Growing Your Marijuana At Home

I find that there is often a lot of confusion surrounding how commercial cannabis is grown. While some cannabis companies provide a myriad of lab tested results that can guarantee the quality of their products, it is not always possible for me to know if I am receiving a clean product that free of pesticides. The best way to get around this issue is to grow flowers yourself in the comfort of your own home. At home grow systems can be easily be created based on your own needs, allowing you to produce beautiful buds that live up to your expectations.

Marijuana Grow Laws

States that allow legal cannabis, both recreational and medical, have stipulations in their law about personal marijuana cultivation. Some states allow for cultivation of plants by anyone who qualifies for the state cannabis program, or in the case of some recreational legal states, anyone over 21. Most states do have strict laws that outline how many plants you may have and, possibly more important, how many flowering plants you can possess at any given time. It is important to read up on your states laws, so you understand exactly what is allowed and what is not within your state’s borders.

In my home state of California, for example, the personal growing laws are soon to change with the implementation of the newly passed Prop 64. The proposition allows for six plants per parcel of land for personal, recreational use, but local jurisdictions can ban outdoor growing. In an area that bans outdoor growing, you are still allowed to have indoor growing systems, which are believed by some to be more secure than plants in your backyard. California also allows medical patients to grow more plants if needed, which gives the law a more variable quality.

In Colorado, however, every person over 21 in a household may have up to six plants, but they may not have more than three of those plants flowering at one time. Plants in Colorado must be in a locked and inclosed area, so they all must be grown within an indoor grow system. All of these laws have more details, so it is important to get informed before diving into the world of at home cultivation in order to avoid any problematic run-ins with state or local law enforcement.

Growing Inside or Outside

Choosing to grow inside or outside may be a personal choice for you or it may be one determined by your state. In my home state of California, however, I have the choice in most counties to decide between indoor and outdoor cultivation. There is a great debate in the marijuana community of which grow situation is better, but in the simplest terms, outdoor and indoor grows produce different qualities within their products. I find that indoor-grown cannabis plants tend to be easier to control, higher in THC, and more traditionally aesthetically appealing, but outdoor-grown buds on the other hand produce higher yields and they are a more inexpensive venture to begin.
Scientifically speaking, indoor-grown cannabis plants often produce more perfect looking plants and buds. Due to the more controlled environment indoors, they often have a higher content of THC and other cannabinoids. Overall, however, the yields are often smaller from indoor growth because the plants do not receive the same spectrum of UV light from an electronic UV source as they would from the sun. Outdoor plants produce higher yields and overall bigger plants. I have also found them to be less susceptible to pests, because they are more incorporated into their natural outdoor environment rather than being isolated indoors as the only target for pests in that specific area.

Grow Boxes – The Way to Go

When it comes to indoor growth, I believe grow boxes are they way to go. When planting marijuana outdoors you must understand the strain of cannabis and what nutrients it needs, as well as the desired exposure to sun and amount of water. Growing indoors, where you are creating an environment for the plant from scratch, grow boxes can help the ease the gardening process and set you up for success, especially for novice cultivators.

There are a variety of different grow boxes that range in size and shape, but they all come in either a soil or hydroponic form. Soil grow boxes are essentially an outdoor growing system that is set up inside the house and supplemented with grow lights. Hydroponic grow systems, however, are one of the newest kinds of cannabis cultivation systems on the market and interest me due to their great production possibility. Though they have to be checked more often than soil grow boxes, hydroponic grow systems traditionally produce much bigger yields. Hydroponic growing takes place in water, rather than soil, which is infused with the necessary nutrients for the cannabis plants, which promotes greater efficiency.

Selecting Grow Lights

Grow lights are also a necessary part of setting up your ideal growing situation. The two most common lights are CFLs and LEDs. I highly recommend choosing LED lights, though they are not the cheapest option they are the most efficient, both in terms of energy and cost over time. Some grow boxes come equipped with HID lights, but this kind of light should be definitely avoided because HIDs do not react well to enclosed spaces and can pose safety issues.

Growing cannabis on your own is a great way to fully connect with your medication and assure it is completely up to your standards. I find growing my own medication allows me to customize it to my own needs and provides me with they type of cannabis I prefer, so I don’t have to compromise based on what is available. Choosing a grow situation should be closely researched based on your own personal needs and the type of cannabis you desire to grow.

If you are new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s 100% online, private and efficient.


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