Growing Marijuana 101: A Complete Guide on How to Grow Weed

If you want to start producing cannabis at home, you must take care of all aspects of cultivation yourself. In addition to cultivating plants, you also have to consider your electricity bill and ensure your growing-room is cozy during cold winter. This course will teach you all basics of marijuana cultivation. We’ll talk about lighting,…

Growing Marijuana 101: A Complete Guide on How to Grow Weed
Nenad Nikolic

Author: Nenad Nikolic

Publish Date: July 17, 2023
Last Update Date: September 18, 2023

Table of Content

Starting from Scratch: Growing Cannabis from Seed at Home

You can grow weed plant from seeds or cuttings. In this article, I will explain how to grow cannabis plant from seed.

It’s not difficult, and you can start immediately with little investment.

I will tell you precisely what you need and what you must do during different phases of your plant life cycle.

Cannabis seed is dormant when you get it. To grow, it needs to come out of its hibernation.

This process is called germination. This can be done by soaking seed in water for 24 hours.

Use clean jar with lid and fill it with water, preferably at room temperature.

Add your seeds and let them soak there for 24 hours. You can already check if some seeds have started to crack open after this period.

If they haven’t yet cracked open, leave them in water for another couple of hours and check again later on. 

If they still did not crack open, throw them away and next time buy weed seeds from more trusted source.

If you’re starting from seed and growing indoors, it’s best to use pots.

This way, you can closely monitor amount of water and nutrients your flower will need.

Indoor Growing Conditions

Indoor Growing Conditions

Marijuana plant uses four things to grow: light, air, water, and nutrients. In nature, flowers get these from soil.

Soil contains many organisms that help flowers absorb nutrients by making them available to plants through their roots.

When growing weed indoors, we have to take over these functions. 

We need to provide our plants with nutrients, light, air and water.

Ideal Temperature and Right Humidity

After you’ve germinated your seeds and they sprouted, you have to provide them with the right temperature and humidity, which is different in every growth weeks.

That is because they need right temperature to grow and become strong enough to survive first couple of weeks.

If you can’t provide your plants with these conditions, you could try cultivating cannabis outdoors in summer or greenhouse.

  • Seedling Weeks: temperature should be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity levels between 65 and 70 percent.
  • Vegetation Weeks: temperature and humidity should be slightly lower than in seedling weeks.
  • Flowering Weeks: at this stage humidity should be 40-50%, temperatures can range between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Light Cycle for Indoor Growth

Light Cycle for Indoor Growth

In nature, sun rises every morning and sets every evening. That means that plants get maximum sunlight during day and no light during night.

Growth process takes place during day, and plant rests at night.

During summer, days are long, and nights are short, so plants stay in growing stage for weeks.

It’s essential to create proper light cycle for your cannabis plant when cultivating indoors.

Light cycle is simply difference between light and darkness periods that plant experiences every day.

For indoor cultivation, you should use this light schedule for seedling stage: light for 18 hours a day and 6 hours of darkness, mimicking an exceptionally long summer day.

And light schedule for flowering weeks: during this stage, 12 hours of full-spectrum light and 12 hours of darkness are recommended, mimicking fall period.

Right Medium: Soil, Coco Coir, or Rockwool?

First thing you must decide when producing cannabis is what growth medium you will use.

Garden centers and hydroponics stores sell all sorts of materials that can be used to produce cannabis.

Growing cannabis in soil is frequently preferred due to its affordability and accessibility, making it a popular choice for cultivators.

Coco coir is also popular option because it retains water well and contains many nutrients. 

Rockwool is also very nutrient content and beneficial resource for hydroponics growing systems.

Controlled Environment: Using a Grow Room or Tent

Controlled Environment: Using a Grow Room or Tent

Most people grow indoors. It’s more controllable, and you can keep away from animals, wind, rain, and nosy neighbors.

You can create controlled environment in simple grow tent or in complete grow room you built yourself.

Clean free space where you are growing cannabis needs to be lightproof and needs to have an extraction system to remove CO2 and to bring fresh air inside space.

Going Micro: Best Small Box Setup

Going Micro: Best Small Box Setup

Small growing spaces are very popular because they’re easy to set up and don’t take up much space.

