It is the dream of most stoners to grow their own marijuana. However, it is easier said than done. Over the course of this guide, we will go through various topics which will help you master the art and science that growing marijuana indoors is. By the end of this guide, you’ll have learned enough to start off with your own indoor marijuana farm!
Marijuana 101: Know Your Ganja!
Marijuana, also known as pot, weed, Mary Jane, herb, bud, grass, ganja, and many more names, is basically a mixture of gray dried flowers from the cannabis plant. However, it is much more than just an ordinary plant. Many consider it the greatest gift from nature!
Marijuana comes in various forms which can be used for medical and recreational purposes such as hash oil, sinsemilla, and many more. Marijuana comes in two broad strains – Sativa and Indica, following which there are many hybrids. Both these strains have different effects and provide different sensations.
The Ultimate Guide to Growing Marijuana Indoors
Medical Uses of Marijuana
There are many situations where marijuana can come in handy:
One of the most common reasons why marijuana is used is for pain management. Marijuana is famously non-addictive and with its psychoactive qualities, it is highly recommended for anyone suffering from neuropathic pain or people who are going through chemotherapy as well.
In some instances, marijuana is prescribed in order to stop nausea or even induce appetite in people who are having trouble eating. This includes the patients who might be suffering from AIDS or even going through chemotherapy.
It is reported that marijuana helps in easing epilepsy as well. Cannabis has proven to dramatically reduce seizures in some epileptic children.
- Bipolar Disorder
A Harvard study has found that the consumption of marijuana can help stabilize the brains of the patients suffering from bipolar disorder.
Effects of Marijuana
There are a lot of effects of marijuana on the human body and arguably all or most of them are positive ones. Let’s take a look at some of the major effects marijuana has on your body:
One of the first and most common effects of marijuana is that it helps the body and mind relax. Medically as well, marijuana helps patients relax during or after their treatments or in an ongoing disease such as epilepsy or neurological disorders.
This one is for the artists. There are many artists both, living and dead, who have claimed that some of their major work had been done after taking marijuana. It has a strange ability to connect you with abstract thoughts which would not come to you normally.
Indica will help you sleep like a baby. A lot of people suffering from insomnia has found comfort in form of marijuana. It helps the brain relax and lets the patients or any people who just want a good night’s sleep.
Negative Effects of Marijuana
There are not any major side effects that can be found by the researchers, however, here are the following side effects that you can suffer from after or while consuming marijuana:
- Dry Mouth
People who smoke marijuana are familiar with this one. After some time while smoking weed, your mouth starts to dry up because of a lack of saliva production. You can minimize this situation by chewing gum or food is a good option in this situation.
- Increased Appetite
One of the more popular side effects of consuming marijuana is the ‘munchies’ which is slang for being hungry. Majority of the smokers experience a sudden increase in their appetite just after smoking marijuana. It can be said that it is a benefit for those who are suffering from a lack of appetite.
When people are done smoking marijuana and they stand up, many of them have reported that they feel dizzy. A decrease in blood pressure can be a factor which causes dizziness. However, people who have been smoking marijuana regularly have built up a tolerance against it.
Legality of Marijuana
The legality of marijuana is different in different countries. The possession of marijuana is illegal in most of the countries. It all started from the beginning of the widespread of cannabis prohibition in the later stages of 1930s. However, medicinal use of marijuana has been legalized in a number of countries including Czech Republic, Canada, Israel and many states in the United States.
There has been ongoing debates in all the countries around the world regarding the legalization of marijuana as it does not present any sort of major side effects and the number of medical benefits are just too many and as the research goes on, experts are finding new situations where marijuana has been extremely helpful for the people.
Basics of Growing Marijuana
Here, we take a look at the very essentials of growing marijuana. Let us take a look at the different methods of growing marijuana and all that you need to grow it.
Different methods of growing marijuana
When you decide to grow marijuana yourself, you have the option of whether you want to grow marijuana indoors or do you want the plant to grow outdoors. Both options are good if you do it the correct way. Indoor and outdoor cultivation of marijuana requires different types of setups and they will give different types of end products.
