy process, and it requires a lot of know-how for you to perfect it. This article will go in-depth and look at how you can start growing medicinal marijuana and how to take care of your plants.
Despite the name, medical marijuana is just the same as recreational marijuana, with the main difference being its use. Some states only permit the use of medical marijuana, making recreational use of the drug punishable by law, while in other states, either use is accepted.
There is no actual medical cannabis strain that you can grow that is different from regular recreational marijuana.
Growing marijuana for medicinal purposes is easy to do in some places, but you will need a medicinal marijuana growing license. Even with the permit, many things go into growing medical marijuana, such as the strain. There are thousands of cannabis strains that vary from Indica and Sativa plants to hybrids to high CBD or high THC levels.
Like most other plants, marijuana requires a high level of dedication to perfect, and growing medicinal marijuana is no different. Most commercial sellers of marijuana focus primarily on recreational users, leaving the medical users in a scramble to find a place that sells it, which is why most people turn to growing their own.
Most people use medicinal marijuana to alleviate symptoms such as nausea and anxiety. The different strains all have different mental and physical effects, and the type of marijuana strain you end up growing will directly depend on the effect you want.
Some strains can affect your mood and others your appetite. Determine the symptoms you have and the effect you want first before choosing a specific strain to grow.
Why Grow Medical Marijuana
Growing marijuana at home for medicinal purposes is a challenging task, but it comes with multiple benefits. You can choose to grow your plants outdoors where they will naturally thrive. However, if you do not have a lot of outdoor space for growing, you can also set aside some indoor space. With indoor growing, you have complete control over your plants, the environment you create, and you also get to control the results.
Growing marijuana for medicinal purposes requires knowing exactly what you plant, what symptoms you are looking to relieve, and the quality you will get.
Outdoor growing has many variables such as animals and the different weather changes, creating a lot of uncertainty which is why most growers choose indoor growing. Here are some of the benefits of growing medicinal marijuana:
- Hygienic environment
While there is not much you can do to control the environment when growing outdoors; indoor growing gives you complete control of the environment. You can make sure you create a hygienic environment, paying attention to the small things such as water, light, fungus, germs, and other organisms that cause illnesses.
You also have control over the area, making it easy for you to identify things such as mold spores and insects. Suppose you or the patient you are growing it for has trouble breathing or a weak immune system.
In that case, the controlled indoor environment makes it easy to ensure things such as pesticides are not used, enabling you to create a hygienic environment catered to the patient’s needs.
The environment you create also includes creating the perfect climate. Climate problems like high humidity can bring about hygiene problems like mold and parasites. While there is not much you can do about it outdoors; indoor growing gives you room to adjust the climate, enabling you to create the ideal conditions that prevent such problems from occurring.
- It is rewarding
Whether you are a novice grower or a more experienced one, marijuana growing needs a lot of work. While this might sound dull, trust that it is not. You can spend your time trying to figure out what works with what plants, which is a great undertaking for those who are chronically ill.
You can get an exciting learning experience that lets you explore the subtleties of the different plants, and it gives patients something else to focus on, helping you learn a new and fun craft.
The whole growth process of a plant is a rewarding experience, especially if it grows strong and you can see the benefits for yourself. You can also gain a newfound appreciation for this healing plant. Be ready to dedicate your time to learning about the plant and find even better ways to help it grow; there will be nothing more rewarding when you get your first yield.
- Multiple Harvests
Multiple harvests are the one benefit that indoor growers have over outdoor growers. Since indoor growing does not depend on the natural environment, it is not governed by the seasons. An indoor grower can harvest more than once a year, especially since with marijuana, the number of harvests depends on the environment rather than the plant.
As an indoor grower, you have the freedom to create different conditions that favor the plant. You can get multiple flowering periods per year, getting up to three harvests with the right conditions. You can even go as high as six harvests a year once you master the conditions, which is a great move, especially if you are growing it commercially.
Challenges of Medicinal Marijuana Growing
You might have heard that marijuana grows like weed. While that is partly true, the truth is that it takes a whole lot of work for cannabis plants to grow and flourish. Marijuana is a sensitive plant that depends on many factors such as moisture, temperature, pests, light, and humidity. If either one of these things goes wrong, they can cause damage to the whole nursery.
1. Time Consuming
Marijuana plants also need to be kept in stress-free conditions as they could lead to complications, such as hermaphroditism, which can take away from the plants’ full medicinal potential.
You will need to dedicate a lot of your time to the plant, learning its ins and outs, which you might not be able to do if you have a full schedule. Without spending large amounts of time on your plants, you might get a poor and low-quality yield.