Another advantage is that this method’s cost is cheap, so you have to install a slight cooling air system and light system.

Disadvantage with growing cannabis micro is that you won’t be able to grow as many plants.

But if you only want to grow little for personal use, it’s the perfect solution.

Grow Cannabis Discreetly: Basement or Attic

If you want to start growing cannabis indoors, it’s good to get some experience by growing cannabis in your basement or attic, for instance.

If you live in an apartment or just don’t want people to see what you’re up to, then an attic or basement is best option for you.

These spaces are usually smaller than standard grow rooms and don’t have any windows, wich makes them perfect for discreetly grow weed.

Cultivation Techniques: How to Grow Your Own Cannabis

Planning your clean grow room is fun part of cultivating cannabis. You get to choose all sorts of equipment and materials, and you will definately get ideas for improvement.

Cultivating cannabis is not only about providing plants with sunlight, air and water; it also requires specific climate, air conditions and certain growing techniques.

This course will teach you all you need to know about cultivation techniques. We’ll start off with hydroponics because this technique is very suitable for growing cannabis.

Hydroponics Growing Systems

Hydroponics Growing Systems

Cultivating cannabis using the hydroculture method is very different from growing it in soil.

In hydro, roots don’t have access to soil and must live off water, air and nutrient.

There are several different types of hydro weed systems: deep water, shallow water, and ebb & flow systems.

In deep water systems, roots are placed in water that contains all they need. These plants will produce many big buds.

But there’s risk of root damage because of high oxygen levels in the water. It’s also difficult to see how your plants are doing if you can’t get close to them.

ScrOG (Screen Of Green) Growing Method

ScrOG (Screen Of Green) Growing Method

ScrOG stands for “Screen Of Green” method uses a screen to support your plants and prevent them from growing towards each other.

By tying them to a horizontal screen (scrogging), you can create a flat surface on top of your plants to grow on.

You then also have perfect view of your plants and can spot bugs and diseases much more quickly.

ScrOG method is an ideal indoor technique for maximizing yields per square foot.

Maximizing Space and Yield with Vertical Cannabis Growing

As cultivator, you always need to be thinking of ways to maximize your yields while minimizing costs. One great way to do this is by growing vertically.

You can use otherwise unused free space for flowering plants by training your plants to grow up. Additionally, when vertically, your plants will use more light because they’ll be closer to lamps.

There are many different ways of doing vertical producing. Here are few ideas:

  • Planting cannabis in between two poles and tying them up with string or cable ties;
  • Planting cannabis in pots sitting on top of each other;
  • Planting cannabis in pots hanging from strings;
  • Planting cannabis in pots between ceiling and lamp;
  • Planting cannabis in net pots hung from ceiling;

Organic Growing Methods for a Pesticide-Free Harvest

Organic weed cultivation cannot be more different from conventional methods. 

Instead of relying on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic growers rely on natural processes to help them cultivate their weed.

In practice, this means that you’ll have to provide your plants with their nutritional needs through composting or by using natural fertilizers, such as guano or bat droppings.

Organic cultivation has multiple advantages:

  • No risk of toxicity due to pesticides
  • No chance of fungi infestations
  • Better end-product taste

However, it’s also much more complex and takes lot more time to ensure optimal cultivation conditions. 

If you’re looking for fast harvest, there may be other methods for you. 

The Simplicity and Efficiency of One-Pot-Plant

This method is ideal for anyone who doesn’t own grow tent or another type of space. 

All you need is pot and grow bag for each plant.

In pot, you place the bag with medium and put plants that will grow. 

This way, your plants always face lights sources and will get very tall.

Upside Down Cannabis Cultivation: A Unique Approach

Upside Down Cannabis Cultivation: A Unique Approach

Some of newest and most exciting growth techniques are based on upside-down growth. This method is almost as simple as it gets.

All you need to do is place your cuttings in water and keep them there. 

It’s just like putting a seed into soil, but with this technique, you’re literally hanging plants upside down with roots in water instead of in soil.

This method is actually very similar to hydro technique, but upside-down growing does not require any special equipment or setup. 

