How to Grow Weed Hydroponically (step by step Guide)

Marijuana is known for its many central nervous system benefits [1]. During the olden days, it was used mainly for pain relief and it’s still as effective as hundreds of thousands of years ago. Many people who suffer from chronic pain have turned to marijuana instead of prescription medications. Moreover, cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy also use it to alleviate their nausea and vomiting, as well as to stimulate their appetite.

 

Apart from pain relief, another great characteristic of marijuana is its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety[2]. Instead of going for psychotropic drugs, more people nowadays are finding the solution in weed. Sleeplessness or insomnia and other sleep disorders are also found to be helped by marijuana’s component cannabidiol or what most people know as CBD. It is not surprising that the demand for weed is increasing. Especially with the widespread legalization of marijuana use, both medicinal and recreational, the demand for it would surely rapidly increase over the years. More people are now considering growing their own. Because why not?

 

There’s a reason why marijuana is called weed. It’s because of its inherent ability to grow anywhere and everywhere just like how a normal weed would. With more and more research and clinical trials being conducted to prove the efficacy and safety of marijuana and other subproducts like CBD, the demand for marijuana has skyrocketed like never before [3]. Purchasing marijuana products could be a little bit pricey for some, that’s why more people are resorting to growing their marijuana plant. We simply can’t blame these people. Growing plants are fun and fulfilling! Plus, it doesn’t break the bank at all and you get to experience all the health benefits of marijuana [4].

 

What is marijuana hydroponics?

Hydroponics is essentially just a type of hydroculture wherein soil is not used to grow plants. A water solvent infused with various minerals and nutrients is used instead as a source of energy for the plants. It’s a method that’s been around for a long time but not used by many growers until just recently [5].

 

Growing plants in a water medium will give you the highest quality of yield in the long run. It might not seem normal but in reality, a lot of plants do not grow in soil but grow in water instead. Among these plants are the coleus plants, lucky bamboo plant, purple heartplant, etc.

 

Perhaps the best advantage of using the hydroponic system is the high controllability of the condition of the plants[6]. You can choose the levels of each nutrient and mineral you’re going to infuse in the plants. Hydroponics can also easily be set up indoors, basically wherever you want as long as you can control the environment to suit the growth of marijuana.

 

To successfully grow marijuanahydroponically [7], you’ll need to have the basic knowledge of the nutrient requirements, as well as the favorable environmental conditions for marijuana. If you have prior experience of growing weed using soil, you would still need to learn some essential ideas about using a hydroponic system.

 

Nutrients for marijuana growth

All plants require a variety of nutrients to support adequate growth. Each nutrient contributes uniquely to the marijuana plant’s physiology. Understanding the role of each would help growers know exactly what is happening with their plants.

 

Most of the plants’ requirements are inherent in the earth’s crust. These are essential elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, magnesium and many others. Apart from these, they also need additives of amino acids and vitamins. These are all initially not present within the medium so you have to infuse them.

 

All these nutrients need to be supplied in a hydroponic medium as the solvent inherently doesn’t have any nutrients within. This could be of advantage to most growers because you have complete control over which compounds and elements would exist in the medium for your plant to intake.

 

Nitrogen

Many would be surprised to know that the most abundant gas in the atmosphere is nitrogen. So it’s not surprising that most plants, including marijuana, highly depend on nitrogen for life. This compound is the major component of the pigment, chlorophyll. This particular pigment is what gives the leaves of the plant the color green. However, its use for plants doesn’t just end with looks. It also plays a vital role in the process plants use to make food – photosynthesis.

This is the process of converting light energy to chemical energy, providing an abundant food source for plants.

 

The important role nitrogen plays in the process of growing marijuana is undeniable. Thus, growers should always look out for signs of nitrogen deficiency in their plants. Fortunately, this is not a difficult process. It would only need a keen and observant eye.

 

Because nitrogen is a huge component of chlorophyll, one of the signs a plant is running out of this compound is the lack of green pigment in the leaves, meaning, the appearance of yellow leaves. This occurs because older leaves tend to stay down and the younger leaves tend to be up higher in the plant. The new leaves would use up more of the nitrogen because they are more exposed to sunlight, being higher up in the plant.

 

It doesn’t need a green thumb to understand that once leaves become yellow, it wouldn’t take a long time for it to wilt and fall off. However, this is only a normal process in plants to some extent. If you spot a yellowing in an upward fashion, meaning, even the younger leaves higher up the plant are becoming yellow, then you might be experiencing nitrogen deficiency.

 

When this happens, growers tend to be very aggressive in introducing nitrogen back into their plants. This could lead to a dreaded phenomenon of nitrogen toxicity. During the beginning of a marijuana plant’s life or what is called the vegetative phase, it would need as much nitrogen as it could get to fully grow. However, during the later phases like the flowering or budding phase, these plants don’t need as much nitrogen. Thus, nitrogen toxicity is more common during this phase.

 

Nitrogen toxicity, just like nitrogen deficiency, is also pretty easy to spot in marijuana plants. This is manifested in plants in shiny, dark green leaves, thus the term “dark leaves” or “the claw”. Growers can spot the claw in the tip of leaves bending at the ends or tips. This is usually mistaken for over watering of plants but it’s important to note that this is a case of nitrogen toxicity. When this happens to your marijuana plant, the key is to act quickly so that you can save the plant’s life.

 

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is an essential element in any living organism’s life. Humans, animals, as well as plants, all need phosphorus in their physiology. This can be understood by looking into the genetic component of every living creature. Phosphorus is a component of both the DNA and RNA of plants, being a nucleic acid structure. It holds DNA and RNA bonds together. Because of this, it plays a vital role in plant cell division, consequently, the growth of plants.

 

Furthermore, apart from contributing to the plant’s genetic code, phosphorus is also a key player in the production of energy, in the form of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This is the primary form of energy that plants use in photosynthesis.

 

Root development is also an area where phosphorus is much-needed. This is crucial because this is where and how the marijuana plant would get all the necessary nutrients needed for the growth. Moreover, it also serves as physical support for the rest of the plant. Stems of marijuana plants would also depend on phosphorus. As previously mentioned, phosphorus plays an important role in photosynthesis. It helps with the process of the plant’s storage of energy and nutrients. Crop maturity, flower, and seed production are also highly dependent on phosphorus.

 

Being a key element in plant growth and development, growers should efficiently diagnose their plants of deficiencies in phosphorus. This can be spotted by just carefully examining the leaves of the plant. Plants with phosphorus deficiency would have dark green or yellow leaves on the lower, thus older, parts of the plant. It could also manifest with shiny leaves, in addition to being dark or yellow. Moreover, these leaves are usually thick and dry. Growers usually see many patches or spots of brown or purple pigments on the leaves.

 

Stems also change in color in a case of phosphorus deficiency. Growers usually notice the color changing from brown to red or purple. However, sometimes this is physiologic so it’s important to see if the stems indeed changed in color or it was the same color, to begin with.

