Grow Marijuana seeds
Grow Marijuana Seeds
This is a beginner article on how to grow Marijuana seeds into productive medicinal plants. In the last year, I have done a LOT of research on various subjects pertaining to Cannabis and it seems the subject of growing cannabis has a very steep learning curve. I am all about keeping things simple.
I am still learning all there is to know about Cannabis so we can learn together, all right? First we all need to be familiar with certain cannabis terms to get started. Here are 20 basic marijuana growing terms that you need to become familiar with.
Cannabis Glossary for Beginners
Bud– is the flower of the cannabis plant and is where all the cannabinoids are concentrated, like CBD and THC to name a couple.
Cola-is a branch cluster of cannabis. The top Cola will produce one cluster. In order to create multiple branch clusters or colas, you have to prune or trim them as they grow. The more colas, the more of a harvest of buds you will have. Each cut you make on the plant will create 2 more colas, so you must trim with careful planning.
Clone– is a cutting taken from a plant, encouraged to grow roots and then becomes an exact duplicate of it’s mother plant. Cloning is very common in the marijuana growing business. The same can be done with other plants like geraniums, roses, and others.
Cross-is just what it’s sounds like, taking two or three types or strains of cannabis to create a new strain of cannabis.
Cure– For a top quality cannabis buds, they are cured or aged after being dried first. The aging is done in glass jars over several weeks or longer. Curing or aging needs to be at about 55% humidity. Curing improves the flavours and potency of cannabis like aging improves wine.
Dank– sounds bad doesn’t it? It is just a slang word commonly used to describe very potent and top quality cannabis buds.
Feminized– A regular Cannabis plant will generally produce seeds that will have half of them as male and the other 50% seedlings will be female. Since it’s only the female plants that produce the really potent flowers/buds, male plants main use is producing more seeds.
Feminizing a plant is often done by spraying the early flowers of a female plant with colloidal silver solution, which causes the female to create her own fertilization, creating only female pollen. This female pollen is then used to fertilize another female plant. The resulting seeds from two female parents are always female. This process is called ‘feminizing’. Pretty cool eh?
Flowers– the flowers or buds of a female plant
Flowering stage– is the period of time, after growing is complete, when the plants produce flowers. This stage begins when daylight is shortened, dark periods are lengthened, and often temperatures are also lowered.
Germination– the process of growing a seedling plant from a seed. The process is similiar to starting regular beans for a vegetable garden. Some place the seeds on wet paper towels sandwiched between two paper plates (for darkness), and place this in a warm spot (70-90 F) until a little sprout grows out.
This sprout is then carefully placed into a peat moss medium to grow into a seedling. Others simply soak the seed pods in water for 24 hours and then place into a peat moss medium.
Heirloom– refers to original strains of a plant that has never been crossed with other strains. A purebred plant as it were. However, there are very few purebred or Heirloom cannabis plants, as crossing strains has been going on for hundreds of years.
Hybrid– refers to a strain of plant that is the offspring of two completely different strains of a plant.
Hydroponics– growing plants without soil, but rather using specialized containers and trays allowing the plant roots to draw up water and nutrients.
Indica– A basic species of Cannabis, that is a little shorter and wider than her ‘sister’, the Sativia plant. Indica has a more mellow sedating effect.
Indo or Endo– refers to cannabis plants that are grown indoors, under controlled conditions regarding lighting, temperature and humidity.
Landrace– the key word is ‘land’, it refers to strains of cannabis that are unique to a given area of a country. Heirlooms are landrace plants that have adapted to their climate and terrain, without human interference in crossing or breeding.
Pistil– is the female reproduction organ of the plant, it collects pollen from male plants or feminized pollen. Once fertilized with pollen, seeds develop. If the Pistil is not fertilized with pollen, flowers develop which are harvested as buds.
Ruderalis– a species of Cannabis that is automatic flowering, with low levels of THC. This species only grows about 2 feet and does not flower depending on light conditions like Sativa and Indica do. Ruderalis flowers when it reaches a certain age in it’s development.
Ruderalis is used to cross with Sativa and Indica, to increase CBD in other strains and also to create automatic flowering hybrids of Sativa and Indica.
Sativa– A basic strain of Cannabis, (a ‘sister’ to Indica), that has a more stimulating affect on the cerebral system. Sativa is a taller plant, often reaching heights of 6 feet in outdoor growing conditions.
