The new marijuana laws in Canada don’t just allow adults to buy and use weed, but also grow their own marijuana. Providing that you’re of legal age, you can grow up to four active marijuana plants at a time. You can also cultivate as much weed as you want from these plants, stash it, and use it how you please. There are still some restrictions, but growing marijuana can be a great project for any cannabis lover and may even be cost-effective over time.
However, growing marijuana isn’t easy. You’ll need to buy some equipment and also invest a few months into the whole process. With that said, it can be extremely rewarding to grow your own bud from scratch. You can find seeds of all your favorite strains and create a consistent supply of your own marijuana. Here’s a step by step guide to growing marijuana and everything you need to know before you do it.
Growing Marijuana Laws in Canada
Before you start growing your own weed, it’s important to keep up to date with marijuana growing laws. In Canada, each province sets its own laws when it comes to growing. While most will allow you to grow four plants indoors or outdoors, there are some slight differences between places and a couple of provinces still don’t allow you to grow your own weed.
Growing your own weed is still illegal in Quebec and Manitoba. Growing laws are still complex in Nunavut and each territory is able to set their own rules. Everywhere else in Canada, you can grow up to four plants at a time provided you’re 19 years of age or above. You can grow from the age of 18 in Alberta.
You can legally grow weed either indoors or outdoors. However, your plants must be kept out of reach of children and out of public sight. This means that if you’re growing outdoors, it’s best to use a backyard. You may also be required to set up a locked enclosure around your marijuana plants. You can read more about the Canada cannabis laws on the Government of Canada website.
What Do You Need to Start Growing Marijuana?
You’ll need to buy a few things if you plan to grow your own marijuana plants. Plants need pots, soil, water, and certain nutrients to grow effectively. You’ll also need a lot of special equipment to grow indoors, such as a dedicated grow box or grow tent, lighting, and ventilation.
If you choose to grow outdoors, you’ll only need a few things. Plant containers can help keep your plants away from the ground and protect them more from pests and waterlogging. Nutrient-enriched soil can help you grow better plants. You can also use water enriched with nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, and calcium. Some stores sell ‘super soil’ which contains the nutrients your plants need. You may also need some fencing or an enclosure around your plants if you grow outdoors.
If you choose to grow indoors, you’ll need a few more things. Here’s a general list of the equipment you need for an indoor grow:
- An enclosed grow space. You can use a box, tent or even an entire room. It’s important that you can control the lighting and temperature of your entire grow space.
- Artificial lighting. LED, CFL or HID lights generally work best for this.
- Air conditioning. This will allow you to control the temperature of your grow space which is important for the plant’s growth.
- Composted soil with nutrient-enriched water. Alternatively, you can use nutrient-enriched super soil. Marijuana plants generally need nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, and calcium.
- Marijuana Seeds.
Setting up an indoor grow will cost significantly more, although it does give you more control over the process and often results in faster growth. Growing outdoors is fairly straightforward in comparison and, with summer coming up, it’s a good option for growers.
Types of Marijuana Seeds
Of course, you’ll need to buy seeds in order to start growing marijuana. You can buy seeds in many marijuana stores or online. However, like with other types of marijuana products, you’ll notice there’s a lot of variety when it comes to buying seeds.
You can buy seeds for any kind of marijuana strain. You can either get regular seeds or feminized seeds. You can also get autoflowering seeds, which grow much faster. Here’s a guide to the different types of marijuana seeds.
Regular seeds – Regular seeds are the cheapest kind of marijuana seed. However, they’re also the least useful for growers. Marijuana growers need feminine seeds, as female plants are the ones which contain high levels of THC and other cannabinoids. If you get a pack of regular seeds, you often won’t know whether plants are male or female before they grow and your plants may be useless to you.
Feminized seeds – Feminized cannabis seeds are much more popular for growers. These kinds of seeds are genetically altered to ensure at least 95% of the plants are feminine, which means they’ll contain high levels of cannabinoids. You should always opt for feminized seeds over regular seeds if you plan to grow marijuana.
Autoflowering seeds – Autoflowering cannabis seeds are enhanced seeds which cross indica or sativa plants with cannabis ruderalis plants. As such, you get the extra fast growth of ruderalis plants along with the cannabinoid levels of indica/sativa plants. The best kinds of seeds for growers are feminized autoflowering seeds, as these will contain high levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids as well as having a fast growth rate.
Alternatively, you can take cuttings of previously grown marijuana plants and replant them to create clones. Many growers do this in order to ensure they get more feminized plants. It can also be a useful way to save money while growing more weed.
