At some point in American history, growing marijuana from seeds was the equivalent of being a drug dealer. Not so anymore these days. Don’t worry; no government agent will discover your garden, track you down and arrest you for growing, and perhaps, selling marijuana.
The marijuana laws that govern cannabis in the United States of America have become a lot more tolerant of the marijuana plant. As a matter of fact, the derivatives of weed can be sold in products like creams, oils, lotions, etc. Basically, as long as they do not have more than 0.3% of the psychoactive element found in weed, you’re fine.
As such, if you are living in the right state, you can confidently learn how to grow marijuana from seeds. However, like all other forms of gardening, you cannot become perfect at the snap of a finger.
Thankfully, in this how-to grow weed from seeds guide, we will break down all you need to know about how to grow cannabis.
Why should you grow your own marijuana?
Generally speaking, gardening can be very rewarding. So much so that several people around the world have made it into their hobby. The same applies to growing cannabis from seeds on your own.
However, the benefits, as it relates to the world of marijuana, go a little bit beyond the regular benefits of growing your own fruits and veggies.
There are three major reasons you should grow your own cannabis. Ler’s check them one by one:
1) You have full control over the entire process
Few things compare to the feeling of being able to do something yourself and see to the fact that it is done to your taste. More often than not, when someone else is entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out a task for you, their own biases come into play.
Some might even go as far as to take “creative liberties” that might not entirely sit well with you. However, with you overseeing the entire marijuana growing process, you determine what should happen, when it should happen, and how it should go.
If you please, you can think of a system of growing marijuana from seeds that works best for you. Your options range from cultivating the weed organically, hydroponically, or even using raised beds.
You can choose to grow your weed outdoors. That way, you do not have to deal with ensuring the environment indoors is conducive enough. Mother Nature will take care of that for you.
In the same vein, you can also choose to grow your cannabis indoors. This affords you a little bit more privacy, assuming you don’t want to do it for the sake of it. Growing your own weed gives you this luxury of freedom.
2) You can guarantee the safety of your weed
While they might interact with the environment in slightly different ways than we do, plants are essentially living beings. As such, like we are, they are prone to certain conditions, weaknesses, malnutrition, and even diseases. For that reason, you must ensure the safety and wellbeing of your marijuana plant.
By growing your weed from seeds yourself, you would not have to worry about whether or not your farmers forgot to water the plants. You would not have to worry about whether or not the plants are taking in enough sunlight. You will oversee all of these by yourself. As such, you can guarantee the safety and health of your weed.
From the point where the feminized seeds are embedded in the soil to when they come out in their final form, you can protect them. When that’s done, you will literally reap the good fruits of your labor.
3) It is healthier
Just as we stated earlier, weed is legal in most states in the USA. As long as the product does not contain more than 0.3% of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), you don’t have to worry about the government clamping down on you.
With only trace amounts of this psychoactive element, you are left with mostly CBD (cannabidiol). CBD is also found in cannabis, and it has myriads of health and personal benefits.
The chances are that you want those health benefits too. As such, entrusting the growth of your cannabis to other people might not be the best idea. This is especially so when you consider that the liberty of weed sales in the United States is still fairly new. As such, there aren’t stringent regulations on the sales of subpar versions of the cannabis plant’s derivatives.
To make a quick buck, some marijuana seed companies might go as far as to use fungicides, fertilizers, pesticides, etc., to ensure the weed grows fast enough. However, these might be at the expense of your immune system in the long run.
When you choose to grow your weed by yourself, you can rest assured that you’ll only use what is right for you. That way, something that is meant to be beneficial to your health will not end up hurting you in the long run.
4) You have as much as you want
In gardening, it might take some time before your pot plants start to bloom. You might not start harvesting large quantities right away. However, if you remain persistent, you can get as much as you want. The same thing applies to growing your weed from seeds by yourself.
Since you are the one controlling the quantity of marijuana that is planted, you can plant as many seeds as you deem fit. Afterward, you know that you’ll own as much as you want to have.
In fact, the only real limitations here are the amount of mental and physical efforts you are willing to invest as well as the financial resources needed to buy marijuana seeds. Nevertheless, one of the best parts of the whole process is that you’ll never really exhaust a prescription if you need cannabis for medical reasons.
However, you should know that when using weed for medicinal purposes, you shouldn’t do it willy-nilly. Even though you have as much as you want, it is still wise to consult an expert called medical marijuana doctor. They will tell you how much and how often you should take it. This singular action can help you avoid unsavory health complications that may come along with cannabis self-medication.
How do you grow cannabis from seeds?
