With cannabis becoming legal in many American states and Canadian provinces, the door is open for both recreational and medical users to start growing their own plants.
Of course, you’ll want to double-check the laws in your home state before planting anything. But for those who can do so legally, there are many benefits to growing cannabis at home, and there are several methods that you can use to start growing your own today.
What are the Benefits of Growing Cannabis at Indoors?
In some ways, growing your own cannabis has the same benefits as growing vegetables in your home garden. If you don’t know the feeling, let me tell you: a tomato just tastes better when you grow it yourself.
It’s hard to explain why, it’s just a rewarding experience to get your hands dirty, sweat a little, and eventually get to enjoy the (literal) fruits of your labor.
If growing your own supply is intimidating, or you just are looking for some new art to add to your abode, our friends at Goldleaf have a beautiful “guide to cultivation terms” print that is equal parts educational and artistic:
It Pays Off in the Long-Run
On top of that, growing your own cannabis can be a money saver in the long run. Of course, you’ll need a little bit of “seed” money to get you started (Seedsman is great place to buy premium strain seeds), even if you’re only growing a small number of plants. You should also expect to use more electricity and water when growing cannabis, so those monthly bills will become a little more expensive.
But think about how much you spend every time you go to the dispensary. Once you start growing enough cannabis to meet your needs, those trips to the dispensary will become a thing of the past, and the money you would have spent there will stay in your pocket.
You’re Always Stocked
If you start growing cannabis at home, you can also say goodbye to the days of being left empty-handed. It shouldn’t take too much time to figure out how much you need to grow to meet your personal demands, especially if you have a favorite strand.
Do you remember that time when your local dispensary ran out of your favorite strand? Those days will soon be over once you start growing plants at home. If you use cannabis for medicinal purposes, growing at home is even more important because you can’t risk running out. By growing at home, you can provide for your own needs and make the dispensary your Plan B.
You’ve Always Wanted to Try It
Why beat around the bush: What cannabis user hasn’t thought about it? Growing plants of any kind is a good way to add a little beauty to your home. Every place needs a few plants to spruce things up, so you might as well grow plants that you can put to good use later.
Medicine On Tap
Remember it was medical marijuana legalization that paved the way for all the recreational use that people enjoy today, and there are still millions around the world that use cannabis first and foremost as a therapy. If you suffer from common ailments that cannabis can alleviate, such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, depression, insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, or even cancer then having your own independent source of medicine is a great reason to look into growing at home.
Your Best Options for Growing Cannabis at Home
The beauty of growing your own cannabis is that there are several ways to go about doing so. You can also choose your preferred methods for growing and dictate the effort you want to put into the growing process. It all depends on how much you care about growing high-quality buds.
Grow One Plant vs Several
For some home growers, keeping a single cannabis plant is enough. In fact, if growing cannabis at home is legal in your state or province, starting with one plant could be worthwhile just to see if you like growing your own cannabis and if it makes sense for you to continue. A single plant will also be relatively inexpensive, as you won’t need a lot in terms of soil or nutrients, nor will you use a lot of extra water and lighting. You’ll also have a lot of time to devote to that one plant, increasing the chances of the plant blooming.
If you’re just starting out on your own we recommend starting with just one plant first because when you’re learning you are bound to make some mistakes and it’s cheaper to mess up one plant than it is a dozen.
Outdoor vs Indoor
Whether you decide to grow one plant or several, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to grow them indoors or outdoors. Depending on the strain, the natural rays of the sun can actually be preferable to artificial light. On the other hand, growing cannabis indoors allows you to have more control over the growing conditions since you’re not worried about the weather.
But it’s important to note that growing indoors is significantly more expensive. It’s the cost of a higher likelihood that you’ll grow the highest quality plants.
Consider a Grow Box or Closet
If you have the startup cash (or are willing to do a line of credit offered by a distributor), you should consider investing in a grow box or grow closet. This is the easiest way to maintain ideal growing conditions, and they already have the lighting, air conditioning, hydroponics, and ventilation built in.
The biggest benefit of grow boxes is that they significantly reduce the amount of monitoring and maintenance the plants need, which means minimal effort on the part of the grower to yield exceptional results. The downside to grow boxes is that space is limited inside the box if you want to grow more than one or two plants (although grow closets offer a little more space).
