a guide to growing cannabis

Your homegrowing journey starts with the question: indoors or outdoors?

Growing weed indoors is more expensive because you’ll need to spend money on equipment and utilities, but you can control every aspect of the grow environment and set up an indoor grow almost anywhere. Expect to grow some killer weed—indoor is known for its potency and quality.

Growing weed is super easy—it’s called “weed” for a reason—so don’t worry if you haven’t grown anything before. Our clear, easy-to-digest guide will help growers of all kinds, especially first-time ones.

These are all great resources but not all growers want to put in that amount of time and effort to get a ton of weed—some growers just want to have fun, grow a little weed, and smoke something they grew themselves.

*Illinois and Washington are adult-use states but require a medical card to homegrow.

What does a marijuana plant need to survive and thrive?

Check out our Guide to marijuana legalization for more details on homegrowing in your state.

At the end of the day, you want to grow a strain you like. A single plant can yield between a half-pound and a full pound of dried buds, depending on how big your plants get, so you’ll have a lot of it come harvest time.

The best way to get quality buds and big yields is to grow strong, healthy plants. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important things you need to know about growing weed:

Whether indoors or outdoors, growing marijuana is fun and rewarding, but it can also be challenging and takes a certain amount of patience, time, and money. We’ll walk you through all the steps of growing, from preparation, to seed germination, plant growth, and harvesting, as well as best practices and how to troubleshoot common problems.

Enjoy, have fun, and learn a tip or two—growing weed is therapeutic and relaxing, and there’s nothing better than smoking weed you’ve grown yourself.

Because the plant was illegal for so long, a lot of grow info has been passed down by word of mouth. There are many myths and traditions about growing weed, so it can be hard to sort good, sound advice from hearsay. Also, because it was illegal, there’s ample information on indoor growing and how to get the most out of a small space by maximizing harvests and training plants.

Below are all the topics covered in our growing guide. That is followed by a list of where it’s legal to homegrow in the US and a quick overview of the growing process.

Note that “mature” plants are those in the flowering stage, when plants begin to produce buds; “immature” plants are those in the vegetative stage, before they produce buds. A “household” is defined as two or more people living at a single residence.

You might be surprised which states don’t allow homegrowing—only five medical states and one medical territory allow homegrowing at all, and some adult-use states require a medical card.

Growing outdoors is the cheapest and easiest way to grow, because you can utilize the power of the sun and other natural resources, but you need the proper space to do it, and the space needs to be able to get ample sunlight throughout the growing season. Often, you can let plants grow large and get big yields with more space outdoors.

Indoor vs. outdoor marijuana growing.

Before you get started growing, you’ll need to see if you even can grow in your state. Below is a list of states in which it is legal to grow your own marijuana at home, both states with medical and adult-use legal status. If your state does not appear on this list, it is not legal to homegrow in your state .

The last thing you want is to put a ton of time and effort into growing weed and end up with a strain that you don’t like. Everyone has different tastes and preferences, and strains affect people differently.

Leafly’s complete marijuana growing guide.

This is easily achieved by placing an exhaust fan near the top of the space to suck out warm air—warm air rises—and adding a port or passive fan on the opposite side of the space near the floor to bring in cool air. A complete air exchange throughout the entire grow space should occur once every minute or so.

When starting with clones or seedlings, you’ll want to check your plants every day because they’re delicate and sensitive to environmental conditions. You may need to adjust temperature and humidity levels in your indoor grow space at first to hit the sweet spot for your plants.

The biggest variability in how long a marijuana plant takes to grow will happen in the vegetative stage—after the seedling phase and before flower.

Air circulation.

HID (high-intensity discharge) lights are the industry standard, widely used for their combination of output, efficiency, and value. They cost a bit more than incandescent or fluorescent fixtures, but produce far more light per unit of electricity used. Conversely, they are not as efficient as LED lighting, but they cost much less.

As much fun as growing marijuana indoors is, having a home that perpetually smells like fresh weed can be a serious inconvenience, if not to you than possibly your neighbors. Although weed odor from a small indoor grow in a closet is much easier to manage than a large grow with several flowering plants, both can produce pesky odors that will permeate an entire home if left unattended.

What type of container you use will depend on the grow medium, the system, and the size of your plants.

Odor becomes much more difficult to manage in the final six weeks of a marijuana plant’s life, when trichomes and terpene production ramps up. You can also get odor-absorbing gels, which replace weed smells with other scents. Keep in mind that odor gels don’t eliminate odors, but simply mask them.

Fans are a must in a grow space to move air around, so buy some of those before an AC unit. If you find that fans aren’t bringing down the temperature enough, then you may want to invest in an AC.

The flowering stage will always take about eight weeks—some strains take seven, some nine, some even more, it depends on the strain.

Ceramic pots.

Your cannabis wants a safe, healthy place for root development. Without healthy roots, your cannabis will never thrive. Roots are in charge of water retention, nutrient absorption, anchoring the plant, and they also facilitate vegetative growth.

As your indoor weed plants grow, they’ll need less attention, but you’ll still need to check up on them every 2-3 days.

Remember, a common mistake newbie growers make is to overwater plants.

Although it’s more resource-intensive than growing outdoors and you will likely have to spend more money on utilities to power equipment, you can control every aspect of your grow environment and what you put in your plant, allowing you to dial in your setup to grow some primo weed.

Indoor marijuana grow timeline.

For example, it takes less time to grow 3′ weed plants than 5′ plants; in the span of a year, you can maybe grow four harvests of 3′ plants, or two harvests of 5′ plants.

You’ll need to ensure that temperatures remain within a comfortable range for your plants, between 70-85°F when lights are on and between 58-70°F when off. Some varieties of cannabis—generally indicas—prefer the colder side of the range, while others—typically sativas—are more tolerant of high temperatures.

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Here are some ways to control it in your marijuana grow room:

Controlling temperature in your indoor grow room or cannabis garden can be achieved by manipulating these factors:

Unlike outdoor growing, you aren’t tied to the sun and the seasons. You will be providing the entire environment the plants need to grow, including the grow medium—soil, rockwool, etc.—and regulating the amount of water and nutrients they receive, as well as controlling temperature, humidity, and more for them.

Here is a preview of what you will discover in this audiobook:

Growing Marijuana Mastery: The Advanced Guide to Growing Cannabis is written to give you an in-depth insight into the horticulture of marijuana. This step-by-step playbook reveals how ordinary people from all walks of life can easily grow their marijuana in any environment using proven cultivation strategies including how to set up a grow-space, raise healthy plants, and harvest great buds.

Have you been hearing about marijuana, but aren’t sure how to grow it legally at home? Are you interested in knowing how an ordinary individual like you can cultivate marijuana and harvest huge buds both indoors and outdoors?

Whether your goal is to have a better understanding of how marijuana cultivation works, know how to cultivate it easily, or just want to experience the fun and rewards of growing your own products at home, this audiobook will empower you with deep and riveting information.

The whole concept of marijuana cultivation can be difficult and complex to understand at first, but it comes with great benefits, and growing your own cannabis can be very relaxing. If you are keen on having the rewarding experience of advanced marijuana cultivation, this straightforward, plain-English guide clears up the confusion and shows you everything there is to know about growing cannabis indoors and outdoors with medicinal functions in mind, and completely free of germs.

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