Learning how to grow cannabis might seem a bit daunting. But not to worry, we’ve simplified the whole process for you. All you need to do is to invest a few moments of your time into reading the rest of this guide. Afterward, with a little bit of practice and elbow grease, you too will be able to own a cannabis garden.
To help you get to that stage, we have outlined nine easy steps that will cover the whole process of growing marijuana from seeds for you.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Step 1: Choose where to grow your cannabis
Without a suitable location, it is, quite literally, impossible to grow cannabis, regardless of the strain you are interested in. There are two broad options in this regard. You can either choose to grow indoors or outdoors.
Indoor Cannabis Growing
By growing marijuana indoors, you afford yourself a lot more privacy and control over the process. While privacy is obvious, control comes from different areas like watering, temperature, etc.
Now, contrary to the opinion of some others, growing weed indoors can be surprisingly cheap. You can yield as much as a pound of cured and dried cannabis, or maybe even more from a small space. Because of the level of control indoor growth offers you, you can produce consistent amounts of weed over certain periods.
Even with all these benefits, you should note that your marijuana plants are entirely dependent on you. The failure to provide what they need to survive will inevitably lead to their death. With that being said, there are a couple of places you can consider as your indoor cannabis farm. Among others, spare rooms, extra bathrooms, garages, and closets work pretty well.
If you are growing pot indoors, you also need to pay particular attention to the temperature. Cannabis is known to grow faster under a temperature range of 20-30 degrees Celsius. However, as they grow older, you should reduce it such that the range falls between 18-26 degrees Celsius.
To control your temperature, you should use your lights properly and effectively. The more of them there are, the warmer the room gets. However, if you cannot forfeit the lights, you can install an air conditioner to counterbalance.
Outdoor Cannabis Growing
With outdoor growth, you get to save a ton of cash that would have otherwise gone into lights and counterbalancing air conditioners. However, in exchange, you might have to worry about deer, bugs, and thieves. Thankfully, all of these, save bugs, can be largely solved with a simple fence around your pot farm.
With the sun constantly shining, you can rest assured that your marijuana plants are getting enough light outdoors. In addition, growing your plants outside can be particularly rewarding. In terms of temperature, you don’t control that, but if it’s too hot/cold for you, the plant probably can’t stand it too. A simple solution to that, however, is a greenhouse.
Before you make your final decision, you must consider your budget as well as the desired results. If you have enough money to invest in it, you can plant pot indoors. Additionally, if you remain consistent, you can grow as much as you want.
However, if you are a bit short on cash or this is simply a hobby, you can grow cannabis outdoors. Besides that, you won’t have to obsess excessively over the constant regulation of plant temperatures.
Step 2: Choose your light
Virtually all plants need light to grow properly. Generally speaking, the more you expose your cannabis to light, the more buds you get. Now, if you will be growing outdoors, lighting is not much of a problem. Your marijuana can easily get the required 8+ hours of sunlight daily.
However, if you are growing indoors, you have about five different options. They are:
- The sun: The fact that you are growing your marijuana indoors does not necessarily mean the sun is out of your range of options entirely. Depending on the amount of weed you want to grow, you can place your plant next to a window. Since cannabis requires lighting than most other plants, you have to ensure that it gets the 8+ hours of sunlight. The best time for this to happen will be between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Common household LEDs: This type of light is what most people use to illuminate their houses. They are not built explicitly for growing cannabis from seeds or any plants at all. Nonetheless, they can get the job done with a relative amount of ease. They do not cost too much money, and you can easily purchase a few of them at a home depot without puncturing your pocket.
- T5/T8 fluorescent lighting: This kind of light is particularly useful for plants and seedlings that typically require less light intensity. However, you can still use them to grow your cannabis. Our advice in this area is that you should go for the T5 variation with a High-Output. It offers more brightness than some others within its class of lighting. In addition, because they aren’t quite as intense, you need to keep them as close to the top of your cannabis as possible. This makes up for their lack of range.
- Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH): With this type of light, your marijuana plant is likely to grow faster. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about that excessive humming noise that comes with some other lighting options. To help you diagnose and care for whatever problems your pot might have, they have a color that is much more natural. To top it all off, the CMH produces a sufficient amount of UV light that assists your plant in producing trichomes.
- LED grow lights: This type of light is rather appealing to the eyes as well as functional for the cannabis plants. Most growers tend to gravitate towards it because it is more modern. In addition, it is one of the few types of light that can measure up to the effectiveness of the likes of CMH. While the cost is a bit on the high side compared to some others, it is still a worthy investment.
The major thing you should consider if you are going to be getting grow lights is how much money you have to spare. Some cost more than others. If you can’t afford the more expensive variations, the sun is always there for you.