If you decide to grow it indoors, you will have to get artificial lighting and other essential things and turn the environment of the room into a suitable one for the plant to grow. However,
if you choose the option to grow your marijuana outside, you will not need to set a lot of stuff up but you will get a different type of end product at the end of harvesting.
Growing Marijuana Indoors
One of the benefits of growing marijuana indoors is that it allows you a greater amount of control than growing it outdoors – where its growth depends upon nature. This is because you are able to control the environment results in some of the most potent marijuana strains along with a magnificent flavor.
While growing your marijuana indoors, you will be able to introduce higher levels of CO2 in comparison which in turn will result in bigger buds with higher levels of THC which are relatively more difficult to achieve while growing marijuana outdoors.
There are some complications that can arise while growing indoors, the biggest one of them are the mites. While there are natural predators sharing the habitat outdoors such as ants, ladybugs, wasps who help in keeping the population of mites at bay. With the increasing concern of using pesticides and insecticides in the consumers, the indoor growers have a dilemma of how to deal with indoor mites.
Growing Marijuana Outdoors
There is a substantial need of investment in both indoors and outdoors, however, while you need to send a small fortune to set up a proper environment and keep up-to-date for indoor growing, whereas for outdoor growing you need to spend the majority of your budget while starting up.
With the rising cost of electricity, the outdoor growing of marijuana does seem like a reasonable thing to do. However, the quality that you can produce indoors cannot be replicated outdoors, as you can actually control the environment indoors.
While growing outdoors, you have to work on one big crop of marijuana for a whole season and you can hire helpers according to the area you have decided to grow marijuana on.
What Do You Need to Grow Marijuana
While a marijuana plant can grow in pretty much any condition – it still needs a proper supply of some elements of nature for a proper growth. Moreover, it also requires a well-balanced supply of nutrients to ensure the THC levels are appropriate as well as to ensure that the plant grows thick and green. Here’s what the plant requires:
- Light (Natural or Grow Lights)
- Air (Natural or Artificially created ventilation)
- Darkness (Plants need to rest too!)
- A medium for growing it!
Let us now take a detailed look at growing marijuana indoors and how you can do that:
Methods of Growing Marijuana Indoors
Let us now take a look at the indoor technique of growing marijuana. We will cover the advantages, disadvantages, as well as various methods of indoor growth. As we proceed, we will throw light at each of these methods in detail.
Regular Method of Growing Marijuana Indoors
When it comes to growing marijuana indoors, this is considered the standard practice. The regular process of growing marijuana indoors involves growing it with soil as a medium. The process consists of the following phases –
- Selection of seed: the first step when it comes to growing marijuana indoors is the selection of seeds. Seeds need to be feminized and of good quality.
- Germination: The selected seeds then need to be terminated so that roots start developing.
- Transplanting: The germinated seed is then put in soil or Rockwool cubes for a few days till it starts developing a shoot and leaves. This seedling is then transplanted on to a bigger pot for indoor growth.
- Preparation of Medium: The soil needs to be prepared and properly fertilized before you transplant. Make sure you provide appropriate nutrients.
- Monitoring the Growth: After you’ve transplanted the seedling on to the indoor setup, you need to monitor the growth, water the plant and provide appropriate light.
- Nutrients: Nutritional support needs to be given from time to time to ensure that the plant grows healthy and potent.
- Harvesting: Once your plant has flowered, you can then proceed to harvest it and smoke the bud!
Cloning is considered to be one of the easiest and money saving methods of growing marijuana indoors. This is process of creating a smaller copy of any plant that you want. In this method, you take a piece of the marijuana plant which has been cut off in the process of ‘cutting’ from the parent plant and you basically give it the chance to form its own roots and become its own individual marijuana plant.
The clone will have exactly the same genetics of the parent plant. If you are cloning a specific strain which is a female then all the clones from it will be of the same gender and strain.
This is one of the most cost effective method of growing weed. You can have dozens of clones from a single marijuana plant and it will all be for free and you can have the similar quality as the parent plant for next to nothing.
The method of growing marijuana with a hydroponic system has been around for a long time. Over time, with experimenting, there are a lot of different types of hydroponics systems which are capable to grow marijuana.