You can literally free hang cutting in water, and that’s it!

One thing to pay attention to is size of pot you use for root system because plants will be hanging from bottom of this pot later on. 

Use something more significant than you would typically use for hydro system, so roots will have enough clean room to grow.

If you want to try this, we advise cloning cannabis rather than seeds because they’ll have a better chance at survival if they get too large and roots become too heavy for their pot.

Growing Cannabis Outdoors: When and How

Growing Cannabis Outdoors: When and How

I prefer growing marijuana outdoors because it’s fun, and you can harvest amazing, unique flavors.

But most important reason to grow outdoors is that it’s legal in many states.

Outdoor cultivation also has its own challenges, and this course will teach you everything you need to know about cultivating outdoors.

If you want to grow outdoors is best to start in early spring, so plants can grow all summer and be ready for harvest in fall.

Backyard Growers: Grow Marijuana in Greenhouse

Greenhouse is bit more expensive than just cultivation outdoors in backyard; however, you can also make one yourself quite cheaply.

Here are some things to keep in mind when growing cannabis in greenhouse:

  • You have to provide your cannabis with enough light.
  • You’ll have to hang up some fans to blow fresh air through greenhouse.

Growing Naturally and Secretly: The Guerrilla Guide

Growing Naturally and Secretly: The Guerrilla Guide

You can always go guerrilla if you can’t grow outdoors because of nosy neighbors or your landlord.

You’re going to need bit more skill to grow outdoors in natural setting, but it’s possible.

If you want to grow outdoors in summer, plant your seeds around end of February.

Transplant them outdoors when they are about 8 inches tall. Give them about 2 feet between each other, and make sure they don’t get too much shade.

Ensure they have pleasant and fertile soil with lots of nutrient and water them regularly during dry months. By end of summer, buds will be ready for harvest.

Nutrients 101: Easy Weed Care

Good climate is essential for healthy flowers.

But nutrients are equally important because they feed cannabis plants.

First, leaves appear, first buds form, and first flower buds ripen when there’s enough lights and enough nutrients in soil.

If you’re starting with cultivating marijuana, it’s good to know how plant feeds itself.

Nutrients 101: Easy Weed Care

Nutrient Calendar and Chart

Plant uses nutrients to create buds and leaves.

Top layer of soil contains all nutrients needed by cannabis, but it’s not enough.

To have optimal production, correct pH value, and sufficient water supply, you must give them additional nutrients.

If you don’t supplement your soil with any additional fertilizer, your cannabis will grow very slowly and will produce small buds.

Your weed need the following primary macronutrients:

  • Nitrogen (N)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Potassium( K)

Nitrogen is needed to create leaves and stems. Plant needs lot of nitrogen during start of growing season to develop nice big leaves that can absorb sunlight.

Phosphor plays very important role in function of chlorophyll, which is needed for photosynthesis.

Phosphor also plays an important role in production of proteins, creation of roots, and development of easy bud.

Potassium is important to speed up metabolism of strains and to improve production. 

It also improves quality and taste of weed. It is therefore very important to provide right amounts.

These micronutrients are needed as well, but in much smaller doses:

  • Calcium (Ca)
  • Magnesium (Ma)
  • Sulfur (S)

Weed also needs these non-minerals to thrive:

  • Carbon
  • Hydrogen
  • Oxygen

Carbon is needed for sugars, and development of strains and creation of buds. Plant needs lot of carbon when it’s in flowering weeks.

Grow Cannabis Tip’s for Beginners

Here are some tips for beginner growers:

  • Please provide them with water that’s rich in nutrients
  • Don’t overwater plant, but keep soil nice and moist.
  • Make sure your strains get enough light.
  • Air Temperature should be between 64 and 77 degrees.
  • Make sure air supply is sufficient.

Common Problems and Solutions for Slow-Growing

There are many possible reasons why your cannabis seeds grow slowly or not grow at all.

It could be because they’re germinated in wrong kind of soil, or because they need more light, or because they need more water.

It could also be because strains are too close to each other, so that lights can’t reach bottom of it and gets caught underneath leaves.

