At some point or another, most everyone who enjoys marijuana has thought about growing it themselves for a number of reasons. Some just talk about how they would never run out, some talk about the profit they might make and others talk about growing the perfect strain – then there are people who go for it and take on the challenge of growing their own cannabis.
Growing marijuana, while a federal crime, has been legalized in 3 states and D.C. as well as in many of the 23 states which have legalized medical marijuana. This finally opens up the possibility of growing cannabis to thousands of smokers. There are many benefits to growing your own bud – but many people just don’t want to take on the commitment of cultivation when purchasing their bud ready-to-go at a dispensary is so much more convenient.
Now, if you’re living in one of those states where you have the opportunity to grow your own, you may have already started the internal debate – to grow or not to grow? Would it be worth it for you? Would you be able to put in the time to take care of a plant or two? With how much you consume would it be more expensive with the added water and electric than it is to buy from a shop?
Here are some of the benefits of growing your own cannabis – as well as some things to consider as you are making the decision of whether or not to grow your own.
One of the biggest benefits of growing your own marijuana is the quality control factor. When you grow your own bud you always know exactly what you’re getting. If you planted Girl Scout Cookie seeds, then you know you’re getting Girl Scout Cookie plants – and if they’re taken care of properly they will be just as potent as anything you’ll buy in a dispensary.
Large corporate cultivation projects tend to use pesticides to keep their plants as bug free as possible – now there are ones that are legally accepted as safe to use and there are strict regulations on ones that are not. However, the chances that your bud is pesticide free is not something you can guarantee – unless you’re the one growing it.
Also, remember you will probably make a few mistakes in the beginning. Your first plant is an experiment, and with trial and error you will find what works best. There are tons of different ways to grow marijuana indoors – which means you may find that some tricks work great and others can destroy your entire harvest. In the end, you will end up a pro and you will probably never want dispensary weed again.
Save Yourself Some Money
Another big benefit of growing your own is the chance to save yourself some money. When you buy your marijuana from a dispensary you are generally paying a specific price per gram, per ounce, etc. When you grow your own bud that changes – you will be paying for your start up supplies and a few extra bucks on your utilities. If you’re only growing one or two plants, you might not see more than a $65-75 per month increase in your electric bill depending on the rates in your area.
The quantity that you harvest will greatly depend on the lighting used, as well as the strain that you grow; some plants simply produce much more bud than others – so do your research on the type of strain you want to grow and see if any reviews include an average yield per plant.
Let’s say that you’re only planting one plant at a time and it produces about 5 ounces of bud. Your costs would include electricity (which we will say is a $70 a month increase with the plant), water (which will probably run you less than $25 per month) and the cost of seeds – which can vary but, for example, this bag of 10 White Widow seeds costs $51.80.
Add that all up and you’ll be looking at a little less than $300 in total. (This is judging by a 10 week flower time, average flower time for White Widow being 8-10 weeks.) So 5 ounces for $300 – that breaks down to $60 per ounce. In a dispensary, an ounce can run between $290 and $375 depending on the strength of the strain you’re purchasing.
If you smoke a significant amount, I bet you’re looking at the cost difference and starting to think growing your own isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Run Out Less Often
This one could be a deal breaker for some – running out is never ideal and we all know that. But with a plant that produces 5 ounces every 10 weeks or so, do you really see yourself running out any time soon? Probably not. Chances are, you will have more than enough to go around.
Besides, if you have a lot of people in your house and one plant doesn’t quite cover it you can always plant another one, or two. After all, most states that allow you to grow marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes allow multiple plants. In Colorado, you are limited to 4 plants grown indoors. In California, they restrict patients by the size of their garden.
Always make sure when planting multiple plants (or growing at all) that you are complying with both your local and state laws. Even if it’s legal to grow, there are still certain rules that must be followed. It only takes one person to ruin a good thing – so be smart and know the laws and regulations before you start growing your own cannabis.
How Much You Can Learn
Speaking of learning – I bet you can’t imagine just how much you will learn when you start growing your own marijuana. Not only will you be learning the basic techniques of how to grow and care for your plant to produce the best yields, but you will also learn a lot about the plants themselves. Different strains behave differently both when growing and when consumed.
Chances are, if you’ve only ever dabbled in bud or you’re new to a legal market with shops and named strains, then you might not know much about the different types of cannabis strains. When you go to purchase your first seeds you will want to find something that is going to provide you the buzz you’re looking for – so knowing the difference between an indica and sativa strain and what THC and CBD do can be extremely beneficial when choosing a strain.
Once you start learning, maybe you will just want to keep learning. That’s what happened to me – now I’m fascinated by studies done on medical marijuana, learning how and why cannabinoids behave the way they do and finding out what potential each plant really has. For some, the ability to learn about something new would likely be a good enough reason to get started on growing their own plant.
Location, Location, Location
Earlier in this article I explained that for some, the reason for not growing their own bud is for convenience. The same logic can be applied as a reason to grow your own cannabis as well. For some people, it may just be unreasonable to go to a dispensary. Perhaps they live several miles from the nearest shop and don’t have a car or bike? Or maybe the individual is homebound for medical reasons, but is fit enough to care for a plant.
Growing in your home may be the right decision for you simply because a dispensary is inconvenient to get to, or inconveniently priced. If you’re on a budget for a number of doctors’ visits, it would be much easier to afford your medicine if you could grow it yourself for more than half the cost, right?
Maybe the best reason is simply because you don’t have to go anywhere to get what you want or what you need. Kind of like having an aloe plant growing in your yard – it’s there and easily accessible if you burn yourself, and quite a convenience in not having to go to a store to get something to soothe the burn. Location is everything after all, isn’t it?
In the end, there is a little extra work that will come along with growing your own cannabis. You will need to make sure that you keep up with watering it properly, giving it the right type of light for the right amount of time and providing it with additional nutrients as needed. That won’t be the end of it though – once your plant produces buds, it’s time for you to harvest.
You will have to cut all the branches off of the plant and then trim all the leaves from the buds. Then the buds will need to dry for a period of about a week, and after that, you will want to cure the buds for at least two weeks. So even after your plant flowers at 10 weeks, you will still be waiting another 3 weeks or so before your buds are ready to be smoked or vaped.
In the end – taking the time to take care of your plant and watch it grow will be rewarding – and so will your final product. When you see that yield and realize that you’re ready to start your next plant you will feel great – confident that you can continue to produce your own cannabis. It is a little bit of work, but the results are well, well worth it.
- Can you produce enough marijuana that growing it would save you significant amounts of money in the long run?
- Do you have the time to commit to making sure the plant has light when it needs it, darkness when it needs it and water when it needs it?
- Would you benefit from the “leftovers”?
You can grow a marijuana plant in almost any home or apartment and still have a successful plant – all it takes is a little time, a lot of caring and patience and a little effort on your part and you will have a successful harvest in as little as 3-4 months!
If you’ve been struggling with deciding whether or not growing your own cannabis is right for you, I hope this article was helpful. Growing plants of any type can be an extremely rewarding experience – and growing your own cannabis can be both rewarding and extremely beneficial. In the end, if you’ve got the time and money to start up, then there’s really no reason not to.
We do want to remind you that this advice is for those living in areas where cultivating medicinal or recreational marijuana at home is legal. As much as we wish you could all make the decision to grow your own cannabis, we cannot condone doing so where it is still illegal. Hopefully it won’t be long before this is a reality for everyone – but for now, please comply with your local, state and county laws and regulations!