Growing cannabis is not terribly different from growing a tomato plant, but there are several factors and considerations that can affect the trajectory of any grow. Not only is a good light source needed, but other factors such as PH, nutrients, and watering among others need to be taken into account.
When choosing a light source there are two basic options: natural light from the sun, and man-made light sources. The sun offers the best variety of wavelengths and is often touted as the best light to grow under. When growing indoors however, sunlight isn’t really an option. Instead, indoor plants are completely reliant on artificial lights such as LED’s , metal halide, fluorescent bulbs, high pressure sodium, and more. Light sources are not created equal, but many offer utility in different stages of plant growth.
The pH of your water source is the next variable to sort out. It’s important as it can positively or negatively affect your plant’s growth. When pH is optimized, plants absorb and uptake nutrients at their greatest efficiency. When water doesn’t have that perfect pH level, not to worry. It can still be fine tuned by adding compounds that either raise or lower pH levels to fit different needs. Even with a great water source, it’s also important to avoid overwatering as well as under-watering. A grower with a green thumb can tell when plants are thirsty simply by lifting the pot and gauging the weight, but until achieving that level of mastery plants should be monitored frequently and carefully.
Many different types of nutrients can be used to keep growing cannabis plants healthy. Those who grow hydroponically are often stuck using synthetic compounds for their nutrient regimens, but many farmers that grow in dirt also use synthetics even though they aren’t restricted to that protocol. The primary issue with this approach is that so many consumers are sensitive to inorganic nutrients. As a general rule, growing organically is best for everyone involved, from the responsible farmer to the satisfied consumer. Purchasing products that have been grown organically is a key piece of the puzzle as well, so be cautious not to overlook the sourcing of any product used in a grow.
Lighting Cycles are paramount for growing cannabis correctly that many beginners are not aware of. A cannabis plant produces buds during what’s known as the vegetative cycle. Throughout this phase, it’s important to give your plant at least 14 hours of light per 24 hours to deter it from entering its flowering stage. Indoor growers will often give their plants 18 to 24 hours of sunlight per day to ensure that their plant stays in the vegetative cycle. It’s important to use this cycle to grow your plant to the desired size before putting it into the flowering cycle. The vegetative cycle can last anywhere from a month to beyond a year depending on the size you want your finished plant to be. When the grower decides to start the flowering phase, it’s time to switch up the light cycle. Alternating 12 hours of light with 12 hours of darkness each day, your cannabis plant will start developing flowers. This cycle is also variable, and can last anywhere between 6 weeks to several months depending on personal preference and which strain is being grown.
If you are new to growing, it’s a great idea to buy a grow book which can be found on Amazon and at many local bookstores. Research will be your best friend when you’re just starting out. Cannabis is relatively easy to grow once you have all the basics down, but certain protocols need to be observed if you want to have a successful grow. On that note, good luck on your cannabis journey!