 

Phosphorus is indeed one of the most indispensable elements in growing any kind of plant, most especially marijuana. This is why it is one of the key ingredients in plant fertilizers. To correct deficiencies in this element, it’s essential to provide it in your marijuana hydroponics. Orthophosphates like H2PO4 and HPO42-  are usable forms of phosphorus among plants and these should be what growers look for.

 

Potassium

Potassium is a major ion that is abundant in any living organism’s cells. Even at the smallest unit of life, potassium is already very much needed. In marijuana plants, it’s one of the most functional elements required for various metabolic processes.

 

Surprisingly, potassium is a key player in the opening and closing of stomata (singular: stoma) in plants. These are part of a plant’s anatomy, particularly on the leaves. They are the tiny pores on leaves that open and close to allow gases to diffuse. These are usually controlled by guard cells. Potassium helps regulate these guard cells, thus are crucial in the opening and closing of stomata on the leaves. This ion makes the guard cells swell, causing them to open up the stomata, allowing carbon dioxide to enter, thus, facilitating photosynthesis.

 

Potassium also participates in the process of osmo regulation or the regulation of water in marijuana plants. Thus, it plays a huge role during periods of drought or when there is too much water in the plant’s system. The primary role of potassium is not much on the leaves or tissues themselves but rather the fluids within the plant system. Because of this, it’s highly needed in the tolerance of marijuana plants to drought.

 

Furthermore, potassium is greatly needed in root growth. It keeps both the roots and stems sturdy. It greatly contributes to the facilitation of nutrients as well as the strength, tolerance, and resistance of the whole marijuana plant.

 

It can be problematic when a plant is running out of potassium. Thankfully, this phenomenon (also known as potash deficiency) is very easy to spot, even for inexperienced growers. First, you’d notice a sudden yellowing of the leaves, starting from the tips, going towards the center. The base of the leaf is usually spared. Second, stems and roots become very brittle and weak. Moreover, the plant itself becomes weak and more prone to getting diseases. Lastly, the overall yield of the plant becomes reduced.

 

Potassium deficiency isn’t the only thing to watch out for. Whenever a different condition is misdiagnosed as potassium deficiency, growers tend to over nourish their plants, leading to potassium excess. This is harmful as excess in potassium would block the absorption of other essential elements like calcium, zinc, magnesium, and most especially, nitrogen. When the balance of any of these elements is off, the whole system gets deranged.

 

This would result in significant stunting of the plant as well as chlorosis or yellowing of the leaves. Newer or younger marijuana leaves could also grow smaller than normal. Thus, making sure every element is balanced is important.

 

It’s important to understand that plant absorption of phosphorus would not only depend on the amount of phosphorus available but also depend on other environmental factors that growers can also control, luckily. This is especially true when dealing with marijuana hydroponics. These factors include ambient temperature, water pH and air.

 

Calcium

The role of calcium [8]in plants doesn’t go far from its role in humans. It’s a major anion that plays a role in plant cell physiology as well as structure. Just like in humans, it has many important functions. First, it gives integrity to the cell wall structure. Moreover, it helps plants adapt to various forms of heat stress by helping control the function of stomata. Lastly, it strengthens the immunity of plants to different diseases. Just like with human teeth, calcium provides great protection to the cell walls, making them less susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.

 

It’s a unique element as it is absorbed by plants passively, meaning, energy is not required or spent when plants absorb it. Its absorption would highly depend on transpiration or the process of carrying moisture from the roots up to the pores of the leaves. Thus, factors affecting transpiration would also highly affect calcium absorption.

 

For instance, in cases of extreme humidity and coldness [9], the transpiration of plants would be at its lowest, thus causing calcium deficiency. Another condition is when the salinity of the plant is high. This would decrease the marijuana plant’s water intake, thus, also decreasing the absorption of calcium.

 

Growers can easily identify an ongoing calcium deficiency in their marijuana hydroponics. It can be easily spotted at the newer or topmost part of the plants. Typically in this situation, the new growth would curl and usually fall off quickly. Shoots would also appear as purple or yellowish. Necrotic spots can also be seen on the leaves. Roots and branches become very brittle and would bend and break easily. Furthermore, because the nutrient transport for the plant is impaired, the growth of the plant would slow down over time.

 

Magnesium

Not many would suspect that magnesium is essential to growing marijuana hydroponically [10]. But it’s indeed, one of those elements that are needed by all plants to just survive.

 

Magnesium is an element that is one of the major building blocks of the primary pigment chlorophyll. Thus, its role in photosynthesis is unmatched. In this complex process, magnesium is an irreplaceable element that plays a role in many biochemical processes that take place in photosynthesis.

 

Just like with calcium, the absorption of magnesium happens passively. It highly depends on the transpiration of plants or diffusion, which is the movement of ions from higher to lower concentration. In effect, this would occur from the roots up to the leaves.

 

For growers, it’s important to note that magnesium deficiency can be spotted at the older or lower leaves first. This would result in a phenomenon called interveinal chlorosis. This is the condition wherein leaves become yellow between the veins, sparing the veins themselves. This would also give the striped effect as the veins remain green. In some cases, purple or red spots may appear on the leaves as well.

 

It’s crucial that you spot magnesium deficiency early on so you can still save your marijuana plant. This is especially if your plant is already heading for the flowering or budding phase.

 

Sulfur

Essentially, the manifestations of sulfur deficiency would be similar to that of nitrogen deficiency [11]. Growers can spot the manifestations earliest on the younger marijuana leaves or the ones on top of the plant. They would usually appear very light green or yellow. This phenomenon is also known as chlorosis. Other mineral deficiencies would also manifest with chlorosis but the key characteristic of sulfur deficiency is chlorosis beginning at the base then slowly moving up to the tips of the leaves. Growers would also look under the marijuana leaf to see discolorations ranging from yellow, orange to pink.

 

Trace elements

Trace elements are elements that are only present in very minimal amounts. For marijuana, these are Fe (iron), Mn (manganese), Mb (molybdenum), B (boron), Cu (copper), and Zn (zinc). All of these elements though only present in small amounts are essential in the plant’s growth and development.

 

Iron plays an important role in the synthesis of chlorophyll, among many other things [12]. This is because of its ability to carry oxygen for the plant. Without it, plants won’t look the way they do because they won’t be able to produce the pigment, resulting in chlorosis. Moreover, they also won’t be able to make food, thus won’t develop and grow.

 

Manganese isn’t well-known to be essential in plant growth but the reality is that, in trace amounts, it contributes to a variety of biological and physiological processes of a marijuana plant [13]. It’s highly essential for nutritional uptake. The deficiency of manganese occurs when the pH of the medium goes higher than 6.5 or becomes basic or alkaline. When this happens, the plant will be severely stunted as well as suffer from interveinal chlorosis. On the other hand, manganese excess would appear as burn tips on the leaves. If there is manganese toxicity, it could appear as discolored patches on the leaves, too.

 

Non-essential additives (vitamins and amino acids)

Vitamins are organic molecules necessary for the growth of living organisms. Meanwhile, amino acids are organic molecules that are the building blocks of proteins. Both of them are essential compounds for marijuana growth.

