It’s surely great that legalization means more dispensaries across the country serving up some of the best bud in the world. However, with legalization comes things like taxes and corporations, which both can impact your wallet when it comes to being able to afford legal dispensary weed.
Many cannabis lovers are turning to home cultivation to not only save a LOT of money vs the dispensary but also because growing your own weed is just, FUN!
Below we’ll dig into the multitude of benefits that home grows offer as well as some of your best options if you’re a complete newb looking to get started.
Why You Should Try Home Cultivation
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.
Of course this mostly applies to outdoor grows that aren’t really all the different from growing any other outdoor plant. Indoor and hydroponic grows are a little more challenging and not recommended for your very first grow unless you have the time to put in learning everything about artificial lighting, ventilation, humidity control and nutrient delivery beforehand.
1. 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, even if you’re only growing a small number of plants you need seeds to start with (unless you have a friend that can provide a clone which will save you some time).
You should also expect to use more electricity and water when growing cannabis, so those monthly bills will become a little more expensive too but in the end the cost saving swill be worth it with a full harvest. For indoor grows you can expect 3-5 ounces of flower and if outdoors, in the right conditions, this could be up to 15 ounces!
Needless to say, if you were to buy this much weed from a dispensary you would be spending hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars. Yes, conservatives do have a point with taxes in America and it all adds up. This is another reason why street weed is usually quite a bit cheaper than dispensary weed.
2. You’ll Always Stay 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.
3. 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.
4. You’ll Make More Friends
Finally and perhaps second only to cost savings is the benefit of making more friends. Ultimately if you end up growing multiple plants year round you’ll be producing far more flower than you can consume yourself.
Sure, you could buy a rosin press and turn that extra volume of flower material into some goopy terpy live rosin but if you don’t go this route the next best thing is to offer it up to friends for free. Everyone likes a thoughtful gift and a fresh bag of home grown sticky is about one of the best gifts a stoner can receive, which will inevitably net you many new friends over the long haul..
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.
There are special techniques used to increase yields for indoor plants. Learn more about growing techniques like low-stress training and high-stress training before deciding if indoor vs. outdoor is right for you.
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
1. 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.
2. Security Concerns
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.
3. 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.
4. Loud Bud Smells LOUD
If you’re growing some high quality sticky, particular those gassy sativas, then expect the whole building in which you’re growing to smell of it. This smell is actually fantastic and definitely not a real negative in the sense that it’s great to smell your plant.
That said, if you’re in a densely populated area, sharing a building, or just in a city then expect the smell to permeate your immediate surroundings. As such it’s worth making sure you’re neighbors are all cool before investing in all your materials because it sucks to have someone narc and you lose all your gear.
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 in between.
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!