How to Grow Weed: A Beginner’s Guide

Although learning how to grow weed probably seems quite challenging, this process isn’t as complicated as it might appear.

But, since cannabis cultivation is a complex topic, today we will go through the most essential aspects of growing weed. We will provide you with a concise overview of what it takes to grow your own weed. 

If you’re looking to become a masterful grower, there will be a lot more ground to cover. However, this guide will hopefully inspire you to take the leap of faith and consider giving cannabis growing a shot. 

The first thing that we need to discuss are cannabis seeds. Alhough cannabis growing can also be accomplished through clones, in this article we’ll be focusing on growing weed from seeds.

Choosing Cannabis Seeds

The best way to grow your cannabis plants from seed is to use feminized seeds. 

These seeds have been genetically manipulated to produce only female bud-bearing cannabis plants. They can be acquired either through trusted online vendors (aka cannabis seed banks), or from various dispensaries. 

Feminized seeds offer an extremely wide variety of strains. They are ideal for beginner cultivators, as the risk of getting a male plant in your crop is practically non-existent.

When starting your weed growing journey, it’s best to start with feminized seeds.

Having a male plant in your crop is detrimental because males are capable of producing pollen sacks and can pollinate the female plants. Females in turn begin producing seeds in their buds, which drastically diminishes the quality of your yield. 

Feminized seeds come in two very different varieties: regular photoperiod plants, and autoflower cannabis. 

Since photoperiod plants are considered standard, we’ll be focusing on growing these plants in this guide. But, we should at least explain the difference between photoperiod and autoflower cannabis plants.

Photoperiod vs. Autoflower Cannabis Plants

When grown indoors, photoperiod plants require a change in light/darkness hours to finish their vegetative growth, and begin the flowering stage.

This change in the duration of light hours is necessary as the indoor conditions mimic the natural outdoor conditions. In outdoor conditions, cannabis plants begin flowering at the end of summer when the days start getting shorter. 

On the other hand, autoflowering cannabis strains don’t require the change in light to start their flowering stage. They begin flowering solely based on their age.

While photoperiod plants require a change in light/darkness, autoflowering plants don’t.

Autoflowering strains were created by mixing regular photoperiod strains with a special subspecies of cannabis called cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis ruderalis evolved its automatic flowering “trick” as it only grows in very harsh and inhospitable climates. 

Once you’ve chosen and acquired your seeds, it’s time for you to germinate them.

Germinating Cannabis

The first thing you need to pay attention to is that your seeds have matured. Mature cannabis seeds have a hard solid texture, while seeds that are still developing feel much softer. 

You’ll have a hard time germinating undeveloped seeds, but if you’ve acquired your seeds from an established seed bank, you won’t have any issues with this. 

To begin germinating the seeds, place them in a wet towel. The towel should not be dripping wet, but it also shouldn’t be too dry. 

It’s always a good idea to set the seed towel on a slightly warm surface (for instance, on top of your fridge). Some growers also use a regular night lamp to provide the seeds with extra warmth. 

To begin with germinating the seeds, you should place them in a wet towel on a slightly warm surface.

You need to wet the towel a couple of times a day for several days. During this time, the seeds will first open up (usually within the first 48 hours). The first root, known as the radicle, will sprout out a few days later. 

Once the radicle reaches a length of about one centimeter, the seed is ready to be placed in soil. Poke a hole in the ground (about half a centimeter), and place the seed inside of it, with the radicle root facing downwards. 

The Seedling Stage and Equipment

The seeding stage starts once your plants start gradually developing their roots and first leaves. 

Because the seedlings are still developing their root systems, it’s crucial to avoid overwatering them. Make sure to drill some holes on the bottom of your growing buckets (and place some saucers underneath) so that the excess water can seep out. 

The seeding stage starts when the plant develops its root and first leaves, and lasts from two to three weeks.

Your seedlings will require an environment that isn’t too humid, as excess moisture can lead to mold and other threatening issues. 

A healthy cannabis seedling has pretty dense vegetation, and its leaves will appear bright and vibrant green. 

The seedling stage typically lasts between two and three weeks, and the seedlings will require a lot of light, and they are generally exposed to 18 to 24 hours of light per day. 

Now is a good time to discuss the equipment that you’ll be needing for your growing operation.

Equipment

We will be mainly covering the most prominent indoor options, as it’s the most common way of cultivating cannabis plants at home. 

One of the most popular options for indoor cannabis growing is investing in a grow tent, as they are affordable, easy to use and quite reliable. 

As for the grow lights, there are a myriad of available options. The most popular choices for cannabis cultivation include High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights, Metal Halide lamps, LED lights and Compact Fluorescent lamps.

Essential equipment includes: lights, light timer, circulating fan, hygrometer, and thermometer.

Deciding on the lights that suit your personal requirements will require some additional research. It’s important to make sure that the lights you choose cover the footprint of your grow tent. 

Other necessities include a light timer that allows you to program the light/darkness duration, and a circulating fan is also a viable option as it keeps the air in your grow tent nice and fresh. 

Finally, you will need both a hygrometer and a thermometer to stay on top of the humidity and temperature in your tent. 

The Vegetative Stage and Pruning

When a cannabis plant grows seven sets of leaves, from this point on, it enters the vegatative stage and it starts to grow more rapidly. 

Once cannabis plants enter their vegetative growth, they are usually transferred into larger pots, and you’ll begin seeing a drastic development in your plants.

