It has certainly occurred to the vast majority of CBD flower consumers what it would be like to have their own CBD plant at home and consequently their own source of cannabidiol. In some countries like Spain, self-cultivation is allowed within some legal criteria and many may be encouraged to try their hand at having their own Cannabis garden.
To ensure a good harvest and that you have potency of effects as the end result, we have listed the basics you need to consider when starting out:
The first thing to take into consideration when deciding to grow your own CBD plant is whether to grow indoors (with artificial light) or outdoors (with natural light). Indoor growing has advantages such as being able to be planted on any day of the year, in any minimum space that allows lights and air to escape. In addition, plants will be more protected, not only from pests and climate changes, but also from the curiosity of others, as it is a rather more discreet growing style. Outdoor growing also has its strong points as it involves much less initial costs and infrastructure maintenance.
The most fundamental function in plants is photosynthesis, so light, whether from the sun or artificial, is essential for them. Without adequate light Cannabis plants will not have the minimum necessary to grow and develop buds, so it is said that the more light, the more flowers. In each vegetative and flowering stage of the plant will have to regulate the duration of exposure.
During the natural vegetative phase of cannabis, which is in spring and summer, the sun rises quickly and stays in the sky for long periods of time. This informs the plant to increase in size and develop many roots.
During the natural flowering phase of cannabis, which is in late summer and autumn, the sun rises more slowly as the seasons progress and is lower in the sky for less time. This signals to the plant that it is time to stop vegetation and start flowering.
Water and humidity
Water is a vital element for almost all organisms on the planet and obviously without it plants do not live. But more than just giving them water, the ideal is to have a watering plan, with times, quantity and methods chosen, as well as considering the relative humidity of the air. The genes of the plant, the method of cultivation, the local climate, the season and the size of the plant will be the factors that will determine the amount and frequency of watering, as well as the need to remove or add humidity to the environment.
Soil and Nutrients
Cannabis plants don't live on light and water alone, they also need fertile soil and essential nutrients to grow and develop. Nowadays there are many options of natural or synthetic fertilizers with different mixtures of elements. The basic fertilizer we recommend you use is a product that contains Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K), the 3 nutrients that cannabis plants need the most, although we always recommend a fertilizer that contains Calcium and Magnesium.
Cannabis plants need oxygen and carbon dioxide from the air to produce their energy and food. If you have opted to grow outdoors, you probably have a space with fresh air available, so you won't have much of a problem with this. For those who will be growing indoors, you will need to provide your plants with adequate air circulation.
Temperature for Cannabis is a combination of light, temperature and humidity and is an extremely important factor as it can slow down its growth or development of cannabinoids, and even change its aroma and flavour.
In summary the ideal temperatures for each life stage of the Cannabis plant are as follows:
Vegetative stage and flowering: 22ºC to 24ºC degrees never more or less in any state both vegetative and flowering, although the plants can withstand extreme heat up to 28 degrees, that is very bad for their proper development.
Regarding the humidity for clones between 80% to 90% in its vegetative state, between 65% and 75% in the pre-flowering and after 2 weeks approximately lower it to a 45% to 65%.
Drying and curing: good drying is part of the process of obtaining quality marijuana, so it is essential to regulate the temperature of the marijuana crop during this process. For a correct drying there must be a temperature of 18ºC to 20ºC. The humidity during the drying of marijuana has to drop to a maximum of 30% or 40%.
When growing marijuana it is important to know the pH values of the irrigation water to ensure that all the nutrients supplied can be absorbed by the roots of the plants. An unbalanced pH causes minerals to accumulate in the growing medium and thus the plant will not be able to absorb the nutrients it needs. Even with the pH at an ideal level, nutritional deficiencies can appear, but at the same time it is much easier to cure them so that normality can be re-established.
In this way, we recommend keeping the pH of the water between 6.2 and 6.5 in the vegetative stage of the plants and between 6.5 and 6.7 in their flowering stage.
Choose the variety
Once you have thought about all the details of what your crop will be like, it's time to choose the strain to plant. There are many factors to consider, especially depending on the growing method chosen and the temperature the plant will be subjected to, as there are strains that are better suited to certain conditions than others. Below are some of the criteria to consider before buying your seeds:
- According to their category: regular, feminized, photoperiod or autoflowering.
Regular seeds are the most traditional ones, with no genetic interventions or selections, so when grown they can germinate both male and female plants. If your goal is to be a Cannabis breeder you will need both, but if your goal is just to enjoy the harvest, you will have to get rid of the male plants so they are identified, to prevent them from pollinating the females.
Feminized seeds in turn only produce female plants, so you won't have to select them after planting. They will produce resin-rich flowers that need about 18-24 hours of light in the vegetative stage, and 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness in the flowering stage.
Generally regular seeds are photoperiodic, that is to say, they react normally to the light changes of the seasons and need the light changes of day and night to mature. On the other hand, the Autoflowering marijuana begins to flower on its own based on time and not light exposure, so they don't need variations to complete their cycle. Autoflowering seeds are also feminized, do not produce male plants and mature in about half the time of some photoperiod strains, so they may be the best choice for those just starting to grow.
- According to their appearance : sativa or indica
Plants of Indica nature tend to be more robust, with smaller stature. They take longer vegetative time although they have the fastest flowering stage, being able to grow up to 100% during this stage. Sativas in turn tend to be larger, have a short vegetative time but take longer in their flowering stage. Their size also tends to increase a lot in that stage making the plant grow up to 300% in size.
Not only the structure of the plants indica and sativa are different, but their buds are different too. The sativas usually produce long flowers with a loose or fluffy appearance, and a little lighter. Indica buds, on the other hand, tend to grow compact and closer to the nodes of the plant, which makes them heavier even though they are smaller.
- According to your genetics
This is the best part of the process, where you have to choose what you are looking for in a plant and find the genetics that best suit that choice. Do you prefer a strain that helps you fight certain symptoms or one that inspires you to have a good time? Do you like to have constant cerebral activity or do you prefer to lay on the couch? Another important factor when looking for genetics is the terpenes. Do you do well with strains of sweet terpenes or do you prefer something a little more citrus? The combination of terpenes of the chosen genetics is what will give the cannabis its unique and complex aromas.
So, are you encouraged to start your own grow? Even if it involves work and dedication, the result of a well-tended crop is always very worthwhile. For those who see too much work, you can always count on the flowers from Hemp Lovers.