It can be because of too much water or too many nutrients; pests and mold can also cause this problem.

You can do some of these things if your strains are growing slowly:

  • Make sure they are getting enough light
  • Move grow lights closer and make certain flowers get sufficient light
  • Raise lamp higher
  • Install more lamps
  • Install reflector under lamp to create more heat
  • Provide more air ventilation to your grow room
  • Check pH of your growing medium to see if it is right

Stages: Life Cycle from Germination to Harvest

Stages: Life Cycle from Germination to Harvest

There are 4 weed plant stages during cannabis seeds life cycle.

By adequately understanding these stages, you can make better decisions regarding what you need to do in order to get highest possible yield from seeds.

Cannabis germination is first stage of seeds life cycle. Germinating cannabis is process by wich cannabis seeds sprouts.

To sprout your cannabis seed, you need to make an enviroment for them suitable for germination.

That requires the right temperature, air, and good moisture, meaning you have to provide them with perfect environment.

From Seedling to Young Plant: Optimal Conditions

From Seedling to Young Plant: Optimal Conditions

After germination weeks, seedlings will appear.

They’ll stay small for first couple of days, but once they manage to stand on their own, they’ll start growing like crazy.

Plants always have certain period of adaptation in begining, so don’t worry if they look a bit limp for first few days.

All little marijuana need are good conditions, sufficient light, and correct temperature and humidity.

It’s especially important to keep humidity high in seedling phase because plants can’t yet produce their own moisture through evaporation through leaves, which only starts after first pair of leaves is fully grown.

Maximizing Growth in Vegetative State

During vegetative state, plant makes many leaves and stems. That is an ideal state for maximum photosynthesis.

Many factors influence final size of weed. 

Most important ones are light, temperature, and nutrients.

More lights plant gets in vegetative stage, more chlorophyll it can produce, and more photosynthesis can take place. 

More photosynthesis, more energy, and nutrients can be absorbed.

In nature, sunlight is most intense during summer months, which is perfect for growing weed. 

Make sure you buy proper MH or HPS lamps if you’re growing inside.

Pre-Flowering and Flowering Stage

Pre-Flowering and Flowering Stage

Pre-flowering stage plant develops sex organs by producing stamens and pistils.

Marijuana will also start to show their gender, which you can see through their pattern. 

Males are recognized by their thin stalks with balls at top, while females have thicker stalks with little bulges.

It’s important that you remove males right away during first stage because they won’t produce any buds. You can do this by checking them every weeks or simply using marker pen to identify them.

They also use lot of energy from cannabis for growth and not for flower production. Make sure to get rid of them all!

Cannabis typically start flowering outdoors by the end of summer, depending on external factors.

This is because days get shorter, and lower lights intensity trigger flowering stage of cannabis.

Fully Grown and Ready for Harvest

In order to get quality weed, it’s important to determine right weeks of harvest.

Color of pistils and smell of buds are two main criteria.

Color of pistils tells you if your weed is ready for harvest, while smell determines quality and taste.

Equipment and Supplies: Understanding the Basics

Cultivating weed is an art and science. Proper setup of your grow room will determine quality, quantity, and flavor of final product.

In this chapter, I’ll explain different types of lights, containers, and cannabis growth mediums in detail so you can choose which is best for your needs.

Choosing the Right Pot and Containers

Choosing right pot is important to successfully cannabis growth.

You want your cannabis plants to get enough water, but not too much because this causes root system to suffocate.

Also, they need nutrients in soil which they take through their roots. You can provide these by giving them fertilizer once or twice during cannabis growth phase.

And last but not least, you have to make sure roots don’t stick out of bottom of pot because they’ll dry out otherwise. Using pots with holes solves this problem.

Pros and Cons of LED Lights, HID, CFL, and Metal Halide

Lights for HIDs appears as an arc between two nodes inside the lights bulb. 

The difference between MHs and HPSs is the gas that is present in these bulbs. 

Typically, HID bulbs cost more than the reflective hoods that carry them.

Pros and Cons of LED Lights, HID, CFL, and Metal Halide

For many years, HIDs have been the industry standard for indoor cannabis production, but LEDs are swiftly catching up.

