Congratulations on obtaining your medical marijuana grower license, this is your first step into the world of self-sufficient cannabis medication. But before you start your journey there is a long list of growing essentials you need to familiarize yourself with. Growing cannabis at home poses a special set of challenges for the grower that is otherwise absent on a general grow farm.
Before you start I will urge you to go through the rules and regulations that exist in your state. Every state has its own set of laws that dictate growing cannabis. Certain states like New York have completely outlawed cannabis cultivation whereas some places like California even allow recreational users to grow cannabis.
As a beginner, you might feel suffocated with the amount of information available online. But we have aimed to simplify this. We have created a simple guide for you to start your cannabis journey indoors.
Designate A Space For Cultivation
The first step to growing cannabis successfully is to designate a dedicated space or room where you will be growing cannabis. This place does not need to be a typical room, you can pick a closet, a corner of your house or even the empty basement works.
Your chosen space is what determines what you can grow and the equipment that you will need.
Our personal advice when you begin growing is to stay small. There are various reasons for this. But the biggest one remains that growing cannabis requires a learning curve but if you start small the setbacks won’t be all that expensive.
As a first time grower, it is inevitable that you will lose plants to a disease or pests. So, i=till the time you can get your formula perfect, the best thing to do is grow small.
Choose Your Grow Lights
When you are growing cannabis inside your house, your lights play an important part in determining the quality and quantity of your yield. Some of the basic lights you can choose between are:
HID Grow Lights
High-intensity discharge lights are the most commonly found lights on the market. They are popular because of the triple threat of output, value, and efficiency they provide to the user. They are slightly more expensive than other fixtures but they are a lot more cost-effective in the long run. On the other hand, they are nowhere as effective as LED lights. So, that is a factor to consider.
These are the lights that would be recommended to you if you ask any small scale grower. They are popular due to the cost associated with setting them up. They are not too expensive and additionally, do not require a cooling system. Their only drawback is that they are not as efficient as the other options available to you.
This technology is one that has been around for a while and prominently used in our day to day life. But when it comes to cannabis, it is a very recent addition. They are very efficient if you want to grow indoors but their biggest drawback has to be the costs associated with setting them up. A good set up can help you achieve better yield and quality.
Induction Grow Lights
This is another really old technology that has only been recently adapted to help grow cannabis. This, in the simplest of terms, is a more efficient take on the fluorescent bulb. Again, the biggest issue with them too is their availability,
Air Is Essential
All plants require CO2 to carry out the process of photosynthesis, so does cannabis. You need to make sure that your room has a constant flow of air available in it. How do you do this?
Well, you begin by placing an exhaust fan on the top of the room. Follow this by placing a filtered inlet on opposite sides of the room. The temperature in your grow room needs to be a constant 70° -85° F with the lights and 58°-70° without them.
As your scale of operations grow you can create a sealed environment that has an air conditioner, dehumidifier, supplemental CO2 system for more control over the growing process.
Automate As Much As You Can
Once you have your lights and climate under control, you need to automate as much as you can. There are plenty of units available on the market that can help you control different functions but as a beginner what you really need is a simple 24-hour timer for the light and an adjustable thermostat for the temperature,
Pick a Grow Medium
When you grow cannabis indoors there is a horde of choices you can pick from to grow your cannabis in. We will be looking at two of the most common one’s today:
This is the traditional and obvious choice to grow practically anything on this planet. It is a forgiving medium and the obvious choice for a beginner as it gives the most freedom to make mistakes.
Any high-quality potting soil will be a great choice to grow cannabis. If you want a specific soil to start with, get some pre- fertilized soil, as you won’t need to add any nutrients to this soil. You can even make some yourself, there are plenty of recipes available online. The most common one is made by combining worm casting, bat guano, and some other components with good quality soil. Alternatively, you can take the more difficult path and use regular soil and then supplement with nutrients over time.
More and more home growers are moving towards hydroponic growing to cultivate their cannabis plants. In this method concentrated solutions of mineral salts are feed directly to the roots of the plant, This method does lead to bigger yields but is a lot more expensive and complicated for a beginner to undertake, Some of the most commonly used to materials include clay pebbles, perlite and coco coir ( coconut husks).
Choose a Container
The container is dependent on the medium, system, and the plant in question. If you use a hydroponic system then you might use small net pots that contain clay pebbles whereas the traditional soil method might require you to get nursery plants.
Other options include cloth or plastic bags. If you want to splurge a bit, you can get a smart pot; these enhance the airflow. No matter what container you decide on, just ensure that it is conducive to drainage as cannabis is very sensitive to water.
Pay Attention to The Nutrients
To grow high quality, one needs to pay a lot of attention to the nutrients, especially the primary trifecta of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium This is not to say that nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper do not matter.
Cannabis is a delicate plant, and if you are not using a pre fertilized plant mix, you need to ensure that you are feeding the plant the required nutrients at least once a week
Water Is Important
This might seem like a no- brainer but the water that you use does have a massive impact on the kind of yield you end up with.
Sometimes, water contains high amounts of dissolved minerals that can cause a buildup at the roots and hurt the plant. So, filter the water you use, How often you water your plants is also dependent on the medium that you are growing cannabis in. Just take care that you do not overwater the plants.
Once you are comfortable with growing cannabis and feel that you want to increase your growing limit, go and get a 420 evaluation done as only then can you increase the growing limit.