It doesn’t which of those hydroponics systems you use, you need to have a full understanding of the involved nutrients in order to have a successful harvest. Even if you have been harvesting in a soil based system, you will need to look into this system thoroughly in order to harvest with this technique.
This is a complete water-based growing technique which does not require soil at all. Some would argue that hydroponic growth will result in you highest potential yield when compared to any other method.
Let us now take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of growing marijuana indoors:
Advantages of Growing Marijuana Indoors
One of the main advantages of growing marijuana indoors is that you are able to control the environment in which you want your weed to grow. This means you are completely responsible for the quality of the end product and if done correctly you can grow the best there is to offer in the market.
While growing indoors seem a little expensive, in the end it will pay off as the quality of marijuana that can be grown in controlled environments cannot be matched by the quality of marijuana that is grown outdoors as you are not in control of the environment.
You can also provide more carbon dioxide to the plant which will make sure that the buds that grow on the plant are bigger than usual and the THC levels of indoor grown marijuana are also significantly higher than marijuana grown outdoors.
Disadvantages of Growing Marijuana Indoors
One of the biggest disadvantage you will face while growing marijuana indoors is that you will have limited resources to deal with situations like mites. While there are natural predators that keep the mites population at bay outdoors, there won’t be any to defend your plant while growing indoors.
You have to be careful before using pesticides and insecticides as well because people in general prefer products with the least amounts of those in their products. This can be a real dilemma to overcome while growing marijuana indoors.
How to Grow Marijuana Indoors?
Let us now take a look at the step by step guide of how you can grow marijuana indoors by using the help of regular method which needs soil to grow the plant in.
Step 1: Selecting Seeds
Selecting the right type of seeds will be crucial in what type of a plant you will grow. The color, height, quality and aroma of the plant will completely depend on the quality of the seed. The better the quality of seed results in a better quality of weed.
Make sure that you avoid damaged seeds, soft seeds, pale seeds, or green seeds. The mentioned types of seeds are not mature enough to begin the process of germination.
You should look for dark brown colored, teardrop shaped seeds which have a hard shell on the outside. Look for darker tiger stripes which can be usually found in indica seeds or black, brown mottling which usually is a sativa seed.
There are a number of different types of seeds with different strains available in the market. However, with choosing the strain, you will also have to make the choice between regular seeds or feminized seeds.
Regular seeds will have the capabilities to produce both, the male and the female plants whereas feminized seeds are only going to give you female plants which will produce the buds that you want to harvest. There will still be a 5% chance with feminized seeds that you will get a hermaphrodite plant which will be able to produce both male and female flowers which are capable of self-pollination.
Step 2: Germination
Germination is the process that comes after selecting the seeds. When the mature and healthy seeds are kept in the proper environmental conditions and their outer layer or shell breaks down and a white colored root begins to come out of it is known as the germination process.
When choosing the number of seeds you want to plant, you need to keep in mind that only 2-3 seeds out of 10 seeds that are not feminized will grow to become healthy bud sprouting female marijuana plants. The rest will either be males or get spoilt. The time taken by the seeds to germinate depends upon the environment, quality of seed, etc. Usually, the seeds will germinate in 2 to 7 days.
If you are a beginner then you would want to practice the germination process on other seeds as you do not want to spoil expensive marijuana seeds. One of the most effective ways of germinating seeds is by the soaking method.
The soaking method is one of the most reliable methods of germinating for growers. All you need to do is take a coffee mug and fill it with warm water. Now put all the seeds in the warm water and look for the ones which float. Get the floating seeds out and cover the cup with a lid.
You will see the roots beginning to sprout in 24 to 48 hours. If the roots have grown a quarter inch then it is time to transfer the seed in order to make it into a full-blown plant. It is time to put the sprout in a pot where you need to let it grow into a small marijuana plant, this process is called seedling.
You need to be very careful during this process, as the sprout is very weak, you should not pour a lot of water or over-fertilize as it can kill your plant. Make sure you set your light as 15%blue, 30% red, 30% white daily for 16 hours. This process is very slow.