HPS stands for High-pressure sodium. HID bulbs are frequently used for flowering since they typically include sodium, mercury, and xenon and generate a yellow or orange lights.

Some growers may start with MH bulbs and transition them to HPSs when they reach the flowering stage. A ballast is also needed for these lights.

MS metal halide and mercury bulbs give off a blueish lights and are frequently utilized for vegetative stage. A ballast is needed to control the current in them.

The field of cannabis cultivation has only recently begun growing cannabis with led lights (light-emitting diodes). 

Despite being more expensive, LEDs are more efficient, better for the environment, and less expensive on your electricity bill.

One LED can normally be utilized for vegetative and blooming development.

Pros and Cons of LED Lights, HID, CFL, and Metal Halide

They typically run much cooler than HIDs, so you might not need additional cooling equipment in your grow area. 

You may adjust the spectrum for each cannabis growth stage with some high-end LEDs.

CFL bulbs are designed for the beginner as a cheap and easy way to grow cannabis.

Cultivating weed in CFL is not the most profitable method. Streams do not maximize yields and are not suitable for large-scale growth. 

But it is very cheap and very easy. If you need a small number of buds, they are perfect and affordable way to grow cannabis.

Pros and Cons of LED Lights, HID, CFL, and Metal Halide

When it comes to using black lights while growing your cannabis seeds it is not recommended. 

You can’t use black lights to grow weeds because the lights spectrum it emits has insufficient wavelengths.

Essential Accessories and Chemicals for a Successful Grow Kit

When it comes to essentials you need for cannabis growth, most important are lights machine you use, system, medium you grow your plant in, and right macronutrients and micronutrients you provide to your plant.

You can watch videos online about all of these things to inform yourself better. 

There is also a new software app developed by experienced growers that incorporates scientific data that can help you grow.

From Nodes to Buds: Anatomy of Cannabis Plant

Weed flowers are fascinating creatures. To grow nice buds, they have to convert a large amount of lights energy into chemical energy.

They do this using photosynthesis: solar energy is converted into chemical energy inside plant cells.

Plant needs carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to carry out photosynthesis.

From Nodes to Buds: Anatomy of Cannabis Plant

A Closer Look at Cola, Trichomes, Leaves, and Pistils

Once you’ve grown your own cannabis seeds for while, you’ll start to recognize certain things.

Cola is cluster of buds that grow together on female cannabis. During trimming, large colas are usually broken up into individual buds. 

Pistils are most important part of marijuana because they determine quality of buds you’ll harvest at the end of summer. 

Pistils are hairs with sticky resin on them. So there must be as many pistils as possible.

Leaves of marijuana are where photosynthesis takes place, which is key to growth.

Leaves can be green or colored. Color depends on variety you’re cultivating. 

Covering surface of cannabis is hair-like structures called trichomes. 

These produce most of the plant’s cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

How Tall do Weed Plants Grow

How tall cannabis seeds will grow depends on the strain type (photoperiod or autoflower) and growing conditions; not all strains produce plants of same height.

Indicas are short and bushy, while Sativa marijuana are taller.

What Cannabis Plants Look Like

Cannabis plants grow in stages. Each stage has specific characteristics and demands regarding nutrients and lights.

Cannabis plants won’t look the same in four weeks and eight weeks of growth. Cannabis plants can be either female or male.

What Cannabis Plants Look Like

Female vs Male: Identifying the Gender

Cannabis plants have gender. Some are male, and others female.

Female plant produces buds, while male plant produces pollen.

Females can be identified by their pistils, and males by their pollen sacs (anthers).

Early Signs – Key Factors and Signs to Look For

Early Signs – Key Factors and Signs to Look For

When you germinated your seed, it already showed first leaves. They’re tiny and look like little wings.

In first phase of plant’s life, stem will grow vertically upwards, and roots will spread out horizontally.

You’ll see new leaves develop every other day. You can not identify gender by looking at these first leaves.