 

Vitamin B is reported to stimulate root growth among plants. Studies have shown that vitamin B is also responsible for stronger plants. Meanwhile, Vitamin C enhances the process of photosynthesis as well as protecting the plant from smog. It helps avoid stunting as well. Vitamin E plays a huge role in thermoregulation. So if you live in a place where there are extreme changes in temperature, load your plants up on vitamin E.

 

Amino acids act as carrier molecules for most of the nutrients you will supply your plants. Most of the elements like zinc and iron bind to amino acids to increase their bioavailability to be readily absorbed by the plants. An example of a much-needed amino acid is glutamic acid. It’s responsible for improved photosynthesis and also strengthens the plant cells.

 

Glycine, on the other hand, improves plant tissue growth. If you’re looking for larger size buds, incorporate arginine into the solution medium. Other amino acids like tryptophan are essential for the growth of the plants throughout its lifespan. Proline is responsible for osmoregulation, essential in making the plant tolerant to intense temperatures.

 

All of these vitamins and amino acids are non-essential [14]. It doesn’t mean that they are not required but rather, it means that the plant can’t produce these on their own, thus they are needed to be supplemented in the medium.

 

Fertilizers necessary for marijuana growth

Traditionally, fertilizers are placed in the soil to improve the plant’s growth and development. With the hydroponic system, there wouldn’t be any soil, thus, all fertilizers should just be dissolved in the solvent medium, which is water, in this case.

The most commonly used fertilizers in this setup are perlite or vermiculite. This should be added to a 50% concentration. However, if you’re looking for something that’s already premade and easy to use, here are some alternatives.

Humboldts Secret Golden Tree is a highly rated pot fertilizer. It only has the highest quality of ingredients so your yield will only benefit from the use of this. They report increasing yields by up to 20%! Moreover, they even claim to save dying plants from imminent death. It’s even safe to use in conjunction with other nutrient supplements. It helps your plants develop strong roots.

If you want a more concentrated choice, go for the SUPER thrive solution. It only comes in a 1-pint bottle but is very concentrated. They recommend using just one drop in a gallon of water. It’s very suitable for a hydroponic setup. They claim to have infused over 50 ingredients in the solution, all of which are readily absorbed by the plants without any issues.

Advanced Nutrients Voodoo Juice Fertilizer is another alternative. It’s developed by leading experts in the field. The solution contains an exclusive concoction of microbial strains that are reported to help the plants grow faster without compromising strength; ideal during the vegetative stage.

General Hydroponics Fertilizer gives you a really good value. It’s a no-nonsense type of fertilizer that keeps your plants healthy and gives you high quality and quantity of yields in the long run. They claim to improve the overall taste and smell of your weeds.

When it comes to choosing the right fertilizer, always check if the fertilizer has the three basic elements required: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) or NPK, as usually seen in these fertilizers. For the hydroponic system, you should go for chemical nutrients as opposed to those that are organic and natural. This is because they have the special ability to speed up the growth of your weed and also increase THC and CBD potency.

 

Required measuring instruments

It’s not enough to only have a green thumb when dealing with marijuana hydroponics. Scientific accuracy has something to do with the success of growing them in this manner. But don’t fret, these instruments can be used by even the most inexperienced growers.

A thermometer is the most basic instrument you could get. Temperature is a huge factor in the life cycle of plants, thus, you need to monitor the ambient temperature as you grow your marijuana plants. This would help you know the optimum location to place your plants.

Another tool that’s useful to have is a pH meter. This measures how acidic or basic a solution is; in this case, water. Marijuana plants typically thrive on pH of 5.5 – 6.5 when being grown hydroponically. This is a fairly narrow pH range for you to work with, thus, you need to be meticulous when it comes to the water’s pH, otherwise, it won’t be as successful. Just make sure to get a good quality meter instead of sacrificing accuracy for a cheaper price. You’ll just end up wasting more money if you skimp on these.

 

Experienced hydroponic growers highly depend on TDS meters. These measure the total dissolved solids or TDS tools in the water. Typically, these are high-grade equipment used in the labs, but with more people doing hydroponics, lots of cheaper yet still reliable versions are now available. The primary factor measured by these meters is conductivity. Water is essentially a poor conductor but when solids are dissolved in it, it becomes more conductive.

 

Marijuana nutrient cycle

The nutrient cycle[15] is a process by which the use of nutrients by various organisms in the ecosystem is moved, processed and recycled. This is an inherent process in our ecosystem that’s crucial in keeping nutrients moving.

One of the key nutrients of marijuana is nitrogen. This particular element goes into the plant typically through the soil but in the case of hydroponics, in the water infused with nutrients, usually in the form of NO3 or nitrate. Plants then would take up the nitrogen from the water and use them for their daily metabolic needs needed for growth and development. These are integrated into the genetic structure of marijuana’s plant cells. It is then incorporated into the plant’s tissues – leaves, stems, roots, branches.

 

Once the plants have matured, growers would harvest the plant and process it however they want. Essentially, this would be all for ingestion or inhalation. This would be excreted by either humans or animals. The excrement, as well as some of the unused plants, would go back to the soil and bodies of water, decaying and eventually degraded back to its organic form. Some of them could also be absorbed by other plants for their metabolic needs.

 

It’s also noteworthy that most of the nitrogen dissipates or gets lost in the air during the process. Hence, why it is the most abundant gas on earth. This is also true for some of the elements required by marijuana plants like hydrogen, carbon, etc.

 

Why shouldn’t you use soil?

When thinking about growing marijuana, one would typically think about digging up soil and planting the seeds. Many wouldn’t be very aware of another method of growing which is hydroponics. As a grower, you want a quality yield when it comes to your harvest of marijuana plants. It’s crucial that you choose a suitable medium to get the desired results.

 

The soil has always been the normal medium to grow plants. It has been for hundreds of millions of years. Thus, because of this, the soil on the ground has been enriched with minerals necessary for plant growth, making it the traditional way to grow any kind of plant, such as marijuana. Meanwhile, the hydroponic system makes use of water. This medium doesn’t have any other component besides hydrogen and oxygen, which is great for controlling the type and amount of nutrients you want. Essentially, the use of hydroponics gives growers more control over the nutrients and minerals that the marijuana plant would have.

 

You’d think that using soil as a growth medium would make more sense because this already contains all the nutrients. However, it gives you very little control over the factors that greatly affect your yield later on. Growing your marijuana in the soil would require you to place them outside. As previously mentioned, marijuana is greatly affected by many environmental, and most often, uncontrollable factors like temperature, air, moisture, and humidity. Furthermore, though soil has a generous amount of minerals and nutrients, it also contains other components that may not be suitable for the marijuana plants. These are all non-modifiable factors, and because of this, it might not be very ideal to use this medium.

 

On the contrary, a hydroponic system [16] would give you a highly controllable environment for marijuana. You also have the option of automating the tasks when it comes to hydroponics, which saves you time and energy.

 

The hydroponic system setups

Simplicity and practicality are the main features of a hydroponic setup. It’s a no-fuss method to grow your weed. If you’re decided on creating your own hydroponic system to begin your growing journey [17], here are the things you will need to set up your own system.

