How Is Cannabis Grown?

Growing season (and 420) is right around the corner. Whether you're an OG grower or a smoker curious about the growing process, this article covers all the FAQ's about cannabis growing, cultivating, harvesting and more.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Weed?

It typically takes about 4-8 months to grow weed from start to finish.

This depends largely on numerous factors such as strain, grow type, location, when you top and prune etc. Like any other plant, cannabis is unique! As an example, outdoor grown weed vs. indoor grown weed has a whole different set of variables to consider.

Strains are also an important factor. Indica strains typically grow quicker than Sativa. As short and busheled plants, Indica strains mature in roughly 6-8 weeks time. Sativa strains are taller and skinnier and take about 12-16 weeks to mature.

When Is The Best Time To Grow Cannabis?

Timing is everything. For outdoor crops, the best time to grow is in the late Spring (about May). That means you’ll have to start germinating your plants between February - March. Make sure you pick reliable seeds so that when it comes time to harvesting between September - November, you're getting high quality cannabis.

What Are The Stages Of Cannabis Growth?

1.) Germinating (3-10 days). This stage is when the seed is given plenty of sunlight so it can sprout. Once sprouted, the seed is put in soil and given nutrients for growth. As a word of caution, seeds should be hard and dry. If they’re squishy or white in colour, get rid of them!

2.) Seeding (2-3 weeks). As a seedling, the cannabis plant will begin to develop leaves and blades. The plant is extremely delicate at this stage - it’s important not to overwater. You'll also want to make sure the plants are getting plenty of sunlight so they can develop an abundance of blades on fan leaves. Plants should be saturated in a beautiful green colour at this point in the growing process.

3.) Vegetative (3-14 weeks). Arguably the most important part of growing, the vegetative state is when the plants are moved into larger pots, need rich soil and nutrients, and when you can begin to determine the sex of the plants. At this point, males are discarded.

4.) Flowering (6-11 weeks). As the final stage of growing, plants begin to flower and mature into the weed we know and love. If grown outdoors, plants typically receive less sunlight at this stage as the seasons shift from summer to fall. Growers will also ease up on artifical light-time if growing indoors.

5.) Harvesting (3-8 weeks). How do you know when to harvest your plants? As a general rule, the leaves will begin to curl, nugs will be plump, and the branches will hang more as the weight of the buds increase. In this stage you’ll collect the buds, dry, trim, and cure them. Next? You'll probably want to get some good storage to keep your weed fresh.

Does Cannabis Gender Matter And Why?

If you want weed, then you'll want to grow female plants - only female plants produce buds! Male cannabis plants produce seeds, and can even produce pollen which can negatively impact the growth of female plants. When the male and female plants are in close proximity to one another (which is likely), the female plants can get pollinated via the polen from males. When this happens, female plants shift from growing nugs, to seeds! When the gender of the plant is revealed during the vegetative stage, you'll want to remove any male plants as soon as possible.

Is There A Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Grown Weed?

There’s three main kinds of grown weed: 1.) outdoor 2.) greenhouse and 3.) indoor.

1.) Outdoor growing techniques expose crops to the natural elements. With less control over the environment, rain, insects, invasive plants, animals etc. can negatively affect plant production. Although, this method can be cheaper than indoor or green house grown weed. You can expect to save on costly artificial lighting, fans, and hefty utility costs that come with indoor grown weed.

2.) Growing cannabis in a greenhouse uses a hybrid of natural and artificial techniques. With this method you'll be able to use natural sunlight and have the opportunity to use artificial lighting when needed. You'll also have greater protection from animals and pests compared to outdoor growing. On the fliip side, there is a risk of pests and invasive species growing within the greenhouse. That, and the cost of this structure may slightly set you back financially.

3.) Indoor cultivation is usually the most costly up front. Warehouse costs, artificial lighting, air conditioning, dehumidification systems, utility costs, etc. It adds up. This might not be the most ideal environment for first time growers, however, it gives you (the grower) the most control over the plant and how it’s grown. Due to the harsh weather conditions, most plants in BC are grown indoors.

Does It Matter Where You Grow Weed?

Yes - in terms of geography, the natural elements will play a huge role into where you grow. Plants need plenty of sunlight and require very specific temperatures throughout the various stages of growth.

How Much Cannabis Does One Plant Yield?

This is a tough question to answer because so many variables go into the outcome of weed cultivation. But as a general rule, indoor plants typically produce about 4oz per plant and outdoor plants produce roughly 16oz per plant. Strains also play a role in crop yield. Indica strains will usually yield more weed, but this isn’t always the case. As an example, both Runtz and Blue Dream are hybrid strains. Yet, the former usually yields way less buds than the latter. Other factors that affect the growth of the plant similarly affect how the plant matures and eventually gets harvested.

Further Reading...

By Nadia Bortolazzo
Nadia is an MA graduate and a Digital Marketing Specialist at Burb. Her writing is guided by her interest in challenging and expanding the ideologies surrounding cannabis culture.
Instagram: @nadiabortolazzo.