Growing Cannabis: Medical Marijuana Home Cultivation For Beginners
So you live in a state that allows home cultivation. You have your medical marijuana card and/or your home cultivation license. Now it’s time to pick what type of medical cannabis grow you want to have. But what methods of home cultivation currently exist? Green Health Docs breaks down a few popular growing methods.
MMJ Home Cultivation: To Grow or Not to Grow
Growing cannabis at home isn’t for everyone. Before we even get started, let’s be real. Growing marijuana is difficult. So difficult, in fact, even large scale cultivators will have bad crops. A lot can go wrong between steps A – Z.
It’s not as simple as planting a tomato plant, where you water it once or twice a week and watch it grow. Cannabis is a high maintenance plant that requires strict sunlight guidelines, proper pruning of the leaves, and requires a perfect balance of nutrients. Any one of these elements gets out of whack and the plant will begin to have wilted leaves, less potent flowers, nutrient burns or worse…the plant straight-up dies.
Cannabis also happens to be a very tasty treat for just about every insect in your garden. And no matter where you place your grow, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, aphids and other tiny creatures will find their way inside. Make no mistake, they will head straight for your sticky medical cannabis.
If you don’t have a green thumb, growing medical cannabis may not be your thing. However, if you’re up for the challenge, and you’ve got the authorization, have at it! Growing medical cannabis can be a rewarding, holistically healing, fun experience.
Indoor vs Outdoor Home Cultivation
Most states won’t allow outdoor grows as they could be found by children, or attract criminals. But some states have less strict guidelines and allow outdoor grows. From a practicality standpoint, it makes more sense for most authorized medical marijuana patients to grow indoors, in a small, confined space that’s easy to monitor and control.
Growing outdoors is excellent for taller strains. The natural winds are good for the plant’s health. And there’s less worry about sunlight issues. That being said, you are at the whim of the elements outdoors. Too much sun, too much wind, too much rain or too many bugs could kill an entire crop in less than a day. Experts may want to try outdoor grows, but beginners should probably avoid this method.
Growing indoors is a much easier process. It can even be done in a space as small as a utility closet or cabinet. Some companies even sell small grow tents that patients can use to grow their cannabis. While more attention needs to be paid to lighting, a smaller grow space is much easier to maintain.
Organic vs Conventional Cultivation
Depending on how much you want to pay attention to your grow may determine which method you use between organic or conventional. Organic requires a keen eye, to make sure your plant is responding to the organic nutrients. You can also make or purchase organic pesticides that help keep critters away from your budding plants.
Organic isn’t for everyone, but it’s possibly the best method to ensuring you are growing the healthiest plant you can in order to treat your medical condition. Patients with immune disorders, gastrointestinal conditions, as well as cancer, may want to try organic. This method reduces the amount of toxic chemicals and impurities from entering your body.
Conventional is easier, though. And cheaper. Organic pesticides don’t always work. And sometimes plants simply require conventional nutrients. Growth accelerators can be used as well, which stimulate root growth.
That being said, for medical marijuana patients…getting as close to organic is the best method. Sometimes you may need to mix and match between organic and conventional, but ALWAYS do your homework. Research the products you are buying. Make sure you are not treating your plants with dangerous chemicals, carcinogens or toxic growth hormones.
Soil vs Hydroponic Grows
Soil methods (including coco blend) are ever evolving and getting better with each year. Many cultivators still prefer soil for their grows, while others have switched over to hydroponic grows. Soil grows are simple. You place your plant in the soil. You keep the plant watered. And you make sure no pests invade the plant or the soil. You switch pots as your plant grows to keep the roots healthy and ensure a high yield. And you feed nutrients to the plant as needed.
But soil takes a long time. Compare that to hydroponics. With a hydro grow, an authorized medical marijuana home cultivator could grow the same amount of cannabis (or more) as a soil grow in almost half the time.
Hydroponics deep water culture is a water-based plant system. Your cannabis is rigged to a unit that feeds it both nutrients and water, constantly providing oxygen and food to your roots. This stimulates growth at a much quicker rate than soil.
The downside is that hydro grows require A LOT of maintenance. The water must be properly pH balanced, the system must be cleaned and the roots must be regularly flushed. Plants or roots can rot. They can get nutrient burn, or literally drown if your setup is not properly calibrated. While hydro grows are hardly expert-level, they take a lot of care and should be tried by profiencet growers.
If it all boils down to cost, soil is probably the cheaper way to go. But hydroponics provide a lush, speedy grow, with high yields and potent buds.
Home cultivation is legal in Missouri, but still not legal in Maryland or Ohio. We’d love to see other states add home cultivation to their programs. Alas, that may not happen anytime soon.
Missouri state has very strict guidelines, so be sure to read our registration tutorial before you submit your application. But once approved, patients should be able to grow their own cannabis from the confines of their home.
If you don’t yet have your Missouri medical marijuana card, you can call us at 1-877-242-0362. Our support team can set you up with an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor, either at our Missouri clinics, or over the phone via Missouri telemedicine. Once you have your certification letter from our doctor, you can apply for your card and your home cultivation license, all in one day. So call us and get started!