 

You’ll need a bucket, garden hose, pH meter, TDS meter, PVC pipes, a nutrient tank, and plant clips. The first thing to do is to decide where the hydroponic system will be placed. This should be in an enclosed structure like a small room, an outdoor patio or other places that are bound. If you don’t have these options, you can still grow them outdoors, just make sure that you protect the setup from outdoor environmental conditions like wind, rain, and heat or cold.

 

Assemble the system by using 6” PVC pipes and making a stand out them. The tank should be sitting under the PVC tubes and the pump should be inside the tank to be able to carry the nutrients upwards. In the tank, infuse the water with all the necessary nutrients. Get the pump running and make sure that all the nutrients are thoroughly dissolved within the medium.

 

Now, it’s time to add the plants to the tubes. Make sure that they are rid of all the soil and dirt before placing them there. These could clog up the system. Later on, you should tie up a string to the trellis to help the plants climb up. Make sure to turn on the pump as this setup is not automated. Monitor the pH levels, nutrients, and other important factors. Check for the reliability of the system daily.

 

You can, of course, save yourself a lot of time and energy if you’re willing to spend some money to have a professional set it up for you. If you’re not confident in doing this on your own, you can always seek professional help and have it set up in no time, without any effort on your part.

 

Other systems to consider

There are plenty of other ways to grow marijuana apart from soil and hydroponics. Here are some that you might not even be aware of.

 

Aeroponics

Aeroponics is another method to grow marijuana without the use of soil. It has more or less a similar concept with hydroponics. However, with aeroponics, plants get their nutrients from nothing but mist. This method was popularized by plant scientists and botanists who need to meticulously study the roots of plants. With hydroponics, marijuana plant roots are submerged in a solvent medium infused with nutrients; with aeroponics, the roots are left hanging in the air, occasionally misted by water sprinkling and misting devices and equipment.

 

In this system, the mist contains all the necessary nutrients and minerals required for marijuana’s growth. Seedlings are usually grown in a non-soil medium before transferring them to a planter bed. A collar will be placed around the base to avoid any molds[18] from growing. It prevents any damage and infection from the base. Later on, the marijuana roots will grow out of the medium and the roots will just be dangling in the air.

 

The best thing about aeroponics is that you can grow large quantities of marijuana with just little space. The setup is usually vertically, thus, allowing you to maximize the space as much as possible. Pest control isn’t much of a problem as well as the system is an enclosed space. Furthermore, diseases and other factors that decrease plants’ resistance are not a huge problem with this setup. You wouldn’t need to spend large amounts of money with pesticides.

 

One thing to consider when it comes to aeroponic systems is that it requires an enclosed space to keep the humidity within. It’s also necessary to keep the light away from the roots. Another thing to consider is that the system requires electricity to keep the water mist devices working. It would also require energy-using lights instead of natural light. Moreover, a professional setup of this system could also go up to thousands of dollars. It’s reported to be the most expensive wayto grow marijuana.

 

This method may not be ideal for first-time growers as this requires extensive knowledge of growing marijuana. If it’s your first time dealing with marijuana or any plant at all, it might not be the most suitable system to try out.

 

Continuous Flow

A continuous flow system as the name would suggest, would entail that a nutrient solution is always flowing through the system to get to the plants. It’s ideal for those who have already mastered the art of growing marijuana. This is because this requires very little room for mistakes as the system constantly delivers the medium to the plants. If ever there is something wrong with the medium, it would be difficult to make changes as quickly as possible with this method.

 

Deep Water Culture

Deep Water Culture is another type of hydroponic system that uses oxygenated and nutrient-filled water to submerge marijuana roots. Plants are suspended in pots while the roots are left to be submerged in water.

 

One of this system’s advantages is that it’s highly low maintenance after the initial setup. It’s even reported to grow plants faster than they would in soil, thus, giving you a higher yield in the long run. Because it doesn’t require soil and the typical setup of growing plants, you’re able to maximize

 

No type of system is free of flaws. With deep water culture, a system failure with pumps or power outage may compromise your plants unless you have a backup power system. The system heavily relies on electricity to make sure everything works perfectly; from the oxygen concentration, pH and water levels to the concentration of nutrients in the solution.

 

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation, makes use of dripping water to grow plants. In this method, water comes in contact with the soil at around 2-20 liters per hour. This is done by using drippers, with the water only going to the plants’ roots. It has gained popularity because of its ability to save on water and nutrients during the course of the plants’ growth until harvest time.

 

Furthermore, it has become popular for many of its economic advantages. Firstly, it saves a lot of water because the water drips at a fixed rate, little to no water evaporates. Second, it also saves on energy because the system doesn’t need much pressure to operate, consuming less electricity. Also, the whole land is fully utilized.

 

The system makes use of soaker hoses. These hoses are specially designed to give slow and small drips directly on the root zone of your marijuana plant. If you’re familiar with the plant’s anatomy and physiology, you would know that water is absorbed by plants primarily through the roots. Although the other parts like the leaf may need a very minimal amount of water, this is still dismissable as the roots and the plants’ xylem (plant’s version of blood vessels) bring the water throughout the whole plant.

 

However, one of the downsides of this system is its high upfront initial costs. If you’re only going to grow marijuana as a hobby or you don’t plan on growing a large amount, it might not be practical to spend thousands of dollars on the system. Moreover, faulty drip irrigation systems could negatively impact your plants’ roots[19] development, which could potentially result in death. This could be due to an insufficient amount of water dispensed throughout the day, or giving too much water. Moreover, the costs to maintain this kind of system would also cost much as this is almost purely automatic.

 

 

Marijuana Lighting

As with any other plant, light is essential in the growth and development of marijuana. After all, light is essentially the plant’s food because of its unique ability to photosynthesize. If you live in a place where there is constant sunshine and you plan on growing your marijuana outdoors, there’d be not much need for artificial lights. However, if you’re going for a hydroponic setup and plan to keep the plants indoors, you might need to use grow lights.

 

The basic types of grow lights can be classified into three. First is fluorescent grow lights. They are perhaps the most inexpensive choice as a grow light. Most large companies and farms would opt to go for LED lights because of their long life span and energy saving costs. However, for small-scale farmers, fluorescent bulbs may be the better choice. The initial costs are way cheaper than LED lights and great for using with small and young plants as well.

 

Fluorescent bulbs work by using electricity to heat the gas inside the tube, emitting UV light. They produce a good spectrum of light that marijuana requires. It’s ideal for small spaces as it is compact and would not take up so much space.

 

A few downsides of using fluorescents is that the light from them doesn’t go down very deep into the plants, thus, it may not be very ideal for plants during the flowering stage where they are already tall. Moreover, compared to other grow lights, using fluorescent gives off a relatively lower yield.

 

Other alternatives are High-Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights. They could be metal halide (MH), ceramic metal halide (CMH), or high-pressure sodium bulbs (HPS). MH grow lights are usually employed during the vegetative stage because they give off blue light required at this stage. However, you can still use this light throughout the lifespan of the marijuana plant. Meanwhile, CMH grow lights give off a wider spectrum of light that the plant needs for enhanced growth potential.