Apart from taking up a lot of time, growing medicinal marijuana also requires a lot of money. Since you want your medical marijuana to be the most effective, you will have to go in your pocket to make sure you create the best environment, which includes things like buying the suitable medium, the right lights, and getting the correct nutrients.
While that in itself sounds hard enough, growing marijuana for medicinal purposes is even more expensive if you want to do it commercially. You will also need a medicinal marijuana growing license, which requires more money.
Whether for commercial or home use, medicinal marijuana growing takes a significant sum of money, but it is all worth it, better than constantly buying from dispensaries.
Whether growing indoors or outdoors, there are many different methods of growing marijuana at home for medicinal purposes. No one method is better than the other, and your circumstances, time, commitment, and money you can devote to growing.
Whichever method you use will give you good results as long as you are dedicated to it. You will need to pay attention to factors like water, fertilizer, and pests that affect it. You also need good-quality seeds or clones that will boost you in your growing journey. You can get all kinds of seeds from our website that will help you get started.
Here are five growing mediums you can use when growing medicinal marijuana:
1. Plain Dirt
This is the oldest and truest method of growing any plants. It does not require any particular type of soil; just make sure it is good soil, water it properly, and fertilize it regularly. This is the cheapest growing medium, and all you have to do is dedicate your time to it.
- It is the easiest and cheapest method.
- You can use any kind of fertilizer on it.
- The quality of soil can be uncertain. You can have poor results because of poor nutrient and mineral content in the soil.
- It can result in a lower yield compared to other methods.
A hydroponic medium consists of growing your marijuana plant in a medium such as gravel, without vegetables or soil in the mixture. The mixture can be kept in troughs or pots. You can pour water into the gravel and a special mix of fertilizers.
Make sure you pour the mixture through the gravel; otherwise, the trough or pot can be flooded with fertilizer several times during the day.
Roots grown in a hydroponic setup have a better appearance than those grown in soil mediums. The roots in a soil setup have a big tap root, while those grown in hydroponics grow a large cluster of small and clean white hairs. The yield from this setup also tends to be higher compared to others.
- It is a cleaner growing method
- Results in higher yields.
- It needs a lot of equipment, making it take more room.
- Costs more as it needs equipment like the troughs and reservoirs that hold the fertilizer and water mixture.
- Hydroponics requires more labor; pH and nutrient levels need constant monitoring to ensure they are within the correct limits.
3. Coco Fiber/Rock Wool
This method uses an inert medium, which is a medium without the quality problems you will find in ordinary soil. Coco fiber and rock wool are sold in most gardening and farm stores.
- Results in higher yields compared to soil.
- It is a clean process with fewer bugs.
- Easy growing method.
- It is also simple and cheap, nearly as cheap as soil.
- It is expensive since it requires special fertilizers.
- You will need to purchase the coco fiber, which can be hard to find.
This method consists of growing marijuana roots in the air. You might have seen this kind of medium used where people hold the plants in mesh baskets suspended in the air. In this setup, you put the roots in the baskets and spray water and fertilizer continuously over the roots.
This medium of growth results in even healthier roots compared to hydroponics. You will need to take extra care with this medium, however, because even the smallest of problems can bring about terrible results very quickly.
- Fast growth medium
- Results in bigger yields.
- It does not require a lot of equipment.
- More expensive than soil as it needs equipment similar to hydroponics.
- Needs more labor as it needs daily monitoring.
- It is susceptible to mistakes. The nutrients and pH need to be in a specific range to get the best results.
Buy Marijuana Fertilizer
- All the nutrients you need from seedling to harvest
- Enough nutrients for at least 5 plants
- Discounted combination deal
- Suitable for soil, hydroponic and other growing mediums
One of the fastest-growing marijuana growing methods is aquaponics. It combines two traditional methods; hydroponics and aquaculture. This is a system that centers on growing plants and raising fish in the same integrated, soilless system.
The plants and fish exist in a symbiotic relationship where the fish act as a food source for the plants, and the plants act as a natural filter, cleaning the water that the fish live in.
While this method is not commonly used, it creates an environment of beneficial bacteria that converts fish waste, uneaten food, and decaying plant matter into ammonia that the plants can consume.
You can use this method to your benefit to get premium quality marijuana plants when you use it in a climate-controlled environment. It is a method that requires a lot of work, equipment, and money, resulting in a higher yield than any of the above methods.
Indoor growing will also need you to mimic outside growing conditions. Some of those conditions include lighting. There are many types of lighting that you can use and the lighting to release oxygen and produce sugar. Sugar is necessary as it is the primary cause for tissue and bud growth and powers metabolism.