Step 3: Transplanting
It is now time for you to transfer your seedlings into your garden where they will be able to provide you with the top quality weed once they start to grow to their potential. Transplanting means that you will take your seedlings from small containers to either big containers or the ground. You need to dig a big hole in the soil and place your seedling very carefully in the place.
Make sure you do this process at night, as the plant will have some time to settle in to its new home before the next light starts and the photosynthesis begins. Transplantation will cause a little damage to the root system and also it can cause some stress to the plant so make sure that you give them time to settle down.
Step 4: Choosing the Soil
You need to be choosy when it comes to selecting the type of soil in which you want to grow your own marijuana plant in. you need to make sure that the soil that you select for the cultivation of marijuana is highly drainable, however, make sure that the soil is not completely drainable and retains some amount of water in itself.
There are three main things that you need to keep in mind before selecting the soil that you want to grow your marijuana plant in and those are, the PH level, nutrients and texture. Experts have claimed that you can produce the best quality of cannabis crop in the organic soil.
The texture of the soil also plays a major role in the growth of the plant, so you need to make sure that the soil is sort of fluffy, light and is capable of draining excess water while having the ability to retain the amounts of water that is needed in order to grow marijuana plant.
Step 5: Providing Nutrients
Here are some of the main nutrients you will need in order to grow a high quality of marijuana crop.
Nitrogen is dubbed as the most important element that will help the plant’s stem and leaf system grow. If you provide little to no nitrogen, then you will witness the leaves of your plant turn yellow.
So, make sure that you are using as much nitrogen as possible, especially during the vegetation process just to make sure that your marijuana plant’s growth is happening the best way possible.
In order to transfer and build sugars for the marijuana plant, potassium is extremely necessary. It can also provide rapid growth in a plant by its one of the most important abilities that is to absorb water and other nutrients which helps aiding rapid growth in the marijuana plant.
Phosphorous is a key nutrient for the indoor marijuana plant to do photosynthesis and respiration. During the flowering phase, it is recommended that you provide the plant with more phosphorus than nitrogen.
Step 6: Watering of Plants
The amount of watering needed for your indoor marijuana plant completely depends upon the size of your plant’s container and the intensity of the light that you are giving it. As a rule of thumb, you need to give water your crop every other day. The roots of the plant wat water as well as air, so, it is healthy to provide a little bit of dryness to the plant.
However, make sure you do not let it dry too much, because as a result the plant will suffer from dehydration. Make sure you water your crop until around 20% of the water is drained through the runoff hole which is situated at the bottom of the container in which you are growing indoor marijuana. Then make sure to empty that runoff tray as you do not want your container to sit in it and reabsorb the water that has been drained.
This is how you grow your marijuana plants indoors. We will take a look at the harvesting process in a bit. Let us now take a look at how to grow plants via the cloning and hydroponics method.
Growing Marijuana Indoors Using Cloning
Being one of the most used technique by the farmers and the indoor marijuana growers, cloning is dubbed as being one of the best and the smartest ways to grow marijuana indoors.
All you need to do in order to clone is choose a donor plant, then take some cuttings from the donor plant and just grow the cuttings in a different medium. Cloning means that essentially you are just making miini copies of the original or the parent plant.
One of the biggest advantages of cloning is that you will get a female marijuana plant every single time from which you would hopefully get to harvest some giant buds from. But, as everything good, the cloning method also has its drawbacks. However, if you already possess some productive and healthy plants of marijuana then you have nothing to worry about as it is a great and efficient way to produce more indoor marijuana.
It is relatively very easy to pick out a healthy donor plant and make some clones out of it if you know what you are doing. One of the main things you need to keep an eye on while cloning your indoor marijuana plant is the lighting. Make sure the lighting is not too bright, make sure that it is in line with the amount of light required by the new baby plant that has been cut off from the parent plant.
The new clones require relatively gentle light compared to the original marijuana plant. Make sure that the light percentage is distributed as 25/45/45 (25% red, 45% blue and 45% white). All you need to do is follow this and you will get the results. eventually, over time and with more experience, you will be able to refine the whole process and will keep learning new things about the marijuana plant.