 

Overall, HID lights are considered to be the most efficient because of the yield-to-watt ratio. However, they tend to give off a lot of heat, thus, it might require you to regulate the temperature of the space using a good ventilation system. Furthermore, the use of these HID lights requires more additional parts other than just the bulb and could be a little complicated to set up for beginners.

 

At this day and age, more weed growers are turning to LED grow lights to use in their personal hydroponic farms. LED grow lights have cooling systems that drive the heat away from the plants, as opposed to other light systems. Growers wouldn’t have to use separate ventilation to keep the heat away anymore. Another great advantage of these LED lights is that they’re very easy to set up. You could just hang them above your marijuana plants and watch your plants grow. Moreover, it’s been reported that LED grow lights actually produce a higher yield compared to other lights.

 

LED lamps may sound too good to be true but its advanced features come with a cost. They usually are a lot more expensive than other light options. Also, having a LED lamp would require more vertical space between the lights and the plants. Thus, if you have tall-growing marijuana plants, you might need a higher space to avoid burning the lights.

 

 

Grow light timing

Grow lights are essential for growers who plant on growing marijuana where sunshine is a little scarce. These lights are not just ordinary lights. Essentially, they act like the sunshine giving off the sunlight that all plants require for their growth. Sunlight is the basic food for plants because of their ability to photosynthesize so it’s important to always give them the right amount of light at all times, otherwise, the overall yield would be compromised.

 

Plants have stages in their growth. The very first stage is called the vegetative stage. Essentially, this is the stage where the plant grows in height. You’d see the stems increase in height and the leaves increase in size, however, you won’t be able to witness any bud formation at this stage.

 

The key to keeping the marijuana plants in this stage is to give them short nights, thus, giving them as much light as possible throughout the day. This is roughly equivalent to up to 12 hours of darkness per day. It is imperative that our plants get at least half of the day with constant light to keep them in this stage to ensure a healthy and growing plant.

 

The flowering or budding stageis the stage where marijuana gives off the much-awaited buds that growers are looking for [20]. It is as important as the vegetative stage. During the beginning of the budding stage, your plants will undergo a transition phase. After spending weeks of growing; increasing in height and leaves, your plant is now going to grow pistils, which are the reproductive parts of the plant. This is evident for female plants. For male plants, pollen sacs will be seen instead. After 2 or 3 weeks, you will see more buds growing on the plant.

 

The usual rule during the flowering stage is the 12-12 lighting schedule [21]. This is a lighting schedule that requires giving your plants 12 hours of light exposure and then 12 hours of continuous darkness. This is the easiest and most fool-proof lighting schedule you can employ with your marijuana hydroponics.

 

To sum it all up, during the vegetative stage, it’s advisable to give marijuana around 18-24 hours of light, giving around 0-6 hours of dark a day. Meanwhile, during the flowering or budding stage, you wouldn’t need to give the plant as much light; up to 12 hours of light per day is already enough.

 

Marijuana seeds and clones and where to buy them

 

If you’re new to the whole process of growing marijuana plants, you might not be familiar with the difference between marijuana seeds and clones. If you’re planning to start your own marijuana hydroponics, it would be in your best interest to know the basics about these two.

 

Both seeds and clones are used by growers for starting their marijuana planting journey. These are both viable choices when it comes to hydroponic growing. Basically, a clone is a part of the mature marijuana plant that has been cut off. These are any parts of the marijuana plant apart from the seed. This could be a stem, branch, or other parts. When this clone is properly taken care of, it will eventually grow its own roots and grow into a complete clone of the original plant. It’s essentially making an exact copy of an already existing plant.

 

Seeds, on the other hand, are a product of the sexual reproduction of plants. Growing the seeds would result in a hybrid of two plants, as opposed to making an exact duplicate as with a clone. Many are already familiar with the concept of turning a seed into a plant. This would require germination or soaking the seeds in the water first. From there, the seed would start to sprout leaves and eventually grow into an adult and mature plant.

 

With the growing popularity of weeds nowadays, it’s not very difficult to find a store that sells them, both online and in physical stores. It’s only a matter of filtering out the ones that will give you the best quality of seeds so you won’t have a problem later on when you want to harvest your weed.

 

Royal Queen Seeds is a pioneer in providing the best quality of marijuana seeds all over the world. Originating from the Netherlands, they have since then expanded throughout Europe. Apart from seeds, they also offer other marijuana and marijuana-containing products like CBD oil. One of their most famous products is their Easy Start Kit. It’s great for beginners who have no prior experience of growing any plants. They consider it to be a foolproof product to get you started on your weed growing journey.

 

Strainbank is one of the most highly rated online stores for marijuana clones. On their website, you can choose a nursery location nearest to you, view the strains you want to grow, and then easily place an order. The good thing about their store is that they list all of the strains you could want, as well as their best features, making the process of choosing a lot easier.

 

Seedsman has been selling marijuana seeds for over a decade now. They offer the highest quality genetics of marijuana seeds. They also sell different types of seeds: feminized, autoflowering, regular, and many more! Another good thing is that they also offer fast shipping worldwide. This is ideal if you don’t have the time to go to a physical store to get one yourself.

 

How to germinate the seeds?

Germination is the process of letting a plant grow from a seed. Usually, for plants, this occurs by exposing the seed coat to water to produce a sprout from the seed. For some plants, it’s quite easy to get this process successfully done but for others, it might not be as easy. Most would not know but the part exposed to the air is actually just the seed coat, not the seed itself. The germination would begin when the seed absorbs moisture from the seed coat.

 

For marijuana, you’d know that germination has occurred when a little white tendril comes out. This white tendril will become the first root of your plant. It’s also sometimes called a taproot, from which other roots will come out. After the taproot has come out, this will stretch out until the seed is broken off of the newly growing plant. Later on, the first marijuana leaves will start to appear; signaling a cotyledon formation.

 

Germination is one of the most important processes you will do in your marijuana growing journey. It is important to do this right otherwise, you’d be wasting a good amount of time and money on your wasted marijuana seeds. Take note that they could be expensive.

 

The most important factor that precedes germination is moisture. Some growers tend to overdo this by leaving the seeds soaked in water for days. This is not the ideal way to germinate a marijuana seed. Only keep them soaked for around 30 hours at most; anything longer than that could not be favorable for the seeds. After that period, you can just keep the seeds moist. The next factor is heat. For seeds, you don’t need direct heat to germinate them. Just keeping them in a warm temperature will greatly improve your seeds’ germination rates.

 

One of the most common mistakes when germinating seeds is checking on them too frequently. The key to this process is to leave them alone. Don’t do much with the seeds apart from observation. Patiently wait until the taproot forms.

 

Another mistake is not giving enough water when the taproot starts to appear. Once a taproot breaks free from the seed coat, it would require water. So when this happens and there’s not much water around, germination will fail and your plant will soon die. Take note that young seedlings are very delicate and require moisture throughout this stage.

 

To make this process easier, most marijuana growing companies offer germination starter cubes. Seeds are placed in the cubes and water is added to give your plants the most optimum condition for germination. If you’re worried about messing it up, this could be a great solution for you.

