This is a guide to growing cannabis at home, walking you through the planting, the maintenance and harvesting stage, as well as legal matters and lighting.
For the record, I want it to be clear that I don’t grow cannabis at home, I’m merely writing this as a guide for those who are in countries where it is legal to do so.
Is It Legal To Grow Cannabis?
If you’re reading this in the UK then I’m sorry to say it is illegal to grow cannabis in your household. Hemp might be utilised regularly, from shoes to milk, but the growers have a license to grow industrial hemp and have gone through all the processes required.
This license allows for the use of the seed and fibre, but not the flower or leaves.
In the USA, the Farm Bill brought around a number of drastic changes, allowing hemp cultivation, as well as hemp derived products to be brought over state lines for commercial purposes.
While hemp cultivation is becoming more common in the USA, only 21 US states have allowed for recreational use of marijuana, the THC high version of cannabis.
Why Grow Cannabis From Home?
Before jumping into the process, I think it’s important to consider the reasons why someone might want to grow cannabis from home rather than buying from a reputable source.
- Confidence in Quality
You don’t have to worry about the source being reliable, considering you know exactly what has been included in the process. Hemp is highly porous, meaning if any pesticides or chemical fertilisers are used in the farming process, then this will transfer through to the extract if turning it into CBD oil. By having control of every step of the process, you know exactly what you will be getting.
2. Cheaper Than Buying
I have read numerous sad articles on parents of children who suffer with epilepsy, where they are having to order the oil from Amsterdam at a huge cost and with certain legal complications. The costs are extreme, however these costs would be drastically cheaper if handling the process themselves. For the record, I’m once again not promoting doing something illegal, just making a point around costs.
3. Interesting Hobby
You will learn a number of new skills and gain an interesting new hobby. Life is about learning new things, I’m currently studying Japanese and find it amazing learning something new every month, it keeps your brain young and active, especially with many of us WFH and going through repetitive patterns daily.
What Will you Need?
There are several items you will need before you begin planting the seeds, highlighted below:
- Lighting – You may find natural sunlight provides enough, but for most you will need grow lights or HID lamps to help. HID’s are relatively easy to use and tend to provide better results compared to fluorescent lighting.
- Seeds – You can pick up hemp or marijuana seeds for sale from a number of different sources, depending on which country you’re ordering from.
- Soil – this can be picked up from stores like B&Q or SureGreen, or you can grow your own soil with a compost bin, which is a nice way to recycle your leftover waste and reuse it for your garden.
- Container – you might want to grow it in the garden, but then there is an element of leaving it to the natural forces, so if you suffer with frost or extreme weather at all, it could be damaged, so most people opt to keep it in a pot (no pun intended) of some sort.
- Space – Depending on how much you’re growing, you will probably need a fair amount of space dedicated to the plant. This might need to be near a window for ventilation reasons. Obviously, for countries that it is legal to grow, many only allow a certain amount to be grown per household, so you will have to consider this before setting up your plants, so you don’t break any rules.
- Air circulation – Whether this is a basic desk fan or something more professional such as a built-in exhaust fan, you will need to ensure there is sufficient airflow, with hot air moving out and cool air coming in.
- Dehumidifier – A dehumidifier is incredibly useful at decreasing the humidity, but remember that this electricity guzzling piece of equipment will also further heat up the room, increasing the need for fans to be in place.
- Thermometers – You need some form of air thermometer to measure whether you’re in the right range or need to make adjustments. This will involve both temperature and humidity, both having a strong impact on the end product and success of the crop growth.
- Misting spray bottle – this is preferential when dealing with baby plants, so as not to overwater them.
The Growing Stages
By understanding the breakdown of stages, you can get an idea of how long it should take before you see certain stages of the plant growth. These can be broken down into four main categories:
- Germination – this will last up to 10 days
- Seedlings – 2-3 weeks
- Vegetative – 3-16 weeks – depending on container size and plant size
- Flowering – 8-11 weeks
How Do You Grow your Cannabis?
So next is the actual process of turning your seeds into giant plants, so follow the steps below and let me know how you do, I’d love to see your pics!
- Setup your station – Get your containers in place, place the high intensity discharge lighting over the plants and ensure there is sufficient air circulation.
- Germinate the seeds – This is an often undervalued part of the process, but even with all of the best equipment in the world, you still might have some seeds that fail. The seeds need moisture, warmth and darkness, so that should be at the forefront of your mind during this process. The seed should start to germinate after around 1 day. There are several methods, such as putting in a glass of water or placing in the soil, but one of the most popular methods is to place on a wet towel or cloth. Some may alternatively use wet kitchen towels. Make sure to place a bit of space between each seed rather than bunging them in. Notice I said moisture was key, you want it to be damp but not soaking wet, many people overwater them during this process. Once the seeds have a white root tip stretching 2mm, they can be moved over to the soil.
- Plant the seeds – Place the soil into your plant pots or containers so they’re ¾ full, before placing the seeds in carefully. The seeds should be inserted about 1 inch deep, before placing soil over top. The pots must have drainage holes in so double check this is the case before progressing. You should then water the plant with the misting spray bottle, as they only require a small amount.
- Let It Grow – I might have hummed the Frozen soundtrack there. You want the baby seed to grow into a vegetative process, taking around 3 weeks, but you can give longer if you like. Make sure if you’re using grow lights to keep them on for at least 18 hours a day, or on all the time if you prefer.
- Blooming – This is the exciting time where you will start to smell those aromas come through and see the plant flower. This will take a few months as the vegetation stage draws to a close.
- Harvesting – Our final step is the harvesting stage, where you will cut, dry and cure your buds. There are entire guides on crying and curing, so I won’t go into deep detail (I might down the line), but this is a task that can be performed in multiple ways.