Growing Marijuana Indoors using Hydroponics
The indoor marijuana growers are in agreement that by the method of hydroponics, you can have the greatest yields. In hydroponics, there is no need of soil as the marijuana plants are completely grown in water. It is very easy t provide your marijuana plant indoors o all the nutrients that it needs as this method uses a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent. This is why the nutrient uptake process in the hydroponic system if far superior and efficient than when you grow in soil.
As we all know that plants need bigger and extensive roots in order to search for nutrients in soil, but that is not the case with the hydroponics system. The plants that are grown in this system do not have the need to develop extensive roots as they receive all the nutrients relatively easily. In the hydroponics system, it is very easy to test the pH levels which is very important while growing marijuana indoors.
Since the plants do not have to spend energy in search for nutrients, they use it in producing superior flowers, fruits and in this case, buds.
The Importance of Light in Growing Marijuana Indoors
vIt is no surprise that plants need light in order to row and become healthy and photosynthesize. Since you are growing your marijuana indoors, there is no chance of the natural light to help your marijuana plant grow and be healthy, and here’s where the artificial grow lights are such an important factor in making greater yields every time.
The marijuana plant requires a lot of light. You need to understand that the crop will not be sustainable at all if you fail to provide the right amount of lighting and the right type of lighting. It does not matter in what medium you are growing your indoor marijuana crop in, whether you are growing with soil as your medium, or you are using the hydroponic method, lighting will still remain probably one of the most important nutrients required for a plant growth.
With the proper lighting, you can harvest a yield of top-class marijuana if you distribute the lighting as it is required at the different stages of the growing indoor marijuana plants. For example, you need lesser and soft lighting when the plant is in its initial stages as you do not want to burn it and the lighting required will increase as the plant grows up.
What are Grow Lights?
Grow lights are electric lights that are used as an artificial source of light while growing indoor marijuana plants. A grow light can stimulate growth in plants by emitting electromagnetic radiation in the visible light spectrum which will then simulate sunlight for the process of photosynthesis in the indoor plants.
Grow lights are mostly used in scenarios where there is not enough sunlight in order to stimulate the plants to grow naturally or if you are growing plants indoors. There are two ways in which you can use grow lights, one of them is where you design it in order to give plants a broad light spectrum that is similar to the sun or you can also get them made as tailored light spectrum in order to grow certain plants which we are doing here.
The grow lights can be very helpful while imitating the right amount of sunlight needed for a plant in its different stages of photoperiods which means the plant needs a different amount of light in different phases of its cultivation period. If you manage to give the right amount of light through grow lights at the different stages then you can increase the final yield.
Different Types of Grow Lights
Grow lights are great substitutes for sunlight when it comes to indoor farming or farming in a place where there is minimal sunlight. But as we have endless choices in everything in today’s time, grow lights are no different. There are a number of types and companies which manufacture grow lights that you can use to grow your own indoor marijuana plant. Let us look at the three main categories of grow lights that are used most often:
Fluorescent Lights (CFL)
Yes, CFL’s can be used to grow plants indoors. On of the biggest advantages of fluorescent lights is that they do not emit much heat in which case you can place them as close to your plant as you want and the closer the light the more efficient it will be.
High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) or High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
The more experienced growers tend to favor these types of lights. These lights emit a great amount of heat so you should not place them near the plants. As they generate heat, you will need proper ventilation in order to keep the atmosphere under control. The setup takes a huge chunk of your capital. It is not suggested for beginners or someone who is just experimenting with the idea of indoor growing.
Light Emitting Diodes (LED)
LED’s are by far the most advantageous when compared with the above two types of grow lights. It does not emit much heat and is extremely efficient. You can place them at a distance and still, the light emitted by the LED’s will not lose focus from the plants. However, you will need protective gear for your eyes when you switch them on as they can be harmful to the human eye.
What is Harvesting?
Let us start by saying that harvesting might sound like a tough job with a lot of things to take into consideration for anyone who is new to the growing game, but do not worry, because harvesting is not rocket science. Actually, if anything, the growers claim that harvesting is a fun thing and a very satisfying process for the grower.