 

Sometimes, growers just plant the seeds directly on their medium, in our case, water. This saves you and your seeds the hassle of transferring from one medium to another. There would be no adjustment period for your plants.

 

Vegetative phase of marijuana growth

The vegetative phase of marijuana growth is the phase where you see the drastic change in the size of the plant. This covers from the very beginning; from seed or clone, up to the moment before the plant begins to bud.

 

Light for the vegetative phase

During this phase, it’s recommended to give the plants as much exposure to light as possible as this is the food that the plant requires to grow. Because the plant grows at a higher rate, it would naturally need more food to sustain growth.

 

It is crucial that you don’t deprive the plants of light especially during this stage. Much of the growth of marijuana plants occurs during the vegetative stage. Always remember that more light usually results in faster growth.

 

Grow room conditions

The good thing with growing marijuana hydroponically is that you can choose exactly where to place them in your home. However, you should know the proper conditions of the location of your grow room.

 

Your plants’ environmental condition will greatly affect your plant’s state and later on the yield during harvest time. It’s important to create a balance between maintaining the nutrients right and also making sure that the environmental factors are also controlled and are at their optimum.

 

Light is the source of food of plants because of their unique photosynthetic ability. Without it, they won’t be able to make food, lose energy, lose the ability to absorb and eventually die. Thus, this is crucial in keeping them healthy and alive until you want to harvest them. Make sure you’re giving them enough light. Not too little but also not too much.

 

For a hydroponic system, the key is to make use of proper grow lights. There are many types of grow lights and you should carefully decide which type you’re going yo use.

 

Temperature is another crucial part of the growth of many plants. In a hydroponic system, the main sources of heat usually are the grow lights. The grow room will tend to be an enclosed space, thus you can easily control the ambient temperature to suit the needs of your plants.

 

You will need to measure the room’s temperature with a thermometer and work from there. The recommended temperature should be around 15-20C and should be under dark room with just the grow lights being the source of light and heat.

 

Humidity is another factor that should be considered high when it comes to grow rooms. With regards to humidity, it is best to keep it on the regular by not letting it exceed 50%. Otherwise, you will be dealing with molds and mildew[22] growing on your precious plants.

 

Ventilation of the grow room should also be a great concern when it comes to the grow room. Make sure that the air circulation is not as harsh but not as steady either. It should only be like a breeze. Don’t place a fan directly on the plants as this will cause stress on the plants.

 

Also, check the exhaust system of your room. You want the air to be as fresh as possible. Along with good air circulation, make sure that the air also gets out of the room through an exhaust. This is to allow more movement to the air.

 

How and when to switch to flowering (budding)

Success in growing marijuana plants is all about timing. Knowing when to switch from the vegetative phase to flowering or budding phase is essential to get the best quality and highest quantity of yield during harvest time. Switching too soon would lead to a smaller yield and switching too late could result in burnt buds. It’s all about balance and perfect timing.

 

As previously mentioned, the vegetative stage is where your plant would grow in higher and faster rates [23]. Thus, if you keep your marijuana in this stage for a longer period, you will end up with taller and bigger plants. You would think this is ideal but you don’t want any overgrowth. Too tall plants could go up so high they reach the grow lights, resulting in burnt yields. The ideal distance between the top of your plants and the grow lights should be at least 30-35 cm.

 

Depending on the strain of your marijuana plant, the time when to switch from vegetative to the budding stage will vary. Another factor that would affect the time is whether your plant has grown from a seed or a clone.

 

Typically, the vegetative should last up to 4 weeks. This is plenty enough time to allow your marijuana plant to grow and increase in height and size. Depending on the sturdiness and strength of your plants’ branches and stems, you can opt to transition earlier or later if you think the plant is still not as strong for the flowering phase. The budding phase is triggered whenever the light exposure is decreased in duration.

 

This can be done by switching to the previously mentioned 12-12 lighting method. This will automatically induce your plants to move on to the next phase which is the flowering or budding phase.

 

Flowering phase

During the flowering phase, your plant should undergo another phase of rapid growth. This phenomenon is known as the stretch. Days into this phase, female plants will show clear to white-colored pistils. Growers should always check that the plants are all or at least majority females because they are more potent and bigger plants with many seeds. Once the female plants get pollinated by the male plants, the buds will come out smaller and not as potent.

 

During the flowering phase, your plant will require greater amounts of nutrients, particularly potassium and phosphorus. Always remember to switch the light cycle during this phase to ensure optimum flowering and budding. Moreover, growers should also make sure that humidity is just right. Keep the humidity below 40% during this stage otherwise, if higher, it could result in the formation of fungi like molds and mildew because of the excess moisture in the air.

 

During the later stages of the flowering phase, you’ll notice the pistils turning darker. This signals that harvesting time is just right around the corner.

Harvesting, curing and storing marijuana without smell

Some growers do not like the smell after harvesting, curing and storing marijuana. It might be close to impossible to mask the smell completely but there are some ways you can minimize it so it won’t be as overpowering.

 

The very first thing you should look into is ventilation. Make sure that the vent fan has enough vacuum so it can do its job properly. Moreover, also check for leaks that may be present in your ventilation system. Having filters in your vent fans should also be in your priority. Without these filters, your vent fans won’t be as efficient in keeping the smell away.

 

When is the best time to harvest?

When it comes to harvesting marijuana, growers tend to make a mistake of harvesting way too early; way before the plant is mature enough. In some cases, some growers harvest marijuana later than recommended.

 

First, growers should look into the pistil of the plant. This is the female reproductive part of the plant that usually sticks out from the center like many tiny hairs. When the majority of the pistils are still white, you shouldn’t be in any rush to harvest. The plant is still not ready and still have a few more weeks left for maturity and development. Growers should wait until the majority of the pistils are dark and curly. This is crucial because this will determine the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC of your marijuana plant.

 

For growers who want a different and more advanced approach to determining their marijuana plant’s maturity, here’s something very effective. This method would also require examination of the pistil, only much closer. Place the pistil under a magnifier to fully examine the pistils. This reproductive part would have little buds or stalks (trichomes or resin glands). These are almost colorless or frosted so it might be a challenge to view under the naked eye.

 

Trichomes are usually mushroom-shaped. Note that some trichomes on pistils may not have the mushroom top. Take a look at the trichomes with the mushroom heads as this is the location of most of THC in the marijuana plant. The most ideal tool to use when examining pistils is the microscope but obviously, not everyone would have this just lying around. The next best thing is a high-powered magnifying glass or better yet a jeweler’s loupe. The latter is widely available and is relatively cheaper than the other alternatives.

 

Take a good look at the pistils’ trichomes using the right tools. Do not harvest the marijuana plant if the trichomes are colorless or clear. This is an indication of a very low potent THC. Give your plant more time to develop and grow. Over the next few days, the trichomes might turn cloudy or less clear. It’s a good sign that your plants are growing at a rapidly high rate but it still doesn’t signify a good time for harvest. Your marijuana plant is still growing.