There are a wide variety of home-grow options now that you can have delivered direct to your front doorstep, with varying levels of “user expertise” required. One of the simplest options out there are “smart grow cabinets” that are essentially self-sufficient grow boxes that are great for novices looking to learn cultivation but need someone looking over their shoulder to ensure they do it right.
If you already know a thing or two about the magical herb then a less automated, less “connected” solution might be for you. We highly recommend SuperCloset as a solution for those looking to grow at home on a larger scale than a self-contained smart cabinet would permit. SuperCloset has a wide variety of indoor grow solutions ranging from a handful of plants to multiple dozens.
Finding the Indoor Space for a Large-Scale Grow Operation
For more ambitious growers who would like to grow cannabis on a larger scale, growing in a greenhouse or a large indoor room like a basement is another option.
The obvious benefit of a greenhouse is that it provides room for tons of plants. It’s also easier to grow multiple strains – and experiment with new varieties. A greenhouse also provides the best of both worlds in terms of lighting. The cannabis plants will receive natural sunlight, although the greenhouse also creates the possibility of adding artificial light, particularly on cloudy days. It’s also easier to control temperature, water levels, and ventilation inside a basement or greenhouse and maintain optimal conditions throughout the growing process.
An indoor grow room has many of the same advantages as a greenhouse. Something like an unfinished basement can be the perfect spot to set up a large cannabis growing operation. Obviously, natural sunlight is likely nonexistent. However, if there is a water source, a way to circulate fresh air, and room to install proper lighting, any space has the potential to grow a hefty number of cannabis plants.
The Downsides to Growing Cannabis at Home
Your State Might Limit You
It’s important to keep in mind that growing cannabis at home isn’t all fun and games. Even if recreational cannabis is legal where you live, different states and provinces have different laws when it comes to growing at home. You’ll want to be aware of the specific laws where you live before you start growing.
For example, you can grow up to six plants at home in California and Colorado, but only four in Oregon. And in Illinois, you need to be a medical marijuana patient (versus recreational) to legally grow your own.
If you have an outdoor garden or greenhouse, passersby may be tempted to take your cannabis plants. There’s also the possibility that someone may not like that you’re growing in their neighborhood and feel compelled to destroy your crops. Fencing for an outdoor garden—and having a security camera in your greenhouse or basement—are two security measures to consider. Having a guard dog might not be a bad idea either.
Security concerns are also a good reason to be discrete when it comes to growing cannabis at home. Even if it’s legal, you’ll want to limit the number of people you tell about your cannabis garden because there will always be people who don’t like it – or will try to take advantage.
Potential for Property Damage
Meanwhile, indoor cannabis operations should be concerned with potential property damage. Indoor irrigation systems can create large amounts of moisture that can lead to mold in walls and ceilings. Drainage backups are also possible if growers flush soil or plant debris down toilets in large volumes. There have also been cases in which growing lights have sparked fires.
The good news is that growers can take steps to avoid these kinds of hazards. But it never hurts to regularly remind yourself that growing cannabis at home comes with potential dangers that need to be taken seriously.
Potential for Wastage
Anytime you learn something new you are bound to make mistakes. If you are growing alone at home and have no experience with marijuana cultivation you are bound to lose some plants, that’s just a matter of fact. If you don’t have a budget and can’t absorb this risk, then maybe look to a friend to see if you can first learn from them.
New Career? Growing Cannabis at Home Can Lead to Going Pro.
Despite some of the potential dangers of growing cannabis at home, another reason to give it a try is that you never know where it might lead. Like having a talent for brewing beer or making furniture, growing cannabis can turn into a profitable career path – even starting your own business. There are a ton of resources to help with the learning process, from online forums, to official universities, to physical books and everything inbetween.
That might sound like a pipe dream, but remember most businesses start as small home-grown or garage-based operations that people love so much they eventually expand into full-blown businesses. If starting a cannabis business is something you’re interested in we have written up a comprehensive guide to starting a cannabis business that you can use to at least get an idea of what you’re in store for..
Also keep in mind that the cannabis industry is growing by leaps and bounds. The global projections are that it’ll be worth tens of billions of dollars over the next decade. If you end up having a knack for growing cannabis at home, you might be able to earn a slice of the gigantic cannabis pie.
The only way to find out? Give it a try!