The social and legal acceptability of cannabis in an ever-increasing number of US states is one of the most dramatic changes we have seen in recent years. Suddenly, buying an eighth of weed on a Friday night is no more shocking or outrageous than getting a six-pack of beers. And we are reaching a point where rolling up a joint will probably get you fewer looks of disapproval than lighting a regular cigarette.
One thing hasn’t changed since the old days, however. Legalizing weed has not made it any cheaper, and the average price in a US dispensary is around $320 per ounce. Given that a single cannabis plant can yield around 15 ounces, and maybe even more, it’s unsurprising that so many cannabis users are opting to try home cultivation. But growing weed is not like planting cabbages. It demands time, effort and investment. Let’s run through the basics you’ll need to get started.
The first and most important item on your shopping list will be cannabis seeds. Use a reputable seed shop like Zamnesia so that you can be confident as to their quality. You should also spend some time browsing their website at https://www.zamnesia.com/uk/ to understand the sort of seeds you need. For a beginner, autoflowering seeds are a better option than photoperiod.
The right environment
Depending on the sort of seeds you chose and your local climate, it might be possible to cultivate your cannabis outside. However, most growers set up an indoor grow room, where the environmental conditions can be managed easily. Ensure you have a thermometer to monitor the temperature and ideally, a hygrometer to track humidity levels.
The downside to growing indoors is that you’ll need to provide artificial light in lieu of the sun – and plenty of it. There are plenty of options here, and we’ve all seen those TV depictions of grow rooms with huge fluorescents. Don’t believe everything you see on TV, however. LED lights are far more energy efficient, durable and controllable. True, they are also more expensive, but if you are serious about your cultivation hobby, they make a shrewd investment and will more than pay for themselves over time.
There are no hard and fast rules here – you can grow your cannabis plants in almost anything. Just remember that the size of the containers influences the eventual size of the plants. Also, transferring plants is an additional complication you can live without, so think ahead. It’s important that your container has drainage holes so that roots do not get saturated, as this can lead to fungi, root rot and other problems.
A growing medium
Most growers opt for simple soil, and this is certainly recommended for beginners. There are other alternatives you can try, such as coco coir or hydroponics, but save these for when you are experienced in the basics.
Nutrients and water
The final essentials on your list, there are specially formulated nutrient kits you can buy specifically for cannabis plants. Adopt a “less is more” approach when adding them, however, as manufacturers encourage you to be heavy handed. Start with half their recommended doses and take things from there.