The US is in the midst of a green revolution. More than 70 percent of states have now legalized medical marijuana, and the number that allow the use and cultivation of cannabis for recreational purposes is also on the rise. If you are using weed to manage a medical condition such as chronic pain, anxiety or muscle spasticity, it’s important to have a steady supply to hand, and for many, the best way to be sure of that is to cultivate your own crop.
You also need to keepin mind that in some US states such as Maryland, marijuana is legal only for medical use. You need to consult a doctor who can issue a Maryland medical marijuana card for you to purchase and consume it legally.
Growing cannabis is rewarding in its own right, as well as being highly cost effective compared with paying pharmacy prices. It’s also not as complicated as it might seem, as long as you take a methodical approach. Here are some of the important points you’ll need to keep in mind to make it a success.
Feminized seeds only
People can talk all day about nutrients, lighting and so on, but all that is like rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic if you haven’t got good quality feminized cannabis seeds. These are the ones that produce the buds, and it makes sense to buy from a reputable source to eliminate the risk of ending up with the wrong sort.
Choosing the right strain
While you’re at it, you need to think about the strain of cannabis, too. There’s no such thing as “medical marijuana” per se, but your doctor or health advisor is likely to recommend a strain that is higher in CBD than THC – that means you get the therapeutic benefits without descending into fits of giggles.
This isn’t an absolute rule – there are strains of cannabis that will grow just fine outside, even in cooler climates. However, growing indoors makes it so much easier to optimize the conditions, and also eliminates potential problems associated with theft or nosey neighbors, so it is strongly recommended.
Hygiene is vital
This applies to any indoor growing, but is particularly important when the marijuana is for medical purposes. The last thing you want is for your crop to be compromised by mold or parasites, as these can create as many health problems as the cannabis alleviates. It’s another reason to grow indoors, and the best way to ensure hygiene is by stringently managing and monitoring the environmental conditions.
Maintain the right environment
There are four aspects to consider here. The first concerns the planting medium. While hydroponic systems are becoming popular, they are best left on the back burner if you are a novice grower. As a beginner, stick to traditional earth. The second is temperature. Optimum depends on the strain of cannabis, but in general, around 75F during the day and 60F at night is recommended. Humidity is also important, and must be adjusted during the growth cycle of your plants. Finally, there is the question of light. Sodium lamps are the most popular, but growers are increasingly shifting towards more efficient LEDs.
Ready to get started?
These are some of the key points that you will need to stay on top of to create healthy plants with good yields. If you’re ready to give it a try, just remember to start small and be prepared for some early disappointments – but in the end, practice makes perfect.