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Growing cannabis: Understanding the basics

Cannabis Plants

If you want to grow your cannabis flowers, read this informative article to get an idea of where to start. We’ve broken down the most important topics into easily consumable information so you won’t feel overwhelmed.

But let’s make one thing clear from the start: this is not a grower’s guide. Rather, it’s an overview of the basics, designed to answer any questions you may have about growing your stock.

What do cannabis plants need to grow?

Growing cannabis essentially means accompanying the life of a plant. You need to give the plants your full attention, and not neglect to give them the care and nutrients they need to flower and become healthy, thriving plants.

As with any other plant, growing high-quality cannabis requires these four essential elements:

Fresh airLet’s get a little scientific for a moment. Plants need oxygen and carbon dioxide to breathe and produce food and sugar.

If you want to grow outdoors, you don’t have to worry about this because fresh air is abundant. However, if you are growing indoors, you need adequate ventilation so that the plants can breathe naturally.

A proper ventilation system can easily provide this. If you have a limited budget, you can also do this with strategically placed fans. If you have the financial means, it is better to invest in a more sophisticated ventilation system.

  • light

Plants depend on light for healthy growth through photosynthesis. In the case of cannabis plants, the lighter they are exposed to, the more flowers they will develop.

As was the case with fresh air, outdoor cannabis plants can receive all the light they need. However, for indoor growing, you need 400 to 600 watts (or more) per square metre.

High temperatures are another factor to consider when growing indoors. Some types of lights, especially HID, tend to get too hot and if they are too close to the canopy or too bright, they can affect your buds.

  • water

Water is the elixir of life for all living organisms on the planet. Cannabis plants are a rare exception in that they can survive if you economise on their water supply. However, there is a high risk that your plants will die if you overwater them.

The best way to ensure that you give your plants the right amount of water is to wait for the substrate to dry out. If you lift your planters and find that they are comparatively light, it is probably time for a bath. In any case, don’t water again until the top 3 to 5 centimetres of soil in the pot is completely dry.

As for the preferred method of irrigation, soil fertilization is probably the best for cannabis plants. The pots are placed in bowls of water so that the roots can absorb the right amount of water/nutrient solution in the soil.

This process also allows the roots to grow lower, which benefits the plants in the long run. By receiving sufficient fresh air, water and sunlight, your plants can now photosynthesise to accelerate their growth.

  • nutrients

Basically, when you provide nutrients to your cannabis plants, it means you are fertilizing them. These basic nutrients are usually incorporated into the soil or mixed into a solution and administered that way from the start.

How long does it take to grow cannabis?

We’ve already briefly touched on the growth rate of autoflowers, but when it comes to time to harvest, most strains take at least 3 months.

If you want to know how long it will take for your harvested flowers to be smokeable, just add another 3 weeks during which drying (1 week) and curing (at least 2 weeks) are done. To get a better idea of the growing process, you need to understand the two main stages of the cannabis plant life cycle: the growing season and flowering. Here is a short explanation:

  • Growing season: The period from when the leaves and stems of the plant start to show. The vegetation period ends as soon as you can recognise male or female sexual characteristics on the plants, which brings us to the next phase.
  • Flowering: This phase begins as soon as the female plants start to develop white hairs called pistils; the pollen sacs appear correspondingly on the male plants.

What are the equipments you need to grow cannabis?

When considering growing cannabis, you generally have two options: indoor or outdoor.

In a previous section we have already discussed some of the differences between these two alternatives, so we want to get straight to the point here: With artificial lighting, a grow tent, soil, nutrients, gardening tools and – possibly – a hydroponic setup, indoor growing is usually much more expensive.

Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at the equipment you need for indoor growing environment.

Indoor cultivation

  • Grow tent
  • Lamps
  • Soil and container
  • Water supply
  • Exhaust fan
  • Climate controllers and monitors

What part of the cannabis plant do you smoke?

This question may seem obvious to some stoners, but it is nonetheless relevant. The simple answer is that the flowers are the only smokable part of the cannabis plant that has psychotropic effects. However, they have to undergo a drying and hardening process before they can give you a real high.

And as mentioned in a previous section of this text, only female plants produce smokeable flowers. So it’s very important to get feminised seeds when it comes to smoking buds.

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