Grow Your Own Cannabis

Beginner’s Guide + Shopping List 

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  1.  Light - Plants need light to grow, and not just any light will do. Especially when growing cannabis, you’ll want to make sure that your lights are strong enough. We recommend LED lights (full spectrum are the best but can get very pricey) as they provide the most lumens (light) with the lowest power consumption and heat generated.
  2. Fans - Circulation and fresh clean air are necessary for any plant to grow healthy and strong. A little bit of movement amongst all the vegetation on the plant is all that is needed to keep the plants happy. Too much wind can redirect growth and dry out vegetation
  3. Grow Medium – We recommend starting off in healthy organic soil for your first grow. Nutrients are far more forgiving on plants in this medium compared to coco and hydroponic mediums. Adding things like Perlite to your mix and to the bottom of your pots will help water flow more efficiently and evenly.
  4. Fertilizer/Nutrients (Food) – Feeding plants can be tricky. No matter what brand or style of feeding you choose, make sure to keep your base nutrients high quality and natural. The famous “7-5-6” proportion of 7% nitrogen (N), 5% Phosphate (P2O5), 6% Potash (K2O) is a safe ratio to start for cannabis.
  5. Watering Can and pH Strips - Make sure to get an appropriate sized watering can for your grow, otherwise you’ll be mixing up nutrients and adjusting the pH balance several times within a single watering cycle. Most tap/drinking water tests at a neutral pH of 7 and contains additives that can harm or hinder the growth of your plants. For the best results, water for your typical cannabis plant should be distilled and test at around 5.5-6.5 alkalinity. Don’t forget to add the appropriate nutrients at the proper stages of growth as needed. (We recommend researching and using compost teas.)
  6. Timer - Having the correct duration of light and dark is of utmost importance when growing photosensitive cannabis. Most cannabis plants prefer around 18 hours of light (mimicking a long summer day) to work on the vegetative growth, and six hours of uninterrupted dark for roots to stay in a happy, green, and healthy state. Photosensitive cannabis will normally start to flower when summer is over and the days begin to shorten. Flowing photosensitive cannabis like this can be triggered manually by reducing the amount of duration of light given to your plant to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark.
  7. Pots - A small variety of pots can be necessary depending on whether you choose to grow from a seed, clone, or start. Regardless of how you decide start growing keep in mind the bigger the pot is, the bigger the plant will get, and the more dedication it will take. Cloth pots are recommended for the best flow to the roots and soil. Smaller pots will be helpful when the seed/plant is young and a larger pot as a final home for the plant will help you control how big you allow it to get. Remember to purchase water catch trays and place them under your pots to keep water from spilling onto the floor.
  8. Thermometer and Humidity Monitor - Keeping plants happy means trying to mimic their natural environments as closely as possible. Cannabis typically likes to be kept between 68-78°F and 55% humidity. A little warmer and more humid when young and just starting off, a little colder and less humid and dryer when flowering.
  9. Micro-tip Prune Snip – Whether you’re trimming your buds or pruning your plants, precision and cleanliness of the cuts are very important. Make sure to invest in some good micro-tip pruning snips to get the job done right.
  10. Magnifier – There will be times during your grow when you will need to closely inspect resin glands to determine harvest readiness. Once the resin glands look like clear balls they are ready to harvest. At this point you will start to notice them becoming cloudy. This is when they are at their peak readiness. These glands will start to turn amber as CBN counts begin to rise, which will lead to a couch lock/sleepy effect. Being able to see these changes to determine when you want to harvest will be easiest using a 30x or 60x jeweler’s loupe, also very useful when inspecting leaves for pests and other health problems.
  11. Drying Rack – You’ve harvested your flowers and now you have a pile of resin covered buds that need to be dried. How you complete this step will depend on how you harvest your cannabis. The most popular way is to cut 12-16” branches from the plants, remove the leaves, and hang them from string or wire. Some growers cut and hang the entire plant at the base, while others will remove buds from branches and place them on cannabis drying racks. We recommend waiting until after this step to fully manicure your flowers as this helps to protect the drying resin glands. The area should be well ventilated and remain consistently between 60-70°F, maintaining a 45-55% humidity. This process usually takes 10-15 days. When they are done drying, you should be able to snap the smallest branches, and the flowers should be a little crunchy on the outsides when squeezed.
  12. Curing Jar - Now it’s time to place your buds in airtight glass jars and store in a cool dark place. During the first week, open the containers a few times a day to let the flowers “breathe” for a few minutes. This allows moisture to escape and replenishes the oxygen inside the container. If you notice the odor of ammonia when opening a container, it means the buds are not dry enough to be cured, which will rot your cannabis. After the first week, you will only need to open the containers once every couple of days or so. After two to three weeks in jars, your buds will be cured enough. At this point, the amount of time you choose to wait for the right cure is up to you. Some strains can benefit from six months or more of curing!