Cannabis‌ ‌plants‌ usually‌ ‌start‌ ‌to‌ ‌show‌ ‌gender ‌with‌ small ‌preflowers,‌ ‌around‌ 4 ‌week‌s and 6 weeks, in pre-flowering stage.‌ ‌

Female‌ ‌preflowers‌ ‌look‌ ‌like‌ ‌a‌ ‌pair‌ ‌of‌ ‌white‌ ‌hairs coming out from calyx.

Males grow faster and taller than females and will show their gender sooner.

Pictures of 10 Pound Plant

If you are interested in what 10 pound Cannabis plant looks like, here is picture below:

Pictures of 10 Pound Plant

How Indica and Sativa Affect THC and CBD Levels

THC and CBD are two significant compounds that affect how high you feel when smoking Marijuana. 

These are found in all cannabis strains, but high levels can vary depending on variety.

Sativa-dominant strains tend to have high levels of THC than CBD, while Indica-dominant strains have high CBD levels than THC. 

However, because cannabis is an adaptive plant species, it’s possible to find strains with equal amounts of these compounds. 

Ultimately, it comes down to genetics of specific strain and its Indica or Sativa heritage.

How Indica and Sativa Affect THC and CBD Levels

Role of Autoflower and Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Autoflowers genetics are simpler to manage and provide greater flexibility in terms of both cultivation and harvesting. 

By their nature, they flower automatically when specific age is met. 

That makes them a popular choice for first-time growers concerned about losing track of the flowering period or those looking to nurture outdoors where seasons change naturally.

Feminized seeds have distinct advantages for growers desiring seeds that do not grow into males. 

While this method does remove need for constant removal of pollen sacs from grow area, it also has higher chances of more significant yield. 

Feminized seeds will only produce females, which means you’ll need more free space for your crop!

You can get your autoflowering and female marijuana seeds at DSS, we offer free shipping and have promo code for every order.

Exotic Cannabis Strains and Their Unique Potential

Exotic Cannabis Strains and Their Unique Potential

Since ancient times, cannabis has been used for its medicinal properties. 

Different populations discovered that marijuana could treat different illnesses and ailments.

In modern world, we know lot about cannabinoids (THC, CBD) and their abilities to treat a range of medical conditions, from glaucoma to chronic pain. 

Indicas and Sativas have distinct effects on mind and body.

There are strains with high THC levels and strains with high CBD levels.

Genetics: Understanding the Impact of Hybridization

Once you understand basics of Sativa and Indica, it’s time to look deeper into how different strains have been developed.

It is widely known fact that crossing two strains will yield offspring with unique characteristics. This is because plant takes traits from both their parents.

However, there is significantly more to it than just that; every strain offers unique benefits and drawbacks depending on genetics.

There are Sativa-dominant hybrids and Indica-dominant hybrids.

Depending on whether you’re producing for medical or recreational use, your local laws will be different.

It’s often easier to obtain license for medical cannabis seeds and, therefore, also easier to grow.

Grower’s License: Before Starting Your Cultivation

Grower’s License: Before Starting Your Cultivation

To grow cannabis, you’ll need a grower’s license.

This is available to residents of Netherlands, or other countries where laws allow you to grow marijuana, who are at least 18 years old, have clean criminal records, and have no history of substance abuse.

In the US, you can get your license for medical marijuana production in some states. 

For instance, you can get your license through Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA).

They protect medical marijuana users, growers, and distributors with valid OMMP cards who comply with the OMMP rules and laws from state criminal prosecution for production, possession, and delivery of cannabis seeds in Oregon.

From Commercial Facility to Dispensary

When it comes to cannabis seeds market, there are jobs as consultants with expertise in emerging markets.

In the US, there are cannabis growth and cultivation facilities, extraction facilities, and seed bank dispensaries.

In grow and cultivation facilities, there are people who care for them until they are ready for harvest providing them with necessary growth conditions.

After they are harvested, they are moved to extraction facilities and are processed in various ways to make them into different cannabis products like extract oils, pills, or consumables.

Farming for Living: How to Start a Successful Company

To make it as easy as possible for you to start producing, I’ve created this guide.

It will teach you how to make your own grow room and what basics you need to know to start producing your own marijuana.

That is a great way to start from grow room and, with effort and time, turn your hobby into successful company step by step.

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