Nutrients

This is where nutrients come into play. You need to provide your plants with the essential macro and micro nutrients required for their growth. These solutions typically come in two distinct varieties: for vegatative growth and the flowering (aka blooming) stage.

When your  plant enters the vegetative stage, it’s time to introduce nutrients.

Your plants will also require additional amounts of water. Since the root system drastically develops in this stage, it’s a good idea to water closer to the edge of your pots so the roots can absorb the water with greater ease.

Lighting

As for the light cycle requirements, cannabis plants in the vegetative stage are usually kept on 18 hours of light, and 6 hours of darkness. This is the most commonly used light cycle, known as the 18/6. 

Some growers like to keep their plants under constant lights in this stage (24 hours a day). This is, however, considered a bit too extreme, and this type of light cycle also isn’t cost effective. 

The most commonly used light cycle is 18/6.

It’s also smart to keep the grow lights relatively close to your plants, so they don’t have to stretch too much in order to reach them. As the plants grow, you should gradually raise the grow lights to avoid burning them. 

Since photoperiod strains require a change in light cycle to begin flowering, they can be kept in the vegetative stage until they have sufficiently developed, but this stage typically lasts between 4 and 8 weeks. 

Pruning

Cannabis plants in this stage also prosper from pruning and other training techniques. Pruning allows the plant to become bushier and develop more bud sites when it enters the flowering stage, which leads to greater yields in the end.

Pruning allows plants to become bushier and increases the duration of the vegetative stage.

It’s important to mention that training your plants by pruning increases the duration of the vegetative stage, but it’s definitely worth it when it’s time to harvest your plants. 

Also, avoid these techniques when the plants enter the flowering stage, as this will only diminish the quality of your yield.

The Flowering Stage, Harvesting and Curing

Once you’ve determined that your plant is ready to enter the flowering stage, you should change the light duration on your grow lights timer. The plants should be getting 12 uninterrupted hours of light, and 12 hours of darkness.

You also need to ensure that your plant is in complete darkness. Even the slightest light sources can interfere with the flowering. 

Flowering

Once the plant enters the flowering phase, the buds will begin to appear. 

During this time you will also want to switch the nutrients from a vegetative to a flowering (blooming) solution. You should also keep in mind that the plant will significantly grow during the flowering stage. 

During the flowering stage, the plant significantly grows, and prefers moderate to warm temperature and humidity.

Cannabis plants prefer moderate to warm temperatures and temperate humidity during this stage. During the last two weeks of the flowering stage you’ll want to stop giving nutrients to your plant. This stage is known as the flushing process. 

As the flowering stage progresses, you’ll need to pay close attention to the trichomes of your buds. Trichomes are tiny crystalline mushroom-like growths. Their appearance lets you know when’s the ideal time to harvest the buds.

Harvesting

To determine if the trichomes have finished maturing, you need to use any type of magnifying device, like a loupe. The perfect time to harvest is when the trichomes go from being completely transparent to a milky cloudy shade of white. 

Harvest should be done when trichomes become cloudy white..

After being cloudy white, the trichomes will gradually change their color into amber. So, if you notice that some of the trichomes have already turned amber, it’s time to harvest your plant. 

Once you’ve harvested the plant, the buds should be trimmed and left hanging to dry.

Drying

Drying is usually done for 10 to 14 days. It’s important to have sufficient air circulation in the room that you’re drying your flowers, to avoid mold.

Drying should be done in a room with enough air circulation.

Even if your buds appear completely dry to the touch after drying, they still have some residual moisture trapped in them. Therefore, curing is essential. 

Curing

Curing is the process of keeping the dried cannabis in mason jars, to remove any excess moisture from the buds. 

The jars should be kept in a cool and dark place, avoiding direct sunlight. You should also open them about two times a day. 

Curing is done for about a month, and it’s a process of storing your cannabis in a cool and dark place.

The curing process is typically done for about a month. After this period, your buds will be completely dry and tasting perfect.

References

  1. https://www.growweedeasy.com/10-step-cannabis-grow-guide 
  2. https://www.gearpatrol.com/home/a264562/how-to-grow-cannabis/
  3. https://cleanleaf.com/the-stages-of-cannabis-growth.php 
  4. https://www.leafly.ca/learn/growing 
  5. https://hightimes.com/grow/grow-weed-guide-beginners/ 

We offer quality cannabis experiences through education, curated selection, elevated environments and inspiring stories.

 


It all started in 1979 on a small Hawaiian island, with a group of promising students and athletes that would hang out after school, riding in a Volkswagen van.

This group of friends loved to indulge in Pakalolo (noun: the Hawaiian word for cannabis) – or as locals called it: Choom. They named themselves the “Choom Gang” and would go on to influence our world as successful lawyers, entrepreneurs, and even the 44th president of the United States.

But back then, it was never about the future, it was about good people sparking ideas, sharing adventures, and cultivating good times.

Disclamer

1. Please consume responsibly.
2. When canning any food at home (e.g. cannabutter or canna-oil) you should be very careful since there can be a risk of the appearance of toxin that can lead to botulism, a very serious illness. This happens when food is canned, processed, stored or handled. Bacteria that cause botulism can very quickly grow in cannabis edibles that are made at home. Bacteria can cause botulism poisoning which is a very serious illness that affects the body’s nerves and produces serious health consequences.

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