Guide to Growing Marijuana Outdoors
Growing marijuana outdoors is the easier option as well as the cheaper option. You won’t need to spend a lot of money on equipment and, providing the weather is good enough, you won’t need to interfere much at all. Growing marijuana outdoors will still take a few months, but it can be very straightforward.
Before you start, make sure you have marijuana seeds as well as plant containers, soil, water, and nutrients (these can be infused into the soil or water). Here’s how you can start growing marijuana outdoors.
Step 1 – Create a growing space outside. Make sure this is out of public view. It also helps to make sure your growing space is protected from pests and animals- you may want to use fencing or an enclosure
Step 2 – Plant your seeds in the soil (this can be in the ground, although using plant containers will help protect plants more). It’s best to choose a spot where your plants can get at least six hours of sunlight per day.
Step 3 – Make sure you water your plants regularly. In hot weather where the soil dries up, you may need to do this multiple times a day. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil with your finger and add water if it isn’t still moist at least an inch in.
Step 4 – You’ll also need to provide your plant with nutrients. These can be added to your water or infused into the soil (super soil).
This whole process shouldn’t be too hard and your plants should be ready for harvest after around three to six months. You can tell when plants are ready for harvest by using a magnifying tool and checking that around 60-70% of the pistils (hairs) on the bud have become dark. You can also check to see if the trichomes are mostly cloudy. These are the small, crystal-like dots which grow on weed.
Guide to Growing Marijuana Indoors
Growing marijuana indoors can be more expensive as well as more complex. However, it gives you much more control over the growth of your plants and many growers find they grow plants better and faster indoors.
You’ll need a grow space, lighting, air conditioning for temperature control, containers, soil, and water. There are multiple methods for growing indoors, but this is the best for beginners.
Step 1 – Set up a grow space that’s enclosed so that no light gets in. You can buy a grow box, grow tent or use household equipment such as a cupboard for this. Fit your grow space with grow lights and an air exchange system (e.g. an air conditioning unit, extractor fan or air dust).
Step 2 – Plant seeds in containers with soil and put them inside your grow space. It may help to use containers with small holes in the bottom and a container underneath to collect excess water.
Step 3 – For the first four to six weeks, give your plants 18 hours of light per day and set the temperature to around 70-75°F. This is optimal for early growth.
Step 4 – After around four to six weeks, you should see your plants start to flower. At this point, start to give your plants just 12 hours of light per day and lower temperatures to around 65-70°F.
After this point, your plants should be ready to harvest in around two to three months. This can vary depending on the strain and type of seeds you use. Use a magnifying tool to check the pistils (hairs) on the bud as well as the small trichome crystals. The optimal time for harvest is when around 60-70% of the hairs have darkened and the trichomes are cloudy.
How to Harvest Your Marijuana Plants
Generally, your plants should be ready to harvest within three to six months. To check that your plants are ready to harvest, use a magnifying tool to check the pistils and trichomes of the plant flowers.
When 60-70% of the hairs have darkened and the trichomes are cloudy is when your buds will have the most THC. If you wait longer for around 70-80% of the hairs to darken, your buds will have more CBD. Here’s how you can harvest your plants when they’re ready.
Step 1 – Use a trimming tool to cut away as much of the plant matter as possible. You can either cut whole branches or just cut till you’re left with the buds.
Step 2 – Once you have your branches or buds, place them on a dry rack or hang them up on a washing line indoors to dry. A cool, dry room with temperatures of around 59 – 70 °F is ideal for drying. You can also use a dehumidifier to keep humidity to around 50-60% to help with the drying process.
Step 3 – Your buds will usually be dry within around three to ten days. Check your plants regularly for moisture. Wait until your plants are fully dry as damp plants may grow mold.
Step 4 – Once your buds are dry, your weed is ready to smoke. However, curing them is recommended for better potency and flavor. Take them down and store them in jars or containers. Make sure your containers are only around three-quarters full to allow for some air. Check on your buds to ensure none are still damp and remove any moisture as this can attract mold.
After this, you can enjoy your very own homegrown weed by smoking it, vaping it or using it in any other way you’d like. Continue to stash excess weed in containers in a cool, dry place.
If you’re willing to invest a few months and a little bit of money into seeds and equipment, growing marijuana can be a fun and fruitful project. Some users grow marijuana to save money in the long-run by producing their own. Others simply do it for the experience and to sample weed they have cultivated themselves.
Make sure you keep up to date with your local cannabis laws and adhere to growing laws. It’s important to keep any growing operation away from children and the public. You should also keep any weed you grow stashed away safely at home. However, as long as you follow the regulations you can grow weed to your heart’s content and enjoy all kinds of homegrown cannabis. Of course, if growing marijuana doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always buy weed online in all kinds of strains.