Now that pot is legal, Canadians are allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants in their homes. Question is, do you really want to?
Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth, a large medical marijuana growing facility in Ontario, warns that growing pot may not be as pleasant as growing primroses or as easy as sprouting spring onions. Pot plants are demanding house-guests, he says, since the plants are smelly and yield more humidity than you may care for. Check this:
Light and Darkness: Marijuana plants need 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness without which they may not turn out the best. “They start to mutate if they get too much light when they’re in flower,” says Linton. Hours of lighting can use up a lot of power, adding to electricity bills. LED lights cost more initially but can save a lot in the long run.
Smells: Strains can smell anything from lemons and lavender to skunk or stinky shoes.
Trimming: Trimming the leaves away from the buds is another task that can take effort and time. Even one or two plants can take up to six or seven hours to get it done.
Adequate Area: For the smell sensitive, air-filters may lessen the stench but growing the plant also takes up a lot of space. The setup requires about 3” by 3” at the base and 6 ½” high area, fitted with a fan, lights and air filter.
Legal Purchase: Your home-grown plant would be legal under federal law only if they were grown from seeds that you legally purchased from licensed producers. Currently they are not available. Canopy Growth, Canada’s largest licensed producer plans to sell seeds by the spring, closer to the time when the planting season begins.
Provincial Rules: Every province has their own set of rules. In B.C., pot plants are not allowed to be visible to the public. In New Brunswick, they have to be locked in an enclosure.
Although Linton is planning to supply seeds for home-grown cannabis, he doesn’t see the trend taking root. However, if you still want to go ahead, here are a few tips to get you started.
THC vs Terpene: Before you begin, here’s a thing you need to know. High THC cannabis may be more potent but high terpene products are the ones that are more enjoyable in flavour and effect. To grow the first strains, try to work on maximizing terpene production.
Organic vs Synthetic Nutrients: Growing organically under natural sunlight usually produces higher terpene content (more flavour) while synthetic nutrients for indoor plants generally yield strains with higher THC (more potent). Favourite varieties to grow at home are Blue Dream, Northern Lights and Flow to beat insomnia, depression and anxiety. They look beautiful when they grow and taste great.
Daily Care: Like children, you need to tend to them daily. As the plants change in appearance over time, it needs change too. Different stages of growth demand different quantities of light, water, nutrients and techniques. Do not overwater or they will die. Use half the recommended nutrients if you’re a first-time grower. A carbon-filter will reduce the smell emanating from the plants.
Harvest Time: When is the best time to harvest the buds? Look at the trichome heads. If you prefer a recreational high, harvest them when the trichome heads turn milky in colour. If you’d like a more body high, amber heads are what you need to look at. The choice is yours. Trim neatly and dispose the trash carefully if you don’t want your neighbours to complain.
Growing weed is much like growing tomatoes. They grow in similar conditions, requiring nutrient-rich soil. For a healthier crop, try playing classical music. For all you know, the quality of weed could well be rocking!