The mindset behind that kind of thinking comes from the fact that you have already spent countless hours and money to get to the stage where you are ready to collect your rewards from the indoor marijuana plant that you have been working upon for such a long time. It is easy to know when the right time it is to harvest your crop. All you need to do is keep a lookout for the color of the pistils or the hairs that are covering the buds.
Harvesting is basically the last process in growing marijuana yourself because all you need to do after harvesting the product is to roll it up and smoke it or however you want to consume it depends on you.
How to Harvest Marijuana?
When you make the decision that it is the right time to harvest, make sure that you start the harvesting process early in the morning. It is not a difficult job but the time taken to harvest can depend upon the size of your crop.
To start off, you need to start cutting all the nourished plants that you have grown in your area by the root completely. If you want to make this process a bit easier then start off by cutting the heavier, larger plants at first.
After you have cut the nourished plants from the roots, it is time to remove the bigger leaves. Now hang a wire horizontally from the ceiling and start hanging the cut parts of the plant on it upside down. Make sure you leave some distance between plants for air circulation.
Now that you have hanged your plants, it is time to let them dry. Make sure there is proper air ventilation around them. One of the easiest ways to dry them is just to let them be and place a fan to move the air around them. Make sure your fan is not throwing air at the buds.
There are drying cabinets and automated curing machines also available in the market which you can purchase which can make this process very easy for you. These machines are very effective in drying your indoor marijuana efficiently and quickly.
You need to keep in mind that your plant does not die as soon as you cut them, they will die when the water is completely drained out of them. So, you should leave your harvest to dry in a dark room with an environment of 70 degrees Fahrenheit in order to dry the remaining water out of the plant.
You need to leave the plants hanging for a minimum of 7 days. Keep a fan to increase the air circulation which will help in preventing any kind of mildew or mold from developing on the plant. However, if you see any mold or mildew on the plant then you need to remove that part instantly. Keep checking on your plants periodically.
You need to keep in mind that this process should not be rushed and it can take around two weeks as well. As soon as the outside of the bud feels dry and the twigs inside of the buds start to become brittle you are ready to start the curing process if you want. Make sure to trim the buds and cut off the little leaves still on the marijuana, make sure you do not dispose of the smaller leaves as they also contain THC and can be used as various edibles.
Once you are done with that, you can put the buds in a mason jar and let them develop their taste gradually. You can take out and smoke a little at every stage after the buds have been dried off to know what ‘vintage’ you prefer.
Instruments Used to Smoke Marijuana
Once you are done with the growing, this is the what you have been waiting for. It is time to cash out your hard work over a number of weeks. Marijuana can be consumed in a lot of different ways such as by smoking, like edibles, oils, etc.
When it comes to smoking marijuana you need to know all the options available to your. Following are the instruments that can be used to smoke marijuana:
Pipes are one of the coolest instruments you can smoke your weed in. but make sure your pipes are made of glass, stainless steel or aluminum as they provide a much cleaner hit, and plastic and wooden pipes have potential extra carcinogens so it is better to just avoid them.
Joints, Blunts or Spliffs
This is the most common way of smoking marijuana. The debate of thin joint vs fat joint is never-ending and all we can say it depends upon the preferences of the smoker. You roll the weed into a tobacco skin leaf in a cigar style and keep in mind, that the tighter the joint the better the blunt.
Water pipes and Bongs
The bong and water pipes are widely considered to be more efficient and provide a cleaner smoke when compared to a joint. This is because there is no additional paper or tobacco involved and it is not burning constantly.
Buying marijuana and then using it can make you feel good but growing your own weed from scratch and then smoking it gives you a whole different level of satisfaction. If you haven’t tried your hand at growing marijuana indoors in your own place then you should definitely give it a try, assuming that is legal in your state.
The experience of consuming your own homegrown marijuana is surreal. You can also do it as a business and provide your special custom made marijuana. It might seem a little hard at the beginning, but as you progress in this field, you will find it that it is rather easy and fun.
Make sure that you have all the permissions that are required to grow indoor marijuana before venturing on this amazing journey.