Step 3: Pick a growing medium
The next step on this guide to learning how to grow cannabis from seeds is to pick a medium through which your plant will grow.
Traditionally, you might be tempted to believe that you can only grow plants in soil. However, there are more options than that. One thing to note, though, is that each medium requires a different level/type of care and watering.
- Soil: While there are alternatives, this remains one of the best choices. If you decide to use soil to grow your cannabis, you need to ensure that you use organic composted soil. This eases up the process for you because soil like this often has enough nutrients to support plant life. You can either buy soil that has already been mixed up to attain these nutrients, or you can make your own. If you are not exactly up to the task of ensuring just the right amount of nutrients, you can always buy. However, if something like that is up your alley, go ahead and do the composting by yourself. Regardless of how you choose to do it, composting soil or purchasing it will be useful both indoors and outdoors.
- Soilless mix: As we stated earlier, there are alternatives to planting marijuana inside the soil. This happens to be one of them. Like the option above, you can choose to purchase it or make it yourself. It usually contains tree barks, coconut coir, perlite, peat moss. While it technically does not have soil in it, it still provides just the right amount of nutrients to sustain your cannabis. If you are a stranger to these things, we’d advise that you just go ahead and purchase a mix.
- Hydroponics: This system of cannabis growth does not require soil at all. Instead, the roots of your pot plant are submerged in water enriched with nutrients. When you combine this with LED and CMH grow lights in an indoor garden, you have the potential to grow your weed as fast as conceivably possible. In addition to that, it also helps to increase your yields upon harvest.
- Others: There are other means of growing weed from seeds that aren’t quite as common. Some people suspend their plant roots in the air that is misted. This method is known as aeroponics. Another method is known as aquaponics, where roots are kept inside of a fish tank to grow. You won’t find a lot of cannabis growers practicing these methods, though.
One thing to note while choosing your growing method is that you must pick nutrients that correspond with it. There are cannabis nutrient brands that provide just the right nutrients for your cannabis plants based on the medium you choose.
You must pay attention to this part because cannabis plants feed heavily on nutrients. By the time they grow to the budding stage, they will have used up most of the nutrients in the soil.
Step 4: Choose your cannabis strain
From Sativa to Indica and everything else in between, there are several strains of cannabis for you to pick from. With all these choices everywhere, you might get a bit confused as to which one to pick.
However, there are a couple of ways you can figure this out. The first, and simplest, is to ask. This is especially effective if you know other cannabis growers. Usually, due to the amount of experience they have in that field, they can provide valuable advice on which strain to pick.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows cannabis growers. If you fall within this category of people, you might want to pick one that you have enjoyed or benefitted from in the past. Either that or one that should assist you with ailment/medical condition that you are growing the cannabis for.
The chances are that you did not just randomly wake up one morning and decide to grow cannabis out of the blue. You must’ve come in contact with one or two strains before. Pick whichever one served you better and use it to start your weed farm.
If your state allows the sales and growth of cannabis, you can get cannabis seeds within the state. Please note that cannabis seeds should not cross state borders. Additionally, if you order it from overseas, it is likely to get seized by customs.
Step 5: Germinate your pot seeds
This is one of the most important stages in learning how to grow cannabis seeds.
Without meeting these three different needs of the plant, it will not germinate: (i.) you must ensure that you are adding just enough water to the seeds, (ii.) your water should not have too much pH content, (iii.) in addition, the temperature should be right, as we stated earlier, and you should pick a good location.
Now, growing and germinating cannabis seeds is not exactly rocket science. There are five methods you can use to get through the process. As time goes on, you will find which one works best for you.
Let’s check each of them:
- Into the medium: This method involves you inserting the marijuana seeds directly into the medium. It works for any of the mediums we listed earlier. Here, it might be a good idea to start out by germinating your seeds inside a small pot.
- Paper towel method: Here, you’ll begin by moistening a paper towel. Afterward, you will put the seed onto the towel on a plate and then place it in a dark and warm area. To avoid moisture loss, most people cover the plate with plastic, or they use another plate. Within a week or so, you should have your pot seedlings.
- Inside water: In a way, this compares to the hydroponic medium of growing. However, the difference is that the plant is not exactly spending its entire life cycle inside the water. In this method, you’ll put the seed inside the water that is enriched with enzymes and nutrients. Keep it there until you can see the tap root appearing. When that happens, take it out and insert it into your desired medium. Within a week or so, the marijuana seedling will begin to grow.
- Plugs, Jiffies, and Rock Wool Starters: This method allows multiple cannabis seeds to grow in one place. This makes it relatively easy to maintain. After the seedlings sprout, you can take them to your preferred medium. The risk of damaging the plant roots is quite low here.