Strain– refers to a breed of cannabis. There are literally thousands of strains of Marijuana that are bred for flavour, scent, and various cannabinoid levels.
Trichomes– are the tiny finger like glands on the flower and leaves of a cannabis plant that contain the most concentrated terpenes and cannabinoids. These little glands also serve as a form of protection from pests and fungus for the plant. A grower will use the changing colour of the trichomes to determine the right time to harvest. Kief is made up of trichomes, and therefore is very expensive compared to the flowers or buds.
Trim– are the bits of leaves and flower tips that are trimmed off with scissors to make the buds more asthetically pleasing but also to ensure even drying. Trim is both a verb, the act of trimming the large fan leaves off before drying, and the process of trimming the smaller leaves close to the buds.
Trim as a noun, are the parts that are trimmed off after harvesting the flowers. These smaller leaves and tips of the flowers contain trichomes as well but are trimmed off to allow the flowers to dry properly. The trim is saved and used for budders, edibles and tinctures.
Vegetative State– is the period of growth when the plants are growing, from seedling to mature plant just before flowering. Leaves, stems and roots continue to grow in this stage while receiving 12 hours of light per day. To start the flowering process, the plant is given less light, longer periods of darkness, which starts the flowering process.
The above terms are very basic terms for growing marijuana, but as you become more familiar with growing cannabis, I suggest that you sign up with Cannabis Forums like this one Marijuana Passion.
How many plants do you think you will need to produce your medicinal or recreational marijuana for personal use?. If you decide to grow them illegally, under the radar so to speak, then how many plants will be determined by how many you can grow in a stealthy way.
If you live in a country that allows for legal growing, with a licence, (and you choose to go the legal route), then how many plants you can grow will be determined by those laws.
I am not recommending either of these choices, it’s entirely up to you. The fact that you are reading this, means you are interested in the growing process of cannabis. What you do with this information, is your business.
Where exactly will you grow these plants?
In a closet, a spare room, or outside? You need to use common sense in being stealthy, whether you have a license or not. Growing your cannabis outside, without protection from thieves and the prying eyes of neighbours, would just be foolish.
Regardless of legality, there is still a huge stigma attached to anyone using and or growing marijuana by the uneducated public. Marijuana has been unjustly labeled as an evil plant for so long, that it will take many years of re-education to change this.
Marijuana buds or flowers give off a strong pungent odor when flowering, and during the drying/curing process. It is therefore important to grow your plants in a contained environment, if you are growing indoors. Thankfully there are companies, that make and sell grow tents or grow boxes that make this easy, especially for the beginner.
Growing Cannabis Indoors
requires a particular space indoors, humidity control, thermostatically controlled lights, regular attention to Ph levels, and regular attention to nutritional needs. Your plants will depend on you for basically all their needs, like little plant children! 🙂 For your first grow, you could go as simple as a few CFL light bulbs aimed at a potted cannabis plant, or you could choose a more professional route, and set up a grow tent or box, complete with lights, timers, fans etc.
The cannabis plant requires a lot of light and nutrients, it’s a heavy feeder I guess you could say. Start with top quality soil, or go hydroponic, using soil less products. Hydroponic systems involve more equipment compared to soil systems, so are therefore more costly to start off with.
Soil grown plants benefit from all the thousands of microbes
in the soil, that they will not get in a hydroponic system. Buds will have more flavour (important if you smoke it) when grown on plants that were grown in nutrient rich organic soil. You know those tasteless greenhouse tomatoes that are available in grocery stores? They are grown in hydroponic systems, and is the reason those tomatoes are so tasteless compared to home grown or farmer’s market tomatoes that are grown in soil.
Cannabis requires a certain ph for optimum growing conditions and will also require extra nutrients. Marijuana plants do not have the same nutrient and light requirements as common garden plants. Fertilizer must be carefully maintained during the growth or vegetative state and gradually tapered off for the blooming or flowering stage.
Marijuana seems to favour a ph level of 6, so testing the soil and the water that you use is important. There are products available that will raise or lower the PH. The easiest way is to use water that has the correct PH of 6.
You do not want a soil mix that has slow release nitrogen pellets, as in a product like Miracle Grow growing mix. Why? They will keep your plant growing and growing and growing…. when you will want them to produce flowers at some point.
As long as they are in full vegetative state, they will not produce flowers. It’s better to use a good all around organic soil and use a liquid soil fertilizer as needed.