 

After a few weeks, the trichomes would have turned cloudy or almost white. This is a sign that the marijuana plant has the highest and most potent levels of THC. You can choose to harvest the plant now to get the most intense high and euphoria, and other effects you would expect from THC. By this stage, you’d have the most potent pain relief.

 

The final stage of trichome maturation has occurred when the trichomes have become amber or bronze in color. By this stage, THC levels have gone down slightly, giving off a relaxing effect. Moreover, cannabinol exceeds the levels of THC. This is a crucial stage for those who are after cannabinoids from the marijuana plant.

 

Maximizing the THC in the bud

Growers who personally cultivate marijuana have their purpose in growing their plants. For most people, it’s for medical reasons while some are growing for recreational use. Whichever your purpose is, it’s the best choice to maximize the THC in your buds.

Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the most sought-after active compound in marijuana. It’s a psychoactive [24] component that is a very potent pain killer [25]. Moreover, it relieves many unwanted symptoms like nausea, vomiting, usually associated with chemotherapy use in cancer patients. This is the main reason why most growers tend to go for buds with the highest THC content.

 

There are plenty of factors that increase the over THC potency levels of your buds. First, it’s your chosen strain. Each strain has its own genetics and this greatly predicts the levels of THC that would be in the plants. It’s recommended to perform thorough research on the strains that will give you the THC levels that you desire. Also, remember to only get the best seeds or clones from the reputable breeders to ensure you’re starting on the right foot.

 

The time you harvest your buds also influence the THC levels of your plant. This can be primarily seen through the color of trichomes on the pistils. You should be looking for trichomes that are opaque white as this signals that the plant contains the highest THC content. Never harvest too soon or too late to maximize the THC levels.

 

Lighting is everything. The optimum conditions for lighting for each stage of growth were already discussed. To sum it all up, just ensure that you give your plants generous amounts and lengths of time with light. Remember, light is the plant’s food, so the more light you give the plants, the faster and the bigger they will grow. Along with this is a concomitant increase in THC levels.

 

Apart from genetics and time of harvest, the curing and drying process would also affect the THC levels. This is because it’s when most of the chemical changes occur in the plant. You might have properly chosen the right strain and done everything right during the growth of your plant but if the curing and drying are off, you still might end up with a bad weed. Make sure that you’re doing this step right.

 

Maximizing the CBD in the bud

Cannabidiol or CBD is becoming famous for its potent yet minimal side effects. It’s been proven to help with anxiety, sleep, pain, nausea, and other health concerns. Other serious neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, and even cancer, have also been proven to be helped by CBD. This is why most marijuana growers would opt for higher CBD in their buds.

Both THC and CBD are major components of a marijuana plant.

As always, as with any other plant, genetic greatly plays a role in the levels of CBD in a plant. These are usually the older strains of marijuana. However, you won’t be able to maximize the CBD potential of your plant if you’re not doing the necessary steps.

 

Maximizing CBD in the bud would depend on your timing of harvest. Just like with THC, the time of harvest is one of the most crucial factors that will determine your CBD levels. You should look into the trichomes of the pistils to determine when the CBD is highest. The trichomes should look brown or amber in color when they are most CBD-potent. With hydroponics, pests wouldn’t be much of a worry but it’s still recommended to make sure that the environment is pest-free. Pests cause stress on plants, thus, it may result in a lower CBD yield in harvest time. Some of the most common problems are mites, whiteflies, and yellow leaf spot [26].

Flushing

Flushing may be an ambiguous word if you have no prior experience in growing marijuana. It might come off as a term that means to literally flush your plants with water. The truth is, it has a much different meaning than it sounds. To flush is to gradually stop or wean the plants from the nutrients and just supply them regularly with water. Flushing is essential in coming up with a high-quality weed. As a grower, you should know the right time to do this.

 

The first time you should do this is during the transition phase between growth phases, that is, the vegetative and flowering or budding phases. This is because these stages require completely different nutrients and levels. Thus, it would be wise to flush the nutrients from the previous phase first to make room for the new ones in preparation for the next phase.

 

Another instance where flushing is required is whenever there is something wrong with the feeding. This could be overfeeding, mineral excess or deficiency, and other imbalances with the requirements of the weed. Flushing will act as purging for the plants, causing them to expel or rid themselves of the harmful nutrients and chemicals. After the flushing, your plants are now ready to absorb new nutrients.

 

The last time you should perform flushing of the weeds is prior to harvesting. Within the final week, do the flushing to lock in the nutrients within the plants. Not doing this will affect the quality of your yield. Now that you’re aware when to do the flushing, it’s time to figure out how exactly to do it.

 

For hydroponic setup, give your plants water of pH levels around 5.5-6.5. Use your TDS meter to determine the number of solids in the water. Make sure that the value is as close to the value of pure water. This is to ensure that you’re fully flushing the plants. In this setup, the water supply shouldn’t change at all. You’re just going to remove the nutrients from the water. Overhydrating them might result in a mineral or nutrient deficiency. When flushing, watch out for signs of chlorosis. This shouldn’t happen normally but if it does, you should catch it as early as possible.

 

You would think that this process is something that you should skip. However, if you want a high-quality weed with good flavor and aroma, you should definitely spend time doing this step.

Chopping down the weed

The long wait is over. You’ve successfully grown your marijuana plant into maturity. It’s perfectly healthy and you’ve done all the important steps to make sure everything goes well. Now it’s time to chop them down.

 

As with all the steps leading to drying and curing; from the germination of seeds up to the harvesting, even chopping down the weeds is a crucial task. You don’t want to go into it without knowing how to properly do it. It would just lead to wasting of your harvest.

 

Make sure to properly protect yourself while chopping them down. Wear rubber gloves or gardening gloves during this step. By this stage, the buds are very sticky and you don’t want the smell lingering on your skin for days. Gather all the proper tools and equipment. Ensure that your gardening shears are very sharp to avoid ruining the plants during the cutting down process. If you don’t have gardening shears, a large sharp knife will do.

 

When it comes to the branches, you want to use something strong and sharp like a pair of nice large gardening shears. Make sure to protect yourself by wearing gloves as this could potentially scratch you or cause abrasion.

 

If you have more budget, you can use electric gardening scissors to do the job. However, these things could not be as precise as if you’re doing it by hand. If you don’t have much to work with, go for cutting the branches manually.

 

Set up different trays or boxes on which you will place the trimmings. Place the trimmings depending on their category. You can also get rid of the fan leaves prior to harvesting the buds to make the whole process easier.

How to dry marijuana

Hard work definitely pays off. You’re now about to reap the fruits of your hard labor. It’s time to dry your freshly trimmed and cut marijuana buds. Make sure that all the unwanted leaves are already cut off and that you’re only dealing with the buds.

 

Then, hang the branches from a wire or place them on drying racks. Keep them in a dark room at around 15-20C and humidity not higher than 50%. Also, make sure that the air is circulating well to avoid molds from growing.

 

One of the most common mistakes of growers when drying weed is doing them quickly. This process should be done in the most gradual way possible to ensure that all the nutrients are locked up. The process should be slow and gradual if you want the important compounds to get locked within the buds. Otherwise, all of the months of hard work would go to waste.

