With eight states making the recreational use of marijuana legal and many more legalizing the medicinal use of the drug, growing marijuana has become a trend. Some states allow both medical and recreational users to grow a specific number of plants per person, but some states do not allow for private growing at all but instead have both medial and recreational dispensaries . If it is legal in your state, growing your own supply can help cut costs. There are also large-scale operations that feed local dispensaries with product. Learning how to grow can help you get your foot in the door to a very lucrative industry.
Cannabis users have many ways of ingesting their product. From combustion methods like joints and bowls, to vaporizing their bud or concentrates, to edibles, everyone has their own preference. Since cannabis is ingested via various methods, dry herb vaporizers, joints, concentrates, edibles etc., it’s important to grow the plant right so the bud will have all the necessary flavors to make the ingestion process enjoyable.
If you are looking into getting into growing your own plants, there are a few things that can affect the growth of your marijuana.
There are four main considerations when it comes to lighting when growing marijuana plants.
- Distance from your lights
- Intensity of your lights
- Color spectrum of your lights
- Lighting schedule
Distance is important. Too close and you risk giving your plants light burn. Too far away and the plants aren’t getting the light they need. Distance is especially important in the seeding phase. If the light is too far away, it can result in the plant “reaching” for more light, which produces plants incapable of supporting weight at the budding time. Distance is greatly impacted by the amount of space you have set aside to grow, but there are helpful charts out on the web that can show you how to adjust the distance
Intensity is important as well. Too dim and you’ll have the same stunted growth as though you placed your lights too far away. Too intense and you can give your plants light burn. If you’re growing indoors, you might want to consider high intensity discharge lights (HID). These are safe and easy to use. Another choice, high pressure sodium lights (HPS), are the go-to choice of most growers.Metal halide lights are a good choice if you want to promote strong and quick growth during the seeding and vegetative states.
Different kinds of lights produce different color spectrums. Color spectrum is a factor during different growth cycles. Blue light is best for the seeding and vegetative states because it promotes the production of chlorophyll. Red light, which is generally produced by HPS lighting, mimics the sun of late summer, which is great for the flowering phase.
The lighting schedule is also important. Plants are like most creatures on earth in that they need sleep. Providing them with light 24 hours per day can be detrimental to growth. The only exception to this rule is the seeding stage, where 24-hour light helps the plants to grow. During the vegetative stage, marijuana plants seem to enjoy 18 hours of light followed by 6 hours of sleep or darkness. Trigger the flowering, or budding stage by switching to twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness.
Like light, temperature is also of utmost importance in growing cannabis. Generally speaking, cannabis prefers temperatures between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day when receiving light. When the lights are off, they prefer slightly cooler temperatures. The vegetative stage is most responsive to these temps. However, once the flowering stage has begun, keep temps slightly cooler, to between 65-80 degrees. For best results, ensure that in your grow room, there is a ten-degree difference in temperature when you have the lights on (warmer) and when the lights are off (cooler). Keeping this difference is of the utmost importance during the flowering stage to produce high-quality buds.
Keep in mind that keeping it either too hot or too cold can stunt your plant’s growth. Though being too hot might not outright kill a plant, temperatures dropping below freezing can shock or even kill a cannabis plant.
Growing cannabis successfully depends on many factors beyond temperature and lighting, but these are two of the most important factors. Other factors such as soil, additives, and choosing a strain should also be taken into consideration.