- Germination stations: These are essentially enclosed spaces that you can use to germinate your marijuana seeds. They offer you an incredible amount of control over the whole process. Among other things, you can tweak the temperature, humidity, etc. This helps you to get a rough estimate of how long the germination process will take.
Keep in mind that a major sign your weed seeds give you if they need more light is that they will start “stretching” upwards.
Step 6: Take care of your plants in the vegetative stage
One important thing that you should keep in mind while learning how to grow cannabis from seeds is that it’s all a process. Step six here is a good example of that statement.
After getting your plant through the seedling stage, the next phase is to ensure that it is properly taken care of in the vegetative stage. This stage often lasts between three and eight weeks. Then, the weed starts growing flowers. Often, the appearance of “normal” cannabis leaves is what heralds the start of the vegetative stage.
For quick and proper growth, we cannot overemphasize the importance of good temperature here. Even during vegetation, your marijuana plant needs the temperature to be around 20-30 degrees Celsius. This is slightly warmer than room temperature, but as long as it is not burning hot, your pot plant can handle it. Here, your plant channels most of its time and energy into getting bigger and stronger. Hence, you won’t be seeing buds and flowers for a while.
If you are feeding your cannabis plants with nutrients besides the ones present in the medium, you shouldn’t start at full strength. Even though we mentioned that marijuana blows through nutrients with relative ease, it is still possible to burn them if you go too hard. So, you should start with half strength. Increase later on as the situation requires.
Another thing you should be paying attention to is the amount of light your cannabis plant is getting. In the vegetative stage, if you are growing your pot indoors, you need at least 18 hours of light.
If you are growing outdoors, position your weed someplace where it can get sunlight for at least eight hours. That is, its access to the sun should not be obscured by the shadow of a building or an object. You should pay attention to all of these because the plant’s size here determines its final size after vegetation.
Step 7: The flowering stage
At this point, the vegetative stage is pretty much over. You will start to see buds and flowers. Additionally, you can identify male weed seeds and female ones.
This will continue until it is time to harvest your marijuana. If you have a cannabis plant that flowers automatically, it will begin the process on its own. However, if the reverse is the case, you will need to do it yourself by changing the lighting schedule.
Indoors, you should have 12 hours of light supply for the plants and twelve of non-stop darkness. You can get this done with a timer. If you are growing outdoors, your pot plant will naturally start flowering close to winter when your days normally start to get shorter.
If you are growing cannabis from seeds for non-medicinal purposes, you only need female plants. So, when you see a plant showing itself as a male during the marijuana flowering stage, you might want to get rid of it. This will reduce the competition for nutrients among the females who produce buds.
You can differentiate the marijuana females from the males by the short white hairs at the top of the females’ flowers. However, if you only need medicinal marijuana, you can keep the males as they do not contain psychoactive elements like their female counterparts.
Step 8: Harvest the weed
Determining the time for harvest is something most cannabis growers have a hard time doing. However, alongside the information here, it gets easier the longer you practice.
Related article: How to Harvest Marijuana – The Definitive Guide
Now, if you need more THC than CBD in your cannabis, you should wait until the white hairs mentioned earlier start to darken. They should have turned amber by about 20-30%.
However, if you want more CBD, you can wait until they are around 60-80% amber. You need to watch closely at this point. Your window to spot these changes might not be more than 24 hours.
There isn’t any special way to harvest your weed. It can be as simple as cutting the stalk with a pair of scissors. You can also decide to cut the leaves one after the other while they’re still attached to the plant. At this point, just do whatever works for you.
Step 9: Cure and dry your weed
After harvesting your weed, you want to dry it for at least four days. It may take longer than that, depending on the time of the year and level of humidity. However, it shouldn’t be any less than that.
Otherwise, you might have to deal with a nagging taste of chlorophyll. If you are using a fan, do not let it blow right onto the buds. Allow the air to circulate. That way, you can prevent rot and mold.
When you are done drying, store them inside an opaque jar. Leave them inside an area that is dark, cool, and dry. However, if you notice any condensation inside, open it up. To replenish the air within the jar, we’d advise that you open and close twice a day.
To complete the marijuana curing process, you need at least a month. This seems like a while, but it is worth it as your buds will taste great.
At this point, we’re sure you must be well prepared for your journey into well-grown cannabis.
While this guide is extensive and covers everything, you still need to make the right decisions yourself, such as growing location, medium, etc.
If you do what works best for you and follow the instructions in this article properly, you, too, will be on your way to having an excellent cannabis garden.