Lighting for your Indoor Grow
All plants need light to live, grow and flourish, so you will need Grow Lights.
There are three basic lighting choices…
CFL– are pretty common household lights these days, but some are full spectrum and can be used for growing plants. They require less electricity than the old style of incandescent bulbs and the hot burning HID lights. These are the cheapest to buy and set up but are also the least efficient of these three main choices.
HID-These have been the lights of choice for commercial growers for many years, but they burn hot, heating up the space around your plants very quickly. HID lights are used with exhaust fans, even for the smallest grow set ups. They require extra equipment too as the video below explains.
LED– lighting technology has been moving away from CFL and Incandescent lighting due to a couple of important factors. CFL bulbs contain mercury, which when broken, releases toxic mercury into the air or anything it makes contact with. Both CFL and the old style Incandescent bulbs use more electricity than LEDs.
LEDs are presently more expensive than florescent bulbs but are safer, burn cooler, last a long time and have no toxins like Mercury. Many commercial growers are using LED these days, instead of the HID lighting systems.
The Video called Growing Cannabis Indoors: Grow Lights (LED, HID, CFL) is very helpful in explaining the differences in these three main lighting choices.
Growing outside is the choice for many
cannabis growers throughout the world, but it requires a lot more stealth if it’s illegal where that grower lives. If you choose to grow outdoors, you will not be needing any special lighting, but will rather be growing your cannabis in a similar environment that you might use for common vegetables. Your seeds are better off being started in the plot of soil that you have chosen, so that they become accustomed to the sun’s rays from the first that they poke their little heads out 🙂
The soil should be fertilized with compost and should be in a well drained spot before planting the seeds. The seeds should be kept moist but not soaking wet. Your plant will begin to flower according to the natural cycle of plants which is stimulated by length of days and nights.
Cannabis plants grown outdoors should be pruned the same that you would if you were growing indoors. Foliage must be trimmed along the bottom, and colas trimmed to encourage the plant to grow sideways as well as upwards.
Outdoors for you might mean a few pots on your balcony or patio, regardless good soil, compost and regular watering are needed along with lots of sunshine. If you are planning on growing in an outdoor situation, make sure you provide security for your investment. Make sure children, pets, livestock and thieves cannot easily access your plants.
Now you are ready to do your research on choosing your strain (breed) of seeds
The easiest plants to start off with as a beginner are auto flowering strains. These are hybrids from Ruderalis/Sativa or Ruderalis/Indica strains. These plants stay on the smaller side, which is important when you are growing in a grow tent or grow box.
A second option is feminized seeds that will give you a heavy yield of potent flowers. Feminized seeds are more expensive though, as more effort on the part of the breeder has gone into producing them.
The third option is going with the *regular strains. Professional growers usually go this route as they often produce their own seeds and create their own strains. There are a lot more choices of strains, literally thousands. You will have fewer varieties to choose from with the autoflowering and feminized seeds.
*When you buy regular non feminized seeds, you are not going to know which are male and female until they are in the flowering state. There will be some waste, because you will want to get rid of the male plants to prevent your female plants from being pollinated if you want prime bud. Pollinated female plants produce a less potent flower product. Of course, if your goal IS seeds, then keep the males in. The buds from male plants can be used too, but are not as potent as the female un pollinated flowers.
The fourth option, the most expensive but ultimately the best option for a beginner I think, is the feminized autoflowering strains. It is really hard to go wrong with these strains. You will not have to worry about male plants, and they will flower in natural lighting. You could grow them on your balcony without worrying about lighting. They will stay small enough that you can provide screening for them, to avoid prying eyes.
When choosing a cannabis strain, keep in mind the CBD versus THC percentages
that each strain is bred for. If your purpose is purely medicinal, you will want to lean to higher CBD strains, and if getting stoned is your idea of fun, then you will want the high THC strains. If you are a ‘Noob’, a complete newcomer to cannabis use, then choose a high CBD strain until you know how THC affects you.
Many seed companies will list the aprox. CBD versus THC percentages that each strain generally produces. This makes it easy to choose a strain for a specific purpose, right?
This is the part where you will get growing!
You can germinate your seeds between wet paper towels in a warm dark place and then gently place the sprouts into your soil or hydroponic medium. You can also start them directly in soil or the germination cubes, keep them moist and warm. Usually in a few days, you will see the little sprout push it’s way up.