 

For some longtime growers, the curing time they use is at least two months. This gradual curing and drying of the buds are the key to making a high-quality weed later on. Hang them upside down in a dark place with very little to no light. Ensure that the buds are all fanned out to allow air to circulate. This helps improve the drying process as well as avoid molds and mildew. This should last for up to a week.

 

Don’t speed up the process of drying. This should take time and be patient when waiting for it to gradually dry and cure. This will ensure the good quality weed that you want; with all the potent THC and CBD that you’re after.

 

How to cure marijuana

The most exciting time when growing any kind of plants, especially marijuana, is harvest time. This is when you reap hours of your hard work and patience and experience the many proven great health benefits of this wonderful plant [27]. Most growers would already know that marijuana should be cured but many are not certain why.

First, the process of curing breaks down the chlorophyll pigment in the leaves, making it more palatable. It rids the leaves of the freshly cut grass smell that you would have if you didn’t cure them. The key to curing them is to let the process happen gradually and slowly, usually over a period of a week. This should be done with precaution from fungus and bacteria growing on the marijuana leaves.

 

The first thing that needs to be done is to cut down the plant. You already know when the right time to harvest, as mentioned earlier. Do this by cutting it at the branches so it can be easily hung up later. Once the plant is cut down, cut some of the excess leaves. Typically, the large fan leaves are trimmed, as well as the little ones. This improves the overall quality of your cured leaves.

 

There is no rule of thumb as to how many leaves or buds you should trim from the plant. However, expert growers recommend relying on the humidity of your location. If your place has low humidity, which is under 30% relative humidity, the trick is to not over trim. Leaving some buds on the plant will help it not overdry during the process. Meanwhile, if your location has relatively average humidity, you can just simply hang them to dry. For places with very high humidity, the enemy is molds, so it’s important to do this properly.

 

The easiest way to cure the marijuana buds especially if you live in a humid place is to use brown paper bags. This is one of the best ways to begin curing your plants. Remember to only use paper bags and not plastic as this would result in mold and mildew formation. Once the buds are dry, you should keep them in a glass jar with the lid loosely open. You don’t want a complete anaerobic condition for your buds as air is still needed to help breakdown most of the pigments and carbohydrates in the plant.

FAQ

 

1.Why should I grow my marijuana hydroponically?

There are many advantages to growing your weed this way. First of all, you have complete control over the nutrients you’re going to feed your marijuana plants. You can fully customize your growing medium, allowing for a more controlled and monitored environment. Second, it saves a ton of water. Repotting is also excluded in this system. Lastly, diseases and pests are very easy to control if ever there are even any.

 

2.What are some of the problems encountered when growing weed hydroponically?

Power outages can be detrimental to your system’s reliability. However, if you have a backup electricity supply such as a generator, this shouldn’t be a problem.

 

3.Do I need to have a building permit if I plan on growing weed?

This depends on the laws on where you live. But in general, you will need a permit if your greenhouse exceeds a specific size of space. Check with your state or city to find out the exact laws and regulations regarding this.

 

4.How many plants can I grow?

Depending on where you live, the number of marijuana plants you can grow may vary. Usually, it won’t exceed 10 plants per person. However, if you’re using it for medical purposes, you might not be subject to restrictions.

 

5.Can I sell my harvested buds?

In general, no. When you grow your marijuana plants, this is only for personal use. Depending on the state you’re living in, it could either be for medical purposes or recreational purposes.

 

6.What do I do if my leaves are becoming yellow?

Leaves turning yellow is a sign of chlorosis. Many nutrient deficiencies can cause this phenomenon. When this happens to your plants, check the nutrient levels in the medium. Look for other specific signs of element deficiencies to find out what particular element is deficient in your plant.

 

7.Do I need to use pesticides?

You can opt not to use any pesticides. However, it’s recommended to still use one in very minimal amounts to ensure no dreadful pests prey on your precious plants.

 

8.How much does a hydroponic system cost if installed professionally?

A complete hydroponic system would cost at least $400 for a high-quality system. You can get a cheaper version of the system for more than half of the price. A lot of growers are trying to do DIY this, too, for a fraction of the cost.

 

9.How much are the electricity costs for a hydroponic system?

For a 5,000W grow room, this would require the use of at least 2,500 kilowatt-hours per month. If you live in the United States, the average cost of electricity is around $0.13. The hypothetical cost of running this particular grow room is $325 a month for electricity.

 

10.What do I do if my plant dies?

For beginners, it is not uncommon to fail during the first few times, especially if you have no prior experience in growing marijuana. You can always try to use starter packs sold by companies to make the initial process of growing a lot easier. This will greatly lessen the chances of your plant dying on you again.

Conclusion

Marijuana contains both of the most popular natural healing compounds THC and CBD. With the legalization of its use both medically and recreationally spreading all over the world, it’s no wonder more people are beginning to think about growing their own. Perhaps the best way to do this is hydroponically as this one is best for beginners. It can easily be done indoors without needing much land area.

 

Growing it hydroponically will offer you advantages that traditional methods simply can’t offer such as total control over the nutrients you’re feeding the plants, thus giving you a higher yield later on. Being knowledgeable about how the plant works and metabolizes nutrients will give you an advantage because you’d know exactly what your plant needs at a particular period of time.

 

The steps above will guide you from Day 1 until the time you’re ready to use your marijuana plant. Make sure to follow the steps carefully to avoid any rookie mistakes. Growing your marijuana plant can be very rewarding and fulfilling. If done right, you can give yourself a good quality of weed during harvest time. Just follow the steps carefully and always monitor the environment of your plants. You’ll be harvesting healthy, potent marijuana buds in no time.

References:

 

[1] https://www.themcaa.net/list-of-cbds–cannabis-studies.html

[2] http://adai.uw.edu/pubs/pdf/2017mjanxiety.pdf

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30703255

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/?tool=pubmed

[5] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07060661.2018.1535467

[6] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44592326_The_results_of_an_experimental_indoor_hydroponic_Cannabis_growing_study_using_the_’Screen_of_Green’_ScrOG_method-Yield_tetrahydrocannabinol_THC_and_DNA_analysis

[7] https://www.thespruce.com/beginners-guide-to-hydroponics-1939215

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4243668/

[9] http://luv2garden.com/hydroponic_humidity.html

 

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25806908

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16328799

[12] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277309038_Role_of_iron_in_plant_growth_and_metabolism

[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27150384

[14] https://sensiseeds.com/en/blog/mineral-nutrition-for-cannabis-macroelements/

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740396/

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5091364/

[17] https://www.hydroponics-simplified.com/how-to-grow-hydroponics.html

[18] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07060661.2018.1535466

[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628559/

[20] https://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/flowering-cannabis-plants/

[21] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6455078/

[22] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07060661.2018.1535467

[23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23962841

[24] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ccd0/dc21adbc89a8ae8c616d5de1e66f3c4384c9.pdf

[25] https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1141

[26] https://www.zamnesia.com/blog-increase-cbd-levels-growing-weed-n1675

[27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31214723