Grow lights will also help your plants reach their growth phases quickly. You want to get a light source that saves energy costs and fulfills the plant’s needs. The more light you submit your plants to, the more energy it receives and uses and the faster the growth will be. Some of the lighting options you have at your disposal include:
1) Light Emitting Diode (LED)
This is one of the newest and fast-evolving light sources available. Many growers prefer to use LED grow lights to help their plants reach the flowering and fruiting stages earlier. They are used to supplement an existing light setup to help the plants reach generative development. LED lights run cooler than other grow lights and also help you reduce your energy costs.
These lights are best for propagation, over-wintering, vegetative growth, and tender plants. The latest types are T5 fluorescent, and they come in singles, panel arrays, or daisy-chainable strips. They come in different fixtures, with some being high output “HO” and others being very high output “VHO”.
Fluorescent lights also come in different spectral distributions, with daylight and bloom lights being the most common. Daylight lamps are for overwintering, vegetative growth, and propagation, while bloom lamps are primarily used as side-lighting for bigger plants that flower indoors.
This is a new lighting technology that is slowly gaining popularity in the market. Depending on your budget, these lights might be the ones for you, with their major downside being that they are expensive for most growers. Plasma grow lights are highly efficient, have less depreciation, and have a longer lamp life and an improved output spectrum, which works wonders for vegetative growth.
4) High Intensity Discharge (HID)
These are the most common grow lights for growing medicinal marijuana indoors. They are highly efficient, though not as efficient as plasma grow lights. They are also great at mimicking outdoor conditions and producing this intense light indoors. These grow lights come in two major forms; Metal Halide “MH” and High Pressure Sodium “HPS”.
Metal halide lamps emit a bluish spectrum which is perfect for a plant’s vegetative growth. The lights also contain ultraviolet radiation in small amounts that help get rid of pests and molds, as well as boosting the production of essential oils.
On the other hand, High Pressure Sodium lamps emit an orange/yellow light that mimics the fall sun, creating the perfect environment for the crops to start flowering and fruiting. Like most growers, you can use a combination of MH and HPS lamps to create the ideal combination of lighting that gives a better light spectrum for your plants all year round.
Good Temperature Control
While they create an excellent environment that helps your plants grow, the grow lights also create a hot environment. When delving into the world of medicinal marijuana growing, you need to make sure that your plants grow in the best environment possible, meaning you will have to find a way to maintain adequate temperatures.
One of the ways you can do that is by using air-cooled or water-cooled reflector units. The units create a cooling system that encloses the lamp that allows for adequate cooling, lowering the temperatures when they get too hot. The water or air used in the system is odorless, and you can still use it to heat other spaces.
Humidity in the air can also build up because of a rise in temperatures caused by light absorption. This rise in humidity leads to depletion of CO2, and without the carbon dioxide, the plants cannot produce sugars which will, in turn, stop growth.
To prevent this from happening, you will need to ventilate your garden with fresh air. You can open doors or curtains to let in the air or use flexible tubing and inline fans to cool the area.
Whichever method you end up using, you need to make sure your growing area has enough air flow and adequate temperatures for your plants to flourish.
While you might think bigger is better, you will need to start growing at a smaller scale. A smaller grow room gives you more time and attention that you can give to individual plants, and the more time and attention you give, the better your results.
Your grow room will also need to be located in an area with access to light from the outside, although you can use grow lights to create the same conditions in a different location. Growing marijuana at home for medicinal purposes, especially in a grow room, will need you to have enough space for the plants to flourish and provide the right temperature and airflow to thrive.
Like with all other plants, medicinal marijuana growing will need you to feed your plants with the proper nutrients for optimal growth. You can choose to create your own nutrient mix, or you can get nutrients from other stores. Whichever method you choose, make sure you do not stray from the pH level and do not overfeed your plants with nutrients.
Other than the growth medium, lighting, and nutrients, you might want to take it to the next step to ensure your plants get the best care possible. Some of the steps you can take include;
- Using feminized seeds, which ensure you only get fertile female plants, with only a few male plants.
- Using fast-finish strains which can start flowering in just eight weeks, resulting in more harvests every year, instead of the normal fourteen weeks.
- Learning new training techniques which will help you boost your yields and lower the costs.
There is so much that goes into medicinal marijuana growing, but do not give up. Follow the correct methods, create an excellent environment for your plants, and devote your time and attention to the plants and you will see the results in no time. Visit our shop today to get high-quality, healthy seeds and other items you need to start your growing journey correctly. Happy growing!