If you are growing your plants indoors,
you will need to pay attention to lighting. During the vegetative state, your plants need 18 hours of light. Needless to say, your electricity bill will go up. You can force them to flower when your plants have reached half of the height that you want them at, by slowly reducing their light periods and increasing their dark periods.
The right balance seems to be 12 hours light, 12 hours dark for flowering. The plant continues to grow for awhile which is why you should start the flowering phase when they are half fully grown.
All experienced Gardeners know that pruning plants increases yield
Growing Marijuana requires lots of pruning or green trimming if you want a healthy and very productive crop of buds. Pruning begins when the plant is still small. Each cut you make, results in the plant putting out more branches from that site called Colas.
Each Cola produces more branches and so on. Your end result is a stocky bush loaded with tips that will produce flowers or buds. Instead of maybe one bunch of buds from one main cola, without trimming, you could potentialy have eight or more with pruning, from one plant!
This post is meant to be a simple to understand article for beginners, to get you started. As you become more experienced, your pruning and trimming techniques will improve. Don’t worry about making some mistakes in your trimming, practise makes perfect as the saying goes, right?
Here’s a video on some simple trimming procedures for beginning your pruning experience. I have chosen this 6 minute video by Chef Derek Butt.
On my Page titled Videos, I have a much longer but more detailed video on pruning and other techniques for increasing your yields. Its called Super Cropping, Topping, Fiming, Lolly Popping and Monster cropping by Chef Derek Butt.
Now in order to grow Marijuana seeds into healthy full grown plants, the information in this post is sufficient to get you started. There is much to learn, but what an exciting journey it is! I am presently working on a post that will guide you from harvesting your buds to preserving them.
I was in the States last year and saw shops selling medical cannabis. So now people will be able to legally smoke dope, grow six plants of marijuana in their garden. If it brings relief to people suffering from pain then I would endorse it. One question what is the long term effects of cannabis?
Thanks for checking in Richard. Long term effects..? Cannabis is a plant for healing first most, so short term and long term effects would be better health and healing. For people that smoke cannabis, long term there might be some irritation in the lungs because of the combustion of the act of smoking. However, these days, one can use a vaporizer that heats up the cannabis, releasing the healthy cannabinoids, without the combustion at higher heat that can be irritating. There is no nicotine in cannabis, and there are no additives like found in tobacco cigarettes that are cancer causing and addictive.
Can I say this is what some people want? Growing cannabis can be so difficult but then it is not legal where I stay, but thanks for the tips and information you gave. What part or period of the year do feel one can grow cannabis? I didn’t see it in your article or maybe it skipped my view.
Thanks for the informative post, Have a nice day
Hi Salem, it is everyone’s hope (those that believe in our human right to use any of Earth’s plants freely) that most of the developed world will eventually realize the value of Cannabis. It is every human’s birthright, to be able to grow and use plants for our benefit, whether it be for physical or mental health. Of course, every human should use a potent plant like cannabis, with reasonable care. Just as a little wine is good for the human body, and is relaxing mentally, a lot of wine at one time, can be destructive.
I did not mention ‘what part of the year’ is best for growing cannabis because it depends on whether you are going to grow it inside or outside. If you grow cannabis inside, any time of year is fine. If you are planning on growing cannabis outside, then obviously you will have to grow it during the growing season of where you live. Here in Canada, that would be from May to August generally. Hope this clarifies it for you. Thanks for checking in Salem.
I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I think that growing and consuming Marijuana is becoming more and more popular. I have a garden behind the house and I think that it will be a great place to grow it. I would use it primarily for medical reasons as I heard it is a great cure for some diseases.
Hi Daniel, Thank you for checking in. If you are planning on growing a little ‘weed’, behind your house, make sure you are sneaky about it. Some people would be glad to turn in a neighbour to the police for growing cannabis, out of ignorance or out of malice. The founder of the company I Love Growing Marijuana, has some great tips on growing marijuana, especially regarding security. His opinion, is to ‘tell no one’ about your cannabis grow, friends and family can have ‘loose lips’.
As to cannabis being a cure for diseases, there are many who have had cancers disappear after using cannabis oils. Cannabis oils are known, medically, to lessen and in many cases, halt seizures. Legalization is necessary for more research to be done, so myths can be seperated from truth. Cannabis is indeed a wonderful plant but it cannot heal everything.